Shaun White makes first halfpipe podium since 2018 Olympics

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Shaun White confirmed at the Laax Open what we already knew.

First, he is one of the U.S.’ top four male halfpipe riders, and expected to be named to his fifth Olympic team next week. Second, he will be an underdog at the Olympics.

White, the three-time Olympic snowboarding champion, finished third in Saturday’s final in Switzerland in the first contest this season that brought together all of the world’s best. That’s his first podium in five contests since returning from a three-year break from competition.

Laax Open Results: Men | Women

White scored 84 points in his first run, highlighted by his signature double McTwist 1260. He landed back-to-back double cork 1440s to win the 2018 Olympics but has not attempted that trick in three finals this season.

White cruised on his second run and did not attempt any major tricks, already assured of finishing as the top American.

Olympic favorite Ayumu Hirano of Japan won with a first-run 93.25, including back-to-back 1440s.

Hirano, a two-time Olympic halfpipe silver medalist who then competed in skateboarding at the Tokyo Games, last month became the first snowboarder to land a triple cork in a halfpipe competition.

He tried another triple cork in his second run on Saturday but fell as he descended into the bottom of the pipe.

Fellow Japanese Ruka Hirano (no relation) landed on his butt on two triple cork attempts Saturday.

Australian Scotty James and Japanese Yūto Totsuka, the last two X Games Aspen winners, did not land clean runs and finished 11th and 12th.

Also Saturday, 2018 Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim won the women’s event and confirmed she’s just as big a gold-medal favorite as four years ago.

Kim, 21, landed a pair of 1080s in her first run, scoring 90.25 points. It held on to beat a field that included Olympic medal contenders Liu Xiayu and Cai Xuetong of China and Queralt Castellet of Spain.

Kim won all six of her contests since returning last season from a 19-month break from riding a snowboard.

Neither White nor Kim is on the invite list for next week’s X Games.

ON HER TURF: Kim confirms Olympic favorite status at Laax

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

Aksel Lund Svindal
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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
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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