Swiss Skier Races to Second Straight Win
Beaver Creek, Colo. — Early in the race, Lara Gut caught an edge and sent a thick spray of snow into the air that momentarily obscured the Swiss skier.
Just when it appeared she may have fallen, Gut emerged from the plume, still moving fast and still attacking the hill.
This new Beaver Creek course has been awfully good to her.
To the Americans, not so much. It’s been anything but a home-hill advantage.
Gut turned in another blazing run to win her second straight World Cup race, finishing in 1 minute, 18.42 seconds to edge a strong Austrian contingent in the super-G on Saturday. Elisabeth Goergl of Austria originally took second but was disqualified for improper ski equipment, bumping up teammates Anna Fenninger and Nicole Hosp to second and third.
There’s just something about the iciness of this course that appeals to Gut. She also won the downhill Friday and goes for a Beaver Creek sweep Sunday in giant slalom.
“I do like this course. With two wins, I can’t say different,” the 22-year-old Gut said. “It’s interesting and it’s difficult, but not too much. The snow is great. The setting was fine. It was fun to ski on these slopes.”
That really can’t be said for the U.S., as the squad struggled in the downhill Friday and again in the super-G, with Leanne Smith turning in the best finish at 23rd, 2.72 seconds behind Gut.
Then again, the team was without reigning Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn, who skipped the event to rest her right knee after a recent training crash. And their other star, Julia Mancuso, just couldn’t find the right line, finishing in 29th place.
“We should’ve done better here as a group,” said Stacey Cook, who finished a spot ahead of Mancuso. “We are better than this.”
Cause for concern? After all, the Americans like to boast that they have the best speed team in the world right now.
“Absolutely,” Cook joked. “Because worrying is fun. It makes the suspense even bigger when we get to the Olympics.
“I don’t think so. With our group in particular, you have to understand, it’s all part of the journey. None of us are these super-human athletes like Lindsey has been in the past. We’re all learners. We’re all builders.”
What looked like an impressive day on the hill for Austria — turning in three of the top four performances — was dampened a bit after the race when Goergl was disqualified. Her ski width in front of her binding was too wide.
That moved Hosp up a spot and onto the podium.
Italy’s Paris Wins Men’s Downhill
Lake Louise, Alberta — Dominik Paris of Italy won the season-opening World Cup men’s downhill in Lake Louise on Saturday.
Klaus Kroell of Austria finished second and Adrien Theaux of France was third.
Erik Guay of Canada finished eighth. He finished 1.08 seconds back of Paris, whose World Cup victory was the third of his career but first in Lake Louise.
The men race a super-G on today before heading to Beaver Creek, Colo., and the second stop on the circuit this season.
Martin’s Season Done
Davie, Fla. — Jonathan Martin’s season is officially over.
The Miami Dolphins put the troubled offensive tackle on the reserve/non-football illness list Saturday, freeing up his roster spot so safety D.J. Campbell could be promoted from the team’s practice squad.
The move was not unexpected. Martin left the Dolphins on Oct. 28, the start of what became an explosive probe into allegations that a culture of bullying was around the team and inside its locker room.
Offensive lineman Richie Incognito was suspended Nov. 3 for his alleged role in the turmoil. Media reports Friday said the Dolphins and Incognito agreed to extend his suspension past the four-week window typically allowed by league rule, and that Incognito would resume getting paid.
Investigator Ted Wells’ probe of the team and its workplace environment is ongoing.
Arsenal Boosts Lead
London — Arsenal powered to a seven-point lead in the Premier League after beating Cardiff 3-0 on Saturday, with Aaron Ramsey’s prolific season touching new heights with a double against his former club.
There was more misery for Fulham at the other end of the standings, with a demoralizing 3-0 loss at fellow struggler West Ham keeping the team in the bottom three and leaving beleaguered manager Martin Jol fighting for his job.
Everton moved level on points with second-place Liverpool and third-place Chelsea, which both play today, with a crushing 4-0 home win over Stoke that was rounded off by Romelu Lukaku’s eighth goal in nine league games.
At the bottom, Crystal Palace dropped to last place by losing 1-0 at Norwich in Tony Pulis’ first match in charge of the London side.
Sunderland climbed off the bottom with a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.