Steve Holcomb

Steve Holcomb wins seventh straight World Cup bobsled race

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Steve Holcomb‘s seventh straight victory to start the World Cup season was his closest yet.

The Olympic champion won a four-man race in Lake Placid, N.Y., with a two-run time of 1 minute, 50.15 seconds on Sunday.

Holcomb, with his usual crew of Curt TomaseviczSteve Langton and Chris Fogt, held off Great Britain’s John Jackson by .07 to remain perfect this season. German Thomas Florschuetz was third.

Holcomb is the first driver to win at least seven races in one season since German Andre Lange won eight in 2003-04, according to Infostrada.

Holcomb won every North American race this World Cup season in Calgary, Alberta, Park City, Utah, and Lake Placid. The tour moves to Europe beginning with races in Winterberg, Germany, in January.

“If you told me that I would have won everything a month ago, I would have thought you were crazy,” Holcomb said, according to a press release. “It is surreal and a little overwhelming.”

Holcomb hasn’t won a World Cup race outside of North America in nearly four years. He must provide more podium results in Germany, Switzerland and Austria to cement Olympic gold-medal-favorite status.

Great Britain won its first World Cup bobsled medal since January 2009.

Lake Placid Four-Man Bobsled
1. Steve Holcomb (USA) 1:50.15
2. John Jackson (GBR) 1:50.22
3. Thomas Florschuetz (GER) 1:50.40
15. Cory Butner (USA) 1:51.21
17. Nick Cunningham (USA) 1:51.31

U.S. men’s curling team qualifies for Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

“I don’t know if the stars will ever align like that again,” Shiffrin said in a media conference after being told she won with the biggest margin of victory in the history of women’s slalom since 1968: 3.07 seconds. “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

En route to her fourth consecutive slalom World Cup title – which would tie the record for the most with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider from 1992-95 – she became the first female skier to win four World Cup slalom races in a row since Austria’s Marlies Schild did it in the 2011-12 season.

In addition, Shiffrin became the first female skier from the U.S. to win a slalom World Cup race in Aspen. And she’s now tied with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall with total slalom World Cup victories.

“I was pissed after I made that ridiculous mistake yesterday,” Shiffrin said to media, referencing yesterday’s giant slalom crash. Both her and Lindsey Vonn crashed and did not finish in Aspen’s giant slalom. “I tried to use that anger today.”

Shiffrin called the mistake a “brainfart” and Vonn dismissed it because “giant slalom isn’t [her] strongest event.”

But, Shiffrin added that she already has her mind set on tomorrow, where she races slalom again, on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The complete of the Olympic sports schedule is here.

“I just as quickly have to go back and settle in,” she said. “Tomorrow is a new race. I have to find a different motivation and try to take the same mentality and keep fighting.”

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second behind Shiffrin, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

By finishing behind Shiffrin in Aspen, Zuzulova extends her slalom World Cup podium finish streak to four.

Hansdotter has the second-most second place World Cup slalom finishes at 13 total, including today’s race. Only Pernilla Wiberg, of Sweden, has more with a total of 14.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

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