Getty Images

Alpine skiing World Cup to visit China as 2019-20 schedule released

Leave a comment

The Alpine skiing World Cup will visit China for the first time next season, two years before the Winter Olympics head to the world’s most populous nation for the first time.

Yanqing will host a men’s downhill and super-G on Feb. 15-16, which double as 2022 Beijing Winter Games test events.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) published this week the 2019-20 World Cup season calendars for men (here) and women (here). The first races will again be giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, the last weekend of October.

The U.S. will again hold a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vt., on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, followed by a men’s super-G, downhill and giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., from Dec. 6-8.

Mikaela Shiffrin will try to become the third woman to win four World Cup overall titles, joining legends Lindsey Vonn (four) and Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (six). Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who has not yet committed to racing next season, could go for his record-extending ninth straight overall title.

Shiffrin, 24, and Hirscher, 30, could also continue to ascend the career wins list. Shiffrin reached 60 with 17 victories last season, her best to date. Hirscher is at 67 wins. Shiffrin should pass Moser-Pröll (62) for second on the women’s list behind Vonn (82). Hirscher trails only Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark (86) between men and women.

Those will be the main season storylines after Vonn’s retirement last season and with no world championships in 2020.

The next worlds, in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2021, will include the championships debut of the parallel slalom, giving Shiffrin another potential medal event. The combined event, which has been on the chopping block for years, remains on the World Cup schedule next season and on the 2021 World Championships program.

FIS “decided to maintain and promote this discipline to make it more attractive,” it said of the combined. It scheduled seven combined races next season between men and women, its most since 2015-16.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Lindsey Vonn to release memoir

2026 Winter Olympic host: Milan-Cortina

Milan-Cortina 2026
AP
Leave a comment

Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, with Milan-Cortina winning an IOC vote over a Swedish-Latvian bid centered on Stockholm.

After Winter Games in Vancouver (2010), Sochi (2014), PyeongChang (2018) and Beijing (2022), they return to a traditional European site for the first time since Italy hosted in Torino in 2006.

The two bids were left after five others dropped out for various reasons, all in 2018: Calgary, Canada; Erzurum, Turkey; Sapporo, Japan; Graz, Austria and Sion, Switzerland.

With the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games hosts both decided two years ago (Paris for 2024, Los Angeles for 2028), next up is the 2030 Winter Games. The U.S. has already said that if it bids, it will be with Salt Lake City, which held the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Italy will host the Winter Games for a third time after Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1956 and Torino in 2006.

Its bid presentation Monday included all three Italian 2018 Olympic champions — Arianna Fontana (short track), Michela Moioli (snowboard cross) and Sofia Goggia (downhill). The presentation ended with 15-year-old short track speed skater Elisa Confortola addressing more than 80 IOC members.

Sweden has finished second or third in all seven of its Winter Olympic bid votes, including six straight from 1984 through 2002, according to the OlyMADMen. The Stockholm–Åre bid was trying to become the first Winter Games held in multiple countries, with Latvia holding bobsled, luge and skeleton.

More on the Milan-Cortina bid:

Proposed Dates: Feb. 6-22 (Olympics), March 6-15 (Paralympics)

Venues
Milan
 — Figure skating, hockey, short track
Cortina d’Ampezzo (220 miles northeast of Milan) — Alpine skiing (women), bobsled, luge, skeleton, curling, biathlon (Antholz)
Val di Fiemme (160 miles northeast of Milan) — Cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, speed skating (outdoors)
Valtellina (85 miles northeast of Milan) — Alpine skiing (men, Bormio), freestyle skiing, snowboarding

Ceremonies
Opening Ceremony — San Siro (home of AC Milan and Inter Milan)
Closing Ceremony — Verona Arena (Roman amphitheatre 90 miles east of Milan)

Slogan
“Dreaming Together”

IOC Evaluation Group Report
“Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo combine the advantages of a big European city and those of a popular mountain resort region in the Italian Alps. The candidature benefits from the region’s strong winter sports history, tradition and experience, as well as the Italians’ love and passion for sport. The project can also leverage the economic strength and prosperity of the northern Italian region. While planning is still at an early stage, the project has the potential to achieve the long-term goals of the cities and the region in line with Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm.”

MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic master schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Japan’s gymnastics worlds team: no Kohei Uchimura, Kenzo Shirai

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Not only is Kohei Uchimura going to miss the world championships, but so is 11-time world medalist Kenzo Shirai.

Japan finalized its five-man team for October’s worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, following a national-level meet this past weekend. Uchimura, arguably the greatest gymnast in history, was already out of the running, sidelined with his latest round of injuries.

Shirai, reportedly slowed by a left ankle injury this season, did compete this weekend. But he finished fifth on floor exercise and third on vault, his two best events, and did not earn one of the last two spots on the world team.

Uchimura, a two-time Olympic all-around champion with six world all-around titles, misses worlds for the first time since 2007. Shirai, a 22-year-old with four world titles between floor and vault, had competed in every worlds since debuting in 2013, just after his 17th birthday.

Without their two stars, Japan sends a relatively inexperienced team. Kazuma Kaya and Wataru Tanigawa, both 22, are the only men who have been to a worlds (and were part of the 2018 silver-medal team). The youngest member is 17-year-old Daiki Hashimoto.

Japan has earned a team medal at every Olympics and world championships since 2003, a streak bettered only by the U.S. women.

MORE: Olympic gymnastics team sizes return to five for Paris 2024

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!