Lindsey Vonn suffers knee fracture in crash (video)

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Lindsey Vonn crashed and suffered a hairline fracture in her left knee in a World Cup super-G in Andorra on Saturday but may race Sunday, according to her social media.

“Got caught in the soft snow today and crashed pretty hard,” was posted on Vonn’s Instagram with a picture of a heavily bandaged left knee. “X-rays showed I have a hairline fracture in my left knee and will get an MRI Monday. I will wait and see how I feel tomorrow to decide if I can race.”

Vonn had the fastest split time under snowfall, about 10 seconds from the finish of the super-G course, when she fell while shifting pressure onto her left leg for a turn.

She slid for six seconds and came to a stop, not running into safety fencing.

Vonn lay motionless on the snow while officials came to her, detached her skis and eventually loaded her onto a sled to transport her down the mountain 11 minutes after she crashed.

Vonn lifted her head inside her helmet as she was transported toward the finish area while fans cheered.

Vonn was later published on the start list for a super combined Sunday in Andorra, but that doesn’t mean she will race.

The start of Saturday’s race was delayed three hours by strong winds and snowfall. The course was shortened due to the conditions.

Vonn has a history of injuries, most notably two major right knee surgeries that knocked her out of the Sochi Olympics. She’s won nine races this season and leads the World Cup overall standings with nine races and three weeks left in the season.

Italian Federica Brignone won Saturday’s super-G, with American Laurenne Ross taking second, matching her best career World Cup finish.

“It started snowing pretty hard in the middle of the race, and that definitely created some slow surfaces for the girls behind,” said Ross, who started No. 10, six spots ahead of Vonn. “That’s ski racing. If you’re on the good side of it, you have to take advantage of it. If you’re on the bad side, you just hope for the best next time.”

Swiss Lara Gut placed 16th, moving within eight points of Vonn’s standings lead for the World Cup overall title, the sport’s biggest prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships.

Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin, in her second race back from a Dec. 12 crash, finished 29th in her second career World Cup super-G start.

VIDEO: Vonn meets Ingemar Stenmark

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar.

Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

“I got a little tired halfway through the program and started faltering a little bit on the second quad toe – that was a big mistake,” Chen said, according to the International Skating Union .”I can’t let things like that happen in the future. But this is my first Grand Prix win, and I’m very happy with that.”

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February. Hanyu got the better of Chen at the most important event — winning the world championships, where the American was sixth.

Also Saturday, two-time world medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won the ice dance with 189.24 points, sweeping both the short and free programs.

The siblings and U.S. champions have now won four straight Grand Prix titles (not counting the Grand Prix Final).

They won by 4.5 points over Russians Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev.

The world’s top two couples were not in the field — Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Russia swept the pairs podium, led by world bronze medalists Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.

The top pairs teams from the rest of the world — including world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong — were not in the field.

The Rostelecom Cup women’s free skate is later Saturday.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Rostelecom Cup
Men
1. Nathan Chen (USA) — 293.79
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 290.77
3. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) — 271.06
11. Grant Hochstein (USA) — 206.09

Ice Dance
1. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 189.24
2. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS) — 184.74
3. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 179.35
7. Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) — 148.75

Pairs
1. Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 224.25
2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) — 204.43
3. Kristina Astakhova/Aleksey Rogonov (RUS) — 199.11
7. Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) — 170.53

Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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