What a difference a week makes for
Last Friday, Vonn clobbered the field in the downhill by more than half a second, paying little mind to the poor visibility and choppy conditions that forced officials to shorten the course. She barely flinched when she kneed her own lip while getting jostled on the run, causing her to spit blood at the finish. The accident would never have happened had Vonn not been so determined to maintain a tucked position through the most treacherous points on the course.
Her tenacity bodes well. Vonn came back to win another downhill race under much better conditions on Saturday, without the blood. This one was more of a tactical speed race in that the skiers had to choose a good line in order to maintain top speed. Vonn stayed high along the course and showed she could win on both guts and technique during the same weekend. It was the 24th victory of her career on the circuit and 14th in the downhill, the most for a U.S. skier.
On Sunday, Vonn finished behind only Austria's
Like Vonn, Janka skied under varied conditions over three days and decimated the field. He won the super combined on Friday, the downhill on Saturday, and the giant slalom on Sunday, setting himself up as the early season skier-to-watch in Vancouver.
The 23-year old from Obersaxen won the world championship in the giant slalom last season. Teammates call him The Iceman -- yes, like
After the downhill, Janka earned perhaps the most esteemed compliment for a Swiss racer when
A foot of snow blanketed the courses before Friday's racing. Americans
So which American will have that breakthrough performance in a sport in which the U.S. has traditionally blanked?
Maybe, but now it's time to add
No U.S. biathlete has ever won a World Cup race and or a medal in the sprint event. Burke, a 27-year-old Lake Placid native, ended one of those slumps, and nearly both last week. On Thursday, he placed second in a 20-kilometer event in Ostersund, Sweden, behind hometown favorite
Burke missed only one target over the course of the two events. Like many of the biathletes in the U.S. program, he began as simply a cross-country skier, but by age 16 had taken to biathlon because of its unpredictable nature. Now he looks like a ray of hope for his team.
Until this weekend, the rivalry between U.S. speedskaters
Davis captured the thousand for the third straight time this season, but Hedrick edged him the fifteen, a distance that Davis had won by more than a second in three previous outings this year. Though they aren't on one other's Christmas lists, Davis and Hedrick have been publicly cordial. Davis has indicated he'd consider skating the team pursuit event in Vancouver, a race Hedrick criticized him for skipping in Turin four years earlier.
Norwegian speedskating legend
Muller was previously married to
The Grand Prix final in Tokyo last weekend marked the last chance for the world's top figure skaters to compete under the same roof before the Olympics, and the U.S. came away with two victories. World champ
Organizers for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have tapped a knowledgeable source to be a security consultant for the Games.