Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin trains super-G on 2015 World Championships course

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Mikaela Shiffrin is already preparing for next season.

The 19-year-old Olympic slalom champion trained super-G with U.S. speed team members at the 2015 World Championships site in Beaver Creek, Colo., this week, according to Ski Racing magazine.

It came less than a week after Shiffrin’s final races of a memorable season at the U.S. Championships in Squaw Valley, Calif. It wasn’t much of a trek to Beaver Creek for Shiffrin, though, who is from nearby Vail.

A Shiffrin storyline when the next World Cup season begins in October will be her anticipated World Cup debut in super-G. Shiffrin is the two-time reigning World Cup slalom champion and has made two giant slalom podiums but has yet to enter races outside those technical events.

She has said she could race super-G next season, but it appears no specific plans are set yet.

“She is going to be doing [super-G], but not definitely,” U.S. technical events coach Roland Pfeifer said, according to the magazine. “It’s all about how she is feeling next year, how the summer camps will go, how the strength training will go, how she is improving, what she is accomplishing. And then we see how strong she is, and then we’ll make the decision.”

A key could be the addition of a new speed events coach after Chip White stepped aside following 18 successful seasons.

That coach, according to the magazine, is Swiss Stefan Abplanalp, who formerly led Norway’s women’s team.

“I’m working on preparing Mikaela Shiffrin on running some more speed disciplines,” Abplanalp said, according to a Ski Racing article dated March 15.

Pfeifer said he will continue to oversee Shiffrin’s entire program, including potential speed events, according to Ski Racing.

The 2015 World Championships will be held at Beaver Creek in February. That would be an intriguing venue for Shiffrin to race super-G, potentially with Lindsey Vonn also in the field.

“If [Shiffrin] is able to qualify for super-G, then it’s an option to do at the World Championships not just GS and slalom, also do the super-G,” Pfeifer told the magazine. “But as of today, I think just do super-G in Beaver Creek, since she knows the venue. But I’m not really optimistic that she does other super-Gs.”

Last season ended yesterday, this season starts today! #weareskiing

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Jean-Claude Killy resigns as IOC member

Olympic flame arrives in Brazil (video)

Brazil Olympic flame
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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Brazilian torch relay for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics has kicked off with volleyball player Fabiana Claudino running the first leg after the torch was ignited by embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff says “Brazil is ready to host the most successful Olympics in history.”

The Olympic flame arrived in a lantern on a flight from Switzerland a few hours earlier and was taken to the Planalto presidential palace.

The three-month relay across Brazil, ending at the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio, will involve 329 cities and 12,000 torchbearers. Rio organizers hope it will build enthusiasm for the games, which has lagged as Brazil battles bribery and corruption scandals and its deepest recession in decades.

The start of the relay comes just a week before the Brazilian senate is expected to suspend Rousseff for six months as it considers her impeachment.

MORE: Rio Olympic flame will live downtown — not in stadium

Michael Phelps left with one meet before Olympic Trials

Michael Phelps
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Michael Phelps could face his lightest-ever competition run-up to an Olympic Trials after opting not to swim at a meet in Atlanta next week.

Last week, Phelps noted one other scheduled meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3). That’s in Austin, Texas, from June 3-5.

In his previous four Olympic cycles, Phelps swam at least two meets in the final two months before the Olympic Trials, according to USA Swimming statistics.

Phelps’ training plan in May and June will be impacted by the impending birth of his first child. Fiancée Nicole Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant, according to her Instagram.

Without Phelps, the Atlanta meet is expected to include five-time 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian and rising sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel.

VIDEO: Phelps’ interview with Matt Lauer