Olympian ends longest running streak of all time

Ron Hill
Ron Hill
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Ron Hill, a three-time British Olympian, ended the longest recorded streak of consecutive days running at least one mile on Sunday.

Hill, 78, had run 19,032 consecutive days, or every day since Dec. 21, 1964, according to the United States Running Streak Association.

“The worlds greatest run streaker ends his streak. Due to ill health Ron has decided to take a day off,” was posted on Hill’s social media pages.

“After 400m my heart started to hurt, and by the time I got to the one-mile point I thought I was going to die,” Hill said, according to the BBC. “I was in such pain, and I thought, ‘No, hang on, this isn’t going anywhere at the moment,’ and really in respect of my wife, two sons and friends, I need to stop this.”

Hill began his streak two months after competing at his first Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. He had a top Olympic finish of sixth in the Munich 1972 Marathon famously won by American Frank Shorter. Hill also won the 1970 Boston Marathon.

In 1993, Hill had two setbacks that nearly ended his streak. He broke his sternum crashing his car and later had bunion surgery, according to reports.

“My son picked me up from hospital the next morning, drove me to a track, and I did one mile using walking sticks [canes], not crutches, which go under the arm pits,” Hill said, according to the Runner’s World. “I was able to abandon these after seven days but still ran a mile a day in a plaster cast.”

The new longest streak of consecutive days running is held by Jon Sutherland, who is at 17,419 days. Sutherland, 66 and of California, has run every day since May 26, 1969.

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Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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