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

Study shows which colleges produce most U.S. Olympians

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Want to be an Olympian? Go West, young athlete.

An OlympStats.com study found that Stanford, UCLA, USC and the University of California were the top colleges attended by the 9,000-plus Americans to compete in Olympic history.

Olympic historians Bill Mallon and Hilary Evans spent the summer compiling the statistics.

They found that Stanford had at least 289 Olympians, followed by UCLA with 277, USC with 251 and Cal with 212.

Stanford and UCLA tied for the most Summer Olympians with 280.

The most Winter Olympians? The University of Minnesota with 93, more than two-thirds being hockey players.

Ivy League schools Harvard and Yale dominated the early editions of the Summer and Winter Olympics.

But USC topped the list at every Summer Games from 1928 through 1964 (tied with Cal in 1948). UCLA’s run went from 1968 through 2004. Stanford had the most in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

In Winter Olympics, the University of Utah topped the 2002 and 2006 teams, followed by Utah’s Westminster College in 2010 and 2014. Many skiers and snowboarders who train in Park City take classes at those two schools.

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Andre Ward, last U.S. man to win Olympic boxing gold, retires

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Andre Ward, the only U.S. male boxer to win Olympic gold in the last 20 years, is walking away from the sport at the top of his game.

Undefeated. A world champion. Arguably the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.

“All I want to be is an Olympic champion. All I want to be is a world champion. I did it,” a voice appearing to be Ward’s said in an online video.

Today is the first day since 1952 that there are zero active male U.S. Olympic champion boxers. Claressa Shields, gold medalist in London and Rio, is now a professional fighter.

Ward, 33, ended his career without a loss since the age of 13 but said the cumulative effect of boxing for 23 years started to wear on his body. He no longer had the desire to prepare the way he used to.

“My goal has always been to walk away from this sport and to retire from the sport and to not let the sport retire me,” Ward, nicknamed S.O.G. “Son of God,” said on ESPN. “I have that opportunity today.

“I know it’s time. I’ve studied retirements. … How they walked away, who came back and all these different things. I’ve talked to a lot of guys, and they’ve always told me, you’re just going to know when it’s time. Nobody else will know but you.”

At the Athens Olympics, Ward fought in memory of his father, who died of a heart attack in his sleep at age 45, two years before the Games. He blew a kiss to the roof on the medal podium.

“In the second round, I got thumbed in my eyes, and I saw a double [vision],” Ward said on NBC after the gold-medal bout. “I never experienced nothing like that before.”

Ward turned pro and went 32-0, winning eight world titles.

His last fight was a June 17 TKO of Russian Sergey Kovalev to retain his WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles.

“I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there,” Ward said in a statement on his website. “If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting.”

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