A Winter Olympian named Winter? Marathon whiz kid wins aerials World Cup.


Winter Vinecki, who ran a marathon on all seven continents, including the Antarctica Marathon at age 14, just moved a step closer to another feat: becoming the first Winter Olympian with the first name “Winter.”

Vinecki, 22, recorded her first aerials World Cup podium in Moscow on Saturday. It happened to be a victory.

“I just can’t believe it,” she said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “I don’t know how many top sixes I have had [editor’s note: seven before Saturday] and so to finally have that podium moment, let alone that first place is incredible.”

Vinecki landed a double-full full to beat a field that included the last two Olympic champions — Belarusians Alla Tsuper and Hanna Huskova — and the reigning World Cup season champion Laura Peel of Australia.

It came six days after Megan Nick earned her first World Cup victory to end a three-year drought for U.S. women. Four different American women made the podium in the first four World Cups this season. Up to four can be named to the Beijing Olympic team next year.

Vinecki ran her first 5K and completed her first triathlon at age 5. At age 12, she met U.S. Olympic aerialist Emily Cook, who convinced her to take up the high-flying ski sport.

She also kept running, becoming the first person to complete a marathon on every continent before turning 15 (with her mother, Dr. Dawn Estelle, each time).

But the turning point in her life came when she was 9. Her father, Michael, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer (and died the following year).

Vinecki, before turning 10, and her family founded the non-profit Team Winter to fight prostate cancer, raising more than $500,000. Vinecki became a public speaker, appearing on the Rachael Ray Show at age 10 and giving a TED Talk at 14.

She missed the PyeongChang Olympic team after fracturing the right side of her face in a freak summer 2017 water-ramp training accident, needing two titanium plates inserted. She now wears a protective face mask under her helmet.

There have been Olympians with the last name “Winter” and the first or last name “Summer,” but none with the first name “Winter,” according to Olympedia.org.

“A lot of what I’ve done in my athletic career, whether it be running or skiing, has always been in honor of my dad in some way,” Vinecki said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “To get out on the podium, let alone a win, just increases my platform with more awareness to my causes. It was a super memorable moment.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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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

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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.

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