Lindsey Vonn suffers knee fracture in crash (video)

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Lindsey Vonn crashed and suffered a hairline fracture in her left knee in a World Cup super-G in Andorra on Saturday but may race Sunday, according to her social media.

“Got caught in the soft snow today and crashed pretty hard,” was posted on Vonn’s Instagram with a picture of a heavily bandaged left knee. “X-rays showed I have a hairline fracture in my left knee and will get an MRI Monday. I will wait and see how I feel tomorrow to decide if I can race.”

Vonn had the fastest split time under snowfall, about 10 seconds from the finish of the super-G course, when she fell while shifting pressure onto her left leg for a turn.

She slid for six seconds and came to a stop, not running into safety fencing.

Vonn lay motionless on the snow while officials came to her, detached her skis and eventually loaded her onto a sled to transport her down the mountain 11 minutes after she crashed.

Vonn lifted her head inside her helmet as she was transported toward the finish area while fans cheered.

Vonn was later published on the start list for a super combined Sunday in Andorra, but that doesn’t mean she will race.

The start of Saturday’s race was delayed three hours by strong winds and snowfall. The course was shortened due to the conditions.

Vonn has a history of injuries, most notably two major right knee surgeries that knocked her out of the Sochi Olympics. She’s won nine races this season and leads the World Cup overall standings with nine races and three weeks left in the season.

Italian Federica Brignone won Saturday’s super-G, with American Laurenne Ross taking second, matching her best career World Cup finish.

“It started snowing pretty hard in the middle of the race, and that definitely created some slow surfaces for the girls behind,” said Ross, who started No. 10, six spots ahead of Vonn. “That’s ski racing. If you’re on the good side of it, you have to take advantage of it. If you’re on the bad side, you just hope for the best next time.”

Swiss Lara Gut placed 16th, moving within eight points of Vonn’s standings lead for the World Cup overall title, the sport’s biggest prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships.

Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin, in her second race back from a Dec. 12 crash, finished 29th in her second career World Cup super-G start.

VIDEO: Vonn meets Ingemar Stenmark

Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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Lara Gut-Behrami wins Killington giant slalom, and the overall title race may be on

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Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami rallied from third place after the first run for her 35th career World Cup victory, taking a giant slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Saturday.

Gut-Behrami, 31, earned her fifth World Cup giant slalom win and first in six years. She prevailed by .07 of a second over Italian Marta Bassino combining times from two windy runs. Sweden’s Sara Hector, the Olympic champion and first-run leader, ended up third.

“Last two years I’ve been getting better in GS again,” said Gut-Behrami, who won the GS at the last world championships in 2021. “Last year I was struggling with my health. I was all the time sick.”

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Gut-Behrami’s best events are downhill and super-G, so a strong start to the season in GS could put her on a path to winning the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing. She previously lifted that crystal globe in 2016.

Reigning World Cup overall champ Mikaela Shiffrin, who previously placed second, third, fourth and fifth in Killington giant slaloms, finished 13th after winning the season’s first two races, slaloms in Finland last week. It marked her lowest World Cup GS finish since December 2019.

“[Finland] was a spectacular weekend,” Shiffrin, who has not had much recent GS training, said after her 10th-place opening run Saturday. “Every race is a different story.”

Shiffrin won all five World Cup slaloms in Killington dating to 2016 and will go for her 50th career World Cup slalom victory across all venues on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock).

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