Lindsey Vonn clinches record season title after Facebook gaffe

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Lindsey Vonn‘s desire to win is so intense that, after one of her skis detached on a bumpy turn in Friday’s World Cup downhill, she later pulled out a hammer and pounded on the broken ski’s binding.

Vonn had the bit of frustration filmed (also telling of that intensity), and it was briefly posted on Facebook (video below the story) before being deleted. Vonn later apologized.

It makes one wonder Vonn’s reaction to her finish in Saturday’s downhill, also in La Thuile, Italy.

She placed second, .14 behind Italian Nadia Fanchini, but clinched her record-breaking eighth World Cup downhill season title and 20th season title overall. Full results are here.

“I’m really happy with my second place,” Vonn told media in La Thuile. “It was good for my self-confidence. I was a little bit unsure of myself after yesterday.”

Vonn is the favorite in any downhill or super-G race she starts (and, unlike Friday, finishes), so Fanchini’s victory was an upset.

But Vonn’s downhill season title broke her ties with retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (most downhill titles) and retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark (most titles in all disciplines and overall).

“It’s kind of more than I ever dreamed was possible,” Vonn told media in La Thuile.

Of the video she deleted Friday, Vonn said she “should have just done boxing with my trainer” to vent, according to The Associated Press.

“I’m always usually careful with what I do and say on the social media platforms, and I just didn’t really think it through,” Vonn said, according to the AP. ”I was a little bit too emotional. It was a good lesson for me. I just have to remember that I have a lot of people looking up to me, and I can’t let my emotions get the best of me.”

Earlier, Vonn apologized through a statement and on Facebook for the hammer incident.

“This was a huge mistake born out of the frustrating race I had today and was in no way, shape or form a reflection on the performance of the Head race team, and the Head skis and bindings which I race on and which have been instrumental in my success,” Vonn said in a statement. “In fact, thank goodness the binding released as it should [during the race], preventing a possible injury.

“The video was posted on social media to express my emotions but I understand how it could be misinterpreted.”

“I love my Head skis and bindings and I cannot apologize enough to Head and the Head race team for today’s unfortunate event.”

Vonn’s runner-up on Saturday also moved her back into the standings lead for the World Cup overall title, the sport’s biggest prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships. Vonn tops Swiss Lara Gut by 43 points with a month left this season.

Vonn will look for her 77th World Cup win again on Sunday in a super-G in La Thuile. She’s 10 wins shy of the career record held by Stenmark.

MORE: Vonn discusses SI swimsuit issue

Swim meet canceled after FINA’s threat to ban athletes

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GENEVA (AP) — Amid growing conflict between swimmers and their world governing body, an international swimming meet was canceled on Thursday after threats to ban athletes who took part seeking better prize money.

The Italian swim federation called off the Dec. 20-21 competition it was organizing in Turin, saying it acted to protect athletes from FINA.

The Turin meet was linked to a proposed International Swimming League, a privately run operation which aims to operate outside FINA’s control and pay higher prize money.

“FINA declared the event ‘non-approved,’ threatening sanctions against the participating athletes,” Italian officials said in a statement.

FINA, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some Olympic champions have long criticized FINA, believing swimmers should be better rewarded, have more say in decisions, and could create their own union.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Britain wrote on Thursday on Twitter he was “incredibly disappointed” by the cancellation.

The politics involved will “galvanize swimmers, not break them,” wrote Peaty, who holds 50m and 100m breaststroke world records.

Peaty has previously supported Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu in her public criticism of FINA, and calls to create a swimmers’ union.

Italian organizers said Peaty, Hosszu and other Olympic champions including Chad le Clos of South Africa and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden were due to take part in their 25-meter pool event. It was scheduled days after the short-course world championships being staged in Hangzhou, China.

The clash of events seemed to provoke FINA into finding more prize money for its worlds event in the smaller pool.

On Nov. 6, FINA added to its promised prize fund for China by almost doubling the total to $2.07 million.

FINA wrote to member federations on Oct. 30 warning of bans of up to two years for taking part in Turin.

However, a European Commission decision last year suggests swimmers could successfully challenge any attempt to limit their right to race and earn money.

The European Union’s executive arm ruled the International Staking Union in breach of anti-trust laws by threatening severe bans for speed skaters who wanted to compete in a South Korean-organized event in Dubai.

The ISU’s threats “also serve to protect its own commercial interests,” the European officials said.

MORE: Katie Ledecky on her new suit, challenges for Tokyo 2020

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Simon Ammann believes ski jumping career end is near

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Simon Ammann, the most decorated active ski jumper with four Olympic gold medals, said it is hard to imagine competing beyond this season, according to Swiss newspaper Blick.

Ammann, 37, swept the individual Olympic titles in 2002 and 2010 to join retired Finn Matti Nykänen as the only four-time Olympic ski jumping champs.

In PyeongChang, his sixth Olympics, Ammann placed 11th and 13th, one month after making his first World Cup podium in nearly three years. He decided after those Winter Games that he would continue at least one more season, but has no plan to go all the way to a seventh Olympics in 2022, according to Blick.

Ammann has teased retirement since at least 2011 and even said going into the 2014 Sochi Olympics that he was “99 percent sure” they would be his final Games.

The now-father of two first gained crossover celebrity with his surprise Salt Lake City 2002 gold medals, his first wins in top-level international competition. The bespectacled Ammann’s victory screams and resemblance to Harry Potter helped land him on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and one of Europe’s biggest shows, sitting next to Shakira.

Fellow ski jumper Noriaki Kasai of Japan holds the Winter Olympic record of eight appearances. Kasai, 46, has said he plans to go for a ninth participation at Beijing 2022.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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