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U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team complete with 7 added

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Now-four-time Olympians Steven Nyman and Stacey Cook headlined the seven added to complete the U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team Wednesday.

Nyman, a 35-year-old coming back from blowing out his left knee nearly one year ago, and Cook, 33, joined a team that includes the previously qualified Lindsey VonnMikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety.

The full U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team:

Stacey Cook — 2006, 2010, 2014 Olympian
Breezy Johnson
Megan McJames — 2010, 2014 Olympian
Alice McKennis
Laurenne Ross — 2014
Mikaela Shiffrin — 2014
Resi Stiegler — 2006, 2014
Lindsey Vonn — 2002, 2006, 2010
Jackie Wiles — 2014
Bryce Bennett
Tommy Biesemeyer
David Chodounsky — 2014
Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Mark Engel
Tommy Ford — 2010
Jared Goldberg — 2014
Tim Jitloff — 2010, 2014
Nolan Kasper — 2010, 2014
Ted Ligety — 2006, 2010, 2014
Wiley Maple
Steven Nyman — 2006, 2010, 2014
Andrew Weibrecht — 2010, 2014

Shiffrin and Vonn could sweep the five individual women’s events in PyeongChang. Shiffrin, the World Cup overall leader, is the clear slalom favorite and looking strong in the giant slalom and super combined.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion who missed Sochi due to knee injuries, has downhill and super-G wins this season.

The U.S. men have zero podiums this World Cup season and were dealt a blow when top speed racer Travis Ganong suffered a season-ending knee injury in December.

Ligety appears to be the best medal hope. The 2014 Olympic giant slalom champion, who dealt with injuries of his own this Olympic cycle, has a best finish of fifth this season.

These will be the first Olympics without Bode Miller racing since 1994 and the first without Julia Mancuso since 1998. The two most decorated U.S. Olympic skiers retired and will be part of the NBC Olympics team in South Korea.

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MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Winter Olympics

Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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