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Lindsey Vonn develops friendship with young skier battling cancer

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Lindsey Vonn says that Hedda Sivertsson is “as big of an inspiration to me as I am to her.”

Hedda, a 14-year-old skier, was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a malignant high-risk, cancerous tumor in her brain in summer 2015. She skied through chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer was briefly in remission, but came back. She underwent another brain surgery last month.

Vonn and Hedda struck up a friendship in 2016 and have exchanged video messages. In November, Vonn met Hedda in Colorado, documented by the U.S. Ski Team.

“When you meet an amazing girl who is bravely battling cancer, it makes the important things in life more clear,” was posted on Vonn’s social media. “Hedda you inspire me. Keep fighting girl.”

This past week, Vonn received a video message from Hedda, who was recently released after spending a month in the hospital and undergoing the brain surgery. The video was played for Vonn by Sweden newspaper Expressen. Hedda’s parents are Swedish.

Hedda congratulated Vonn for coming back from three fractures in her left knee and a broken right upper arm to win a downhill the previous weekend.

“I’m hoping to recover soon as well,” said Hedda, who lives in New Jersey. “I hope you have good luck this weekend.”

Vonn called Hedda “a fighter.”

“I’m grateful that she reached out to me,” Vonn said. “She’s just as big of an inspiration to me as I am to her.”

For more on Hedda, visit the Team Hedda Facebook page.

VIDEO: Top U.S. men’s downhiller has season-ending crash

Lindsey Vonn encouraging Hedda to stay strong!

Sharing the message from Lindsey Vonn to Hedda

Posted by Team Hedda on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

When you meet an amazing girl who is bravely battling cancer, it makes the important things in life more clear. Hedda you inspire me. Keep fighting girl 💪🏻 #thisiswhyidoit @lindseyvonnfoundation

Posted by Lindsey Vonn on Monday, November 28, 2016

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail at world championships, has surgery

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American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail at the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title, and underwent leg surgery as a result.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, who had a left leg laceration, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, about 25 miles from the worlds host of Imola.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been,” USA Cycling chief of sport performance Jim Miller said in a press release. “While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

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MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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