Jeff Shiffrin, father of Mikaela Shiffrin, dies at 65

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Jeff Shiffrin, the father of Mikaela Shiffrin, died unexpectedly on Sunday night at age 65, U.S. Ski & Snowboard confirmed.

“My family is heartbroken beyond comprehension about the unexpected passing of my kindhearted, loving, caring, patient, wonderful father,” was posted on Mikaela Shiffrin’s social media. “Our mountains, our ocean, our sunrise, our heart, our soul, our everything. He taught us so many valuable lessons…but above everything else, he taught us the golden rule: be nice, think first. This is something I will carry with me forever. He was the firm foundation of our family and we miss him terribly. Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for respecting my family’s privacy as we grieve during this unimaginable and devastating time.”

Jeff Shiffrin, a former Alpine skier at Dartmouth who became an anesthesiologist, and wife Eileen were instrumental in the skiing development of their children: Mikaela and Taylor, a former University of Denver team member.

“As far as skiing, the only thing we pushed on the kids is that you better love it, so that you’re happy doing it, and learning is a lifelong endeavor,” Jeff said before his daughter’s first Olympics in 2014, according to NBC Olympic Research.

Eileen, a former Masters-level ski racer, has been a longtime coach of Mikaela, accompanying her throughout Europe in the winters. Jeff, an avid photographer, traveled with their daughter, too, often taking photos of her and other U.S. skiers at races.

“His contributions to all aspects of the skiing and riding world are immeasurable,” according to a U.S. Ski & Snowboard release.

Jeff, Eileen and Mikaela were together for a stretch in Europe a month ago when Mikaela was struggling with pressure. She called her holiday break from racing and time with her parents “soul-healing.”

Mikaela is expected to remain in her native Colorado for the near future. Her return date to the World Cup is unknown.

Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
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Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

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The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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