Bode Miller completes eye-opening Kitzbuehel weekend

Bode Miller
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Bode Miller nearly posted three podium finishes at Alpine skiing’s most hallowed venue in two days, but he’ll leave Kitzbuehel, Austria, with bittersweet results.

The five-time Olympic medalist finished third in the Hahnenkamm downhill on Saturday and second in a super-G on Sunday morning before provisionally placing third in a super combined later Sunday.

He was later disqualified out of the super combined for straddling a gate in the slalom portion.

“I was OK today,” Miller said after the super-G, which he lost to Swiss Didier Defago by .05 of a second. “It was obviously disappointing not to win; five hundredths is not very much time. Just give me a break and let me win one time here.”

Miller has won in Kitzbuehel before — combined races in 2004 and 2008 — but he knows the clock on his career is ticking and who knows if he’ll race in the Austrian frenzy again. Some 50,000 fans were at Saturday’s downhill.

In the slalom Sunday night, Miller was the top skier to go out of the top 30 from the super-G. Defago dropped out of the slalom because he is a speed race specialist.

So, Miller was in position for his first World Cup win since Dec. 2, 2011. Had he won, he would have jumped from ninth in the World Cup standings to fourth in a span of two days. He would have also passed teammate Ted Ligety.

Remember, Ligety was the most successful skier at last year’s World Championships, winning three gold medals. Miller is 36 years old and coming off knee surgery that caused him to miss all of last season.

It was not to be, though. Ligety took second in the super combined after finishing 31st in the super-G. France’s Alexis Pinturault won the super combined.

“My slalom run was OK, it was sure better than in the classic slalom race [on Friday],” Ligety said. “Alexis is a great slalom skier, so it’s not too bad to be after him. The crowd is great, there are not many places where you can attract a crowd like this one on a Sunday night.”

Miller is set to be named to a fifth Olympic Team later Sunday and is looking like a Sochi medal threat in as many as four events.

Earlier, Miller took second in a super-G behind Defago, who is 10 days older than Miller. The 2010 Olympic downhill champion Defago won his first World Cup race since Dec. 29, 2011.

The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a slalom in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday.

Kitzbuehel Super Combined
1. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 2:02.79
2. Ted Ligety (USA) 2:03.23
3. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 2:04.26
4. Thomas Mermillod Blondin (FRA) 2:04.49
5. Mauro Caviezel (SUI) 2:04.58
6. Peter Fill (ITA) 2:04.64
7. Sandro Viletta (SUI) 2:04.80
8. Carlo Janka (SUI) 2:04.99
9. Justin Murisier (SUI) 2:05.34
10. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 2:05.42
11. Jared Goldberg (USA) 2:05.43
13. Tim Jitloff (USA) 2:06.12
27. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 2:07.65
30. Steven Nyman (USA) 2:08.22
37. Bryce Bennett (USA) 2:10.03
DNF. Mark Engel (USA)
DNF. Travis Ganong (USA)
DQ. Bode Miller (USA)

Kitzbuehel Super-G
1. Didier Defago (SUI) 1:10.38
2. Bode Miller (USA) 1:10.43
3. Max Franz (AUT) 1:10.53
5. Johan Clarey (FRA) 1:10.57
6. Travis Ganong (USA) 1:10.68
6. Otmar Striedinger (AUT) 1:10.68
8. Carlo Janka (SUI) 1:10.73
9. Adrien Theaux (FRA) 1:10.74
10. Markus Duerager (AUT) 1:10.79
22. Steven Nyman (USA) 1:11.18
23. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 1:11.22
31. Ted Ligety (USA) 1:11.32
32. Jared Goldberg (USA) 1:11.33
44. Marco Sullivan (USA) 1:11.57
50. Tim Jitloff (USA) 1:11.76
54. Erik Fisher (USA) 1:11.83
71. Mark Engel (USA) 1:12.92
77. Bryce Bennett (USA) 1:13.29

Lara Gut rediscovers winning form

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid
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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028
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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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