Beat Feuz
AP

Feuz, Schmidhofer secure downhill titles at World Cup Finals

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SOLDEU, Andorra (AP) — Beat Feuz and Nicole Schmidhofer wrapped up the season-long downhill titles at the World Cup Finals despite neither winning a race on Wednesday.

Feuz, only needing a top-12 result, finished sixth in the men’s race, which was won by Dominik Paris of Italy.

Schmidhofer clinched the title as soon as her only remaining rival, Austrian teammate Ramona Siebenhofer, failed to get the victory she needed. Another Austrian, Mirjam Puchner, won the race.

Feuz finished 0.64 seconds behind Paris in sixth but the Swiss skier, leading the standings by 80 points going into the race, secured the season-long title for the second straight year.

“It’s incredible for me to have two globes now. Dominik is in a super form and I am really proud to have won it,” said Feuz, who led Paris by only 20 points in the final standings.

Feuz won only one race this season, in Beaver Creek in November, but he had top-three results in 11 of the last 13 races. Last week, he became the first skier since Stephan Eberharter of Austria in 2004 to finish on the podium in six straight downhills.

“Dominik won many races this year. He won four, I won just one,” Feuz said. “But the important thing was to be on the podium in six of the eight races this season. Consistency is my advantage.”

Feuz won his first downhill title last year, also in the season-ending race, when he beat challenger Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway.

In Wednesday’s race, Paris beat world champion Kjetil Jansrud of Norway by 0.34 seconds, with Otmar Striedinger of Austria 0.41 behind in third.

He became the first Italian skier to win four downhills in one campaign, beating the previous record set by Kristian Ghedina in the 1996-97 season and matched by Christof Innerhofer in 2012-13.

Paris has yet to win a crystal globe, but has a chance to do so in Thursday’ super-G, where he leads the standings.

Leading the women’s standings by 90 points, Schmidhofer only could have lost the title if Siebenhofer had won the final race.

But Siebenhofer lost any hope for a victory when she had to brake after landing a jump in order to make the upcoming gate. She finished more than two seconds off the lead and even failed to score World Cup points.

Schmidhofer finished 11th.

Puchner beat Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany by 0.03 seconds. Corinne Suter of Switzerland was third, 0.08 behind.

It’s the first World Cup title for the Austrian women’s team since Eva-Maria Brem won the giant slalom globe in 2016, and the first downhill title since Renate Goetschl won it in 2007.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Schmidhofer said. “But to be named in one sentence with Goetschl is something really special. She won in 2007 when I won the junior world title.”

Schmidhofer is also in contention for the super-G title, where Mikaela Shiffrin leads the standings.

The women’s downhill was interrupted for 15 minutes after Connie Huetter crashed and landed in the safety netting. The Austrian was transported off the hill with an apparent knee injury. Huetter was out with injuries twice before this season and missed last month’s world championships after tearing an ACL in her right knee in January.

The men’s and women’s super-G races are scheduled for Thursday.

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)