Aksel Lund Svindal

Aksel Lund Svindal wins Beaver Creek downhill

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Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal won his second straight World Cup race, taking a downhill in Beaver Creek, Colo., while no Americans finished in the top 10 on Friday.

Svindal, the reigning world and World Cup downhill champion, clocked 1 minute, 44.50 seconds, in sub-zero temperatures in the first of three races this weekend. Austria’s Hannes Reichelt was second in 1:44.67, and Italian Peter Fill was third (full results at bottom).

“I knew I had to be aggressive,” Svindal said, according to the Denver Post. “I felt like it was a pretty good run when I came down, but I wasn’t sure at all. It was nice to see the green lights.”

The Beaver Creek World Cup stop continues with a super-G on Saturday (1 p.m. ET) and a giant slalom on Sunday (11:45 a.m., 2:45 p.m.). NBC and NBCSN will provide weekend coverage.

Svindal solidified his Olympic favorite status after finishing a surprisingly low fourth in the first World Cup season downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday. He came back to win the super-G on Sunday and leads the World Cup overall standings.

Five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller was the top American in 13th, his best finish in four races this season.

“I thought I skied pretty well,” Miller said, according to the newspaper. “Even though it was not a great result, I’m happy with it. I skied the way I needed to ski. Maybe we picked the wrong skis, maybe it was weather or nature, but I think that’s where we lost it today.”

Miller, 36, missed all of last season following knee surgery. His previous finishes this year were 19th, 16th and 23rd.

In 2009-10, Miller’s first four World Cup finishes were DNF, 29th, 39th and DNF, but he started rattling off top 10s beginning with a fourth in the Beaver Creek downhill. Miller went on to win an Olympic gold, silver and bronze in 2010.

Ted Ligety, who won three World Championships gold medals in February, finished 42nd. The downhill is Ligety’s worst event, and he said before the season he doesn’t expect to race it at the Olympics.

Beaver Creek Downhill
1. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1:44.50
2. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) 1:44.67
3. Peter Fill (ITA) 1:44.70
4. Manny Osborne-Paradis (CAN) 1:44.74
5. Patrick Kueng (SUI) 1:45.02
6. Beat Feuz (SUI) 1:45.16
7. Jan Hudec (CAN) 1:45.17
8. Werner Heel (ITA) 1:45.35
9. Dominik Paris (ITA) 1:45.37
10. Max Franz (AUT) 1:45.38
13. Bode Miller (USA) 1:45.54
15. Travis Ganong (USA) 1:45.69
21. Steven Nyman (USA) 1:46.26
28. Marco Sullivan (USA) 1:46.71
29. Erik Fisher (USA) 1:46.72
42. Ted Ligety (USA) 1:47.72
55. Jared Goldberg (USA) 1:48.72
DNF. Andrew Weibrecht (USA)

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Simone Biles discusses anxiety medicine, therapy in up-and-down year

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Simone Biles sees a therapist regularly and takes medication for anxiety, acknowledging mental-health struggles.

Biles was asked on “Good Morning America” how she has processed standing up as a Larry Nassar survivor on Jan. 15.

“I’m on anxiety medicine now because I had a lot of ups and downs throughout the year, trying to figure out what was wrong,” Biles said. “So I go to therapy pretty regularly. It’s not easy, but the people surrounding me are some of the best.”

Biles is an experienced mental-health advocate.

Last year, she partnered with the #BeUnderstood campaign for Learning Disabilities and ADHD Awareness Month in October. She spoke with two sisters who have ADHD about her own experience with ADHD since age 9.

Biles appeared on Tuesday’s morning show to reveal her ESPN the Magazine cover for being named the most dominant athlete of 2018.

Biles, after taking 14 months off from training, swept all five titles at the U.S. Championships, then became the first gymnast to earn medals on every event at a world championships in 31 years.

She is not expected to compete again before March.

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Mikael Kingsbury named Canada Athlete of the Year

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Mikael Kingsbury, the Olympic moguls champion, is the first freestyle skier to win the Lou Marsh Trophy, Canada’s athlete of the year award.

Kingsbury, 26, dominated in PyeongChang, receiving the highest scores for time, turns and air moves in the final to win by 4.06 points. It marked the first instance in moguls history that a man topped the final field in all three categories that make up the total score, albeit the format moved from a 20-skier final to a six-skier final in 2014.

Kingsbury also finished first or second in all eight World Cup moguls or dual moguls events so far in 2018. He’s up to 50 World Cup victories, breaking the moguls record shared by U.S. Olympic champions Donna Weinbrecht and Hannah Kearney.

The other reported Lou Marsh finalists were:

Brooke Henderson, Golf: Second in the LPGA Tour’s Race to the CME Globe
Kaitlyn Lawes, Curling: Olympic mixed doubles, world women’s titles
Connor McDavid, Hockey: 2017-18 NHL points leader, most outstanding player
Kaetlyn Osmond, Figure Skating: Olympic bronze medalist, world champion

The Lou Marsh Trophy went to an Olympian 15 times in the last 20 years, most recently Olympic 100m freestyle swimming champion Penny Oleksiak in 2016. Winners in Winter Olympic years included speed skaters Catriona LeMay Doan (2002) and Cindy Klassen (2006) and bobsledder Kaillie Humphries (2014), all gold medalists those years.

That history worked against Henderson and McDavid, who didn’t have an Olympics in 2018. Osmond had arguably the best year for an individual Canadian figure skater with her three major medals, but Russians Alina Zagitova and Yevgenia Medvedeva beat her in PyeongChang.

Lawes led all women in shooting percentage in the first Olympic mixed-doubles event and led her team (skipped by Sochi Olympic champ skip Jennifer Jones) in shooting in the gold-medal game of the world championship a month later.

Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were ineligible for the individual award together, according to Canadian media.

The Lou Marsh Trophy, named after the former Toronto Star sports editor and columnist, is annually voted on by Canadian sports journalists.

MORE: U.S. figure skating rankings going into nationals

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