Brita Sigourney

Brita Sigourney, Aaron Blunck win Copper Mountain ski halfpipe

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Maybe the best U.S. halfpipe skiers aren’t so clear cut.

One week after David Wise and Maddie Bowman won the first Olympic selection event, two different Americans prevailed in Copper Mountain, Colo., on Friday night.

Brita Sigourney had the two highest scores in the women’s competition, winning with 86.60 points. Bowman was second with 83.20 to keep her overall lead in the complicated Olympic selection tiebreaker rankings.

Sigourney, 23 and a two-time Winter X Games medalist, was third in Breckenridge last week. Sigourney and Bowman have met criteria to be selected to the U.S. Olympic Team, but if two more skiers earn two top-three finishes, it will go to tiebreaker rankings.

Aaron Blunck improved from second place in Breckenridge to win in Copper Mountain. Wise didn’t qualify for the final and fell to second in the tiebreaker rankings behind Blunck, who was second last week.

Blunck, 17, won with a second-run score of 92.00, beating French world and X Games champion Kevin Rolland, who was the first-run leader with 90.20. American Gus Kenworthy was third to jump into the Olympic selection event tiebreaker standings.

Up to three halfpipe skiers per gender who have had two top-three results over five Olympic selection events will be named to the Olympic team. If more than three athletes, in either gender, have had two top-three results, the tiebreaker rankings come into play.

A skier’s best two results will be combined to create the rankings. The next Olympic selection event for halfpipe skiing is in Breckenridge in January.

Here are the Olympic selection tiebreaker ranking standings in ski halfpipe after two of five selection events, only counting those with top-three results:

Men
1. Aaron Blunck — 180 (has two top-three results)
2. David Wise — 129
3. Gus Kenworthy — 112
4. Lyman Currier — 105

Women
1. Maddie Bowman — 180 (has two top-three results)
2. Brita Sigourney — 160 (has two top-three results)
3. Angeli VanLaanen — 125

Northstar event moved to Breckenridge due to lack of snow

Does Lance Armstrong believe doping contributed to cancer?

Lance Armstrong
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Lance Armstrong said on Sunday’s ESPN film “Lance” that he didn’t know whether he got testicular cancer because of his doping in the early-to-mid 1990s.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “And I don’t want to say no because I don’t think that’s right, either. I don’t know if it’s yes or no, but I certainly wouldn’t say no. The only thing I will tell you is the only time in my life that I ever did growth hormone was the 1996 season [before being diagnosed with moderate to advanced cancer in October 1996]. So just in my head, I’m like ‘growth, growing, hormones and cells.’ Like, if anything good needs to be grown, it does. But wouldn’t it also make sense that if anything bad is there, that it, too, would grow?”

Armstrong was asked a similar question by Oprah Winfrey in his January 2013 doping confession.

“Do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?” Winfrey asked.

“I don’t think so,” Armstrong said then. “I’m not a doctor, I’ve never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally, but I don’t believe so.”

That was not the first time doping and cancer were part of the same conversation.

Teammate Frankie Andreu and then-fiancee Betsy said that Armstrong told a doctor on Oct. 27, 1996, at Indiana University Hospital that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs; EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Armstrong said he probably began doping at age 21, in 1992 or 1993.

“I remember when we were on a training ride in 2002, Lance told me that [Michele] Ferrari [the infamous doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs] had been paranoid that he had helped cause the cancer and became more conservative after that,” former teammate Floyd Landis said in 2011, according to Sports Illustrated.

TIMELINE: Lance Armstrong’s rise and fall

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Cortina requests to postpone Alpine skiing worlds from 2021 to 2022

Alpine Skiing World Championships
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The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year’s world Alpine skiing championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup Finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

MORE: Anna Veith retires, leaves Austrian Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory

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