Tessa Worley

Tessa Worley, world giant slalom champion, suffers torn ACL

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France’s Tessa Worley will miss the Olympics after suffering a torn ACL in a crash at a World Cup slalom race in Courchevel, France, on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I’m very worried,” French women’s Alpine coach Anthony Sechaud said, according to reports, before Worley was diagnosed with a torn ACL. “It’s a big blow for her. The contrast between now and two days ago has been a shock.”

Worley won a World Cup giant slalom race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Here’s how The Associated Press described Worley’s crash in Courchevel on Tuesday:

Worley, the giant slalom world champion, toppled backward before twisting forward and landing in the safety netting. She lay still for a few moments before getting slowly back up. She was taken down the slope on a stretcher and to a hospital in Lyon. No further information was immediately available.

Multiple reports stated Worley suffered an ACL injury, and they were confirmed by the International Ski Federation reporting a torn ACL a few hours later Tuesday. Video coverage showed her entire right leg immobilized.

The 24-year-old was the only woman to be in the top four of the World Cup giant slalom standings each of the last four seasons, including 2013-14, a strong indicator of her Olympic medal hopes.

Worley’s absence improves the Olympic medal chances for American Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin, 18, is the reigning world and World Cup champion in the slalom but has shown improvement in giant slalom, taking sixth at the World Championships on Feb. 14 and second at a World Cup event in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 1.

The other top giant slalom skiers are World Cup overall leader Lara Gut of Switzerland, reigning World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia, reigning Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany and Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby.

France previously lost reigning world champion in the downhill Marion Rolland to a ruptured knee ligament in a training crash.

Shiffrin struggles in Courchevel

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic venue progress video

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The next Olympics, the Pyeongchang Winter Games, are in 530 days.

Organizers of the first Winter Olympics in South Korea published a time-lapse video of venue construction on Thursday.

The video shows updates for the main coastal Olympic Park, including short- and long-track speed skating, figure skating and hockey arenas, the sliding center in the mountains and the Olympic Plaza, which will house the Olympic Stadium for Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

As NBC News reported, one concern is a potential lack of natural snow, which 2010 and 2014 Winter Games organizers had to deal with as well. Man-made snow is always a safety-net option.

MORE: Pyeongchang 2018 mascots unveiled

Italian track meet near earthquake canceled to focus on recovery

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An annual track and field meet in Rieti, Italy, about 40 to 50 miles from the hardest-hit areas from Wednesday’s earthquake and aftershocks that have killed at least 267 people, has been canceled in order to devote resources to recovery.

The meet was due to take place Sept. 11.

The Rieti athletics meeting has been held every year since 1971, highlighted by recent men’s world records in the 100m (Asafa Powell, 2007) and the 800m (David Rudisha, 2010).

Meet director Sandro Giovannelli said €60,000 (or about $68,000) generated from the Rieti meet the last three years would be contributed toward earthquake reconstruction efforts.

MORE: U.S. Olympic sprinter turns to bobsled