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Mikaela Shiffrin turns speed racer at Lake Louise

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Mikaela Shiffrin‘s slalom dominance consolidated, the double Olympic champion switches to speed racing, live on NBC Sports, NBC Sports Gold and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA this weekend.

Shiffrin is the headliner, expected to contest downhills on Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, Alberta. She broke through in the Canadian Rockies last December, making her first downhill podium, then winning a downhill the following day.

Lindsey Vonn normally opens her campaign in earnest at Lake Louise, where she had so much success (18 of her 82 World Cup wins in 44 starts) that the venue is often nicknamed Lake Lindsey. But a training crash last week forced Vonn to delay her farewell season debut to, at the earliest, Dec. 8.

Shiffrin added downhills and super-Gs to her repertoire in the last Olympic cycle. While her Olympic and world medals are all in slalom, giant slalom and the super combined, she harbors a goal of winning a race in every discipline in the same season.

She already has two slalom wins in as many starts this fall, opening an early lead in the World Cup overall standings as she bids for at three-peat as the world’s best all-around skier. Shiffrin, 23 years old with 45 World Cup wins, can tie retired Austrian Renate Götschl for fourth on the World Cup list with one victory this weekend.

Her primary rivals in Lake Louise may be Slovenian Ilka Stuhec, the 2017 World downhill champion who missed last season with a torn ACL, and Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, the 2016 World Cup overall champion. PyeongChang downhill gold medalist Sofia Goggia of Italy is out after breaking an ankle in October.

NBC Sports will also air live coverage of the men’s World Cup stop in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety won five World Cup giant slaloms at the venue, plus one of his three world titles in the GS. Ligety, riddled by injuries in the last Olympic cycle, eyes his first victory anywhere since October 2015.

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Tahiti chosen for Olympic surfing competition at 2024 Paris Games

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Paris 2024 Olympic organizers want the surfing competition to be held in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

It would break the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be held outside the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.

The Paris 2024 executive board approved the site Thursday — specifically, the village of Teahupo’o — and will propose it to the IOC. It beat out other applicants Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche, all part of mainland France.

Surfing will debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games but is not on the permanent Olympic program. Surfing was among sports added to the Paris 2024 program in June and could be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

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Adam Jones, five-time MLB All-Star, becomes Olympic eligible

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Should the U.S. qualify for baseball’s Olympic return, a five-time MLB All-Star could be eligible for its roster in Tokyo. And he has interest.

Outfielder Adam Jones signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s domestic league, which, unlike MLB, will take an Olympic break next summer to allow players to take part in the first Olympic baseball tournament in 12 years.

Jones, 34, made no mention of Olympic eligibility in a social media post announcing the signing. His Instagram avatar is a photo of him in a Team USA jersey from the World Baseball Classic.

Jones’ agent later said that Jones does have interest in playing for the U.S. in Tokyo, should an American team qualify in the spring.

“To play over in Japan has always been a desire of Adam’s, and the timing worked out that the Olympics happens to be played in Tokyo the first year of his contract,” Jones’ agent wrote in an email. “It wasn’t one of the factors on his decision BUT more of a [sic] addition to the overall package to decide to go.”

Jones called being part of the U.S.’ 2017 WBC title, “probably the best experience of my life so far, especially with sports,” according to The Associated Press. He was one of five players to be on the U.S. team at each of the last two World Baseball Classics.

The U.S. still faces a difficult task to qualify for the Tokyo Games. It lost to Mexico last month in its first of up to three chances at qualifying tournaments, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.

Major Leaguers are not expected to be made available for qualifying or for the Tokyo Games.

The next two qualifying tournaments will be in late March (an Americas qualifier in Arizona) and early April (a final, global qualifying event in Chinese Taipei). It remains to be seen how MLB clubs will go about releasing minor leaguers for a tournament that will take place during spring training.

Jones could become the third player with prior MLB All-Star experience to compete at the Olympics from any nation, joining Australian catcher Dave Nilsson and Canadian pitcher Jason Dickson.

Jones made five All-Star teams during an 11-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles from 2008-18 before playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

Many players competed at the Olympics before making an MLB All-Star team, including Stephen Strasburg and Jason Giambi.

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