Lindsey Vonn ties downhill wins record in dominating fashion

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Lindsey Vonn tied the record for career World Cup downhill wins with her 36th and cut into her deficit in the World Cup overall standings in Zauchensee, Austria, on Saturday.

The four-time World Cup overall champion picked up her 72nd career World Cup win in a two-run, sprint downhill race.

Half of those victories have come in downhill, with Vonn matching retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll‘s record for men and women in that discipline. Moser-Pröll, whose women’s overall World Cup wins record Vonn famously broke last season, applauded near the finish line and hugged Vonn post-victory.

Vonn prevailed by a combined one second over the two runs, with Canadian Larisa Yurkiw in second and Austria’s Cornelia Huetter third. Full results are here.

Vonn led by a comfortable .91 of a second after the first run.

“I definitely didn’t expect such a big advantage going into the second run,” Vonn told media in Zauchensee. “I wasn’t trying to do anything special. With two runs, I figured if I was behind in the first run, I can maybe ski a little bit more aggressively in the second.

“I skied a little bit more conservatively second run [with the large time advantage]. It’s definitely more pressure in the second run when you’re leading.”

Vonn moved from third to second place in the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest prize in the sport this season with no World Championships or Olympics.

She also gained the maximum 100 points on standings leader Swiss Lara Gut, who momentarily lost her balance and skied out in the first run. Gut’s lead was cut from 158 points to 58 over Vonn with more than half of the season still to go.

Vonn, 31, is not only trying to become the oldest World Cup overall champion but also chasing the World Cup wins record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn prevailed for the first time since Dec. 12., when she had a four-race win streak. Vonn’s last three results were two DNFs and a 13th place as she fell behind Gut in the overall standings to end the calendar year.

“I lost my momentum, and I was tired, my knees hurt, I was sick,” Vonn said. “Then I went home, and I felt much better. … I’m re-energized.”

The women’s World Cup continues with a super-G in Zauchensee on Sunday, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 5:30 a.m. ET.

MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin expects to return this season

 

Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

Oleksandr Abramenko
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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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Freestyle skiers in World Cup action on NBC Sports, Peacock

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Olympic gold medalists David Wise and Alex Hall headline World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding stops in the U.S. this weekend, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

Wise, who last Sunday won his fifth X Games Aspen ski halfpipe title, led the qualifiers into the final at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in California.

He’s joined in the 10-man final by U.S. Olympic teammates Aaron Blunck and Birk Irving. The women’s ski halfpipe final includes the top three from last week’s X Games — Brit Zoe Atkin, Canadian Rachael Karker and American Svea Irving. Olympic champion Eileen Gu of China is out after suffering a knee injury in an X Games training crash.

The ski slopestyle finals include the reigning men’s and women’s Olympic gold medalists — Hall, plus Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland.

The marquee snowboarders in Mammoth finals are Olympic big air silver medalist Julia Marino (slopestyle) and X Games silver medalist Maddie Mastro (halfpipe). Two-time Olympic champion Chloe Kim is taking the season off, and another double Olympic champion, Jamie Anderson, is pregnant.

Aerials and moguls skiers are competing in their lone U.S. World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.

The moguls fields including Olympic gold medalists Walter Wallberg of Sweden, Mikael Kingsbury of the U.S., Perrine Laffont of France and Jakara Anthony of Australia. Olympic silver medalist Jaelin Kauf is the standout American.

The aerials include every member of the U.S. team that took gold at last year’s Olympics — Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld.

Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Cup Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Saturday Moguls 11 a.m. CNBC, Peacock
Ski Halfpipe 3 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Sunday Ski Slopestyle 12 p.m. CNBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Aerials, Dual Moguls 2 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Snowboard Halfpipe 2 p.m. CNBC, Peacock

All NBC and CNBC coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

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