Marlen Esparza posts tearful videos after missing Olympic team

Marlen Esparza
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Marlen Esparza became one of the first London 2012 Olympic medalists to bow out of Rio 2016 qualifying, losing at the U.S. Olympic boxing trials Saturday.

Esparza, 26, earned 2012 Olympic bronze and 2014 World Championships gold, but it’ll be Ginny Fuchs who represents the U.S. in the flyweight division in Rio, should she earn the U.S. a berth early next year.

On Sunday, Esparza took to Instagram to express her emotions in a series of nine videos. The transcript, followed by the videos:

“OK, everyone, I haven’t been on social media, and I’m sure we all know that I didn’t win at these Olympic trials, so I just wanted to give you guys a little feedback.”

“So I had to get myself together. I did everything I could do at this tournament, and I have a lot left. And I just want to say thank you to everybody who helped me.”

“I’ve been through a lot. And I’ve been doing this since I was 12. It’s not completely over, and for everybody who wished bad against me.”

“I know you think that I was overrated or I didn’t deserve it or didn’t want it, but this is my life, this is my soul.”

“I’m sorry that you feel that way, but it’s not the truth. I worked hard my whole life for this, and if it wasn’t meant for me, then it wasn’t.”

“God has his plan, and I’ll figure it out, and it’ll be OK. But thank you, again, for everybody that’s there for me.”

“And to everyone who follows me, who loves me, supports me, this isn’t the end. I’m going to show that just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re going to fail forever.”

“I thought these videos were appropriate so you could see me again. For everybody who loves me and supports me, I know who you are and thank you, but it’s not over, and I’m excited for the future.”

“All right, so I can’t handle much more again. I’m out. Thank you guys, and you’ll be seeing me again.”

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Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight


Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen

Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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