Five U.S. Olympic hopefuls born in the 1970s

0 Comments

Who will be the oldest member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic team?

Here are some candidates:

Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing, Age 39
The six-time Olympic medalist hasn’t raced since severing his right hamstring tendon in a February 2015 World Championships crash. But Miller hasn’t retired and has spoken of a possible comeback next season.

Nate Holland, Snowboard Cross, Age 38
Seven X Games titles but no Olympic medals for Holland, who has taken part in all three Olympic snowboard cross competitions and made the final once, finishing fourth in Vancouver. Holland won a World Cup at the PyeongChang Olympic venue last February.

Seth Wescott, Snowboard Cross, Age 40
The Maine native won the first two Olympic snowboard cross titles in 2006 and 2010 and then failed to qualify for Sochi. Wescott just couldn’t get back from a complete reconstruction of his left ACL in April 2013 after falling into an Alaska crevasse while shooting part of a film for ski and snowboard director Warren Miller. Wescott finished 10th in his last World Cup on Jan. 21, his best finish in nearly four years.

KC Boutiette, Speed Skating, Age 46
The pioneer of the inline invasion to speed skating came out of a nine-year international retirement in 2015 with an eye on the mass start event, which makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang. He won a World Cup race in December for the first time in 12 years. Boutiette could go 24 years between his first and last Olympic appearances.

A curler
The oldest member of the U.S. Olympic team in Vancouver and Sochi was a curler. And just last year, three members of the U.S. Nationals-winning rink were born in the 1970s — Brady ClarkGreg Persinger and Philip Tilker.

PYEONGCHANG 2018
Storylines | 18 US Stars | 18 Global Stars | Strange Olympic Hopefuls | Key events
Oldest US Olympian? | Youngest US Olympian? | Venue Photo Gallery | North Korea

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

0 Comments

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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

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

Lucas Braathen
Getty
0 Comments

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

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!