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Sofia Goggia, Viktoria Rebensburg suffer season-ending crashes in super-G

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Olympic champions Sofia Goggia and Viktoria Rebensburg suffered season-ending injuries from crashes in a World Cup super-G in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday.

Goggia, the 2018 Olympic downhill champion from Italy, suffered a fracture in her left arm, according to the International Ski Federation. Rebensburg, the 2010 Olympic giant slalom champion from Germany, suffered a fracture in one of her tibias, according to her national federation.

Goggia previously had four knee surgeries, missed the 2014 Olympics with an ACL tear and sat out the first two months of the 2018-19 season after fracturing her right ankle in a training fall.

Rebensburg won Saturday’s downhill in Garmisch and has been one of Mikaela Shiffrin‘s giant slalom rivals for several seasons.

Swiss Corinne Suter won Saturday’s race to move into first place in the World Cup super-G standings. Full results are here.

Suter leads both the downhill and super-G standings despite never winning a World Cup race before this season, though she did earn silver and bronze medals at the 2019 World Championships.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for a giant slalom and slalom next Saturday and Sunday.

Shiffrin’s status for those events is unknown following the unexpected death of her father, Jeff, last Sunday.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly labeled Suter as Austrian.

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Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, who defected, eyes Tokyo Games as German or refugee

AP
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LÜNEN, Germany (AP) — Iran’s only female Olympic medalist said Friday she wants to compete for Germany after defecting from her native country.

Kimia Alizadeh is trying to rebuild her life and career after she announced this month she had left Iran, citing sexism on the part of officials there.

“Even if I do not make it to the Olympics, it does not matter because I have made up my mind,” Alizadeh said at a meeting with journalists at a taekwondo club.

“I am sure that I will be judged by many, but I am just 21 years old and can attend world tournaments and future Olympics. However, I will spare no effort to get the best result at this time as well.”

She added she doesn’t expect ever to compete in Iran again.

Alizadeh was just 18 when she won bronze in taekwondo at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, catapulting her to instant fame at home. Despite Iran’s long history of victories in men’s wrestling and weightlifting, no Iranian woman had ever won a medal before.

However, Alizadeh was frustrated with life in Iran despite her Olympic success. In an Instagram post this month announcing she had left Iran, she accused Iranian officials of sexism and criticized wearing the mandatory hijab headscarf.

Alizadeh hasn’t given up hope of being able to compete at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo. However, getting there would require highly unusual exemptions from the usual rules on nationality switches and qualification, regardless of whether she tries to represent Germany or the International Olympic Committee’s refugee team.

Alizadeh spent time in the Netherlands before heading to Germany this week to meet with taekwondo officials there. The German Taekwondo Union has spoken up in favor of Alizadeh staying in the country in what it calls a first step toward her gaining nationality and becoming eligible to compete for Germany.

“If the German government assists me and I can go through this process as fast as possible, I might be able to make it to the Olympics, too,” she said.

In recent years, many Iranian athletes have left their country, citing government pressure. In September, the former world judo champion Saeed Mollaei moved to Germany after walking off the Iranian team at the world championships in Japan. He said Iranian officials had tried to force him to withdraw so as not to compete against an Israeli opponent.

Alireza Faghani, an Iranian international soccer referee, also left Iran for Australia last year.

Alizadeh said she just wants “a peaceful life,” and she’s not looking back.

“I have a great feeling to have made a decision for my life that would definitely change my future,” she said. “I think it is not even clear enough now and. in the years to come, I will understand what a good decision I made.”

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Roland Matthes, 8-time Olympic medalist swimmer, dies at 69

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Roland Matthes, an East German swimmer who swept the backstrokes at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, died Friday after a brief illness at age 69, according to Germany’s swimming federation.

Matthes went undefeated in the backstroke from 1967 through 1974, a run that included seven total Olympic medals between Mexico City and Munich. American John Naber ended the streak, then helped relegate Matthes to 100m back bronze at his last Olympics in 1976.

Matthes, who was married to fellow East German swim star Kornelia Ender for four years, lowered the 100m back and 200m back world records a combined 16 times. He earned the nickname “Rolls-Royce of Swimming” for his elegant technique.

He remains the only swimmer, male or female, to sweep the backstrokes at multiple Olympics.

In retirement, Matthes was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and German Sports Hall of Fame. He also became an orthopedic surgeon.