Bode Miller

Tough day for Ligety, Miller as Mario Matt wins Val d’Isere slalom

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Ted Ligety and Bode Miller didn’t take any World Cup points from two races in Val d’Isere, France, this weekend, failing to qualify for the second run in Sunday’s slalom.

The Americans went one-two in last Sunday’s giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., but neither was among the top 30 skiers Saturday or Sunday at the Stade Olympique de Bellevarde course.

Ligety was 39th in the first run Sunday. Miller skied off the course. Both had failed to finish the first run in the giant slalom Saturday.

“It was tough conditions where it was very hard snow but very grippy,” U.S. men’s Alpine coach Sasha Rearick said. “We’ve been training on ice getting ready for Val d’Isere and we didn’t make that transition very well today. So that’s something we’ve got to work on in the future.”

Instead, Austrian Mario Matt won his 15th career World Cup race (14th slalom) with a two-run time of 1 minute, 44.59 seconds. Swede Mattias Hargin was second, .53 behind. Italy’s Patrick Thaler took third.

Matt, 34, became the oldest man to win a World Cup slalom race, according to Infostrada.

“Over all the years, plenty of nice races,” Matt said on Eurosport. “I hope in this shape now, I can have many good results.”

David Chodounsky was the only American to earn a second run and finished seventh, his second-best World Cup result in 26 career races.

Austrian Marcel Hirscher, the reigning world and World Cup slalom champion, failed to qualify for the second run. That snapped a 10-race podium streak in slalom.

The Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a super-G and a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, on Friday and Saturday.

Val d’Isere Slalom
1. Mario Matt (AUT) 1:44.59
2. Mattias Hargin (SWE) 1:45.12
3. Patrick Thaler (ITA) 1:45.37
4. Jean-Baptiste Grange (FRA) 1:45.41
5. Markus Larsson (SWE) 1:45.46
6. Andre Myhrer (SWE) 1:45.52
7. David Chodounsky (USA) 1:45.55
8. Manfred Moelgg (ITA) 1:45.57
9. Benjamin Raich (AUT) 1:45.63
10. Felix Neureuther (GER) 1:45.70

Ligety, Miller ski out of giant slalom

Michael Phelps appears in ‘Call of Duty’ trailer

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
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Michael Phelps brandishes weapons in a trailer for the upcoming video game, “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” which is to come out Nov. 4.

Phelps, an avid Call of Duty player, filmed his spot after the Rio Olympics in Long Beach, Calif., according to reports. Actor Danny McBride is also in the 90-second video.

“We were in full getup and full armor,” Phelps said, according to Time magazine. “Where we were shooting was kind of wild. Danny and I were just playing off each other, talking trash. It was really tough to keep a straight face with him just firing off super funny comments left and right. It was fun.”

MORE: Usain Bolt’s obsession with ‘Call of Duty’

Claressa Shields turns professional, sets first fight

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 21:  Claressa Maria Shields of the United States celebrates victory over Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands in the Women's Middle (69-75kg) Final Bout on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields turned professional, scheduling her first fight on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.

The fight against a to-be-named opponent will be on the Sergey KovalevAndre Ward undercard. Ward is the last U.S. man to win an Olympic boxing title, at Athens 2004.

“After working hard for so many years and having the honor to represent my country at two Olympic games, I am thrilled to take the next big step in my career, fighting professionally and leading the rise of women’s boxing worldwide,” Shields said in a statement. “There is no better place to begin the journey than to join the biggest fight of the year, Kovalev vs Ward.”

In Rio, Shields, 21, became the first American boxer to repeat as Olympic champion. Her record is 77-1. The middleweight hasn’t lost in more than four years.

She said long before the Rio Games that she hoped to turn pro after them, but this summer amended that to say she hoped to be able to turn pro while still being able to compete in the Olympics in 2020.

“My legacy is what really is important to me,” Shields said last Wednesday, when she said she was unaware about an imminent professional announcement. “It’s about having a game plan before you do something. I don’t want to just go pro and then have one or two fights and then disappear. I actually want to make a platform for women’s boxing.”

Shields said that she has talked with the international boxing federation (AIBA) and USA Boxing since the Rio Olympics about finding a way for her to turn professional and return to fight in a third Olympics in Tokyo.

“The conversation basically was that they definitely would consider making changes for women’s boxing, but they’ve had so many changes in AIBA’s offices that, who knows,” she said. “I’ve always had a pretty great relationship with AIBA. … Being the only American [female] gold medalist, I love the Olympics, I would love to be in Tokyo if I got the opportunity.”

Laila Ali, the most famous women’s pro boxer in history, said she told Shields after the London Olympics she needed to take advantage of any and all opportunities.

“Women’s boxing is a sport that just doesn’t get that much attention,” Ali said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of talent in the sport, but there’s not a lot of promoters behind the women who are boxing. There were a lot more women when I was fighting, but I got all the attention because my last name’s Ali.”

Ali mentioned Ronda Rousey, a fighter who has achieved much more outside of the octagon than either Shields or Ali outside of the ring.

“I’m the daughter of the most famous athlete and man in the world, attractive, can fight, had more titles, had more fights, and I don’t have movies or endorsements or things like that,” Ali said. “But the UFC has a bigger platform than boxing because someone got behind her and said, ‘Let me put some money behind this girl. Let me build her up, make her name known.’ And that’s why she’s able to get those opportunities. So, unless someone’s inspired to do that and get behind some of the women, it’s just not going to happen. It has nothing do with [Shields’] talent, but unfortunately just because you won gold, not everybody else is going to be as excited about that, especially with women’s boxing being so new at the Olympics.”

VIDEO: Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor