Boston 2024

USOC eyes majority support for Boston 2024 ‘relatively soon’

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U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst said the organization would like to see local support for the Boston 2024 Olympic bid clear 50 percent “relatively soon,” while praising “a tremendous amount of progress” by bid organizers in recent weeks.

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said officials have and will continue to conduct regular polling but would not share specific numbers. Probst said support is in the low- to mid-40 percent range, similar to numbers from recent polls by Boston media.

“Rather than specific numbers, we obviously want to see a positive trend, and the sooner the better,” Probst said after a quarterly USOC board of directors’ meeting in California on Tuesday. “Obviously, we’d like to see it get over 50 percent relatively soon and ultimately get into the mid-60s range, certainly before the vote of the [International Olympic Committee] in 2017 [to choose the 2024 Olympic host city].

“Obviously none of us are happy with the current numbers in Boston, but it’s a process, and it’s going to play out over the next 2 1/2 years.”

Boston was announced by the USOC as its 2024 Olympic bid city on Jan. 8, beating out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Blackmun said there haven’t been conversations with any of the other three cities.

“If at any point we sit down and decide, you know what, this thing just isn’t on track, I’m sure that’s something that’ll be a mutual decision, not something that’s forced on,” Blackmun said. “We’re not discussing right now the possibility of not submitting a bid. What we’re talking about is how do we increase the level of public support in Boston. How do we get the people of Boston to take a fair and hard look at this proposal and try to determine, is it in Boston’s best interests? That’s what we’re focused on.”

Boston officials announced March 24 that the bid would not move forward if a majority of voters in Boston and in Massachusetts did not support it in a referendum planned for November 2016.

“Obviously that’s a weakness of the bid right now,” Blackmun said of support numbers. “We want to make sure we turn that into a strength if we can.”

Boston 2024 announced changes to the original bid plan in recent weeks, including a “version 2.0” released Monday.

“It’s a plan that we think still very much resonates with the vision that persuaded our board to pick Boston in January,” Blackmun said. “Suffice it to say our board was very impressed with the quality of the thought, on the incredible diligence that went into creating the plan, and we’re grateful for the unbelievably hard work and commitment that’s gone into this over the last couple of months.”

USOC officials said another meeting with Boston 2024 officials is planned for mid-July.

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Olympic super-G champion Anna Veith wins first World Cup race in two years

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VAL D’ISERE, France (AP) — Olympic champion Anna Veith won a World Cup super-G race on Sunday, more than two years after her last win.

The 28-year-old Austrian has been battling back from injury. She went to hospital in March to have the patellar tendon in her left knee surgically repaired. She had returned in December 2016, after more than one year out after heavily damaging her right knee in a training crash.

“It was a pretty emotional day for me. When I stopped in the finish I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “It’s important for me to know I can do it in a race, trust myself. I didn’t race so much the last two years.”

She profited from an early bib number to clock 1 minute, 5.77 seconds on the Oreiller-Killy course.

It was her 15th World Cup win and first podium since third place in super-G at the Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo in January. Her previous win came in giant slalom at the French resort of Meribel in March 2015.

Victory came as a huge psychological relief to Veith who, before injury, was one of the world’s best. She won the overall World Cup title in 2014 and 2015 and also took silver in giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“After my surgery I knew that the most important thing was to be in good shape and get my strength back,” Veith said. “My injury was a very tough injury. All the girls know it’s pretty hard to get over it.”

Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein was second in 1:06.25 — her 35th World Cup podium — with Italian Sofia Goggia third in 1:06.28.

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Remarkably, Weirather raced despite fearing she has broken her left hand.

“Yesterday, when i crashed I went with my hand in the snow and it hurt my hand and my shoulder,” she said. “I haven’t been to the doctor yet. I’m not sure what it is right now, but for sure not very good because it’s black and blue.”

She also knows a thing or two about courage.

“I could have just have thought “I can’t do it and given up” but I really wanted to do well today,” Weirather said. “In the warmup it hurt really badly. I thought that with the adrenalin I’d forget about it.”

One race is enough, though, and she won’t be taking part in Tuesday’s giant slalom in nearby Courchevel.

“I can’t, because I can’t hold my pole and I have to get an X-ray on my hand,” she said. “I’m not sure if it’s broken or not.”

Goggia, second in Saturday’s super-G behind Lindsey Vonn, has 15 World Cup podiums.

But only two wins.

Goggia knows what she must do to improve her conversion rate.

“Do most of the turning in the correct way. Sometimes I make mistakes in my performance,” she said. “I have to put that off and just ski right and I think it will come.”

Vonn pulled out of Sunday’s race because of soreness in her knee. Having done the morning’s inspection, the 33-year-old American decided against racing as a precautionary measure. The four-time World Cup winner is flying home.

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Lindsey Vonn pulls out of World Cup super-G race because of sore knee

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VAL D’ISERE, France (AP) — Lindsey Vonn pulled out of a World Cup super-G race on Sunday because of a sore knee.

The 33-year-old American did not say which knee hurts, but has injured both before.

She took part in Sunday’s early-morning inspection at the French Alpine resort, but then decided against racing as a precautionary measure and flew home.

Vonn secured her first win of the season and record-extending 78th in Saturday’s super-G on the same Oreiller-Killy course.

“Knee is a bit sore from yesterday so to be on the safe side I’m going to give my body some rest,” Vonn tweeted. “My focus is on the Olympics so no need to risk anything now.”

Vonn did not say when she plans to return. There are only slalom and giant slalom races to follow — not her specialty — until the next speed events in January. They begin with a downhill and super-G at the Austrian resort of Bad Kleinkirchheim from Jan. 13-14.

Last weekend, Vonn jarred her back in another super-G race at St. Moritz in Switzerland.

Her mind is fully on the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea from Feb. 9-25. She won gold in downhill and bronze in super-G at the 2010 Games.

Vonn has battled with injury during her illustrious career.

She sustained a hairline fracture to her left knee in a super-G race in February 2016.

At the 2013 world championships, Vonn crashed in the super-G and tore ligaments in her right knee. She was unable to defend her Olympic title at the 2014 Games.

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