Alpine Canada says no decision made on Lake Louise’s World Cup future

Lake Louise
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Canada’s Alpine skiing federation said no decision has been made on the future of its annual World Cup stop in Lake Louise, Alberta, after Austrian media reported that it will not be part of the circuit after this season.

“We have not confirmed anything beyond the event in November 2022,” an Alpine Canada spokesperson said in an email Monday. “I’m sure you can appreciate, there are several factors and moving parts, and we are not yet in a position to comment on the future of the event. What we are confident in saying is that Alpine Canada will work hard with all communities and organizing bodies to ensure that World Cup action remains in Canada.”

Austrian media reported that Lake Louise, the longest-running Alpine skiing World Cup stop in North America, will be taken off the circuit after this upcoming season. One outlet cited International Ski Federation (FIS) men’s race director Markus Waldner. Another quoted Austrian Alpine federation boss Herbert Mandl.

“We were surprised and disappointed to see reports on foreign websites fostering rumors and speculation,” Alpine Canada said in a statement. “There are several resorts in Canada, including Lake Louise, that are keen to host WC events and we are working with them to develop the right long term strategy in partnership with FIS for next season and beyond.”

FIS deferred questions about World Cup venues beyond next season to local ski officials.

Lake Louise held at least one Alpine World Cup race every year from 1993 through this past season, save 2020-21 when the tour did not visit North America due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent years, it held men’s speed races the last weekend of November and women’s speed races the first weekend of December. It is scheduled to do so again this season.

“The World Cup contract is signed yearly so there have been no discussions for years beyond 2022 at this time,” a Lake Louise Ski Resort statement read Tuesday. “The Lake Louise Ski Resort is and will continue to be a strong supporter of this event.
… We feel we will continue to be the best option to host World Cup speed events in Canada.”

In 2018, the resort announced that its downhill run would be renamed “Lake Lindsey Way” after Lindsey Vonn, who earned 18 of her 82 World Cup wins at Lake Louise in 44 career starts there.

Vonn was so successful there that, in the middle of her career, the venue started unofficially being called Lake Lindsey.

Mikaela Shiffrin and Bode Miller earned their first World Cup downhill and super-G victories at Lake Louise. Picabo Street‘s first World Cup downhill win also came there.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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