First-placed Shiffrin of the U.S. poses with a U.S. flag during the flower ceremony for the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre

Mikaela Shiffrin shares her dream: five gold medals in 2018

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U.S. Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest person to ever win the slalom, but the feeling is that her Olympic debut is a sign of bigger things to come. Shiffrin seems to agree … and blurted out a rather bold dream of winning five Olympic medals in 2018.

She shared that star-caliber mixture of moxie and humility with Bob Costas and also the Associated Press in the glow of her gold from Friday.

“I don’t want to push myself too far too fast. Definitely don’t get greedy. But at the same time, I’m a dreamer,” Shiffrin said.

“Right now, I’m dreaming of the next Olympics (and) winning five gold medals, which sounds really crazy,” she said. “I’m sorry I just admitted that to you all.”

MORE: Confidence key for Shiffrin

She might be, as that sets some wild expectations for the skiing wunderkind. That’s part of the tremendous charm with the 18-year-old star, though; she seems like a natural as she puts together technically proficient runs and takes the time to wink at a nearby camera afterward.

On her flight to the Olympics, Shiffrin made a note to herself that “it’s OK to be confident here” and she’s certainly delivered. Now her new goal is simply to do what no other skier has done by sweeping all five Alpine skiing disciplines.

“When I’m done I hope that I can look back and say that I changed the sport, that I was innovative and created a new way of skiing and pushed women’s ski racing to be faster and more athletic and more exciting for people to watch,” Shiffrin said. “And really put on a show.”

She already pulled off that last part.

Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan remembers slain Colorado officer, a childhood friend

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan remembers the Colorado police officer who was killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as loyal, caring and a true friend.

She told media outlets that Garrett Swasey was “one of my best friends” as they grew up together practicing figure skating in Melrose, Massachusetts. Before he became a police officer, Swasey was a junior national couples ice dancing champion.

An emotional Kerrigan says she wasn’t surprised he took a career path where he helped others first. She says he always had fun and did everything with a smile.

Swasey’s father has told the Boston Globe that his son moved to Colorado in the 1980s to pursue competitive figure skating and became an officer six years ago.

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Kobe Bryant announces retirement but remains in contention for Rio team

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Veteran basketball player and 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant has announced he will retire from professional basketball after the end of this season. However, ESPN reported that the chairman of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, said that Bryant “remains in contention for Team USA spot for Rio 2016.”

In the form of a poem titled “Dear Basketball” on the Player’s Tribune, Bryant wrote:

This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

Bryant played on the U.S. national team from 2007 to 2012. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics he scored 20 points in the gold medal game to win gold over Spain. He helped the U.S. men to gold again in 2012, then said that it would be his last Olympics.

But he’s changed his tune in recent months. Bryant told the Associated Press in November that he’d like a shot at another Olympics.

“I would like to play,” Bryant said. “I think it’d be awesome. A beautiful experience.”

If he were selected and won again, Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony would become the first U.S. male basketball players to win three gold Olympic medals.

In the AP interview Bryant spoke glowingly of his Olympic teammates. “It would mean the world to me to be around those guys,” he said. “I think to be able to have a chance to continue the relationship that I already have with most of those guys, talking and just kind of being around each other and understanding that this is it, it’s just us being together, that would be fun.”

He also said he believes he’d be an asset to the team, stating, “I feel like I can add value from a leadership perspective and a defensive perspective. I can still move extremely well defensively.”

Bryant’s age will likely be a concern, as his 38th birthday is just two days after the gold-medal game on August 21st, 2016.

Colangelo said that they will be looking at “all of our players” this season, and Bryant’s retirement announcement “doesn’t have any bearing” on whether he’d be selected for the 2016 Olympic team.

The 12 player team will be selected in June 2016.

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