Shaun White

Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 4

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Shaun White was aiming to become the first American man to win three Winter Olympic golds in an individual event.

Instead, he got a Sochi Shock.

After a tough first run in today’s snowboard halfpipe final, White rebounded with a solid second run. But it wasn’t enough to put him on the podium, and the gold medal went to Switzerland’s Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov.

The stunning result was one of eight medal events that went down today on Day 4 of these Games. Here were the others:

Individual figure skating competition also got underway today with the pairs’ short program. Russia’s duo of Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov posted a world-record score, while the U.S. pairing of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir notched a personal-best score. However, Castelli/Shnapir were bumped down to ninth by the end of the night; the second American pairing, Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, finished 14th…

A big contender in the women’s downhill, Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather, has confirmed that she is out of the Olympics following a training crash on Sunday that left her with bone bruises at her shin and knee. That may increase the medal chances in this event for Team USA’s Julia Mancuso, who topped the downhill portion of Monday’s super-combined before finishing with the bronze. The final training day before Wednesday’s medal event was scratched due to warm temperatures causing deep ruts to form on the course…

Finally, viewers of tonight’s NBC Olympics primetime coverage won’t be seeing familiar host Bob Costas, who’s handed over the reins temporarily to TODAY’S Matt Lauer while he tries to recover from an infection that has now spread to both of his eyes. Naturally, we wish Bob (and Matt) the best.

(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Norway – 4/3/4 – 11
2. Canada – 4/3/2 – 9
3. Germany – 4/1/0 – 5
4. Netherlands – 3/2/3 – 8
5. United States – 2/1/4 – 7
6. Switzerland – 2/0/0 – 2
7. Russia – 1/3/3 – 7
8. Austria – 1/3/0 – 4
9. France – 1/0/2 – 3
T-10. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Korea – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Poland – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
14. Sweden – 0/3/1 – 4
15. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
16. Slovenia – 0/1/2 – 3
T-17. Italy – 0/1/1 – 2
T-17. Japan – 0/1/1 – 2
T-19. China – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
T-21. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-21. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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

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.”

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.”

MORE: Hanyu, Miyahara win NHK; Wagner into Grand Prix Final