Todd Lodwick

Todd Lodwick’s eyes remain on Olympics after dislocating shoulder

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Todd Lodwick still expects to be the first American to compete in six Winter Olympics, four days after dislocating his left shoulder in a ski jumping crash.

“Bruised and beat up a little bit, but my spirits are pretty high at the moment,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I have all intention of recovering from this and being as strong as I can.”

Lodwick, who earned his spot on the Olympic Team by winning the Olympic Trials on Dec. 28, said he crashed for the first time in a competition setting in his 20-year career in France on Friday.

He’s training at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, doing treadmill work. Lodwick, a noted strong ski jumper, is currently unable to use his left arm for cross-country skiing and is keeping it as immobile as possible.

He’s focused on coming back for the 4x5km relay in Sochi, which is the last event on the Nordic combined program on Feb. 20. Lodwick and the U.S. won silver in the event in 2010 and are among the medal contenders again this year.

Lodwick said further evaluations will be necessary to determine his availability for competing in individual events on Feb. 12 and Feb. 18.

He was fourth in the normal hill event in Vancouver, where teammate Johnny Spillane won the first U.S. Olympic medal in Nordic combined, a silver.

Lodwick called Friday’s crash a “freak accident.”

“Things go up, things come down,” he said. “When you travel at a high rate of speed and one minor thing goes wrong, it can be catastrophic.”

He felt relatively fine, though, until his shoulder was popped back into place.

“Then the pain set in,” Lodwick said.

Biathlete gives up Olympic spot to twin

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

“I don’t know if the stars will ever align like that again,” Shiffrin said in a media conference after being told she won with the biggest margin of victory in the history of women’s slalom since 1968: 3.07 seconds. “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

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.”

But, Shiffrin added that she already has her mind set on tomorrow, where she races slalom again, on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The complete of the Olympic sports schedule is here.

“I just as quickly have to go back and settle in,” she said. “Tomorrow is a new race. I have to find a different motivation and try to take the same mentality and keep fighting.”

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.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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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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