Stacey Cook

AP

U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team complete with 7 added

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Now-four-time Olympians Steven Nyman and Stacey Cook headlined the seven added to complete the U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team Wednesday.

Nyman, a 35-year-old coming back from blowing out his left knee nearly one year ago, and Cook, 33, joined a team that includes the previously qualified Lindsey VonnMikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety.

The full U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team:

Stacey Cook — 2006, 2010, 2014 Olympian
Breezy Johnson
Megan McJames — 2010, 2014 Olympian
Alice McKennis
Laurenne Ross — 2014
Mikaela Shiffrin — 2014
Resi Stiegler — 2006, 2014
Lindsey Vonn — 2002, 2006, 2010
Jackie Wiles — 2014
Bryce Bennett
Tommy Biesemeyer
David Chodounsky — 2014
Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Mark Engel
Tommy Ford — 2010
Jared Goldberg — 2014
Tim Jitloff — 2010, 2014
Nolan Kasper — 2010, 2014
Ted Ligety — 2006, 2010, 2014
Wiley Maple
Steven Nyman — 2006, 2010, 2014
Andrew Weibrecht — 2010, 2014

Shiffrin and Vonn could sweep the five individual women’s events in PyeongChang. Shiffrin, the World Cup overall leader, is the clear slalom favorite and looking strong in the giant slalom and super combined.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion who missed Sochi due to knee injuries, has downhill and super-G wins this season.

The U.S. men have zero podiums this World Cup season and were dealt a blow when top speed racer Travis Ganong suffered a season-ending knee injury in December.

Ligety appears to be the best medal hope. The 2014 Olympic giant slalom champion, who dealt with injuries of his own this Olympic cycle, has a best finish of fifth this season.

These will be the first Olympics without Bode Miller racing since 1994 and the first without Julia Mancuso since 1998. The two most decorated U.S. Olympic skiers retired and will be part of the NBC Olympics team in South Korea.

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MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Winter Olympics

Lindsey Vonn wins in second race in return; U.S. sweep (video)

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn is back.

Vonn won a World Cup downhill race in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday, her second start since January knee surgery knocked her out of the Sochi Olympics.

“I’m finally feeling confident going fast again,” said Vonn, who hoped to make the podium but didn’t expect a victory. “I’m finally back to where I feel confident. I’m pushing the limits. I want more speed. I haven’t had that yet until today.”

Vonn dominated the field, leading the first U.S. sweep in World Cup history (men or women). She clocked 1 minute, 50.48 seconds. Stacey Cook was second, .49 behind. Julia Mancuso was third, .57 back.

Vonn’s margin of victory was greater than the margin separating second place from ninth place.

Vonn notched her 60th career World Cup win, moving within two of the women’s record held by retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll.

She screamed after seeing her leading time when she crossed the finish line, yelled “Yes!” repeatedly and dropped to the snow in delight.

The 2010 Olympic downhill champion finished eighth in a Lake Louise downhill Friday, her first race since Dec. 21, 2013.

“It’s just finding my rhythm and finding my confidence,” said Vonn, who won for the first time since Jan. 26, 2013. “Every day has gotten better here. Today, I went a little bit more aggressive than I did yesterday, took some more chances.”

She’s skiing at a venue nicknamed “Lake Lindsey.” She won seven straight World Cup races in Lake Louise from 2010 to 2012 and has 15 victories there overall.

“I definitely think that I shocked a few people,” Vonn said. “I don’t think really anyone expected me to win today. I could definitely see that on some of the girls’ faces.”

Vonn, whose best finish in three training runs earlier this week was eighth, will compete again in Lake Louise in a super-G on Sunday.

“I haven’t had much training,” Vonn said. “The three days of training here have been training for me.

“I’m not expecting this kind of result all the time just yet.”

The last nation to sweep a women’s World Cup podium was Austria in 2009.

Cook, a three-time Olympian, made her first World Cup podium since Dec. 1, 2012.

Mancuso, the most decorated U.S. Olympic female skier with four medals, made her first World Cup podium since March 3, 2013.

Vonn’s right knee problems began at the February 2013 World Championships, when she crashed in the super-G and required season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL and a fractured tibial plateau.

She injured the knee again in a training crash on Nov. 20, 2013. Vonn’s only three completed races last season were at Lake Louise, where she finished 40th, 11th and fifth last December.

Vonn, a four-time World Cup overall champion, aggravated the knee in her fourth World Cup race last season in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 21, 2013.

She underwent another knee surgery in January, ruling her out of the Sochi Olympics.

“I fought so hard to be back where I am, at the top of the podium,” Vonn said, according to Reuters. “It means the world to me, it’s just unbelievable. It’s like a dream day.”

Vonn skied with a right knee brace but said she has not restrictions. The knee doesn’t swell, she doesn’t ice it, and it doesn’t hurt.

Vonn’s goals for the rest of her career are clear. She wants to pass Moser-Proell for the women’s World Cup victories record.

Vonn has said she also has thought about the men’s record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark, who won 86 races.

Vonn averaged 10 victories per season from 2009 through 2012. If she gets back on that pace and stays healthy, she would need to ski well into the 2016-17 World Cup season to pass Stenmark around age 32.

She also wants to ski at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. If she competes there and wins a medal, she is slated to become the oldest women’s Olympic Alpine skiing medalist of all time.

But first, she will celebrate with a glass of champagne with her teammates and her father in Lake Louise on Saturday. When she gets home to Colorado, she will enjoy ice cream with the brindle boxer she adopted in January, Leo, and watch Law & Order, which she appeared on in 2010.

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Americans Cook, Mancuso in Top 10 for second day of women’s downhill training

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Stacey Cook (pictured) and 2010 Olympic silver medalist Julia Mancuso of the U.S. had a productive second day of downhill training at Rosa Khutor, with both of them finishing inside the Top 10.

Cook logged the sixth-fastest run and Mancuso was 10th-fastest after finishing third in yesterday’s opening training session – a session that saw the course get tweaked after a treacherous jump caused Italy’s Daniela Merighetti to hurt her knees after landing.

MORE: Bode Miller says second day of training went great despite ‘big mistake’

Per the Associated Press, Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter topped today’s session with a time of 1 minute, 42.70 seconds, followed by Liechtenstein’s gold medal contender, Tina Weirather, in second (+ .11 seconds), and Austria’s Anna Fenninger in third (+ .23 seconds, missed some gates).

Two more gold medal contenders, Tina Maze of Slovenia and Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, were fifth and 11th respectively.