Mikaela Shiffrin just misses Killington giant slalom podium

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Mikaela Shiffrin rallied to finish fourth in a World Cup giant slalom won by Italian Federica Brignone in Killington, Vt., on Saturday, missing the podium by .21 of a second.

Shiffrin came back from sixth after the first run but snapped a streak of three straight GS podiums dating to last season.

“The first run, the snow was almost too easy, and I wasn’t pushing hard enough,” she said on NBCSN. “The second run, I was pushing much harder. … Sometimes I’m giving a little too much in order to make sure I’m staying on the course. The risk factor isn’t always there.”

Brignone, who took bronze in the PyeongChang Olympic GS won by Shiffrin, prevailed Saturday by .49 over Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel. Austrian Stephanie Brunner was third.

The Italian was on crutches three months ago with ligament damage from a preseason training crash. She came back to finish second in the season-opening giant slalom last month and notch her ninth World Cup win on Saturday.

Mowinckel, who earned two silver medals in PyeongChang, led Brignone by .37 after the first run.

Shiffrin is the favorite in Sunday’s slalom, which she won the last two years in Killington. Coverage begins at 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, continuing with live second run coverage on NBC at 1 p.m.

Lindsey Vonn has yet to race in this her farewell season and, after a training crash Monday, will not be at next weekend’s speed races at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.

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Sofia Goggia, Olympic downhill champion, to miss chunk of World Cup season

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Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia is out until January after fracturing her right ankle in a training fall on Friday while preparing for next weekend’s World Cup season opener in Austria.

The Italian is not expected to have surgery, but the bone needs four to five weeks to heal.

The timetable means Goggia will miss the first six speed races of the World Cup season, denting a bid to repeat as World Cup downhill season champion. Goggia made five speed-race podiums at December stops in Lake Louise, Canada and Val d’Isere, France, between the last two seasons.

Her absence will increase Lindsey Vonn‘s chances to grab wins at Lake Louise (where she owns a record 18 victories), St. Moritz and Val d’Isere on back-to-back-to-back weekends in December. Vonn, who will retire after this season, is four wins shy of Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 career World Cup victories.

When healthy, Vonn has averaged seven wins per season in recent years.

Vonn is not racing the World Cup season opener, a giant slalom in Soelden, which she has skipped four of the last five years.

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MORE: Vonn explains why it’s her final season

Seven countries interested in hosting 2026 Winter Olympics

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Seven countries among three continents submitted interest in bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics before the International Olympic Committee’s deadline.

The current dialogue phase runs to October, when the IOC will choose which cities to invite to its candidate phase running up to a September 2019 IOC members vote for the host.

Bids could hinge on public votes, which led to the demise of recent Summer and Winter Games bids.

The seven potential bids:

Austria (Graz)
Austria ranks fourth in Winter Olympic medals behind Norway, the U.S. and Germany and hosted in Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976. Graz is the nation’s second-largest city after Vienna. It shares a province with Schladming, host of the 1982 and 2013 World Alpine Skiing Championships. A potential venue plan would include figure skating, short track speed skating, hockey and curling in Graz, Alpine skiing in Schladming, more hockey games in Vienna, Linz or Klagenfurt and speed skating and sliding sports in Germany, up to 200 miles from Graz. A planned Innsbruck bid for the 2026 Winter Games was dropped in October after defeat in a public vote. Austria lost in Olympic bidding for 2002 (Graz), 2006 (Klagenfurt), 2010 (Salzburg) and 2014 (Salzburg).

Canada (Calgary)
Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Games that included the first Jamaican bobsled team and the Battle of the Brians and the Battle of the Carmens in figure skating. If this bid happens, it could see Nordic combined and ski jumping at the Vancouver 2010 venue in Whistler, B.C., more than 500 miles west of Calgary. If Calgary gets the 2026 Winter Games, it could hurt a potential 2030 U.S. bid from Denver, Reno-Tahoe or Salt Lake City since the IOC has never awarded back-to-back Summer or Winter Games to North America (though a Summer Games in North America has been followed by a Winter Games in North America in 1976/1980 and 1984/1988.) Calgary’s mayor said in PyeongChang that a “real decision” on being “serious” about bidding must be made by the summer, according to Sportsnet. Toronto dropped a 2024 Summer Olympic bid. Quebec City showed 2026 bid interest last year before dropping out as well.

Italy (Cortina d’Ampezzo/Milan/Torino)
Italy’s initial declaration last week mentioned only Milan and Torino, but the Cortina mayor later wanted in, too. The three sites are separated by about 300 miles across northern Italy. Torino hosted the Winter Games in 2006, with one Winter Olympics in Europe since then (Sochi 2014, though Russia is transcontinental). Cortina was Italy’s other Winter Games host in 1956. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said it will present a feasibility study on its bid once the new Italian government forms for “a comprehensive evaluation of the entire project.” Italy’s general election on March 4 resulted in no clear majority.

Japan (Sapporo)
Sapporo, which has been talked about as a potential 2026 bid city for more than three years, hosted the first Winter Games in Asia in 1972 as well as the Asian Winter Games in 1986, 1990 and 2017. Sapporo is hoping for a third straight Winter Olympics in East Asia after PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022. Tokyo is also hosting the 2020 Summer Games. IOC president Thomas Bach has said he hopes the Winter Olympics can return to a more traditional location in 2026, which USOC chairman Larry Probst called “code for Europe or North America.” Sapporo’s sliding sports track from 1972 is gone. Bobsled, luge and skeleton could be held at the 1998 Olympic venue in Nagano, which is 600 miles south of Sapporo and on a different island.

Sweden (Stockholm)
The Swedish capital dropped a bid for the 2022 Olympics in 2015 due to lack of political and financial support. The bid was revived for 2026, declared dead by Swedish politicians last April, but kept alive by the Swedish Olympic Committee. As with the 2022 bid, Alpine events are slated for Åre, about 350 miles north. Sliding events could be in Latvia, 300 miles across the Baltic Sea. Sweden hosted one Olympics — the Summer Games in Stockholm in 1912 — plus equestrian events in Stockholm during the 1956 Melbourne Games. It also failed in bids for six straight Winter Olympics — 1984 (Göteborg), 1988 (Falun), 1992 (Falun), 1994 (Östersund), 1998 (Östersund) and 2002 (Östersund).

Switzerland (Sion)
The first city to officially declare 2026 candidacy nearly a year ago. Sion, with a population listed around 30,000, could be the smallest Olympic host city since Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994. The initial Sion framework included events in Bern, Lausanne and St. Moritz. Switzerland hosted the Olympics twice, both Winter Games in St. Moritz (1928 and 1948). Sion previously was a finalist to host the 1976, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, finishing runner-up in voting every time. A possible bid from St. Moritz and Davos was rejected by voters in February 2017. A Sion bid could hinge on a public vote set for June 10.

Turkey (Erzurum)
Turkey has never bid for a Winter Olympics nor hosted a Summer or Winter Games. Istanbul bid for the Summer Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2020, coming as close as runner-up to Tokyo for 2020. If successful, Turkey could become the third nation to host a Winter Olympics with no prior Winter Olympic medals. The others were Yugoslavia in 1984 and France at the first Winter Games in 1924. Turkey’s best-ever Winter Olympic finish was 15th (out of 15 teams) in the 1998 men’s cross-country skiing relay, according to the OlyMADMen. Erzurum is an Eastern provincial capital with about 400,000 people.

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MORE: Lillehammer rules out 2026 Olympic bid