Mikaela Shiffrin gets first World Cup win since January


When Mikaela Shiffrin heard an announcer declare her the winner — for the first time since January — the first feeling was sadness.

Shiffrin earned her 67th victory — tying for third on the all-time list — and her first since the Feb. 2 death of her father, taking a giant slalom in Courchevel, France, on Monday.

She prevailed by .82 of a second over Italian Federica Brignone combining times from two runs. Shiffrin had a subdued reaction, later dropping to her knees.

“After everything, it’s hard to believe that I could get back to this point,” she said in one of several emotional post-race interviews. “I’m really excited, but it’s also pretty sad because … I guess that’s obvious. So I guess we say bittersweet. That’s a little bit the name of the day.”

France’s Tessa Worley took third behind Shiffrin, who tied recently retired (but sparking comeback speculation) Austrian Marcel Hirscher at 67 World Cup wins. Only Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82) have more victories.

“It feels like the first win of my life,” Shiffrin said. “67, that makes it seem like today is just another day in the journey, and it doesn’t feel like that.”

Full results are here.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Shiffrin said after posting the fastest first run by .07 over Italian Marta Bassino. “There’s still some pieces where my brain is like, I don’t know, going somewhere away from the course for a second, and then I have to come back. It takes a lot of energy to keep my focus.”

Shiffrin sat out the rest of the 2019-20 World Cup races after the death of her father, Jeff. She missed this season’s first race, also a GS, in Austria on Oct. 17 after tweaking her back in training. Shiffrin then placed second, fifth and fourth in her first three starts — after a 300-day break between races — coming into Monday.

“I’m really proud,” she said. “I’m happy also for my team and coaches and everybody who has been working so hard to basically lift me up and get me back to this point. Some days I feel like they have to carry me to the start and just send me down the course and pick me back up in the finish.”

Rival Petra Vlhova won two of those early races with Shiffrin, grabbing hold of the World Cup overall standings lead. But the Slovakian struggled in her first run Monday and skied out just before the finish.

Bassino won the season’s previous two GS races, but she fell late in the second run.

The World Cup moves to Val d’Isere for two downhills and a super-G next weekend. Shiffrin is sitting out speed races for now. Her next start will likely come Dec. 28 in Semmering, Austria.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Summer McIntosh breaks 400m individual medley world record, extends historic week

Summer McIntosh

Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh broke her second world record this week, lowering the 400m individual medley mark on Saturday.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old who trains in Sarasota, Florida, clocked 4 minutes, 25.87 seconds at the Canadian Championships in Toronto.

She took down Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s world record of 4:26.36 from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Before Saturday, McIntosh had the fourth-fastest time in history of 4:28.61.

“It’s always nice to set world records,” McIntosh said.

On Tuesday, McIntosh broke the 400m freestyle world record, becoming the youngest swimmer to break a world record in an individual Olympic event since Katie Ledecky in 2013.

McIntosh also this week became the fourth-fastest woman in history in the 200m individual medley and the eighth-fastest woman in history in the 200m butterfly.

In each of her four races this week, she also broke the world junior record as the fastest woman in history under the age of 19.

She is entered to swim the 200m free on the meet’s final day on Sunday. She is already the eighth-fastest woman in history in that event.

McIntosh, whose mom swam the 1984 Olympic 200m fly and whose sister competed at last week’s world figure skating championships, placed fourth in the Tokyo Olympic 400m free at age 14.

Last summer, she won the 200m fly and 400m IM at the world championships, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

This summer, she could be at the center of a showdown in the 400m free at the world championships with reigning world champion Ledecky and reigning Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus of Australia. They are the three fastest women in history in the event.

Around age 7, McIntosh transcribed Ledecky quotes and put them on her wall.

MORE: McIntosh chose swimming and became Canada’s big splash

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Hilary Knight leads new-look U.S. women’s hockey roster for world championship

Hilary Knight

Hilary Knight headlines a U.S. women’s hockey roster for this month’s world championship that lacks some of the biggest names from last year’s Olympic silver-medal team. Changes have been made as the U.S. looks to end losing streaks to Canada, both overall and in major finals.

The full roster is here. Worlds start Wednesday in Brampton, Ontario, and run through the gold-medal game on April 16.

It was already known that the team would be without stalwart forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield, who plans to return to the national team after having her first child this summer, and Brianna Decker, who announced her retirement last month.

Notable cuts include the No. 1 goalies from the last two Olympics: Alex Cavallini, who returned from Christmas childbirth for the tryout camp this past week, and Maddie Rooney, the breakout of the 2018 Olympic champion team.

Cavallini, 31, was bidding to become the first player to make an Olympic or world team after childbirth since Jenny Potter, who played at the Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010 as a mom, plus at several world championships, including less than three months after childbirth in 2007.

Forward Hannah Brandt, who played on the top line at last year’s Olympics with Knight and Coyne Schofield, also didn’t make the team.

In all, 13 of the 25 players on the team are Olympians, including three-time Olympic medalists forward Amanda Kessel and defender Lee Stecklein.

The next generation includes forward Taylor Heise, 23, who led the 2022 World Championship with seven goals and was the 2022 NCAA Player of the Year at Minnesota.

The team includes two teens — 19-year-old defender Haley Winn and 18-year-old forward Tessa Janecke — who were also the only teens at last week’s 46-player tryout camp. Janecke, a Penn State freshman, is set to become the youngest U.S. forward to play at an Olympics or worlds since Brandt in 2012.

Abbey Levy, a 6-foot-1 goalie from Boston College, made her first world team, joining veterans Nicole Hensley and Aerin Frankel.

Last summer, Canada repeated as world champion by beating the U.S. in the final, six months after beating the U.S. in the Olympic final. Canada is on its longest global title streak since winning all five Olympic or world titles between 1999 and 2004.

Also at last summer’s worlds, the 33-year-old Knight broke the career world championship record for points (now up to 89). She also has the most goals in world championship history (53). Knight, already the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s hockey player in history, will become the second-oldest American to play at a worlds after Cammi Granato, who was 34 at her last worlds in 2005.

The Canadians are on a four-game win streak versus the Americans, capping a comeback in their recent seven-game rivalry series from down three games to none. Their 5-0 win in the decider in February was their largest margin of victory over the U.S. since 2005.

Last May, former AHL coach John Wroblewski was named U.S. head coach to succeed Joel Johnson, the Olympic coach.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!