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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w75llwIy-4g

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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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 Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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