Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe

Canada names three Dufour-Lapointe sisters to Olympic Team

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It’s conceivable that a Dufour-Lapointe could win gold, silver and bronze in women’s moguls at the Sochi Olympics.

Canada announced the three sisters, Maxime (24), Chloe (22) and Justine (19), as part of its Olympic freestyle skiing team Monday.

It is the fifth time in Olympic history at least three siblings will compete in the same Winter Olympic event together, according to OlympStats.com, the second time in an individual event and first time in an individual event since 1976.

Here is the list of other sets of siblings to compete together:

1960 — Anne-Marie, Marguerite and Therese Leduc (France), Alpine skiing
1976 — Marcos Luis, Martín Tomás and Matias Jose Jerman (Argentina), Cross-country skiing
1980 — Anton, Marian and Peter Stastny (Czechoslovakia), Hockey
1988 — Jorge, Jose, Luis Adrian and Roberto Tames (Mexico), Bobsled

OlympStats points out the Ochoa family from Spain had five siblings compete in the Olympics but not all in the same event or in the same year.

The Dufour-Lapointes could become the first set of siblings to sweep a single Olympic podium. Each Dufour-Lapointe has made at least one podium this season.

Chloe and Justine went one-two in Sunday’s moguls in Val St. Come, Quebec. They rank second, third and fifth behind Olympic champion Hannah Kearney in the World Cup standings, the best indicator of Olympic medal prospects.

Their rank is in inverse order of their age — youngest Justine is No. 2 and oldest Maxime is No. 5. Chloe is the only one with Olympic experience, but when she was named to the Olympic Team in 2010, it brought bittersweet emotions to their mother, Johane.

“Obviously, it hurts. It makes me sad, I can’t hide it,” she told the Montreal Gazette four years ago. “I am so proud of both Maxime and Chloe, whether they are Olympians or not, because of the people they are. But it would really be a dream to one day see three Dufour-Lapointe sisters at the Olympics.”

Like most athletic siblings, they are quite competitive.

“Most of the time one is calling home crying, one is medium happy with her performance and one is really happy,” Johane told the Toronto Star in March. “They are competitors now but they will always be sisters.”

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Carolina Kostner tops Alina Zagitova in world champs short program

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Italian Carolina Kostner is the surprise leader after the short program at figure skating worlds, topping a woman half her age, Olympic champion Alina Zagitova, by .76 of a point in Milan on Wednesday.

Kostner, 31, tallied a personal-best 80.27 as she eyes a second world title to join her 2012 crown. Kostner earned the 2014 Olympic bronze medal and was fifth in PyeongChang as the oldest woman in the field by more than six years.

She can become the oldest women’s world champion by more than four years if she hangs on in Friday’s free skate, according to reports when Maria Butyrskaya won at age 26 in 1999.

“If I think back 15 years ago, when I started skating internationally, nobody in Italy followed figure skating,” said Kostner, who could retire after worlds. “Now, there’s a venue full of people sharing this passion with me.”

Zagitova, 15 and trying to become the youngest world champion since Tara Lipinski in 1997, struggled on the back end of her triple-triple jump combination. Her score of 79.51 was 3.41 points fewer than her world record at the Olympics.

“I felt, somehow, tight in my body,” Zagitova said through a translator. “I think it was nerves, but I don’t know why.

“I was more nervous here than at the Olympic Games.”

Zagitova, undefeated in her first senior international season, entered as the clear favorite with Olympic silver medalist and 2016 and 2017 World champion Yevgenia Medvedeva withdrawing from the event due to a right foot injury.

Japan’s Satoko Miyahara and Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond are in third and fourth, reversing their final placements from the Olympics. The U.S. women are in seventh (Bradie Tennell), ninth (Mirai Nagasu) and 17th place (Mariah Bell).

Full results are here.

The top two U.S. women’s results must add up to no more than 13 (sixth and seventh, for example), or they will be dropped to two spots at the 2019 World Championships. The last time the U.S. had fewer than the maximum three spots at an Olympics or worlds was 2013.

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Tennell, the 20-year-old U.S. champion who led the Americans at the Olympics in ninth, swung her fist after a clean short that scored 68.76 points. She was .18 off her personal best from the Olympic team event.

Nagasu, who was 10th at the Olympics, performed a double Axel rather than the triple she landed in the Olympic team event. She also had her triple-triple combination downgraded to a triple-double.

Bell, the second alternate who made the team after Olympian Karen Chen withdrew and Ashley Wagner passed, struggled on her opening combination, only able to tack on a single jump.

Key Free Skate Start Times (Friday ET)
Mariah Bell (USA) — 2:32 p.m.
Bradie Tennell (USA) — 4:05 p.m.
Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 4:12 p.m.
Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 4:36 p.m.
Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 5 p.m.
Alina Zagitova (RUS) — 5:08 p.m.
Carolina Kostner (ITA) — 5:16 p.m.

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MORE: Best figure skating moments from PyeongChang

South Korea women’s hockey team ‘misses’ playing with North Koreans

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Something is missing as the South Korean women’s hockey team prepares for its lower-level world championship tournament next month.

North Koreans.

“Right now, we have some injured players, and having the North players would definitely help our roster have more numbers,” Sarah Murray, the Minnesota native who coaches the South Korean team and coached the unified Korean Olympic team, said Wednesday, according to Yonhap News Agency. “But we just miss practicing with them. They brought a different level of intensity to practice and it was just fun to have them around.”

South Korea plays at the third-tier worlds in Italy in two weeks in a six-team group with China, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Poland.

It earned a spot in that tournament by topping its group in the fourth tier last year, including a 3-0 win over North Korea at a PyeongChang Olympic venue.

If South Korea tops its group this year, it moves to the second-tier worlds in 2019, one level below the ultimate tournament with the likes of the U.S. and Canada.

Murray initially had mixed feelings about North Koreans joining her team for the Olympics. The joint Korean team went winless in five games, giving up 28 goals and scoring two.

“We have really enjoyed working with the North’s players and coaches, and we really do want to help them in the future,” Murray said after their last game in Gangneung, according to The Associated Press, adding that a possible “exchange game” was discussed to maintain the connection. “They want to get better, they want to keep learning from us and we want to help them. And there are things that we can learn from them, too.”

North Korea’s team is scheduled to play in the fourth-tier worlds that start next week in Slovenia. A joint North-South team could return for the 2022 Olympics.

“I think that would be good to do it in 2022, to go to the Beijing Olympics, to keep the North and South Korean team,” IIHF president Rene Fasel said at the Olympics, according to the AP. “It is a message of peace, and we hope to continue that. We will try.”

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