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Marcel Hirscher set to miss start of Alpine skiing season

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Marcel Hirscher, the world’s best Alpine skier, likely will not race until December, missing the start of the World Cup schedule in the Olympic season.

The Austrian is likely out 12 to 15 weeks after breaking his left ankle Thursday, according to the Austria Press Agency, which quoted Hirscher’s doctor.

Hirscher, the winner of a record six straight World Cup overall titles, is set to miss the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 29. He’s likely out of the following race, a Nov. 12 slalom in Levi, Finland, if the reported timetable holds up.

The next set of technical races — Hirscher’s favored events — are Dec. 9-10.

Hirscher still would have easily won the World Cup overall title the last two years if excluding his points from Soelden and Levi.

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Marcel Hirscher in cast for 6 weeks after training fall (video)

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Marcel Hirscher, the world’s best Alpine skier the last six years, will wear a cast for six weeks after breaking his left ankle in slalom training Thursday.

On the first day of preseason training, Hirscher, 28, turned awkwardly hitting a gate in video posted on his Facebook page. He will not require surgery, according to the Austrian Ski Federation.

The World Cup season starts Oct. 29 with the traditional opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, where Hirscher has finished on the podium the last five years.

Hirscher owns more World Cup overall titles than any man in history after taking his sixth straight crystal globe this past season.

This only increases the pressure on Hirscher to deliver in PyeongChang. He captured individual world titles in 2013, 2015 and 2017, in different events each year, but lacks an Olympic gold medal.

He was upset in the 2014 Olympic slalom by countryman Mario Matt, taking silver.

Hirscher had his most successful world championships yet in February, sweeping the giant slalom and slalom and missing gold in the super combined by .01.

He could go for four gold medals in PyeongChang with the addition of the team event.

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Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles win ESPYs

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Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles earned ESPY awards on Wednesday for their Rio Olympic triumphs.

Phelps earned best record-breaking performance for extending his records for most Olympic medals (28) and gold medals (23).

“Today is my wife’s birthday, and we met here 10 years ago,” said Phelps, who was also named the best male U.S. Olympic athlete. “It’s the most amazing thing in the world.”

Bolt won best international athlete for a third time. He also did so in 2013 and 2017, one year after sweeping the Olympic 100m and 200m as he did in Rio.

Biles took best female U.S. Olympic athlete and best female athlete over nominees including Katie Ledecky.

“Ever since Rio, it has been an amazing year, and the best part of all has been meeting all of the young people who look up to all the athletes in this room,” Biles said in her acceptance speech. “It is an incredible honor and responsibility of being a role model.”

Snowboarding stars Mark McMorris and Anna Gasser won best action sports athlete awards.

A full list of winners is here.

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