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Lindsey Vonn set to make season debut next Friday

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Perhaps no one is antsier to race at this point in the season than Lindsey Vonn. Planning to make her competitive debut this weekend in St. Anton, Austria after sitting out the first part of the season with a knee injury, Vonn’s plans were pushed back due to weather-related cancellations.

She’s now expected to compete in her first event of the season on Friday, January 18, in a downhill race in Italy, which was added to the schedule to replace the cancelled one in St. Anton. Vonn, 34, is planning to compete in another downhill on Saturday, January 19, and the super-G on Sunday.

A three-time Olympic medalist and the most decorated woman on the World Cup circuit, Vonn is still eyeing Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins (she currently has 82), though she has said this will be her final full competitive season, whether she surpasses Stenmark or not.

“Unfortunately, my body can’t take it anymore. I had too many surgeries,” Vonn told the AP. “It’s pretty painful to ski every day.

“I want to be able to ski with my kids one day, and I want to be able to be active and not be in pain all the time. I am in the last 50 meters of my marathon career and I am fighting my way until the end and I am not giving up. But at the same time, I know where the finish line is, and that is Lake Louise next year.”

Vonn missed the World Cup at Lake Louise, her favorite venue, earlier this season after injuring her knee in November. The Alberta ski resort named its downhill run Lake Lindsey Way in honor of Vonn, who has had more victories at Lake Louise than anywhere else (18 of her 82 World Cup wins). The women’s speed races in Lake Louise next season are scheduled for early December.

 

 

IOC pledges €500,000 to help restore Notre Dame ahead of 2024 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.

NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patrick Kane joined by NHL All-Stars on world championship roster

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NHL All-Stars Jack EichelRyan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.

Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.

Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.

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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster
Forwards

Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)

Defensemen
Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Goalies
Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)