Mikaela Shiffrin wins 13th straight slalom

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 13th straight slalom race, including her 10th straight on the World Cup, matching a women’s record in Killington, Vt., on Sunday.

The youngest Olympic slalom champion prevailed by .73 of a second after two runs at the first World Cup stop on the East Coast since 1991. Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second, followed by Swiss Wendy Holdener. Full results are here.

Shiffrin said she woke up Sunday with a bad feeling, despite the streak.

“To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of fun today,” she told media in Killington. “I was nervous. It’s not the way that I like to ski race. I like to ski when I’m free and having fun with it. … It’s tough to race in front of a home crowd.”

Shiffrin, who is 21 years old and now has 21 career World Cup slalom wins, matched the women’s World Cup consecutive slalom wins record. Swiss Vreni Schneider and Croatian Janica Kostelic each captured 10 straight World Cup slaloms.

On the men’s side, Swede Ingemar Stenmark won 15 straight World Cup giant slalom starts from 1978 to 1980.

Shiffrin’s streak dates to 2015 and also includes two national championships and one world championship. However, Shiffrin missed five slaloms in the middle of last season due to a right knee injury.

“I don’t feel like [the full streak] counts because I missed half the season last year,” Shiffrin said after her previous win Nov. 12 in Levi, Finland, where her prize was a reindeer she named Sven. “There were other winners. I think my streak starts after I came back from injury.”

Shiffrin won this season’s first two slaloms by and .67 and .73, respectively. Last season, four of her five victories were by more than two seconds.

“My best skiing, I’m not even close to that yet,” she said Sunday.

Shiffrin increased her lead in the World Cup overall standings to 157 points. Defending World Cup overall champion Lara Gut of Switzerland skipped the Killington slalom after skiing out of the giant slalom Saturday. Gut is best at downhill and super-G.

The women’s World Cup continues with two downhills and a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, next weekend, which is slated to feature Shiffrin but not the injured Lindsey Vonn.

VIDEO: Vonn details return timetable

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated Vreni Schneider won 12 straight slaloms. She won 10 straight, her streak snapped by failing to finish a race.

Max Aaron retires from figure skating

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Max Aaron, a national champion and Skate America winner, has retired from competitive figure skating.

Aaron, 26, ends his career as the only Skate America men’s winner not to compete in an Olympics. He is one of three U.S. men’s champions in the last 55 years not to compete in an Olympics, along with Ryan Bradley and Rudy Galindo.

“Of course, becoming an Olympian, or having an Olympic medal would have been great to say, ride off on my white horse, but having the ability to say that I have no regrets in my entire career of figure skating, for me that is my gold medal,” Aaron said Thursday night.

Aaron, a former top USA Hockey developmental player, also figure skated growing up to help with his skating skills as one of the smaller players on his team.

He stopped playing hockey at 16 due to a broken vertebra but continued full-time with figure skating. By 2012, Aaron considered quitting figure skating after placing eighth at nationals (one year after being U.S. junior champion) and being told he wasn’t artistic enough.

But Aaron kept with it and completed a remarkable bounce back the next year, winning the U.S. title and setting himself up as a favorite to make the 2014 Olympic team.

But Aaron ended up third at the 2014 U.S. Championships. The two Sochi Olympic spots went to Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown.

Aaron continued, becoming the first U.S. man to win Skate America in six years in 2015 and topping the short program at the 2016 U.S. Championships before ultimately finishing second to Adam Rippon.

Aaron plummeted to ninth at the 2017 U.S. Championships, coming back from offseason hernia surgery, but returned to the Olympic team radar last fall with a personal-best free skate at Cup of China, including three landed quadruple jumps. He went into the 2018 U.S. Championships ranking third among American men for the season.

But Aaron was again ninth at nationals, missing the Olympic team. He was called on to compete at last month’s world championships as the third alternate after Rippon, Ross Miner and Brown all passed.

Aaron had stopped skating and instead was training for a triathlon. He went to worlds in Milan on two weeks of training and finished 11th, a result that helped the U.S. keep three men’s spots for 2019 Worlds. Nathan Chen won the world title, but Vincent Zhou was 14th. The U.S. needed its second man to be 12th or better to go along with Chen’s first place to ensure three spots next year. Aaron reportedly said at worlds that it may have been his last competition.

Aaron said he’s started a job with Merrill Lynch.

“It’s really been a great ride. I have no regrets,” he said. “That’s one thing that I always told myself, in sport, in life, I want to have no regrets, and I can honestly say, with the help from my coaches and friends, that I have no regrets in the sport.”

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Martha, Bela Karolyi speak on Larry Nassar case (video)

Martha Karolyi, Bela Karolyi
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Former USA Gymnastics national team coordinators Martha and Bela Karolyi said they knew nothing about Larry Nassar‘s alleged abuse in an interview that airs on an hourlong NBC News “Dateline” special Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Star U.S. gymnasts, among more than 100 who said they were sexually abused by the convicted Nassar, said they were abused at the Karolyi’s ranch in Texas during national-team training camps.

“That’s awful, but I would say even if they have big names or they have no names, any child who was violated by Nassar, it’s a crime and it’s so sad,” Martha Karolyi told Savannah Guthrie in part of the interview that aired on TODAY on Friday.

How could the Karolyis not have known about the alleged abuses committed at their property?

“Yes, but if you couldn’t suspect anything, I heard during the testimonies that some of the parents were in therapy room with their own child and Larry Nassar was performing this — and the parent couldn’t see. How I could see?” Martha Karolyi said.

“The whole thing is just like an explosion, a bomb exploding, boom,” Bela Karolyi said.

Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the Rio Olympics. She told Guthrie that in “no way” did she suspect Nassar was sexually abusing athletes.

The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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