Sochi Olympics Alpine Skiing Men

Ted Ligety suffers DNF on last slalom run; Austria’s Mario Matt wins

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Giant slalom winner Ted Ligety of the U.S. (pictured) was unable to come up with a second medal at the Sochi Olympics.

Ligety was one of multiple big names that failed to finish the second run of today’s men’s slalom as the world’s best found the Rosa Khutor course especially problematic.

The American had finished sixth after the first run at just .11 of a second off the bronze medal position.

With Ligety’s DNF, the U.S. Alpine skiing squad will end their Sochi Olympics with five medals: The golds from Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin in women’s slalom, the silver and bronze in super-G from Andrew Weibrecht and Bode Miller respectively, and the bronze from Julia Mancuso in the super combined.

Afterwards, Ligety told NBCOlympics.com’s Alan Abrahamson that he wasn’t too upset over the outcome:

Austria’s Mario Matt, who’s won two world titles but did not qualify to compete four years ago in Vancouver, won the gold with a second run that helped him knock off countryman Marcel Hirscher by .28 of a second on two-run aggregate time.

Matt, who will turn 35 in April, is now the oldest Olympic champion ever in Alpine skiing. He’s taken that distinction from Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who won the 2006 men’s super-G at 34 years, 170 days.

Prior to Matt’s breakthrough today, the Olympics had not been kind to him. He didn’t compete at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games either due to injury, and while he made the 2006 Torino Games, he finished 34th in the combined and skied out of his first run in the slalom.

Poor performances kept him out of Vancouver, but he’s come back in recent years. He claimed bronze in the slalom at the 2013 worlds, and became the oldest to win a World Cup slalom event last December.

Hirscher, the reigning world champion in the slalom, now has his first Olympic medal after two near-misses in Vancouver (fourth, giant slalom; fifth, slalom) and an earlier one in these Sochi Games (fifth in GS).

Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, 19 years and 235 days old, won the bronze to become the youngest-ever men’s medalist in Olympic Alpine skiing.

MORE: Photo – Sochi bear creeps on U.S. men’s hockey team

ALPINE SKIING – MEN’S SLALOM
1. Mario Matt (AUT), 1:41.84

2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 1:42.12
3. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), 1:42:67

Photos: Final Five meet the President, First Lady

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29:  U.S. first lady Michelle Obama(L) rests her elbow on the head of Olympian Simone Biles (2nd L) as President Barack Obama (R) speaks during an East Room event at the White House September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama and the first lady welcome the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in the Rio Olympic Games this year.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team spent extra time at the White House on Thursday after President Barack Obama delivered a speech to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman did the splits with Obama, and even lifted vegetable dumbbells with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Gabby Douglas, who had her wisdom teeth removed earlier this week, did not attend the event.

MORE: Simone Biles discusses her future

Katherine Reutter ends early retirement

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 26:  Katherine Reutter of the United States celebrates the silver medal in the Ladies 1000m Short Track Speed Skating Final on day 15 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Pacific Coliseum on February 26, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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When Katherine Reutter retired in 2013 at the age of 24, she never thought she would return to the ice. Three hip surgeries and two major back injuries left the two-time Olympic short track speed skating medalist in constant pain.

But now Reutter is scheduled to compete this weekend at the U.S. Speedskating Short Track World Cup Qualifier at the Utah Olympic Oval.

“You wouldn’t expect somebody who has been as injured as I have to be back at their best,” Reutter said in a telephone interview from Utah. “I feel like I’m getting close.”

Reutter only started contemplating a comeback last November, after being inspired by attending a World Cup race as a member of the U.S. Speedskating Athlete Advisory Council.

She began a regimen of yoga twice a week and daily 30-minute walks when she returned to Milwaukee, where she was working as a coach for the Academy of Skating Excellence.

“I started off really, really slow,” she said. “I started to work out the amount that a normal person probably should.”

Pain free, Reutter began skating during the practices that she was coaching.

“I noticed the days I came home really happy were the days where I had skated,” she said.

Reutter only started to truly believe that she could return to skating competitively when she clocked times that she described as “pretty darn good” a training camp in Salt Lake City in May and June.

She has learned to listen to her body. After experiencing pain when she scheduled twice-daily workouts six days per week, she scaled back to four or five days per week.

“I don’t really have the option to overtrain like I used to,” she said.

Reutter’s goal this weekend is to earn a placement for the ISU World Cup, which begins Nov. 4-6 in Calgary. Eventually, she would like to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

But Reutter would be happy just being, well, happy.

“I am trying to live life to its happiest every single day,” she said, “and speed skating allows me to do that.”

Reutter recently changed her Twitter bio to say “comeback queen.”

“So far I’m the only one who calls me that,” she said, laughing. “I suppose people could get on board eventually”

MORE: Five athletes to know before the 2018 Winter Olympics