Mikaela Shifrrin

Simone Biles
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Biles, Felix, Rapinoe and Shiffrin nominated for World Sportswoman of the Year

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Gymnast Simone Biles, sprinter Allyson Felix and Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, each staking a claim as the best ever in their sports, have been nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. The winner will be announced Feb. 17 in Berlin.

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe is also nominated, giving the U.S. four of the six nominees for the award. The other nominees are Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Naomi Osaka.

The U.S. women’s soccer team is also nominated for World Team of the Year, alongside two other World Cup champions — South Africa (men’s rugby) and Spain (men’s basketball). The NBA champion Toronto Raptors are also nominated, along with European and world champion Liverpool FC and perennial Formula 1 champion Mercedes AMG Petronas.

Tiger Woods, who won The Masters after several years with no major championships, is nominated for Sportsman of the Year. Argentine soccer great Lionel Messi (Barcelona FC) is also nominated, along with tennis player Rafael Nadal, two-hour marathon barrier breaker Eliud Kipchoge, and motorsports stars Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1) and Marc Márquez (MotoGP).

Two tennis players, Coco Gauff and Bianca Andreescu, are nominated for Breakthrough of the Year, along with U.S. swimmer Regan Smith, Colombian Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, Japan’s men’s rugby team and boxer Andy Ruiz Jr.

U.S. swimmer Nathan Adrian, who won his 15th and 16th world championships after a bout with testicular cancer, is nominated for World Comeback of the Year, along with Liverpool FC, tennis player Andy Murray, NBA champion Kawhi Leonard, German Formula 3 driver Sophia Flörsch and Australian rugby star Christian Lealiifano.

Skier/cyclist Oksana Masters is nominated for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, along with Dutch wheelchair tennis player Diede de Groot, Cuban sprinter Omara Durand, Dutch cyclist/triathlete Jetze Plat, Swiss track and field star Manuela Schär and British swimmer Alice Tai.

U.S. athletes Nyjah Huston (skateboard), Chloe Kim (snowboarding) and Carissa Moore (surfing) are up for Action Sportsperson of the Year, along with 11-year-old Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal, Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira and Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris.

Biles has already won this award twice, in 2017 and 2019. She’s nominated this time after taking five of a possible six gold medals in the world championships, running her career totals to 19 golds and 25 medals.

WORLDS: Biles breaks career record

Felix broke Usain Bolt’s record for world championship gold medals, winning two relays for her first two gold medals as a mom.

2020: Felix has everything on the table

Rapinoe won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot as the U.S. women won their second straight World Cup, and she was consistently in the spotlight for her outspoken views on LGBTQ rights and equal pay.

AWARD: Rapinoe takes Ballon d’Or

Shiffrin also had a record-setting year, winning 17 World Cup races to take her third straight overall title along with the season titles in slalom, giant slalom and super-G.

RECORD: Shiffrin wraps up fourth globe of 2019

Woods won The Masters, his first major victory in more than a decade. He won the Sportsman of the Year award in 2000 and 2001, along with the Comeback of the Year award last year.

2020: Woods contending for Olympic berth

Gauff became the youngest winner of a WTA Tour event since 2004, taking the Linz Open title at age 15, and defeated Venus Williams on her way to the fourth round at Wimbledon. Smith set a 200m backstroke world record in the world championship semifinals and went on to win the title, along with a medley relay gold, at age 17.

In his first world championship since undergoing surgery for testicular cancer, Adrian took gold in two relays, including a thrilling anchor leg in the 4x100m freestyle.

Masters won five gold medals in the cross-country skiing world championships and two silver medals in the cycling worlds. She won the U.S. Paralympic Athlete of the Year award in November.

Huston three-peated as world champion in the street skateboarding event. Kim swept the world championship and X Games halfpipe events before beginning her studies at Princeton. Moore won her fourth world title.

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Mikaela Shiffrin takes record for slalom victories with ‘lucky’ win in Finland

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 41st World Cup slalom, breaking a tie with Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark for the career record, Saturday in Levi, Finland.

Rival Petra Vlhova had the lead after the first run but crashed out early in her second, providing an anticlimactic finish to the showdown between the top two slalom skiers in the world.

“I felt a little bit lucky with this win, but I also felt good with my skiing, so I’m happy,” Shiffrin said.

Shiffrin, who finished second in the season-opening giant slalom last month, also took the lead in her campaign for a fourth straight overall World Cup.

Vlhova was the only skier to beat Shiffrin in a slalom last season. The 24-year-old Slovakian, three months younger than Shiffrin, has steadily climbed up the World Cup standings each year and was second to Shiffrin in the slalom, giant slalom and overall last year.

With Vlhova’s crash, Shiffrin won by a comfortable margin of 1.78 seconds over Wendy Holdener. The Swiss skier, third in last year’s slalom and overall standings and second in each ranking the year before, was sixth in the first run but had a torrid second run. Holdener still has never won a World Cup slalom.

Austria’s Katharina Truppe finished third to reach the podium for the first time in her career.

Shiffrin now has momentum as the series heads to Killington, Vt., virtually her hometown race. Thanks to the unique awards in Levi, she also has a fourth reindeer, who showed a bit of feistiness in the award ceremony. She has not yet thought of a name for the animal who will join RudolphSven and Mr. Gru in her herd.

READ: Shiffrin chases fourth reindeer while mourning loss of grandmother 

While Shiffrin has become a threat in all events, winning her first giant slalom and super-G World Cup titles last season, the slalom has always been her go-to race. After her debut World Cup season in 2011-12, she has won six of the last seven World Cup slalom season titles and four straight world championships.

Under dark and foggy conditions in Levi, Shiffrin drew the first starting spot for the first run and finished in 58.78. The other contenders and top finishers also started early. Truppe, skiing fifth, finished in 59.64. Next up was Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson, the runner-up in last year’s world championships, who finished in 59.96. Vlhova was next, finishing in 58.65 for a lead of 0.13 seconds over Shiffrin. No other skier finished in less than one minute.

 

New Zealand teen Alice Robinson, who beat Shiffrin in the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, is out of action until December with a bone bruise.

The men’s slalom from Levi will stream live on NBC Sports Gold at 4:15 and 7 a.m. ET Sunday. The Olympic Channel will broadcast the second run. The men’s and women’s World Cup circuits will diverge next week, with the men going to Lake Louise, Alberta, for speed events.

MORE: Alpine skiing TV schedule

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Grieving Mikaela Shiffrin returns to World Cup Alpine action with fourth reindeer at stake

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The traditional World Cup Alpine skiing season opener last month in Soelden, Austria, was an emotional one for Mikaela Shiffrin.

Shiffrin’s grandmother, Pauline Condron, was in declining health in the days leading up to the race, making Shiffrin wonder if she should head home instead of staying in Soelden. Condron was especially close to Shiffrin, helping to take care of her soon after birth.

Condron passed away Oct. 22, four days before the Soelden giant slalom, at age 98.

“Polly loved sports,” Condron’s obituary said. “She was an avid bowler in her younger years and enjoyed playing tennis and skiing. Few people know that she excelled at ping pong, had a killer serve, gave up very few games and played into her 90s.”

Condron was able to see Shiffrin in person at World Cup races in Killington, Vt. The World Cup will return next weekend to Killington, which has just passed its FIS inspection.

Shiffrin finished second in Soelden’s giant slalom to an upstart rival, 17-year-old New Zealander Alice Robinson. Shiffrin is the reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the giant slalom, but she hasn’t won in Soelden since 2014.

In the slalom, Shiffrin is more dominant. She won eight of nine World Cup races last year, losing only to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, and won her fourth straight world championship despite battling illness. The last time Shiffrin finished worse than second in the technical discipline was in the 2018 Olympics, when she uncharacteristically faltered and finished fourth.

Saturday’s race in Levi, Finland, is a slalom. Shiffrin has won three of the last five races in Levi, which means she also has three reindeer  Rudolph, Sven and Mr. Gru. She can win a fourth on Saturday.

The men also have a slalom this weekend in Levi, racing Sunday.

Both runs for each event stream live on NBC Sports Gold at 4:15 and 7 a.m. ET, with the Olympic Channel also carrying the second runs each day.

MORE: Alpine skiing TV schedule

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