Another crash and burn for Miller
Bode Miller straddled a gate, lost a ski, and took a tumble. It could get worse.
Miller has only two more chances to qualify for the slalom at the world championships after crashing in the opening leg of a World Cup race yesterday in Kitzbuehel, Austria. It's now been over a year since Miller has completed a slalom.
The race, won by unheralded Jens Byggmark of Sweden, was run under heavy snowfalls, and that didn't make it any easier for Miller.
"I'm capable as anyone in the starting field of winning these races," insisted the 29-year-old Miller. "When I start getting things to the finish line, I don't think there will be too much to say about my speed. I just have to try to get to the finish line."
Miller is looking to become the first skier to collect world championship gold medals in all five disciplines. The missing gold is in the slalom.
Miller hit the gate midway down the first run, then hiked back up two sets of gates to rerun it. Moments later, he lost his right ski on a left turn and crashed.
It was the second time in three weeks Miller lost his right ski in a slalom. The last time, it inexplicably popped off midway down the second run in Adelboden.
"It's the same problem as in Adelboden," said Rainer Salzgeber, who works for Head -- the company that makes Miller's skis. "In a way, he is the only guy who has a problem like that."
Byggmark, 21, stunned the favorites for his first World Cup win. He won with a combined time of 1 minute 43.74 seconds. Austria's Mario Matt was second in 1:44.61. German Alois Vogl was third in 1:45.22.
Olympic combined gold medalist Ted Ligety finished 15th.
Winter X Games -- Another crash and another silver medal for Stratton Mountain, Vt.'s, Lindsey Jacobellis.
In an eerie repeat of her famous wipeout at the Olympics, Jacobellis crashed on the final jump and tumbled across the finish line behind gold medalist Joanie Anderson in Aspen, Colo.
Jacobellis had one of the worst gaffes in Olympic history, falling just before the finish after showboating on the final jump. There was no tail grab this time, but the result was the same.
Jacobellis had a comfortable lead heading into the final jump and seemed to be a lock for her fourth snowboarder X gold before she lost her balance in the air. She came up short on the landing and lost control, falling over backward and hitting her head on the ice.
In other events, Norwegian Andreas Wiig ended Shaun White's four-year run as slopestyle champion, Tyler Walker won the inaugural mono skier X title, Jamie Anderson won women's slopestyle, Nate Holland took gold in men's snowboarder X (while Seth Wescott of Carrabassett Valley, Maine, was third), and Tucker Hibbert won the snocross.
Women's downhill -- In San Sicario, Italy, Renate Goetschl won her third straight downhill and moved atop the overall World Cup standings. Goetschl led an all-Austrian podium as she clocked 1:51.65. Elisabeth Goergl was second, 1.17 seconds behind, and Maria Holaus was third, 1.35 seconds back. American Lindsey Kildow was fourth and teammate Julia Mancuso fifth.
Speedskating -- American speedskater Shani Davis edged Erben Wennemars and Beorn Nijenhuis to win the men's 1,000 meters at a World Cup meet in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Davis won in 1:08.91. Wennemars was second with 1:08.98. In the men's 500, Pekka Koskela of Finland won in 35.26, 0.05 ahead of American Tucker Fredricks. Dmitry Lobkov of Russia was third in 35.46.
Cross-country -- Axel Teichmann (41:0.7) won the men's 15-kilometer classic race at the FIS World Cup meet in Otepaa, Estonia, while Kris Freeman of Andover, N.H., finished 32d and Andrew Johnson of Greensboro, Vt., 51st.
Men's skeleton -- Two-time Olympic bronze medalist Gregor Staehli (4:36.26) of Switzerland won the skeleton gold medal at the World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, for his second world title. Eric Bernotas was second in 4.37.84, while US teammate Zach Lund came third in 4.37.97.
Figure skating -- In Warsaw, Carolina Kostner nailed six triple jumps to become the first Italian to win the woman's title at the European championships.