Lindsey Vonn races day after hairline knee fracture

1 Comment

SOLDEU-EL TARTER, Andorra — Hampered by a fractured left knee, Lindsey Vonn managed to extend her overall World Cup lead by placing 13th in an Alpine combined event on Sunday, while Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada took the win.

Wearing braces on both knees, the American led the competition after the super-G portion but posted only the 23rd time in the slalom run to finish 1.93 seconds behind Gagnon. Full results are here.

Vonn’s main rival for the overall title, Lara Gut of Switzerland, straddled a gate in the slalom and didn’t finish, allowing the four-time champion to extend her lead to 28 points.

Vonn crashed in Saturday’s super-G race after catching a spot of soft snow (video here). She was brought down the hill on a rescue sled and underwent tests in a hospital. She later said she had sustained a hairline fracture.

“I’ve made scans, I know I have a fracture in my tibia plateau,” she said, adding she was having an additional MRI scan later Sunday. “There is a lot of blood in it. It’s a balloon. I hope with a few days rest and therapy, it will be OK.”

Hours before Sunday’s race, Vonn posted a short video on her Facebook page, showing how she had excess fluid removed from her knee.

“Drained my knee a few times and it’s feeling a little better. Going to go up on the hill and see how it feels,” she wrote.

Vonn inspected the course for the first leg and made one run on the warmup course before deciding to actually start. She trailed the then leader, American teammate Laurenne Ross, by 0.36 halfway down the course but won by more than a half-second on her teammate with a strong finish.

Vonn screamed for joy after finishing, holding both arms and ski poles up in the air while waving to the spectators.

“There were two turns where I felt I was on the limit, but I tried to ski a bit rounder to lower pressure on my left knee,” she said. “On the bottom part I was really fast. It’s incredible. I can only say it all came from the heart.”

In the slalom, Vonn quickly lost her 0.96-second advantage over Gagnon. Knowing that Gut had skied out and thus failed to score points, Vonn held back and tried to avoid risks.

“I first thought I would give it all and risk everything,” she said. “But when Lara was out, I decided to ski a bit more careful, to make sure I get to the finish. Maybe I was a bit too cautious, but I’ve made really important points.”

Gut, who won this season’s first combined event in Val d’Isere, France, in December, was fifth after the super-G leg before her mishap in the slalom.

Chasing her first big crystal globe, the Swiss skier downplayed the slightly increased deficit to the American.

“The overall title will be awarded on March 20. Until then, you just have to race,” said Gut, who scored just 15 points in Saturday’s race. “I can’t change it, life goes on.”

Organizers had pushed back the start of the event by 90 minutes to allow fresh snow to be moved off the course.

Gagnon led Wendy Holdener of Switzerland by 0.20, and Anne-Sophie Barthet of France by 0.61 for her second career victory. She also won a combined event in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, two years ago.

“I had pretty good super-G run yesterday and I had a solid run today so I had a good start position for the slalom,” Gagnon said. “I am surprised to win. I was hoping for a podium because I knew I would have a good chance here.”

Vonn’s American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin finished eighth in her first career combined event. Shiffrin was only 40th after the super-G portion, giving her an unfavorable start position in her strongest discipline.

The Olympic slalom champion still managed the fourth-fastest slalom time to finish 1.57 behind Gagnon.

The third and final combined event of the season is scheduled for Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in two weeks. The women’s World Cup first travels to Jasna, Slovakia, for a GS and a slalom next weekend.

VIDEO: Vonn meets Ingemar Stenmark

NBA participation in Tokyo Olympics could be limited, Adam Silver says

Kevin Durant
Getty Images
Leave a comment

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the Tokyo Olympics’ effect on the league’s schedule planning for 2021 is unclear, but that it’s possible that Olympic participation may be limited.

“There are a lot of great U.S. players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren’t competing in the Olympics, but other great American players are competing,” Silver told Bob Costas on CNN on Tuesday. “Obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics from other countries. That’s something we’re going to have to work through. I just say, lastly, these are highly unique and unusual circumstances. I think, just as it is for the Olympic movement, it is for us as well. We’re just going to have to sort of find a way to meld and mesh those two competing considerations.”

Silver said his best guess is that the next NBA season starts in January with a goal of a standard 82-game schedule and playoffs. A schedule has not been released.

In normal NBA seasons that start in late October, the regular season runs to mid-April and the NBA Finals into mid-June.

The Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony is July 23. If an NBA season is pushed back two or three months to a January start, and the schedule is not condensed, the Olympics would start while the NBA playoffs are happening.

The current NBA season is in the conference finals phase in an Orlando-area bubble after a four-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a factor in our planning,” Silver said of the Olympics. “It would be tough for us to make a decision in January based on the Olympics happening on schedule when that’s so unclear.”

The NBA has participated in every Olympics since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Monday was the 29th anniversary of the announcement of the first 10 members of the original Dream Team on an NBC selection show (hosted by Costas).

Before the NBA era, U.S. Olympic men’s basketball teams consisted of college players.

MORE: When Michael Jordan lost in wheelchair basketball to Paralympian

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

French Open
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final