Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn says she’s healthy enough to win now

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Lindsey Vonn won’t race for another three weeks, but she’s already feeling like a champion.

The Olympic downhill gold medalist told reporters on Friday that she’s ready to win a World Cup super-G.

“Super-G is really good, it’s probably some of the best super-G I’ve ever skied in my life,” Vonn said in Vail, Colo., according to the Denver Post. “I found the right setup — the right skis, boots, everything is working well — and I’ve had the most super-G training of any event so far in this preparation period. I definitely feel like that event is 100 percent.

“Now it’s just branching out and getting a little bit more comfortable with downhill, which should be no problem, and getting in some more training days in (giant slalom).”

Vonn, 29, is coming back from blowing out her knee at the World Championships in February. She trained in Austria last month but opted not to race the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 26.

Her first races are expected to be a downhill, super-G and a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., from Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

“It would be huge for me if I could win in Beaver Creek,” Vonn said, according to the newspaper. “Obviously that’s expecting a lot, my first race back. But I feel like I don’t have any pressure, honestly.

“I think I’m going to be just fine when I get to the races, but I’m not expecting anything. I’m not expecting to be on the podium, I’m not expecting a win. I’m just going to go out there and see what I can do. If I can continue training the way I am, I think the result’s going to be good.”

Vonn also said the record for most career World Cup wins held by Annemarie Moser-Proell should be attainable this season. Vonn needs four victories to pass the Austrian, but that’s not her primary concern.

“My focus is definitely on Sochi,” she said. “I want to be able to win on the World Cup before we get to Sochi. I want to go into Sochi with confidence, knowing that I can win.”

The Olympics begin with the super combined Feb. 10 and then the downhill Feb. 12. If Vonn shows she’s healthy during the World Cup season, she’ll be the favorite in the latter.

“It’s very different because I already have a gold medal,” Vonn told the Denver Post. “I feel like the pressure’s off. My childhood dream has been to win a gold medal in the Olympics, and I’ve already accomplished that, so everything from here on out is just icing on the cake.”

Vonn also said she wasn’t sure yet if Tiger Woods will be able to attend any of her races this season, according to USA Today.

Video: Lindsey Vonn calls Tiger Woods ‘dorky-goofy’

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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