With third mass start world title, Joey Mantia now has more than any other man or woman

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Joey Mantia had been struggling to finish his races with any motivation this season after a December bout of COVID-19 left him fatigued, but it was his finish that earned him an unprecedented third mass start speed skating world title on Saturday in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

At 35 years and 6 days of age, Mantia became the second oldest speed skating world champion in a singular individual event.

Hanging between seventh and 12th for much of the race and never making any real movement during the first 10 laps, the 35-year-old American appeared not to be a threat in the 16-man field. With six laps to go, Mantia had started moving up and was jockeying between fifth and sixth position.

He was back in ninth with less than three laps to go as the action intensified. When the bell rang for the final lap, Mantia found the drive he had been seeking all season. He broke away, quickly passing five other skaters to stake his claim at the front, where he separated himself and solidly remained until the finish.

Mantia crossed the line in 7:32.47, screaming “Yeah!” and pounding his chest in victory as “Born in the USA” began to play in the Thialf arena. The Netherlands’ Arjan Stroetinga, 39, was 0.3 seconds behind for the silver, followed by Belgian Bart Swings, just 0.06 after Stroetinga. Last year’s world champion, Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma, was in the top three for much of the race but would finish in seventh.

In an event that has been on the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships program since 2015 and the Olympic program since 2018, Mantia is now the first man or woman to win three world championship gold medals. No other man has won more than once.

He is now one of 10 men to win three or more world titles in the same individual event in the world championships’ 25-year history. Mantia won the event in 2017 and 2019 before placing fifth on home ice last season.

After winning three medals in the event on last season’s World Cup tour and finishing second in the standings, Mantia failed to medal in either of this season’s World Cups, both held in January in Heerenveen. His fourth place at the final one was impressive considering he had spent two weeks almost entirely on his couch just one month prior while he was dealing with COVID-19, which has left him fatigued and groggy, and often with no motivation for a final kick at the end of a race.

“I skated the race great, but I just had nothing left at the end of the race to make any kind of move,” he told NBCSports.com last week. “That’s normally not like me at all.”

Mantia’s fourth career world championship medal (he won bronze in last year’s 1500m) tie him for third on the U.S. men’s all-time single distance list with Chad Hedrick and Jonathan Kuck, though his three golds are second only to Shani Davis, who won 15 total, including eight golds, in his career.

Earlier in the day, Mantia’s longtime teammate Brittany Bowe won her record-tying third 1000m world title in 1:14.128. Kai Verbij of the Netherlands took the men’s 1000m in 1:08.052 after winning it in 2019. His teammate Marijke Groenewoud won the women’s mass start in 8:43.150 for her first world championship medal.

Mantia and Bowe are both expected to be factors in Sunday’s 1500m, which can be seen on Peacock.

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Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country

Yuriy Cheban
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Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.

“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.

“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”

Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.

He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.

Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine — four golds and five total.

All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.

Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt
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NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek CNBC, Peacock 4 p.m.*
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

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