Lindsey Vonn, MIkaela Shiffrin

Upcoming milestones for Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin

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Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin finished off championship seasons at the World Cup Finals on Sunday, leading to wonder what records they’ll chase next winter and going toward the 2018 Olympics.

Start with Vonn, who in her return from two major knee surgeries broke the women’s record for career World Cup wins (she’s at 67 now) and tied the overall record for World Cup season titles (19).

Next season, the 30-year-old’s sights are set on vying for the overall World Cup title. Vonn finished third in the overall standings this year, with 1,087 points, well behind repeat winner Anna Fenninger (1,553) and Tina Maze (1,531).

Vonn, a four-time World Cup overall champion from 2008-2012, may not have to worry about Maze next year. The 31-year-old Slovenian hasn’t yet committed to racing another season.

But Fenninger, at just 25, appears a dominant threat for years to come. The Austrian is capable of winning races in downhill, super-G, giant slalom and super combined.

Vonn, meanwhile, beat Fenninger in downhill and super-G this season but did not finish better than fifth in three giant slalom starts.

If Vonn can improve her giant slalom, overtake Fenninger and capture her fifth World Cup overall title in 2016, she will move one behind retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell‘s record for career overall titles. She will also become the oldest women’s overall champion.

Vonn can also grab her eighth downhill season title next year, which would tie the record for most titles in one discipline. That mark is held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Stenmark also holds the overall World Cup career wins record of 86. Vonn is 19 wins shy of that. She had eight victories this season, and if she continues on that pace, she will reach 86 during the 2018 Olympic season.

In 2018, Vonn could become the oldest women’s Olympic Alpine skiing medalist ever.

Like Vonn, Shiffrin will want to branch out next season. She’s been the world’s best slalom skier for three years and improved her giant slalom in the same stretch to finish third in that discipline’s standings this season.

No woman has captured both the giant slalom and slalom World Cup season titles since Swede Anja Paerson in 2004. Shiffrin could break that drought, but she will have to go through Fenninger and perhaps Vonn to do it.

If Shiffrin feels confident enough in her slalom and giant slalom, she may attempt to make her World Cup debut in the super-G. The 20-year-old hoped to this past season, even starting twice in lower-level super-Gs in Colorado, but abandoned the plan while in an early season slalom slump.

If Shiffrin can dominate slalom and giant slalom and contend in super-G, she will become a greater World Cup overall threat. She placed fourth in the overall standings this season, 51 points behind third-place Vonn.

Shiffrin will be heavily favored to take her fourth straight slalom season title in 2016. The record for season slalom titles is six, held by retired Swiss Vreni Schneider.

At the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, Shiffrin could become the first Alpine skier — man or woman — to repeat as slalom gold medalist.

Also in 2018, Shiffrin, Vonn and Julia Mancuso all could have chances to become the first U.S. women’s Alpine skier to win gold medals in multiple Olympics.

Anna Fenninger wins World Cup overall title in tight finish

Copenhagen withdraws as 2021 World Gymnastics Championships host, cites pandemic

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Copenhagen withdrew as host of the 2021 World Gymnastics Championships, citing financial strain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gymnastics worlds are usually not held in Olympic years, but the October 2021 edition remained scheduled when the Tokyo Games were postponed to summer 2021.

Denmark’s gymnastics federation board made the decision to not host worlds due in part to uncertainty about the global development of the coronavirus pandemic. That combined with financial losses already associated with the pandemic led to the bowing out.

The International Gymnastics Federation executive committee will “consider all consequences” from Copenhagen withdrawing, including launching a new bid process.

The 2022 Worlds are set for Liverpool, Great Britain, and 2023 in Antwerp, Belgium. Denmark will look into bidding to host in 2025.

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Allyson Felix, Noah Lyles headline Inspiration Games; TV, stream info

Allyson Felix, Noah Lyles
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In Allyson Felix‘s 17 years on the senior international level, she has never experienced anything like what Thursday will bring.

Felix, a nine-time Olympic medalist, will line up at a track in California to race 150 meters. Her opponents will be on the other side of the country — Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo in Florida — and the other side of the Atlantic Ocean — Swiss Mujinga Kambundji in Zurich.

The Inspiration Games air live on Thursday from 2-3:30 p.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app. The meet is a repurposed version of a Diamond League stop in Zurich, Switzerland.

“I’ve just been training and training and training, so anything to break it up. … this seemed like something great. I just loved the concept,” said Felix, who memorably raced alone in at the Rio Olympics in a re-run of the 4x100m first round. “I’m not really sure what to expect. I think [it’s] the first time that we’ve all done anything like this. I’m just approaching it to have fun and hopefully give people something to watch and to be entertained by. I think we all miss sports so much.”

Meet organizers had to get creative with the coronavirus pandemic limiting athlete travel and group events. The Impossible Games was first to go on June 11 — in an Oslo stadium with few spectators and even fewer athletes (and others competing in different countries).

The Inspiration Games takes virtual competition to another level. Felix, Miller-Uibo and Kambundji are all slated to sprint at the same time in different locations. As are world champion Noah Lyles, Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre and the Netherlands’ Churandy Martina in a later 200m.

It marks the first meet since the coronavirus pandemic for Felix, bidding to make her fifth Olympic team and first as a mom. The pandemic and restrictions in California forced her to train on streets.

“Everything is still pretty much locked down,” she said. “You can’t get onto a track without jumping a fence.”

Felix admitted she’s “definitely not sharp” going into her first race since February.

“Once we knew for sure that the Olympic Games would be postponed, we really had to think about being at our best a year from now,” said Felix, a 34-year-old bidding to break Michael Johnson‘s record as the oldest Olympic 400m medalist. “In my situation and where I’m at in my career, I had to make some adjustments, just with the level of impact on my body so that I could still be able to continue to train, but to save something and to have that one last time to be at my best next year. I definitely think things have shifted now.”

Lyles raced last Saturday at a small meet in Florida, outsprinting Justin Gatlin in a 100m heat (9.93 seconds to 9.99 with a hefty four meter/second tailwind).

The regular Diamond League calendar is scheduled to resume in August.

Here are the Inspiration Games entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

1:35 p.m. ET — Men’s Pole Vault
1:35 — Women’s Pole Vault
2:05 — Men’s Triple Jump
2:10 — Women’s 150m
2:27 — Men’s 100 Yards
2:41 — Women’s 300m Hurdles
3:06 — Men’s 200m
3:20 — Women’s 3x100m Relay

Here are five events to watch:

Women’s Pole Vault — 1:35 p.m.
Greek Katerina Stefanidi, a Stanford grad, and American Sandi Morris renew their rivalry. Stefanidi will be in California. Morris will be in Florida. Swede Angelica Bengtsson rounds out the field. Stefanidi relegated Morris to silver at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds. But Morris snapped’ Stefanidi’s streak of eight straight wins in their head-to-head back in 2018 and has bettered Stefanidi in four of their last six meetings.

Men’s Triple Jump — 2:05 p.m.
Double Olympic champion Christian Taylor takes on longtime rival Pedro Pablo Pichardo, a Cuban-born Portuguese, and American Omar Craddock. Taylor bettered Pichardo in five of their last six meetings. In more than 30 meets together, Taylor has lost to Craddock just once (when Taylor has competed in full).

Women’s 150m — 2:10 p.m.
Felix and Miller-Uibo go head to head for the first time since the 2017 World Championships. Their most memorable duel came at the Rio Olympics, where a diving Miller-Uibo edged Felix by .07 for 400m gold. While Miller-Uibo and Felix primarily compete over a full lap, the 150m is closer to Kambundji’s wheelhouse. The Swiss earned 200m bronze at the 2019 World Championships, taking advantage of a depleted field.

Men’s 100 Yards — 2:27 p.m.
Triple Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada, Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica and French veteran Jimmy Vicaut all train in Florida and will presumably be racing at the same venue on Thursday. The 100 yards is scantly contested in top-level meets. Nobody has broken nine seconds in a 100-yard (91.44-meter) race, according to World Athletics. But Usain Bolt‘s estimated 100-yard time en route to his 2009 world record in the 100m was 8.87 seconds.

Men’s 200m — 3:06 p.m.
Lyles has lost an outdoor 200m just once in this Olympic cycle and wouldn’t normally be pestered by Lemaitre or Martina, but these are unusual times and this an unusual competition. Lemaitre is the Olympic bronze medalist but was sixth at last year’s French Championships. Martina, 36, and, like Lemaitre, hasn’t broken 20 seconds in more than three years.

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