Peter Foley, longtime U.S. snowboard coach, no longer with U.S. Ski and Snowboard

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Peter Foley, the founding coach of the U.S. snowboard team in 1994 and a longtime coach of the snowboard cross program, is no longer with U.S. Ski and Snowboard.

As of last Sunday, “Peter Foley is no longer employed by U.S. Ski and Snowboard,” the organization said in a statement. “Mr. Foley has been on a leave of absence since February 21, 2022.”

Rob Fagen was named interim head coach while a search is on for a new snowboard cross head coach.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard did not say why Foley, its 2021 Coach of the Year in snowboarding, was no longer with the program, nor why he was on a leave of absence.

Last Friday, Foley was issued a temporary suspension by the U.S. Center for SafeSport due to allegations of misconduct that it did not specify. The center opened in 2017 to handle harassment and other abuse allegations inside U.S. sports.

During last month’s Olympics, U.S. Ski and Snowboard was investigating allegations that Foley took naked pictures of female athletes and that Olympic snowboard cross rider Hagen Kearney used racist language to provoke a teammate in 2014.

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, a retired 2010 Olympian, wrote in a February Instagram post that in addition to taking the photos, Foley had made inappropriate comments, and that Kearney repeatedly used the N-word to “intentionally get under my skin.”

Chythlook-Sifsof is from Alaska and describes herself as Yupik and Inupiaq.

Nine days before Foley was put on leave, U.S. Ski & Snowboard released a statement during the Games that said it “takes all allegations seriously. Peter Foley remains as U.S. Snowboardcross team head coach while all recent allegations are being investigated.”

Foley said during the Games that he was surprised by the allegations in a text to The Associated Press.

“I vehemently deny the allegations,” he continued. “I’m doing my best to concentrate on supporting the athletes at the Olympics.”

Kearney posted on Instagram during the Olympics that he faced expulsion from the team after the episode with Chythlook-Sifsof, and apologized shortly after.

“I did not have the same head on my shoulders back then as I do now and Callan was a huge part of me changing and growing as a human,” Kearney said.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement during the Olympics: “We take all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and follow protocols to ensure it is reported and managed properly.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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