US Biathlon announced first-time Olympians Leif Nordgren and Annelies Cook as the fourth and fifth members of its Olympic Team on Thursday.
Nordgren, 24, joins three-time U.S. Olympians Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey in going to Sochi. Burke and Bailey were nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team in November. US Biathlon is expected to announced up to two more men to join them in Sochi in January.
“I’m not sure it’s still really sunk in yet, but I’m pretty excited,” said Nordgren, according to US Biathlon. “I tried not to think about the qualification process too much this last trimester, but I definitely couldn’t help myself sometimes.”
Cook, 29, joins another first-time Olympian, Susan Dunklee, who was nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team in November. US Biathlon is expected to announce up to three women to join them in Sochi in January.
“I am very relieved to be named to the Olympic Team; it is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid,” said Cook, according to US Biathlon. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, and I think I will be most excited when the entire team is named and we can look forward to it together.”
The U.S. has never won an Olympic biathlon medal.
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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.
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.”
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.
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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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