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World Alpine Skiing Championships add event

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Mikaela Shiffrin will have a new opportunity to take gold at the world championships starting in 2021.

A parallel race will debut on the Alpine skiing worlds program in 2021 in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced Friday.

Parallel events, where skiers go head-to-head on the same course but on different sets of gates in a bracket-style elimination format, have dotted the annual World Cup schedule in recent years. They count as slaloms and giant slaloms in World Cup standings.

Shiffrin, who owns Olympic golds in both slalom and giant slalom, won all three of her World Cup starts in parallel races over the previous two seasons.

Parallel racing is already held at worlds (and the Olympics starting this year) in a mixed-gender team event.

Last year, FIS said it discussed adding more individual parallel races to the World Cup schedule and cutting combined events (races with one run of downhill or super-G and one run of slalom) altogether starting in 2020-21.

Austrian media reported last year that the combined would be taken off the world championships schedule starting in 2021, but FIS did not mention the combined in Friday’s press release.

The FIS congress also approved new world championships mixed-gender team events in freestyle skiing (aerials), snowboarding (parallel), plus the first women’s Nordic combined event at worlds and a women’s ski jumping team event, all in 2021.

FIS hopes the mixed team events will be added to the Olympics in Beijing in 2022 by the IOC, as well as ski big air and a snowboard cross team event.

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Adam Rippon’s Olympic medal is stained

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Olympians and Paralympians lose medals. They ding and dent them. Even melt them. Then there’s the unique case of figure skater Adam Rippon.

“Mine actually has barbecue sauce on it,” Rippon told Variety of his PyeongChang team event bronze medal, “because I did an interview, and somebody was cooking at the same time, and they’re like, ‘Come over here.’ I went over there, and I have, like, barbecue sauce on it.”

It may have occurred in PyeongChang, where Rippon appeared on a TODAY cooking segment and ate Korean fried chicken.

Rippon told the story while sitting next to Olympic champion Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who rightly asked if the stain was not on the medal, but on the ribbon.

“No, on the medal part,” Rippon answered, “but it’s in a groove. It’s stuck there forever.”

Shaun White‘s mom once took his medal to a dry cleaners. A Florida jeweler has repaired Summer and Winter Olympic medals. Rippon has the option of getting his finely cleaned.

“You know what, I’m going to keep it there,” he said.

“It adds character,” Shiffrin said.

“And flavor,” Rippon said. “It’s barbecue flavored.”

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Alex Naddour, Olympic bronze medalist, banned by USA Gymnastics

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Alex Naddour, the 2016 Olympic pommel horse bronze medalist, has been banned by USA Gymnastics.

Naddour’s suspension was on grounds relating to two USA Gymnastics bylaws, including one regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and the other on interim measures before complaints are resolved, but neither the gymnast nor USA Gymnastics said why he was suspended.

According to his Twitter, Naddour was trying to contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which responds to reports of sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

“I have no idea what is happening or why, we are trying to contact safe sport for any information,” was tweeted from Naddour’s account Wednesday night. Naddour did not return messages seeking comment.

“USA Gymnastics cannot comment publicly on membership matters unless an action taken involves a public result, such as being placed on the list of individuals whose membership is suspended or who is permanently ineligible for membership,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “The U.S. Center for SafeSport has the exclusive authority to handle sexual misconduct matters for the entire U.S. Olympic movement (including gymnastics).”

Naddour, 27, also competed at the last five world championships, in addition to being an alternate for the 2012 Olympic team. He is married to two-time 2003 World champion Hollie Vise, and they have two children.

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