Lindsey Vonn’s next goal: World Cup overall title

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Lindsey Vonn‘s finished at the World Alpine Skiing Championships, and with the Olympics still three years away, she has another goal to motivate her.

Winning a fifth World Cup overall title.

“My super-G and downhill’s in good form,” Vonn said on Universal Sports after finishing 14th in the giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Thursday. “Now I’ve got to get my [giant slalom] back on track, and I’ll be competitive again for the overall title. That’s the goal.”

Vonn, 30, last captured the World Cup overall three years ago. The overall title goes to the skier who compiles the most points based off finishes across all disciplines — downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined.

It’s been 20 years since a woman 30 and over won the World Cup overall, but that will almost surely change this year with Tina Maze, 31, poised to take her second crown in three years.

If Vonn can win a fifth overall title next season, she would move within one of the record six titles taken by retired Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-Proell. Just last month, Vonn broke Moser-Proell’s record for women’s World Cup victories. Vonn is at 64 and counting.

Vonn hasn’t raced in the slalom in more than two years, but she could definitely contend for the overall title without it. Maze is currently the only woman skiing all five disciplines at a strong level, and she may retire after this season.

Last year’s World Cup overall winner, Austrian Anna Fenninger, has not raced slalom since 2011.

Vonn had hoped to perform better at the World Championships. She ended up with one medal, bronze in the super-G, after winning five of 10 World Cup races (all downhill and super-G) in her comeback from two major knee surgeries that forced her to miss the Sochi Olympics.

She was in tears after straddling a gate in the super combined slalom Monday, though she did not have a good chance to win a medal in that event. In her next race, she was 27th in the first giant slalom run Thursday morning.

But she stormed back with the fifth best time in her second run, improving to 14th place. It’s the first time Vonn finished a giant slalom at an Olympics or World Championships.

“I may not have gotten as many medals as everyone expected or wanted me to get, but in the end I skied my best every day,” Vonn said on Universal Sports.

Vonn is expected to finish the World Cup season over the next two months. She’s the standings leader in the downhill and super-G and third in the overall, though far behind Maze.

It’s a remarkable place for Vonn to be in, given she did not have a full offseason of on-snow training as other women had the opportunity to take. She also had not competed on a healthy knee in nearly two years.

Vonn complained of soreness in her surgically repaired right knee during the World Championships.

“My knee is sore, but it’s in one piece,” she said on Universal Sports. “I’m healthy.”

Who knows, maybe boyfriend Tiger Woods can help Vonn toward her next goal. Vonn said he’s been watching not only her competition, but also men’s races to learn the sport.

“I wouldn’t really say he’s offering anything; he’s not a ski tech,” she said on Universal Sports. “He doesn’t know a lot about it, but he’s really trying hard to learn. … The tactics, the ski stuff, all of the nitty-gritty stuff that we know that most people don’t.”

Lauryn Williams retires from bobsled

Gracie Gold qualifies for nationals, Polina Edmunds shut out

NBC Sports Gold
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2014 Olympian Gracie Gold qualified for the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships by virtue of a third-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Singles Final on Saturday in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“Bronze: so hot this fall,” Gold posted on Instagram. She last competed at U.S. nationals in 2017, when she finished sixth. She won the national title in 2014 and 2016.

Gold sat second after the short program with 63.55 points, and ultimately finished third overall with 109.90 points in the free skate for 173.45 points. The top four at the event qualify for the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina in January.

Her free skate included a fall on the opening triple Lutz and an under-rotation on the triple Lutz, double toe loop combination. She also put a hand down on the landing of a double Axel. The rest of the program, though, was clean.

Her performance, set to “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, can be found at the 2:05 mark of the on-demand stream of the event for NBC Gold Pass subscribers.

Meanwhile, her Sochi teammate Polina Edmunds was shut out of nationals based on a fifth-place finish at the Pacific Coast Sectional Singles Final (top four qualify). Her performance can be found for NBC Gold Pass subscribers at the 1:50 mark of the on-demand stream for the event. Edmunds last competed at Nationals in 2016, when she earned the silver medal behind Gold.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Bronze: so hot this fall 🥉

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Brittany Bowe extends unbeaten streak to open speed skating World Cup

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Brittany Bowe extended one of the most dominant runs for any U.S. Winter Olympian, earning her first straight World Cup 1000m win to open the season on Sunday.

Bowe, fourth and eighth in the event at her two Olympics, clocked 1:15.35 in Minsk, Belarus, to beat PyeongChang gold medalist Jorien ter Mors by six tenths. Ter Mors missed all of last season after knee surgery.

Bowe won every World Cup 1000m dating to last December, plus her second world title in the event last February, lowering track records at each stop.

She ended last season by breaking the world record by .48 of a second on the fast ice of the 2002 Olympic oval in Kearns, Utah. That time — 1:11.61 — would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1997.

Bowe, a former Florida Atlantic point guard who missed all of 2016-17 with a concussion, is up to 23 career World Cup wins. That’s fifth on the U.S. all-time list behind Bonnie Blair (69), Shani Davis (58), Dan Jansen (46) and Heather Bergsma (34), according to schaatsstatistieken.nl.

The World Cup moves to Poland next week.

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