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    Winter sports roundup: Lindsey Vonn delays surgery

    American Mikaela Shiffrin finished second at Beaver Creek in her first top-three finish in the giant slalom.
    emmanuel dunand/afp
    American Mikaela Shiffrin finished second at Beaver Creek in her first top-three finish in the giant slalom.

    Lindsey Vonn is delaying further surgery on her right knee for as long as possible in hopes of skiing at the Sochi Olympics.

    Vonn partially tore one of her reconstructed knee ligaments during a crash in training two weeks ago at Copper Mountain. She is seeing if she can ski without another operation because that would all but end any chance of defending her Olympic downhill title in February.

    Vonn says she likely would be proceeding in the same way even if this weren’t an Olympic season.


    ‘‘I probably would’ve done what I’m doing right now, test it out,’’ Vonn said after a training session at Vail on Sunday. ‘‘If I felt like it was possible to keep skiing, I probably would’ve. Either way, at the end of the season, I have to reconstruct the ACL.

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    ‘‘So it’s kind of like, might as well see how long it holds up. Not a lot of options. In the end, surgery is going to have to happen.’’

    On a chilly morning, Vonn took two warmup runs followed by three aggressive passes through the super-G course in her race suit, hugging the corners tight and looking quite fast. Afterward, she said her surgically repaired knee felt ‘‘really good.’’

    So much so that Vonn will travel to Lake Louise, Alberta, this week for downhill training on a course she usually dominates. If training goes well, she will race for the first time since tearing ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed accident at the world championships in February.

    ‘‘Just trying to ski solid,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m not trying to do race runs. I’m trying to build into it. Not push it too hard. But I was still able to be aggressive and confident in what I’m doing so that when I get up to Lake Louise I can hopefully have a good feeling right away.’’


    Vonn said it’s been difficult to watch Lara Gut of Switzerland win the downhill and super-G races on a new course Vonn was very much look forward to trying out before the 2015 world championships. ‘‘Frustrating to miss the race,’’ Vonn said. ‘‘Definitely with this current situation, there was no way I could’ve skied that bumpy, steep course. I know it was the right decision. That gives me a peace of mind. I’m trying to look forward to Lake Louise and cheer for my team.’

    Giant slalom — Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden won a World Cup giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., holding off 18-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin with a fluid final run.

    Lindell-Vikarby finished the two runs on a demanding Beaver Creek course in 2 minutes 17.92 seconds, with Shiffrin 0.09 seconds behind. Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein took third.

    Shiffrin is a slalom specialist who has worked all offseason on improving her giant slalom technique. This was her first top-three finish in the event.

    Super-G — Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway captured a World Cup super-G, the third straight year he has won this event at Lake Louise.


    Svindal finished in 1:28.53. He was followed by two Austrians — Matthias Mayer in 1:28.77 and Georg Streitberger in 1:28.91.

    ‘‘Lake Louise has been good to me,’’ Svindal said. ‘‘I won my first World Cup ever here in 2005 and it’s the one destination where I have the most wins. The super-G just seems to suit me well.

    ‘‘The snow in North America, especially here, and the snow in Scandinavia is more similar than from Scandinavia to Central Europe,’’ he added. ‘‘I think that has something do to with it. Norwegians tend to do well in North America.’’

    Luge — World champion Natalie Geisenberger led a German sweep of the top three spots in World Cup luge in Winterberg, Germany, winning for the third time in a perfect start to her season. Geisenberger was fastest in both runs down the Hochsauerland course to finish in a combined time of 1:53.457 for her 19th career victory.

    Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner overcame earlier back problems to finish second in 1:53.897. Anke Wischnewski completed the German sweep. Americans Erin Hamlin and Kate Hansen were sixth and seventh.

    Nordic Combined Norway won the Nordic Combined World Cup team event in Kuusamo, Finland, ahead of Germany and Japan.

    Haavard Klemetsen, Magnus Krog, Mikko Kokslien, and Joergen Graabak took the lead for Norway after the ski jump event and completed the 4x5 kilometer cross-country race in 51:22.9.

    Cross country skiing — Norway dominated the pursuit races in the cross-country World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland, with triple Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen winning the women’s 10-kilometer race and countryman Martin Johnsrud Sundby winning the men’s 15-kilometer race. Sundby won in 36:50.6, beating Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin by just 0.1 seconds.