Lara Gut-Behrami wins world championships super-G; Mikaela Shiffrin bronze to tie record


Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami won her first world Alpine skiing title after a late mistake from bronze medalist Mikaela Shiffrin may have cost the American a repeat gold in her first super-G in 382 days.

Gut-Behrami prevailed by .34 of a second over countrywoman Corinne Suter for her first world title in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, after the start of the championships was delayed by three days due to weather.

Shiffrin finished .47 behind in third to collect her eighth world championships medal, tying Lindsey Vonn for the most for an American.

Later Thursday, Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr, the most successful active male World Cup racer without a major title, picked up his first gold in the men’s super-G. More on that here.

Worlds continue Saturday with the women’s downhill.

ALPINE WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results

Shiffrin looked golden at the last intermediate split, where she was .36 faster than the favorite Gut-Behrami. Soon after, Shiffrin was late on her line and had to correct to make a gate, losing considerable speed for the final six gates and 15 seconds of the course.

“That looks like a mistake someone would make who hasn’t skied a lot of super-G recently,” she said on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.

The result was primarily uplifting for Shiffrin, who had about four days of super-G training leading into worlds.

She went one full year without putting on super-G skis after her last race in the discipline in January 2020, followed by her father’s death Feb. 2, the coronavirus pandemic curtailing offseason snow opportunities and a back injury last autumn.

“I am 98% satisfied, and I’m 2% a little motivated,” said Shiffrin, who is expected to race three more times at worlds — the combined on Monday, then her Olympic gold-medal events — the giant slalom next Thursday and the slalom on Feb. 20.

Gut-Behrami, who arrived at age 17 with a pair of world silver medals in 2009, notched the biggest race victory of an undulating career. Gut-Behrami, the world’s best skier in 2016 before tearing her left knee at the 2017 Worlds, won the four most recent super-Gs on the World Cup.

She was the most successful World Cup skier (30 victories) without an Olympic or world title.

“My career should not be judged by the fact whether I won one gold medal or not,” said Gut, who earned five previous world silver or bronze medals. “Today, sure I was nervous … You can sometimes have too much pressure, but it was the first time that I knew that my life wouldn’t change if I would win or not. I didn’t ski to win the gold medal. I just skied to try to do what I can. This was the big difference if I compare this year and the previous editions.”

A Swiss won the women’s super-G for the first time since its worlds debut in 1987, when the nation also went one-two with Maria Walliser and Michela Figini.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Snowboarders sue coach, USOPC in assault, harassment case

LG Snowboard-Cross FIS World Cup

Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher has filed a lawsuit accusing former snowboard coach Peter Foley of sexually assaulting, harassing and intimidating members of his team for years, while the organizations overseeing the team did nothing to stop it.

Fletcher is a plaintiff in one of two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday. One names Foley, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team and its former CEO, Tiger Shaw, as defendants. Another, filed by a former employee of USSS, names Foley, Shaw and the ski federation as defendants.

One of the lawsuits, which also accuse the defendants of sex trafficking, harassment, and covering up repeated acts of sexual assault and misconduct, allege Foley snuck into bed and sexually assaulted Fletcher, then shortly after she won her bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, approached her “and said he still remembered ‘how she was breathing,’ referring to the first time he assaulted her.”

The lawsuits describe Foley as fostering a depraved travel squad of snowboarders, in which male coaches shared beds with female athletes, crude jokes about sexual conquests were frequently shared and coaches frequently commented to the female athletes about their weight and body types.

“Male coaches, including Foley, would slap female athletes’ butts when they finished their races, even though the coaches would not similarly slap the butts of male athletes,” the lawsuit said. “Physical assault did not stop with slapping butts. Notably, a female athlete once spilled barbeque sauce on her chest while eating and a male coach approached her and licked it off her chest without warning or her consent.”

The USOPC and USSS knew of Foley’s behavior but did nothing to stop it, the lawsuit said. It depicted Foley as an all-powerful coach who could make and break athletes’ careers on the basis of how they got along off the mountain.

Foley’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press. Jacobs has previously said allegations of sexual misconduct against Foley are false.

In a statement, the USOPC said it had not seen the complaint and couldn’t comment on specific details but that “we take every allegation of abuse very seriously.”

“The USOPC is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Team USA athletes, and we are taking every step to identify, report, and eliminate abuse in our community,” the statement said.

It wasn’t until the Olympics in Beijing last year that allegations about Foley’s behavior and the culture on the snowboarding team started to emerge.

Allegations posted on Instagram by former team member Callan Chythlook-Sifsof — who, along with former team member Erin O’Malley, is a plaintiff along with Fletcher — led to Foley’s removal from the team, which he was still coaching when the games began.

That posting triggered more allegations in reporting by ESPN and spawned an AP report about how the case was handled between USSS and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which is ultimately responsible for investigating cases involving sex abuse in Olympic sports. The center has had Foley on temporary suspension since March 18, 2022.

The AP typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they have granted permission or spoken publicly, as Fletcher, Chythlook-Sifsof and O’Malley have done through a lawyer.

USSS said it was made aware of the allegations against Foley on Feb 6, 2022, and reported them to the SafeSport center.

“We are aware of the lawsuits that were filed,” USSS said in a statement. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard has not yet been served with the complaint nor has had an opportunity to fully review it. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is and will remain an organization that prioritizes the safety, health and well-being of its athletes and staff.”

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages to be determined in a jury trial.

Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

Oleksandr Abramenko

Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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