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

Jim Craig: Minor changes, but no hesitation, in second ‘Miracle’ sale

Jim Craig
AP
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It has been 300 days since Jim Craig first announced he would sell a bundle of his “Miracle on Ice” memorabilia, including his gold medal, for $5.7 million.

They didn’t sell last year. So he took most of the items in the original bundle and is splitting them up in an auction that runs though June 17.

On Tuesday, Craig said he had no thoughts about keeping the most precious items in the 10 months in between sales.

“We wanted to sell an entire collection to a person that would have the financial means to be able to display it, hopefully that everybody would be able to come and enjoy it like they have the last 35 years,” Craig said. “It’s a lot better than being tucked in a closet.”

There are a few items from the original bundle that Craig decided not to auction this time around — a 1980 Sports Illustrated Sportsmen of the Year trophy, two watches that he gave to his kids and an Olympic ring.

VIDEO: Which Miracle item is toughest for Craig to sell?

Christie Rampone not at fitness level to compete for Olympic spot

Christie Rampone
Getty Images
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Christie Rampone, the 40-year-old captain of the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup team, has yet to return to full fitness after December knee surgery and pulled out of a U.S. camp ahead of two pre-Olympic friendlies in June.

Her bid for a fifth Olympics, and to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player of all time, is in danger.

The camp begins Friday. The friendlies against rival Japan (which failed to qualify for Rio) are June 2 and June 5.

“I don’t feel 100 percent healthy enough to train and compete at that level,” Rampone said in a press release Tuesday. “I’ve been able to manage myself and contribute to Sky Blue [her club team] this season, which I will continue to do, but I also have an understanding of the level of fitness and health needed to push for an Olympic roster spot, and I know I’m not there right now. It’s not the right choice for myself or the team to put myself in that environment.”

Rampone, a defender, hasn’t played for the U.S. since her December arthroscopic knee surgery. At the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she played a total of 14 minutes.

The U.S. national team is currently without nine players from the 23-player World Cup team, though some are expected back for the Olympics, but only one of the missing other than Rampone is a defender (the retired Lori Chalupny).

The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team for London was named in May 2012, but the Rio roster of 18 players is expected to be announced by early July.

VIDEO: Hope Solo ‘begrudgingly’ going to Rio Olympics