Kjetil Jansrud

Norwegian wins Kvitfjell super-G; career best for American

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Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud continued his strong return from last year’s torn ACL, winning his second race in three days at home in Kvitfjell, Norway, on Sunday.

The Olympic super-G champion Jansrud claimed the next to last World Cup super-G of the season, two days after sharing first place in a downhill at the 1994 Olympic course.

Jansrud prevailed in 1 minute, 31.39 seconds. Swiss Patrick Kueng took second, .26 behind, followed by Austrian Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer.

Andrew Weibrecht led the American contingent Sunday with his best-ever World Cup finish — seventh. Weibrecht stunned in winning Olympic super-G bronze in 2010 and silver in 2014 as he had never finished better than 10th in a World Cup race.

“It’s nice to carry the momentum from the Games and the good skiing that I had there and prove to myself that it wasn’t just a one-shot deal, a one-day thing, that I can come out and ski fast pretty much every day,” Weibrecht said.

Six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller was 12th amid falling snow. Rising Travis Ganong, third and fourth in Kvitfjell on Friday and Saturday, did not finish.

Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal took fourth to wrap up the super-G season title. Svindal already won the downhill season title and leads the overall standings by 77 points over Austrian Marcel Hirscher.

Hirscher, who is better in technical events, will likely cut into that lead (or take it back) with a giant slalom and slalom in Slovenia next weekend.

The race for the overall title will likely come down to the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in two weeks.

Hirscher, who did not race in Kvitfjell, is trying to become the third man to win three straight overall titles and the first since American Phil Mahre from 1981-83.

Kvitfjell super-G
1. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 1:31.39
2. Patrick Kueng (SUI) 1:31.65
3. Matthias Mayer (AUT) 1:31.72
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1:31.83
5. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) 1:31.87
6. Romed Baumann (AUT) 1:31.97
7. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 1:32.03
8. Manny Osborne-Paradis (CAN) 1:32.09
9. Erik Guay (CAN) 1:32.12
9. Matteo Marsaglia (ITA) 1:32.12
12. Bode Miller (USA) 1:32.28
38. Steven Nyman (USA) 1:33.59
41. Jared Goldberg (USA) 1:33.74
55. Marco Sullivan (USA) 1:35.43
DNF. Erik Fisher (USA)
DNF. Travis Ganong (USA)

U.S. Alpine medalist lands on Wheaties box

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

Nancy Kerrigan
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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

Kobe Bryant
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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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