Misty May-Treanor

Misty May-Treanor to play AVP this week

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Misty May-Treanor isn’t finished with beach volleyball quite yet.

The three-time Olympic champion who came out of a three-year retirement last year to play domestic AVP tournaments will continue to do so at the season opener in New Orleans this week.

May-Treanor, 38, will play with Jenny Kropp in a tournament that starts with qualifying Thursday and the first round Friday. NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET (full season broadcast schedule here).

May-Treanor does not harbor Olympic hopes. She would have had to start playing internationally last year to have any shot at Rio.

In 2015, she lost in the semifinals in two AVP tournaments with Brittany Hochevar and said after the AVP Championships that she would consider continuing to play in 2016 if she “got in shape.”

May-Treanor would not be the first U.S. Olympic beach volleyball star to play domestically long after the end of an Olympic career.

Karch Kiraly, who won Olympic indoor gold in 1984 and 1988 and beach gold in his last Games appearance in 1996, played on the AVP tour into 2007.

Holly McPeak, arguably the greatest women’s player of all time outside May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, played on the AVP tour into 2009. McPeak won bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympics but did not make an effort to play enough internationally to qualify for Beijing 2008.

Todd Rogers, who is 42 and won 2008 Olympic gold, continued to compete through last season domestically and, sporadically, internationally but has said the Rio Olympics weren’t his target.

MORE: Kerri Walsh Jennings pain free after first tournaments back from surgery

Snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter passes away

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Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, has died at 65.

He died Wednesday night in Burlington, Vermont, according to an email sent to the staff of the company he founded. Carpenter had emailed his staff this month saying, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back.” He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but after several months of therapy had been given a clean bill of health.

Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier.

It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe.

“He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much,” Burton co-CEO John Lacy said in his email to the staff.

Grieving Mikaela Shiffrin returns to World Cup Alpine action with fourth reindeer at stake

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The traditional World Cup Alpine skiing season opener last month in Soelden, Austria, was an emotional one for Mikaela Shiffrin.

Shiffrin’s grandmother, Pauline Condron, was in declining health in the days leading up to the race, making Shiffrin wonder if she should head home instead of staying in Soelden. Condron was especially close to Shiffrin, helping to take care of her soon after birth.

Condron passed away Oct. 22, four days before the Soelden giant slalom, at age 98.

“Polly loved sports,” Condron’s obituary said. “She was an avid bowler in her younger years and enjoyed playing tennis and skiing. Few people know that she excelled at ping pong, had a killer serve, gave up very few games and played into her 90s.”

Condron was able to see Shiffrin in person at World Cup races in Killington, Vt. The World Cup will return next weekend to Killington, which has just passed its FIS inspection.

Shiffrin finished second in Soelden’s giant slalom to an upstart rival, 17-year-old New Zealander Alice Robinson. Shiffrin is the reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the giant slalom, but she hasn’t won in Soelden since 2014.

In the slalom, Shiffrin is more dominant. She won eight of nine World Cup races last year, losing only to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, and won her fourth straight world championship despite battling illness. The last time Shiffrin finished worse than second in the technical discipline was in the 2018 Olympics, when she uncharacteristically faltered and finished fourth.

Saturday’s race in Levi, Finland, is a slalom. Shiffrin has won three of the last five races in Levi, which means she also has three reindeer  Rudolph, Sven and Mr. Gru. She can win a fourth on Saturday.

The men also have a slalom this weekend in Levi, racing Sunday.

Both runs for each event stream live on NBC Sports Gold at 4:15 and 7 a.m. ET, with the Olympic Channel also carrying the second runs each day.

MORE: Alpine skiing TV schedule

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