Kerri Walsh Jennings
FIVB World Tour

Kerri Walsh Jennings to miss world championships

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Kerri Walsh Jennings will miss the world beach volleyball championships that start this weekend after dislocating her five-times surgically repaired right shoulder in a match last Saturday, according to the FIVB.

Walsh Jennings, 38 and a three-time Olympic champion, and new partner Nicole Branagh had their best tournament of the year before Walsh Jennings went down in Olsztyn, Poland, last week (video here).

They were in a third-set semifinal battle with Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan when Walsh Jennings suffered the injury digging a ball.

Walsh Jennings won three straight world titles with Misty May-Treanor in 2003, 2005 and 2007, in addition to her record four Olympic beach volleyball medals.

Walsh Jennings and Rio Olympic partner April Ross were bounced in the round of 16 at the last worlds in 2015. Walsh Jennings played that tournament one month after dislocating her right shoulder in a match. She missed the 2013 Worlds after giving birth to her third child.

Walsh Jennings and Ross split three months ago after Walsh Jennings decided not to sign a contract with the domestic AVP league.

Ross is slated to play with Rio Olympian Lauren Fendrick at worlds in Vienna starting Friday. The other U.S. teams include Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes and Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross. Branagh will now pair with Emily Day at worlds.

Olympic champions Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig of Germany and top Brazilians Larissa and Talita headline the women’s field.

The top U.S. medal hope is on the men’s side with 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, but Rio gold medalists Alison and Bruno of Brazil loom.

MORE: April Ross discusses playing without Kerri Walsh Jennings

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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.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard mourns after 17-year-old aerials skier found dead

U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Mikey Lillis, a 17-year-old aerials skier, died in his sleep at his home in East Rochester, N.Y., overnight Saturday, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

“We are a family, and as a family our entire team grieves for Mikey, his own family and his teammates,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a statement. “We’ll remember him for the pathway he was following and the goals he was beginning to achieve. Our condolences go out to his parents Bernie and Jamie and the entire Lillis family.”

Lillis was working his way to join his two older brothers at the elite international level. He made three podiums on the Nor-Am Cup tour between the last two seasons.

Jon Lillis, 23, is the reigning world champion in aerials. Chris Lillis, 19, won the FIS Rookie of the Year award last season with four top-10 finishes on the World Cup.