Marcel Hirscher’s historically dominant win just about ends Ted Ligety’s title hopes (video)


Ted Ligety‘s bid to win a third straight World Cup giant slalom season title is all but over after Austrian rival Marcel Hirscher won in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday.

Hirscher prevailed by a massive 3.28 seconds over two runs, the largest margin of victory in a men’s World Cup race in more than 35 years, according to

“I risked everything,” Hirscher said, “but I won everything.”

German Felix Neureuther was second. Ligety was fourth and tipped his cap.

“Impressive piece of skiing,” he told media in Germany.

Ligety dropped to 188 points behind Hirscher in the World Cup giant slalom standings with two races left. A victory nets 100 points. The top 30 skiers earn points on a descending scale, giving Ligety almost no chance of overtaking Hirscher.

Hirscher notched his 30th World Cup victory and increased his overall standings lead. The 25-year-old is in line to win a fourth straight World Cup overall title, something no man has ever done.

Ligety captured the season’s biggest giant slalom, the World Championship in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Feb. 13. But Hirscher has won five of six World Cup giant slalom races this season.

“It was not the greatest year,” Ligety said, “but we salvaged it with the World Championships. That’s at least one bright spot.”

Hirscher also denied Ligety’s bid for a third straight World Cup giant slalom title in 2012. On Sunday, he moved into solo third among Austrian men in all-time World Cup wins. Hermann Maier won 54 races, and Benjamin Raich is at 36.

One must wonder if Ligety can reclaim the World Cup giant slalom title from Hirscher next season. Yes, Ligety is skiing with four screws in his left hand from a November training injury.

But he’s also five years older than Hirscher. Ligety’s only victories this season came on U.S. snow. The World Cup circuit is primarily run in Europe.

And though Ligety hasn’t lost an Olympics or Worlds giant slalom since 2010, he barely kept his World Cup giant slalom title in 2014, by .01 of a second and a points tiebreaker at the World Cup Finals last March.

The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill and super-G in Kvitfjell, Norway, next Saturday and Sunday.

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever

Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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