Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin finishes 12th in final race of season

Leave a comment

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

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds

Russian Olympic medalists gifts include racehorse

Abdulrashid Sadulaev
AP
Leave a comment

MOSCOW (AP) — Luxury cars, apartments, even a racehorse — being an Olympic medalist in Russia can come with great material rewards but also controversy.

Under President Vladimir Putin, it’s become a tradition for Russia’s Olympic heroes to be showered with large cash sums and sometimes unwanted gifts.

On Friday, less than 24 hours after dozens of medalists were presented with BMW cars at the Kremlin by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an advertisement appeared online offering one of them for sale, with photographs showing the car still covered in stickers celebrating Russia’s medal haul in Rio.

The advertisement offering the BMW X6 for 4.67 million rubles ($72,000) was anonymous and quickly withdrawn. It couldn’t be independently verified by The Associated Press, though Russian agency R-Sport claimed the seller was a Russian medalist who thought the car was too big and unwieldy.

Figure skater Maxim Trankov, who received a Mercedes-Benz SUV for his gold medal in 2014, said few Olympians could afford to own such cars.

“Has no one thought that these gift cars are not only liable for the tax on luxury items, but also aren’t cheap to run and earnings can’t cover it?” he wrote on Twitter. “I’d sell mine too if it came to it … Or does everyone think all sports pay as well as soccer, hockey or tennis?”

Gymnast Seda Tutkhalyan said she wouldn’t be able to drive her new BMW because at 17 years of age she was too young to have a license.

While online commenters mostly supported an athlete’s right to sell expensive Olympic gifts, many were critical of the government for a display of conspicuous consumption at the Kremlin at a time when Russia’s pension and healthcare systems are under financial strain.

It’s not fully clear how much the prizes have cost the Russian government.

State TV channel Rossiya 24 reported that the fleet of BMWs was provided by the Olympians’ Support Fund, which is backed by a group of Russia’s richest men, but that the accompanying cash prizes of tens of thousands of dollars per medalist came in part from the federal budget.

More awards are on offer from regional governments, many of which made public displays of generosity despite financial troubles of their own.

The Caucasus region of North Ossetia last month promised a free apartment for any medalists from the area, though it isn’t clear if this has happened yet.

In another grand gesture, the head of the restive Dagestan region gave Olympic wrestling champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev 6 million rubles ($93,000) in cash and a racehorse at a lavish welcoming ceremony featured on local TV.

Still, all may not be well for Sadulaev, who’s nicknamed the “Russian Tank” for his habit of crushing opponents on the wrestling mat. He’s already facing an allegation from a Moscow radio presenter of reckless driving in his eye-catching BMW.

MORE: Putin slams Russia’s Paralympic ban