Shiffrin comes out on top in head-to-head Super-G with Vonn

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One chapter in the career of U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn came to a close on Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, but it wasn’t the kind of ending she would have chosen.

Vonn was one of many skiers on Sunday who were unable to finish the Super-G course. After making it through the most technically difficult section, Vonn misjudged her line coming out of the shadows, hit a gate and was forced to pull up.

Sunday’s Super-G marked the final time Vonn would race in Cortina d’Ampezzo. With 12 wins over 18 years of competition, Vonn holds the all-time win record at the venue. Vonn’s legacy in Cortina was honored at Saturday night’s awards ceremony, where she was overcome with emotion.

On Sunday, a disappointed Vonn made her way to the finish, where her close friend and fierce competitor, Italy’s Sofia Goggia, greeted her with a bouquet of flowers before dropping down to bow to Vonn.

The U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin, as with the previous three World Cup Super-Gs this season, found a way to win in Cortina. Racing for the first time this weekend, Shiffrin started her run .30 hundredths of a second back at the first checkpoint. But as it is with Shiffrin, she stayed strong through the end of her run, making up time and crossing the finish line to take the lead by .16 hundredths of a second.

Joining Shiffrin on the podium were Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather and Austria’s Tamara Tippler. Full results are here.

Along with Vonn, some of the best World Cup Super-G skiers also struggled to finish. The winner of Friday and Saturday’s downhill races in Cortina, Austria’s Ramona Siebenhofer followed by Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin posted back-to-back DNFs on the same turn early in their runs.

Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, a dual-podium finisher in Cortina this weekend, also skied out in the Super-G. Eleven racers in all would not cross the finish line on Sunday.

This is the 54th World Cup win for Shiffrin, which ties her with Austria’s Hermann Maier on the all-time World Cup win list.

Shiffrin is also currently leading across four categories in World Cup competition, including the overall title.

On the men’s tour, it turned out to be a second-run slugfest in slalom to close out the weekend in Wengen. In the end, France’s Clement Noel won his first World Cup event, holding off Manny Feller of Austria, while slalom World Cup points leader Marcel Hirscher slipped to third, despite having the fastest second-run time. Full results are here.

Next week the women’s World Cup heads to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to race the downhill and Super-G. Competition begins on Saturday, January 26 with the women’s downhill at 4:00 a.m. EST.

The men’s tour heads to Kitzbuehel, Austria for three races — Super-G, downhill and slalom. The Super-G gets things underway on Friday, January 25 at 5:30 a.m. EST.

Watch every race live on Olympic Channel or stream it live with NBC Sports Gold.

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Hayato Sakamoto, Japanese baseball MVP, tests positive for coronavirus

Hayato Sakamoto
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Hayato Sakamoto, an MVP of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, is one of two players from the Yomiuri Giants to test positive for the coronavirus, according to several Japanese media reports.

Sakamoto, a 31-year-old shortstop, and catcher Takumi Oshiro tested positive ahead of the NPB’s planned June 19 start to the season that had been delayed to the coronavirus.

The tests showed traces of the coronavirus, according to Kyodo News.

The Giants canceled Wednesday’s practice game with the Seibu Lions to limit the spread of the virus.

Sakamoto is the reigning Central League MVP. He has been called the Derek Jeter of Japan for playing the same position as the Yankee great and being the veteran captain of Japan’s equivalent club, the Giants, which own a record 22 Japan Series titles.

Sakamoto, who played in the last two World Baseball Classics, has been considered a lock for Japan’s baseball team at the Tokyo Games in 2021 as the most well known active player who hasn’t left for Major League Baseball. MLB is not expected to allow its top players to participate in the Olympics, which would keep the likes of Shohei Ohtani and Masahiro Tanaka off the Olympic roster.

The sport returns to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008, though it is not on the 2024 Olympic program nor guaranteed a place at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Japan reached the semifinals of all five Olympic baseball tournaments when the sport was previously on the medal program but never took gold.

In a 2018 survey, Sakamoto was ranked as Japan’s eighth-most popular athlete across all sports, foreign or domestic, active or retired.

Sky Brown, 11-year-old Olympic skateboard hopeful, suffers serious injuries in fall

Sky Brown Skateboard Fall
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Sky Brown, an 11-year-old British Olympic skateboarding hopeful, recently suffered her worst fall, requiring surgery, she said in a video posted from a hospital bed.

Brown suffered skull fractures and broke her left wrist and hand and was at first unresponsive upon arrival to a hospital, according to the BBC, which quoted her father.

Video of the fall from a skateboarding ramp was posted on her social media. She appeared to be wearing a helmet in the video.

“I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do,” Brown said. “But this was my worst fall, and I just want everyone to know that, it’s OK, don’t worry. I’m OK. It’s OK to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder. I know there’s a lot of things going on in the world right now. I want everyone to know that whatever we do, we’ve just go to do it with love and happiness.”

Brown is the 2019 World bronze medalist in the new Olympic sport’s park discipline.

Later Tuesday, Brown reposted an Instagram post from what appeared to be her father’s account. The caption of that post said Brown fell 15 feet to flat concrete.

“I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital,” the caption read. “We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive.

“4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks.”

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Last week the worst thing I could ever ever imagined happened to @skybrown . She fell about 15ft off the side of a vert ramp to flat concrete. I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital. We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive. We prayed and begged God to give Sky another chance. Word came back while she was still unconscious, multiple fractures to her skull, a broken left arm, which she broke into pieces because she used it to break her fall, broken right fingers and lacerations to her heart and lungs. 4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks. More importantly her Doctors and the trauma team say it’s a miracle how well she is dealing with the pain and recovering incredibly fast. They said it’s shocking and believe it’s because of her grit, positivity and attitude. Skys brother @oceanbrown has been so brave. He saw his sister fall to the ground lying in a pool of blood and was screaming in tears that night outside of the hospital. He has still not allowed into the hospital to see her. They miss each-other dearly, but no siblings are allowed to enter the hospital because of coronavirus. They’ve been spending hours a day on FaceTime with each other making funny faces to one another in fits of giggles and laughter. Sky promises Ocean daily that she will make a fast recovery so they can be together again. Sky is constantly joking and smiling and it’s hurts my heart to even imagine for a second a world without Sky; extremely thankful that I don’t have to. Thank you to the heroes that are the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that have tirelessly worked on her and helped her get to this point.

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