Chris Creveling

U.S. Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Team finalized

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J.R. Celski and Jessica Smith qualified for every distance in Sochi, while the final four members of the eight-skater U.S. Olympic Short Track Team were decided Sunday.

Celski and Smith, who already won the 500m and 1500m at the U.S. Olympic Trials, prevailed in the 1000m on the final day of competition at the Utah Olympic Oval.

“The USA is here to play,” Celski said on NBC. “We’re going to go to Sochi and represent.”

Eddy Alvarez and Emily Scott, who made their first Olympics on Saturday, also finished in qualifying position for all three distances.

They’ll be joined on the U.S. Olympic Team by 2010 Olympians Jordan Malone and Alyson Dudek and first-time Olympians Chris Creveling and Kyle Carr.

The U.S. team headed to Sochi is a rebuilt one following the retirements of individual Olympic medalists Apolo Ohno and Katherine Reutter and scandals involving skate tampering and coaching abuse that caused a reorganization of US Speedskating.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Smith said on NBC. “I’m excited for what the future holds. All three of us [women] here are looking for the gold and the podium as well. We’re looking to bring home all the medals.”

Creveling, 27, all but booked his spot by winning the first 1000m final on Sunday, handing the two-time Olympic bronze medalist Celski his first loss at trials. It looks like Creveling will skate the 1000m and 1500m in Sochi.

Malone, 29, looks likely to skate the 500m in Sochi despite pulling out of the second 1000m with bruised ribs and a strained hip tendon from an earlier crash Sunday.

Carr wasn’t in the top three in any individual distance but should have a spot on the preliminary-round relay in Sochi.

The relay team with Celski and Malone won bronze in 2010.

The women had one spot left to be decided on their three-skater Olympic Team on Sunday. The favorite going in was Dudek, and she held on despite finishing third in the 1000m, a distance the U.S. women will have two spots in at Sochi.

Dudek will be able to skate the 500m and 1500m at the Olympics. The U.S. women did not qualify an Olympic relay team, a disappointment after Dudek and Co. won bronze in 2010.

“I’m more prepared now,” Dudek said on NBCSN. “It’s going to be completely different.”

Here are the final individual distance and overall standings from the U.S. Olympic Trials:

Men’s 500m
1. J.R. Celski — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Eddy Alvarez — 1,920 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Jordan Malone — 1,357 (clinched Olympic berth)

Men’s 1000m
1. J.R. Celski — 2,300 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Chris Creveling — 1,810 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Eddy Alvarez — 1,472 (clinched Olympic berth)

Men’s 1500m
1. J.R. Celski — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Eddy Alvarez — 1,632 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Chris Creveling — 1,428 (clinched Olympic berth)

Women’s 500m
1. Jessica Smith — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 1,840 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 1,760 (clinched Olympic berth)

Women’s 1000m
1. Jessica Smith — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 2,000 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 1,600

Women’s 1500m
1. Jessica Smith — 2,300 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 2,200 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 1,600 (clinched Olympic berth)

Here are the overall distance standings:

Men
1. J.R. Celski — 6,800 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Eddy Alvarez — 4,704 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Chris Creveling — 3,674 (clinched Olympic berth)
4. Kyle Carr — 2,927 (clinched Olympic berth)
5. Jordan Malone — 2,917 (clinched Olympic berth)
6. Travis Jayner — 2,008

Women
1. Jessica Smith — 6,800 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 5,640 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 4,640 (clinched Olympic berth)
4. Sarah Chen — 3,128

Apolo Ohno switches from ice to booth

Mikaela Shiffrin wrestles with doubt in seconds before World Cup downhill debut

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, skis during the third training run for the World Cup women's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
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After a momentary panic in the start house, Mikaela Shiffrin raced to a tie for 18th in the first downhill of her World Cup career in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion who has also won a World Cup giant slalom, has been slowly adding the speed events of super-G and downhill to her repertoire the last two seasons.

“It wasn’t bad,” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com. “I certainly didn’t risk anything crazy.”

Her result Friday, 1.99 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec, came after Shiffrin was 18th, 24th and 30th fastest in downhill training runs the previous three days. Shiffrin also had to wait several minutes in the start house as the racer before her crashed (video here).

“That was just a bummer,” Shiffrin said, according to the Denver Post. “I was like, ‘Just don’t let it affect you,’ but being up there for 10 minutes, like, ‘What happened? What’s taking them so long? What’s going on? Is she hurt?’

“Then I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. I was going back and forth between, ‘Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don’t want to kill myself.’ Then I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely fine, you haven’t felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don’t have to go crazy.'”

“To be fast in speed there certainly needs to be a certain level of risk, and I know that, but now, if [giant slalom] and slalom are my main priority this season, I don’t need to be going crazy in a downhill with flat light and after I got iced [waiting so long],” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com.

Stuhec won Friday’s race by .22 of a second over Italian Sofia Goggia. Swede Kajsa Kling was third.

A race replay can be seen here. Full results are here.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

Last season, Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in the super-G at Lake Louise and finished 15th.

The women have another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, both streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (schedule here).

MORE: Vonn eyes January return from her most painful injury

High-speed crash at World Cup downhill in Lake Louise (video)

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Swiss Joana Haehlen crashed into netting at high speed during a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Haehlen, 24, lost her right ski after landing from a jump and sped uncontrollably off course. She braced for impact, slammed into red netting and was turned around before landing with neither of her skis still attached.

She lay on the snow while being attended to and eventually skied down the mountain on her own.

It caused a 10-minute delay before the next skier, American Mikaela Shiffrin, could take her run.

VIDEO: Vonn details the most painful injury of her career