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Aksel Lund Svindal takes break from ski racing due to knee

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Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who won a medal of every color at the 2010 Olympics, will miss Saturday’s World Cup downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, and possibly much more time due to a persistent knee injury.

“I’ve been struggling with the knee, and didn’t know what these next days would bring,” was posted on Svindal’s Facebook page Friday. “But now I know. I will not be able to race in Wengen tomorrow. Difficult decision, but hopefully the right one. Something is not OK in my knee, and I need to figure out exactly what it is so that that I can start skiing the way I want to again. Hopefully nothing too bad. We’ll see.”

Svindal, 34, has been trying to come back this season after a brutal Jan. 23 crash, where he tore his right ACL and suffered cartilage and meniscus damage.

He made the podium in three of his first four races in December but then skipped the most recent World Cup speed weekend in Santa Caterina, Italy, two weeks ago.

Svindal returned for Wengen training runs Tuesday and Wednesday before pulling out of Saturday’s race (4:30 a.m. ET, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Svindal’s countryman, Olympic super-G champion Kjetil Jansrud, became the world’s best speed racer the last few years as Svindal battled injuries.

MORE: Bode Miller plans to race next season, U.S. coach says

Decker scores twice, U.S. women’s hockey team beats Canada 5-2

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QUEBEC CITY (AP) — Brianna Decker scored twice to help the U.S. women’s hockey team open its pre-Olympic exhibition schedule with a 5-2 victory over Canada on Sunday.

Hilary Knight, Annie Pankowski and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans.

Meghan Agosta and Jillian Saulnier scored for Canada.

The teams will meet again Wednesday night in Boston. Canada has won four straight Olympic titles, and the U.S. has claimed seven of the last eight world championships.

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

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Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.