Mikaela Shiffrin thankful for patients’ stories about her father

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In the last three months, many people contacted Mikaela Shiffrin and her family to share stories about her late father, Jeff. Shiffrin learned more about her dad, and for that, she’s thankful.

Plenty of the messages came from Jeff’s patients over the years. He was an anesthesiologist.

“He was there for the moments when people go in for surgery when they’re the most scared,” Shiffrin told Rebecca Lowe on NBCSN’s Lunch Talk Live on Tuesday. “He was the person who made them feel comfortable. So many people got in touch with us to say, ‘I don’t know your dad, but he was my anesthesiologist. He changed his schedule around because he recognized my name through some strange kind of connection from way back when, family connection, or I don’t know. He saw my name on the surgery list, and he changed his schedule around just so he could come see me because he knew I was alone and didn’t have family and he wanted to make me more comfortable.’

“Basically thanking him through us, I guess,” she continued. “Obviously, he’s so important to us and to my family, but when you see the broader impact, that’s really special. That’s been a really, really special thing. At the same time, you wish you could have known those things when he was here.”

Some of Shiffrin’s favorite moments with her dad came at the Olympics in 2014 and 2018. Not necessarily seeing him at her races, but away from the competition and the cameras.

“The quiet moments,” she said. “When I got to kind of break way from the Olympics, all the Olympic hype and just watch a TV show with my parents or a movie or make some pasta or something. The normal-life moments that you have, but you have it during the Olympics.”

Shiffrin said in early March that the stories she’s heard about her dad became, in many ways, her family’s lifeline.

“I’d like to say that this will be something that I can use as strength,” in future races, she said Tuesday, “but I think there’s going to be moments where everything is a little bit harder because of it, too.”

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Finn Christian Jagge, 1992 Olympic slalom champion, dies at 54

Finn Christian Jagge
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Finn Christian Jagge, the surprise 1992 Olympic slalom champion, has died at age 54, according to Norway’s Olympic Committee.

Jagge’s wife, Trine-Lise Jagge, posted on Facebook that he died of an acute illness.

Jagge, then 25, won the slalom at the Albertville Games in Savoie, France, stunning defending champion Alberto Tomba of Italy. Jagge had the fastest first run by 1.07 seconds and relegated Tomba to silver by .28 of a second after the second run. Tomba was going for his fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Jagge’s father won a Norwegian record 42 national tennis championships. His mother competed in Alpine skiing at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Jagge won his first Norwegian national title at age 18. After knee and back injuries, he won seven World Cup slaloms in the 1990s, retiring in 2000.

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Posted by Trine-Lise Jagge on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Olympian, world champion snowboarder, drowns in spearfishing accident

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Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, drowned while spearfishing on Australia’s Gold Coast on Wednesday.

A police spokesperson said a 32-year-old man, later identified as Pullin, was unresponsive when taken from the water and died despite receiving CPR from lifeguards and emergency treatment from paramedics.

The accident happened at Palm Beach around 10:40 a.m. local time. Pullin had been diving on an artificial reef when he was found by a snorkeler.

“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in,” police said. “He didn’t have an oxygen mask. We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef.”

Pullin competed in Olympic snowboard cross in 2010, 2014 and 2018 with a best finish of sixth. He won back-to-back world titles in 2011 and 2013. He carried Australia’s flag at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014.

“We are all in shock today as one of the most beloved members of our close snow sport community, Chumpy, has sadly lost his life in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Snow Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said in a statement. “He was a mentor to so many of our younger snowboarders, giving up his time to coach and provide advice to our future Olympians. His loss will be felt right across our community.

“We know it won’t just be here in Australia that Chumpy’s legacy will be remembered, but throughout the international snowboarding community. It wasn’t just his ability to deliver results that will be missed, but his leadership and the path that he laid for so many.”

His parents owned a ski and snowboard shop in the Australian Alps, where Pullin began riding at age 8. Older friends gave him the nickname “Chumpy,” and it stuck.

Pullin, who spent time as a frontman for the surf-reggae band love Charli, often brought a guitar with him while traveling for competitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.