Aida Bella

Poland short track speed skaters turn to Playboy for funding

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The November issue of Playboy in Poland features an Olympic cover.

Short track speed skaters Aida Bella and Marta Wojcik are the centerpiece, each holding skates while standing back to back (like the famous Larry BirdMagic Johnson “Choose Your Weapon” ad by Converse, only with less clothing).

Bella and Wojcik appeared in the magazine in hopes of garnering attention and funding leading into the Sochi Olympics, according to European reports.

It’s uncertain whether Bella or Wojcik will qualify for Sochi.

A Polish short track skater has never finished better than 11th at the Olympics. The nation did not send a female skater to the Games until 2010.

Neither Bella nor Wojcik is ranked in the top 40 in the world in an individual event (an Olympic field size is capped at 32 or 36.). Poland is outside the top 10 in team relay rankings (eight nations compete in the Olympic relay).

Olympic qualifying concludes at a World Cup stop this weekend in Kolomna, Russia.

Veteran sets out on new career after Olympics, tour in Afghanistan

Decker scores twice, U.S. women’s hockey team beats Canada 5-2

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QUEBEC CITY (AP) — Brianna Decker scored twice to help the U.S. women’s hockey team open its pre-Olympic exhibition schedule with a 5-2 victory over Canada on Sunday.

Hilary Knight, Annie Pankowski and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans.

Meghan Agosta and Jillian Saulnier scored for Canada.

The teams will meet again Wednesday night in Boston. Canada has won four straight Olympic titles, and the U.S. has claimed seven of the last eight world championships.

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

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Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.