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China’s first World Cup races canceled amid coronavirus concern

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Alpine skiing joined a long list of sports juggling schedules in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak as the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced Wednesday that the first World Cup Alpine races set for China would be canceled.

The course in Yanqing, China, will be the Olympic course in the 2022 Winter Games. A men’s downhill and super-G had been scheduled for Feb. 15-16.

The situation in China, where the coronavirus death toll is now well over 100 and the number of confirmed cases is more than 6,000, has changed rapidly. Last weekend, FIS general secretary Sarah Lewis described the possibility of canceling the event as “low risk.”

Yanqing hosted its first competition, the Chinese National Winter Games, Jan. 16-20.

“Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, we have been paying close attention to its impact on the 2019/2020 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Yanqing and have taken active precautionary measures under the guidelines of local health and disease control authorities,” Yanging organizers said. “At present, the outbreak has not ended and Beijing municipal government is taking proactive measures to contain the spread of the virus. We take the health of athletes, coaches, journalists, fans, and staff seriously. FIS, the Chinese Ski Association, and the Yanqing Organising Committee have therefore come to the decision to cancel the event.”

Women’s races are scheduled for Yanqing next season, and the FIS said it would work to schedule men’s races on the Olympic slope as well.

The FIS said it would announce at a later date a possible “rescheduling” of the Feb. 15-16 races, but with no free weekends on the World Cup schedule, those races would almost certainly be set for another venue on the same weekend rather than a later date in China.

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Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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