Tina Maze

Tina Maze wins skier of the year award

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Slovenia’s Tina Maze added one more trophy to her extensive collection for the 2012-13 World Cup season on Friday.

Maze, 30, won the Serge Lang Trophy, given by ski journalists to the athlete they vote as Skieur d’Or — or skier of the year.

There was no doubt Maze would take it over all other male and female Alpine skiers last season. She set a record for either gender with 2,414 points, smashing the previous mark of 2,000 and winning 11 races and the season titles in super-G and giant slalom.

She finished in the top three in every discipline, and her margin of victory (1,313 points) was also a record.

Maze begins her follow-up campaign and the Olympic season with a giant slalom, her specialty, in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday. Universal Sports will provide coverage.

Winners of the Serge Lang Trophy since 2000:
2013 Tina Maze, Slovenia
2012 Marcel Hirscher, Austria
2011 Ivica Kostelic, Croatia
2010 Carlo Janka, Switzerland
2009 Lindsey Vonn, USA
2008 Matthias Lanzinger, Austria
2007 Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway
2006 Benjamin Raich, Austria
2005 Bode Miller, USA
2004 Hermann Maier, Austria
2003 Stephan Eberharter, Austria
2002 Stephan Eberharter, Austria
2001 Janica Kostelic, Croatia
2000 Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway

Ligety’s biggest goal not Olympics

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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