Mikaela Shiffrin chases record with busy schedule, men race Kitzbuehel; stream info

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin, who is tied with Lindsey Vonn for the most career women’s Alpine skiing World Cup wins (82), plans to race seven times in 10 days starting this weekend.

Shiffrin, after taking last weekend off, is set for downhills on Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which will be the 2026 Winter Olympic venue.

Then Shiffrin returns to her primary technical events with two giant slaloms on Jan. 24-25 in Kronplatz, Italy, and two slaloms on Jan. 28-29 in Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Republic. After that, it’s the world championships in France.

This season, Shiffrin has eight wins in 16 starts — four giant slaloms, three giant slaloms and a super-G. In her career in Cortina, Shiffrin has three speed event podiums (one win) in seven starts between the World Cup and world championships.

The only Alpine skier with more World Cup victories than Shiffrin and Vonn is Swede Ingemar Stenmark, who won 86 times in the 1970s and ’80s.

This weekend also boasts the most famous stop on the men’s World Cup: the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel, Austria, live on Peacock.

The daunting Streif hosts downhills on Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s slalom.

The Streif is a two-minute, two-mile test of guts: a 3,000-foot drop at an average 65 miles per hour (and maxing out much faster than that). Crashes are commonplace. A helicopter is ready to airlift skiers to the nearest hospital.

Daron Rahlves is the only American to win the Hahnenkamm World Cup downhill (in 2003). The last American to make a Hahnenkamm downhill podium was Bode Miller in 2014. An American man didn’t make any World Cup podium in 2022, snapping a streak of 23 consecutive years with at least one top-three finish across the circuit.

Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won four of the six World Cup downhills so far this season and one of the two Hahnenkamm downhills last season. Swiss Beat Feuz, the Olympic downhill champion who won three of the last four Hahnenkamms, plans to retire after this weekend’s races.

Alpine Skiing Broadcast Schedule (all times Eastern)

Friday Women’s DH — Cortina d’Ampezzo Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Men’s DH — Kitzbühel Peacock 5:30 a.m.
Saturday Women’s DH — Cortina d’Ampezzo Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Men’s DH — Kitzbühel Peacock 5:30 a.m.
Men’s DH — Kitzbühel NBC 5 p.m.*
Sunday Men’s SL (Run 1) — Kitzbühel Peacock 4:30 a.m.
Women’s SG — Cortina d’Ampezzo Skiandsnowboard.live 5:30 a.m.
Men’s SL (Run 2) — Kitzbühel Peacock 7:30 a.m.

*Delayed broadcast.

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Scotty James wins fifth X Games snowboard halfpipe title

Scotty James
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Scotty James doesn’t have Olympic gold, but he remains king of the X Games halfpipe.

James, the Australian snowboarder who took bronze and silver at the last two Olympics, earned his fifth Aspen gold, repeating as champ of the biggest annual contest under falling snow in the Colorado Rockies. Only the retired Shaun White has more X Games men’s snowboard halfpipe titles with eight.

Nobody on Friday night attempted a triple cork, which was first done in competition by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano last season en route to the Olympic title. Hirano placed sixth Friday.

“It was a tough night, pretty interesting conditions,” James said. “Had to adjust the game plan. The show goes on.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression over the course of a three-run jam session for the entire field rather than scoring individual runs.

Earlier, Olympic gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand repeated as women’s snowboard slopestyle champion, passing Olympic bronze medalist Tess Coady of Australia on the final run of the competition. Sadowski-Synnott, the only snowboarder or skier to win Olympic, world and X Games slopestyle titles, capped her finale with back-to-back 900s.

The competition lacked 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion Jamie Anderson, who announced her pregnancy last month.

Canada’s Megan Oldham landed the first triple cork in women’s ski big air competition history to beat Olympic silver medalist Tess Ledeux of France, according to commentators. Oldham, a 21-year-old ex-gymnast, was fourth at the Olympics.

Eileen Gu, the Olympic champion from China, did not compete but is entered in halfpipe and slopestyle later this weekend.

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Isabeau Levito wins U.S. figure skating title at age 15, followed by comeback stories

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Isabeau Levito won her first U.S. figure skating title at age 15, cementing her status as the new leading American woman to open the new Olympic cycle.

Levito, the world junior champion, tallied 223.33 points between two strong programs in San Jose, California. She distanced two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell, who went 19 months between competitions due to foot and ankle injuries in 2021 and 2022 and scored 213.12.

Tennell was just two hundredths behind Levito after Thursday’s short but had multiple jumping errors in the free skate.

Levito followed her as last to go in the free and nailed the most pressure-packed performance of her young career, including the hardest jump combination done of the entire field. She didn’t receive a single negative mark from a judge for her 19 technical elements in her two programs.

Moments later, she was in tears backstage.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Scores | Broadcast Schedule

“I was just so proud of myself for staying so calm and staying so focused, doing exactly what I aimed to do,” Levito, who hasn’t finished off the podium in more than 20 events dating to November 2016, said on NBC. “I’m ready to start bouncing off the walls.”

Amber Glenn, 23, placed third and will likely become the oldest U.S. women’s singles skater to make her world championships debut in at least 45 years. Glenn botched her 11th attempt to join the list of U.S. women to land a clean triple Axel (tally according to Skatingscores.com) but still moved up from fourth after the short program, passing Starr Andrews.

Last year, Glenn entered nationals as the fourth-ranked U.S. woman and a hopeful for the three-woman Olympic team. She placed 14th in the short program, competing unknowingly with COVID-19, then tested positive and withdrew before the free skate.

In 2021, Glenn was the U.S. silver medalist, yet passed over for a spot on the two-woman world team in favor of the more experienced Karen Chen, who finished 35 hundredths behind Glenn at those nationals.

Levito, Tennell and Glenn are expected to make up the team for March’s world championships, decided by a committee.

Gracie Gold, a two-time U.S. champion who was fifth after the short program, popped a pair of planned triple Lutzes and dropped to eighth.

None of the three 2022 U.S. Olympians competed. Alysa Liu and Mariah Bell retired. Chen is a student at Cornell and might not return.

Nationals continue Saturday with the free dance and pairs’ free skate, live on NBC Sports and Peacock.

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