Ted Ligety

Ted Ligety third in giant slalom won by Marcel Hirscher

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Marcel Hirscher won his second straight World Cup giant slalom, helping keep Ted Ligety off the top step of a GS podium again in Alta Badia, Italy, on Sunday.

Ligety finished third, .63 of a second behind the Austrian. France’s Alexis Pinturault was second as the top three did not change from after the first run.

“I’m happy to see that Ted is beatable and human,” Hirscher said, according to The Associated Press. “We worked really hard over the past year and sometimes we didn’t know if we were doing exactly the right thing. There are so many different (variables).”

American Tim Jitloff matched his best-ever World Cup result in fifth. Bode Miller did not qualify for the second run.

Ligety, the reigning world and World Cup giant slalom champion, is mired in his longest GS race victory drought since the 2011-12 season — two races.

“I’m happy with third,” Ligety said, according to the AP. “I don’t feel like I skied my best but that’s not easy to do every time.

“I’ve had a tough European trip and it’s nice to put in a decent result. It’s not been an easy December for me.”

Ligety, who has won four of the past six season giant slalom titles, trails Hirscher in this season’s race by 60 points after four of eight races.

Jitloff, 28, fell to the snow in exhaustion and/or exultation after his second run.

That’s understandable. Jitloff’s only other top-five was a solo fifth in a giant slalom on Feb. 21, 2009.

“I just felt like I was on and I was doing it right,” said Jitloff, according to the AP. “To come to the place that is the definition of giant slalom racing and throw down a fifth, I couldn’t be happier.”

Miller, who finished second in a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 8, did not make the top 30 to earn a second run.

“I was just telling [wife] Morgan, it’s not her fault or [son] Nate’s fault, but I don’t spend nearly the time thinking about skiing that I did in the past,” Miller said, according to the AP. “And I keep making really stupid mistakes.”

The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill in Bormio, Italy, next Sunday.

Alta Badia Giant Slalom
1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 2:37.45
2. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 2:37.80
3. Ted Ligety (USA) 2:38.03
4. Fritz Dopfer (GER) 2:38.82
5. Tim Jitloff (USA) 2:39.10
5. Felix Neureuther (GER) 2:39.10
7. Benjamin Raich (AUT) 2:39.44
8. Stefan Luitz (GER) 2:39.47
9. Leif Kristian Haugen (NOR) 2:39.59
10. Steve Missillier (FRA) 2:39.71

Sochi Olympic hockey pucks unveiled

Alina Zagitova is OAR’s first gold medalist of PyeongChang

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15-year-old Alina Zagitova won the first gold medal for the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Thursday night in the ladies’ free skate in PyeongChang.

Yevgenia Medvedeva, her training partner and the two-time world champion, earned silver by a margin of 1.31 points. That’s the exact margin Zagitova led Medvedeva by after the short program on Tuesday.

This marks the first time two women from the same country have shared the ladies’ figure skating podium since Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan in 1998. Speaking of Lipinski – Zagitova is less than a month older than Lipinski was when she won gold in Nagano, and Zagitova is now the second-youngest individual ladies’ Olympic champion in history.

Kaetlyn Osmond earned bronze – Canada’s first Olympic medal in ladies’ figure skating since 2010.

Results

Gold: Alina Zagitova (OAR)

Silver: Yevgenia Medvedeva (OAR)

Bronze: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)

9. Bradie Tennell (USA)

10. Mirai Nagasu (USA)

11. Karen Chen (USA)

Click here to read the full recap and watch highlights from the ladies’ free skate program

Serwa, Phelan continue Canada’s dominance of women’s ski cross

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Canadian skiers Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan took the top spots in women’s ski cross at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, giving Canada its third consecutive gold medal in this event.

Switzerland’s Fanny Smith edged out Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund in the big final to claim the final spot on the podium.

Read the rest of the story and watch video at NBCOlympics.com