Tatyana McFadden

What’s next for Tatyana McFadden after Sochi success

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Tatyana McFadden admitted to feeling jetlagged, even exhausted after flying home from the Sochi Paralympics.

She’s earned plenty of rest, but she won’t be taking much.

The 24-year-old plans to defend her London Marathon and Boston Marathon wheelchair titles in April, one month after winning a sitting cross-country skiing silver medal to complement her collection of 10 Summer Paralympic medals.

“I’m getting in my chair this week,” McFadden said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard. … I think it will take me a few days, a week to get my mind back to wheelchair racing. To get my endurance back.”

In Sochi, McFadden won her silver medal in a 1km sprint to join the list of Paralympians with Summer and Winter medals (three of her Sochi teammates had already accomplished the feat). Each round of the 1km sprint took about 3 minutes.

Her April marathons are each 42 times longer in distance and take about 1 hour, 45 minutes.

McFadden is concerned enough about transitioning back that she won’t yet commit to defending later marathon titles in Chicago and New York and going for a second straight “Grand Slam.” But she felt picking up cross-country skiing over the last year, and the different work that goes into it, will help her on the road to Rio in 2016.

“In [wheelchair] racing it’s all shoulders and all arms,” McFadden said. “[In cross-country skiing], your core kind of drives where your arms go. … Now I’ve got a really strong core and strong lats. I can use that for wheelchair racing.”

On the track, she is considering adding the 5000m to her Paralympic schedule if she makes it to Rio. McFadden didn’t race the event at London 2012, where she bagged four medals with three golds, but won it as part of an unprecedented haul of six golds at the 2013 World Championships.

She’s not done with cross-country skiing, either.

“I sort of got addicted to it,” said McFadden, a Maryland native who spent December through February training on snow in Colorado. “My concentration is on Rio, and then during the winters I will probably go and ski. … We’ll see what happens.”

Ireland’s history at the Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

“I don’t know if the stars will ever align like that again,” Shiffrin said in a media conference after being told she won with the biggest margin of victory in the history of women’s slalom since 1968: 3.07 seconds. “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”

En route to her fourth consecutive slalom World Cup title – which would tie the record for the most with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider from 1992-95 – she became the first female skier to win four World Cup slalom races in a row since Austria’s Marlies Schild did it in the 2011-12 season.

In addition, Shiffrin became the first female skier from the U.S. to win a slalom World Cup race in Aspen. And she’s now tied with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall with total slalom World Cup victories.

“I was pissed after I made that ridiculous mistake yesterday,” Shiffrin said to media, referencing yesterday’s giant slalom crash. Both her and Lindsey Vonn crashed and did not finish in Aspen’s giant slalom. “I tried to use that anger today.”

Shiffrin called the mistake a “brainfart” and Vonn dismissed it because “giant slalom isn’t [her] strongest event.”

But, Shiffrin added that she already has her mind set on tomorrow, where she races slalom again, on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The complete of the Olympic sports schedule is here.

“I just as quickly have to go back and settle in,” she said. “Tomorrow is a new race. I have to find a different motivation and try to take the same mentality and keep fighting.”

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second behind Shiffrin, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

By finishing behind Shiffrin in Aspen, Zuzulova extends her slalom World Cup podium finish streak to four.

Hansdotter has the second-most second place World Cup slalom finishes at 13 total, including today’s race. Only Pernilla Wiberg, of Sweden, has more with a total of 14.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

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