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Another Miracle on Ice player’s Olympic gold medal being auctioned

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Steve Christoff‘s Olympic gold medal is going up for auction again.

The Miracle on Ice forward’s medal and his final jersey are part of Goldin Auctions’ 2020 Winter Auction from next Monday to Feb. 22 at GoldinAuctions.com. The auction ends on the 40th anniversary of the U.S.’ 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid.

The medal and jersey were consigned by somebody other than Christoff, according to Goldin. Christoff’s gold medal was previously put up for auction in 2013 and 2017, but did not sell either time, according to those websites.

Christoff starred in the last game of the 1980 Olympics, a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Finland to clinch the gold. He scored the first U.S. goal and assisted on the last one.

He was also the U.S.’ leading scorer in its pre-Olympic slate of 56 games, tallying 35 goals, according to Wayne Coffey‘s book “The Boys of Winter.”

Christoff, a standout for Herb Brooks‘ 1979 NCAA title team at Minnesota, would become the model for the trophy for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top male college hockey player. Christoff played parts of five NHL seasons with the Minnesota North Stars, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings in the 1980s before becoming a pilot.

At least two of Christoff’s 1980 Olympic teammates previously sold their gold medals.

Mark Pavelich‘s medal was auctioned for $262,900 in May 2014. Mark Wells‘ medal was auctioned for $310,700 in November 2010, after he sold it privately for about a reported $40,000.

Captain Mike Eruzione sold his stick from the U.S.-Soviet Union game and his jersey from the final game against Finland to a 9-year-old boy named Seven in 2013, but not his gold medal.

Goalie Jim Craig and Dave Christian put their medals up for auction, but they reportedly did not meet minimum reserve prices and were not sold.

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Steve Christoff
Courtesty Goldin Auctions
Steve Christoff
Courtesty Goldin Auctions

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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