FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2014 file photo, Ted Ligety of United States, second placed, celebrates on the finish area after an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom in Are, Sweden. The two-time Olympic champion just had that everything-goes-right kind of performance two years ago in Austria, when he became the first male skier since 1968 to win at least three golds at worlds. Still, Ligety's not ready to surrender those crowns, any of them.(AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

Perfectly suited for Ted Ligety's style. The American skier knows it won't be as easy as 1-2-3 to defend his giant slalom, super-combined and super-G titles at the world championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado, beginning Wednesday with the super-G. After all, he had one of those everything-goes-right kind of performances two years ago in Austria, when he became the first male skier since French great Jean-Claude Killy in 1968 to win at least three golds at worlds. ''But it's still possible.'' Especially at Beaver Creek, a venue Ligety has ruled in the past. He's won five times on the demanding Birds of Prey slope, including in December when he captured his only giant slalom race so far this season by holding off Alexis Pinturault of France by 0.18 seconds.

Posted: January 31, 2015, 7:08 pm

Third placed Austria's Sepp Schneider, left, and Bernhard Gruber celebrate on the podium after the team sprint of the Nordic Combined World Cup in Val di Fiemme, northern Italy, Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrea Solero, Ansa)

VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (AP) -- Norway won a second successive Nordic Combined team sprint as Jorgen Graabak and Jan Schmid edged out Germany and Austria on Saturday.

Posted: January 31, 2015, 6:15 pm
Just before the season, American skier Steven Nyman made a $20,000 investment to bankroll a 30-something downhiller he believed could still be one of the best in the world. Just before that, he took third during a downhill in Beaver Creek, Colorado, site of the world championships that begin next week and where he will be one of the favorites. Rest is a key ingredient.'' With a few days off to unwind before world championships, Nyman seriously considered a quick jaunt to the beaches of San Diego to do, as he described, ''some surfin', some chillin' and some relaxin'.'' Although he didn't make the trip - he spent time hanging out with family in Utah instead - it shows how receptive he is to logging more lounge time.
Posted: January 30, 2015, 8:55 am
Jan 29 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games: - - - Lightning 5, Red Wings 1 The Tampa Bay Lightning got an unlikely hat-trick from rookie center Cedric Paquette, sending a strong statement to another Eastern Conference power and jumping into first place with a victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning (31-15-4) set a franchise record with their ninth straight home win, getting a big night from Paquette, who came into the night with only six goals all season. ...
Posted: January 30, 2015, 6:36 am

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. celebrates with champagne on the podium after winning the women's World Cup Super-G skiing race in Cortina D'Ampezzo January 19, 2015.    REUTERS/Max Rossi

Alpine skiers kick off their own Super Bowl on Monday when the world championships return to the United States, providing a rare opportunity to put the White Circus in the American sporting spotlight. A day after the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots clash in the Arizona desert to decide the National Football League championship, the world's best alpine skiers descend on the posh resorts of Vail/Beaver Creek for two weeks of high speed thrills and, most likely, a few spills. While over 100 million Americans are expected to watch the Super Bowl, only a small fraction would normally be aware of the world championships but from Feb. 2-15 the U.S. could be captivated by the exploits of Snow Queen Lindsey Vonn, the most successful women's ski racer of all-time after notching her 64th career World Cup victory.

Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:10 am
(Reuters) - Here are some facts and figures of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships that will be held from Feb. 2-15 in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado. ...
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:08 am
China and South Korea have produced world class athletes in several winter sports, but alpine skiing events are notable exceptions. As South Korea prepares to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, it is a situation the host country might be keen to change, but one former ski champion believes it is too late to groom any stars.
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:07 am
By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - Slalom world champion Marcel Hirscher and downhill expert Kjetil Jansrud head the World Cup standings and both men are expected to thrive at the Feb. 2-15 world championships on the snow of Beaver Creek and Vail in Colorado. Austrian Hirscher, winner of the overall World Cup title for the past three years, has triumphed five times in his last 10 races and will certainly fancy his chances of retaining the slalom crown he claimed at the 2013 worlds in Schladming. The 25-year-old from Salzburg has displayed remarkable consistency this season and is also likely to be a major factor in the giant slalom at Beaver Creek, having won in that discipline four times in his last five World Cup races. The best skier of his generation, Hirscher delivered a flawless performance to stretch his overall World Cup lead over second-placed Jansrud of Norway.
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:06 am
Home advantage will be essential in Beaver Creek for the U.S. team as will be their extra motivation for medal events. Yet Austria, led by three times World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher, still remain the leading ski nation and they have a revenge to take. Two years ago in Schladming, Hirscher salvaged home pride by winning the only individual gold medal for Austria in the men’s slalom while the locals secured the team event. While Ted Ligety, crowned three times in Schladming, has been a little under par so far this winter, Hirscher has been so consistent in both the slalom and the giant slalom that it is doubtful he will leave Colorado without a medial in either event.
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:04 am
By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - All eyes will be on speed queen Lindsey Vonn at the Feb. 2-15 world championships in Beaver Creek where the American will be a red-hot favorite as she bids to add to the two gold medals she won six years ago. Though Vonn has had to contend with various injuries since 2009, including torn knee ligaments and a broken shin at the 2013 world championships in Schladming after crashing in the Super-G, she has been back to her regal best in recent months. Earlier this month, Vonn won a Super-G on the Cortina D'Ampezzo slopes to move past Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell with a record 63rd World Cup victory before adding a 64th in St Moritz on Sunday, again in the Super-G. "When I started Alpine skiing, my goal was to win one race," Vonn said after her landmark triumph in Cortina. It's difficult to put into words what it means to me." Vonn, who landed Super-G and downhill gold at the 2009 world championships in Val d'Isere, will spearhead a strong American challenge in Beaver Creek along with her exciting compatriot, world and Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin.
Posted: January 30, 2015, 12:03 am

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