Mikaela Shiffrin’s emotional video to Paralympic skier Thomas Walsh

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As Thomas Walsh underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and pelvic resection treatments, childhood friend Mikaela Shiffrin frequented his hospital bedside.

When he was 14 in 2009, Walsh was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer in his pelvis and lungs.

The Vail, Colo., native received the diagnosis one day before he was to leave to attend Green Mountain Valley School, a ski academy in Vermont, on a full scholarship. Walsh, a promising youth skier, was first coached by Shiffrin’s mom, Eileen.

Walsh received those treatments for 14 months before being declared cancer-free.

One of those days in the hospital, Shiffrin told Walsh that she had never been to a high school prom. “Mikaela said to me, ‘You better be around for that because you’re taking me to your prom,'” Walsh said, according to The New York Times.

Walsh did just that in 2012. Then in 2014, Walsh traveled to Sochi through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to watch his longtime friend compete in the Olympics.

It motivated Walsh to research para Alpine skiing. He debuted on the World Cup in 2015 and by 2017 competed at worlds.

Then on Sunday, the 23-year-old Walsh made his Paralympic debut, finishing 13th in the standing super-G in PyeongChang.

“It’s a whole bunch of emotions,” Walsh said on NBCSN. “As all of our athletes and people with disabilities, I know there’s a lot of different struggles. Competing in the Games is a pretty big dream of mine.”

Walsh was then shown a video screen of a taped message from Shiffrin, who was in Germany for World Cup competition.

“I wish I could hug you right now and tell you that we’re so proud of you,” Shiffrin said, sniffling back tears. “I love you.”

Walsh was taken aback.

“Mikaela may be a champion and a star and an international hero, some would say, to ski racing,” he said. “I’ll even say the greatest female ski racer of all time, but above it all she’s just one of my good friends. … You look at me now. I’m standing here talking to you. I look pretty normal. Mikaela was there when I was really in the dumps and life was really uncertain.”

Walsh is next scheduled to race in the super combined on Monday night (ET). NBCSN coverage of the Paralympics continues at 9 p.m.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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MORE: Paralympic TV, streaming schedule

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang gets rare open hearing in doping case

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Monday it will hear the World Anti-Doping Agency’s case against three-time Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang on Nov. 15 in front of reporters — possibly even live-streamed — at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Montreux, Switzerland.

The hearing won’t be completely open. Registration will be required, and photographers and videographers “will be invited to leave the hearing room after the opening,” CAS said in a statement. But those outside the room may still get a glimpse of the proceedings.

“With the agreement of all parties, it is intended to live stream all or parts of the hearing on the CAS website,” CAS said.

CAS noted that it has only held one prior hearing that wasn’t in a private setting — the 1999 case involving Irish swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin, who won three gold medals in the 1996 Olympics but was banned for four years for tampering with a urine sample, a case that still prompts soul-searching in the Irish media. De Bruin lost the appeal.

Sun is accused of smashing a vial of blood at a drug test last fall. FINA allowed him to continue to compete, but the WADA has appealed, seeking a substantial suspension.

The Chinese swimmer won two gold medals at the world championships this summer and snubbed by some rivals at each medal ceremony, leading to a confrontation with British swimmer Duncan Scott.

RECAP AND VIDEO: Sun taunts Scott after medal ceremony

Sun has won 11 world individual titles in several freestyle distances but also has a long history of controversies ranging from a prior positive drug test and confrontations with other swimmers.

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U.S. women’s volleyball team ends year with surprise loss to Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic surprised the U.S. women’s volleyball team in the final of the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean) women’s continental championship Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, winning the first two sets and regrouping after a U.S. rally to win the fifth set.

The final score of the back-and-forth match: 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-9. The U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in three previous finals: 2011, 2013 and 2015. The Dominican Republic won a semifinal matchup on its way to the 2009 title.

In group play, the U.S. team had beaten the Dominican Republic in straight sets. The U.S. also breezed past Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico in group play and swept past Canada in the semifinals.

The loss doesn’t affect Olympic qualification. The U.S. women had already qualified for the 2020 Olympics by winning a qualification tournament in August in Bossier City, La.

MORE: U.S. women rally to qualify

Semifinalists Canada and Puerto Rico qualified for a last-chance Olympic qualifier that the Dominican Republic will host in January. Mexico defeated Cuba in the NORCECA fifth-place game to be the last of the four teams vying for one spot.

The Dominican Republic has had some success in women’s volleyball, finishing fifth in the 2014 world championships and reaching the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals before falling to the U.S. The team also won this year’s Pan Am Games, to which the U.S. did not send its top players. Currently, the team is ranked 10th in the world.

Earlier this year, the U.S. women had defeated the Dominican Republic in two tournament finals — the Pan American Cup and the NORCECA Champions Cup. The U.S. also won a matchup in the World Cup last month, but the Dominican Republic won another five-set match in the Nations League preliminary round in Italy.

The U.S. finishes the year with a 44-7 record in tournament play, including a first-place finish in the Nations League and second place in the World Cup.

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