Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin finishes 12th in final race of season

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Mikaela Shiffrin must wait until next season to check off that next goal.

The 19-year-old Olympic slalom champion finished 12th in the World Cup Finals giant slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Sunday. It marked the last race of the season.

Shiffrin, who won her fifth slalom race of the campaign Saturday, was fourth after the first of two giant slalom runs Sunday. She dropped in the second run, finishing .95 of a second behind Austrian winner Anna Fenninger.

“I was trying hard, maybe a little too hard,” Shiffrin said. “But it was still a fun race.”

The Olympic super-G champion Fenninger, 24, won the giant slalom season title three days after clinching her first World Cup overall title.

In addition to her repeat slalom title, Shiffrin completed her season seventh in the World Cup giant slalom standings and sixth in the overall standings. She was 19th in the giant slalom and sixth in the overall last year.

Shiffrin had second- and third-place finishes in giant slalom races this season but is still looking for that first GS win to add to her nine slalom victories. She said before Sunday that breakthrough GS win is her next goal.

Her season is not finished, however. Shiffrin is expected to race at the U.S. Championships in Squaw Valley, Calif., this week.

“I’m going to keep attacking the GS and see what else I can come up with for next year,” Shiffrin said. “I improved a lot since last season.”

Fenninger finished her season on a tear, winning her fourth straight giant slalom race. She’s the youngest women’s World Cup overall champion since Lindsey Vonn won her second title in 2009.

Fenninger passed German Maria Hoefl-Riesch for the overall title in Lenzerheide.

Hoefl-Riesch, 29, crashed in the downhill Wednesday and had to be helicoptered off the course, ending her season. She still finished in the top three of the overall standings for a seventh straight year.

Lenzerheide Giant Slalom
1. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 2:01.28
2. Eva-Maria Brem (AUT) 2:01.53
3. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (SWE) 2:01.61
4. Nadia Fanchini (ITA) 2:01.86
5. Lara Gut (SUI) 2:01.89
6. Maria Pietilae-Holmner (SWE) 2:01.90
7. Anemone Marmottan (FRA)
8. Dominique Gisin (SUI) 2:01.94
9. Federica Brignone (ITA) 2:02.01
10. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) 2:02.04
12. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 2:02.23

Final World Cup Giant Slalom Standings
1. Anna Fenninger (AUT) — 518
2. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (SWE) — 492
3. Maria Pietilae-Holmner (SWE) — 339
7. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — 257

Final World Cup Overall Standings
1. Anna Fenninger (AUT) — 1,371
2. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) — 1,180
3. Lara Gut (SUI) — 1,101
4. Tina Maze (SLO) — 964
5. Tina Weirather (LIE) — 943
6. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — 895
7. Maria Pietilae-Holmner (SWE) — 647
8. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) — 640
9. Nicole Hosp (AUT) — 575
10. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) — 534

Hirscher adds slalom globe to overall title

IPC president: Now is the right time to have Paralympics in Brazil

Paralympics
AP
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International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said the upcoming Paralympic Games, which open in 100 days, could not be going to a better city than Rio de Janeiro.

“Many people might think that it’s not the time to go there now with the economic and political problems,” Craven said in a phone interview last week. “But is that not just the right time to be going, to just show what sport can truly do to mobilize and galvanize a people?”

And the Zika virus?

“We believe that the measures that have been communicated on a regular basis, reiterated to our member nations, will be effective, and the Zika virus will not have a major effect on the Games,” Craven said.

The Paralympics will visit South America for the first time in their 15th edition. The Rio Games, which run from Sept. 7-18, will have more broadcast coverage than ever and an expected record number of athletes and nations in the largest number of sports on a single Paralympic program.

NBC and NBCSN will air a record 66 hours of coverage of the Games. The USOC will provide live coverage at TeamUSA.org, too.

How the Paralympics will deal with the well-known issues facing Brazil will be largely impacted by how the preceding Olympics handle them.

But one issue unique to the Paralympics came to light four weeks ago.

A British Paralympic champion swimmer was disqualified from a European Championships event because his Olympic rings tattoo was not covered (he later competed at the meet with the tattoo covered).

An International Paralympic Committee swimming rule states, “body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols).”

The rule will cover all sports at the Rio Paralympics. Craven said he has not heard of any appeals by para-athletes to change the rule.

The IPC will take a “common-sense approach” to enforcing the rule in Rio to make sure there are no disqualifications by communicating thoroughly to national committees, Craven said.

“IPC has got very strict rules for the Paralympic Games and for other events prohibiting body advertisements, and this includes tattoos for commercial brands and non-IPC symbols, such as the Olympic rings,” Craven said. “These rules were emphasized, re-emphasized to all competing teams and swimmers at that particular event, and, similarly, we’ll be doing so prior to the Games in Rio.”

Some Paralympians identify themselves as Olympians, too — some have event competed in both Games — but Craven made the difference clear.

The 65-year-old, five-time Paralympic wheelchair basketball player likened Olympic rings tattoos at the Paralympics to an NFL player with an NBA team tattoo.

Craven added that there has been no pressure from the IOC regarding the rule and that he would expect a hypothetical Paralympian competing at the Olympics to cover up a tattoo of the Agitos, which is the Paralympic logo.

“We want Paralympic athletes to show pride in promoting the Paralympic movement, including our symbol, which is the Agitos, which is very different from the Olympic rings,” Craven said. “When you have a Paralympic athlete, a para-athlete sporting a branding from another event, then it just creates confusion. It creates confusion for the IPC. It creates confusion for the IOC.”

MORE: Paralympic champ long jumper still hopes to be allowed into Olympics

First four U.S. Olympic archers qualified; Khatuna Lorig waits

Khatuna Lorig
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The first four U.S. Olympic archers for Rio are known, while Khatuna Lorig will learn in three weeks if she makes her sixth Olympic team.

A full men’s team of 2012 Olympic team silver medalists Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski and first-time Olympian Zach Garrett earned their spots at the U.S. Olympic Trials that ended Monday.

Mackenzie Brown clinched her first Olympic berth by winning the women’s trials Monday.

The U.S. can send two more women to Rio if it qualifies a full team at a World Cup event in Turkey in three weeks. Those two women would be Hye Youn Park and Lorig.

Lorig, 42, is best known for teaching archery to Jennifer Lawrence before “The Hunger Games.” Lorig also competed in the 1992 Olympics for the Unified Team, the 1996 and 2000 Games for Georgia and the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for the U.S.

Lorig earned team bronze at Barcelona 1992 and finished fifth and fourth individually at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic team alternates are Daniel McLaughlin and La Nola Pritchard.

MORE: Full list of athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team