Youth Movement: Lucas Braathen gets first World Cup win in Soelden

Lucas Braathen
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Norwegian Lucas Braathen signaled his arrival and further ushered in a new generation of male Alpine skiers by notching his first World Cup podium, a victory at the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Braathen, 20, jumped from fifth after the first run to win by .05 over fellow rising star Marco Odermatt of Switzerland on the Rettenbach glacier. Swiss veteran Gino Caviezel was third, .46 behind for his first podium at age 28.

Full results are here.

“Victory is too much to ask for,” said Braathen, who has a Brazilian mother and grew up playing soccer. “I know that my mental side is strong. I know that my technical skiing has improved a lot. I knew that I was capable of a podium.”

Braathen became the first male World Cup race winner born in the 2000s. Plus, the youngest man to win a World Cup since countryman Henrik Kristoffersen six years ago.

In 2019, Braathen earned world junior silver and bronze medals in the super-G and the combined. Last season, he recorded his first World Cup top-10 in a parallel race, then his best finish — fourth — in a slalom.

“Goal for this season was, obviously, managing my first podiums, establishing myself in consecutive top-fives, top-10s,” Braathen said, noting a focus on slalom, GS and the junior worlds.

Braathen and Odermatt, 23, outperformed the top skiers in recent seasons, the veterans tasked with leading the tour after eight-time World Cup overall champion Marcel Hirscher‘s retirement last year.

France’s Alexis Pinturault was fourth. Kristoffersen tied for fifth. Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, last season’s surprise overall winner whose strengths are downhill and super-G, failed to finish his first run.

A year after Austria failed to put a man in the top 10 in Soelden for the first time, the powerhouse dipped further to a best finish of 17th. Hirscher is missed.

Tommy Ford was the top American in 22nd overall. Ted Ligety, a four-time Soelden winner, was 10th in the first run and lost his left ski early in his second run.

Odermatt, who won four individual titles at the 2018 World Junior Championships, backed up a strong 2019-20 season, where he won the Beaver Creek super-G and placed second in a GS.

“We’re here to stay, and we’re here to do damage,” Braathen said of the youth group.

The Alpine skiing World Cup returns Nov. 13-14 with men’s and women’s parallel events, also in Austria.

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Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

Aksel Lund Svindal

Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup

The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final