This could have been the year ski racer Tina Maze finally dethroned her rival, American powerhouse Lindsey Vonn. But with Vonn sidelined by a serious knee injury, Maze has settled on making history instead.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old Slovenian capped her sensational season by clinching the overall World Cup title. By winning a super-combined race on Sunday in Méribel, France, she also tied the single-season record for most podiums with her 18th of the season. With nine races left, Maze, who already has 1,844 points, could smash the all-time single-season record of 2,000 points held by Austrian great Hermann Maier on the men’s side (each victory is worth 100 points).
“This is a date to remember,” Maze, who won two silver medals at the Vancouver Olympics, tweeted on Sunday. Sunday’s second-place finisher, Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, is also second in the overall standings, but a whopping 958 points behind Maze.
Vonn has won the overall title four of the past five years, and this year is still third overall with 740 points, despite suffering a season-ending knee injury – two shredded ligaments and a broken bone – on Feb. 5. She has vowed to return in time for the Sochi Olympics.
In Sochi, Canada earned gold on Saturday at the world wheelchair curling championship. It was the third world title in the past four years for the team led by Canadian skip Jim Armstrong of Cambridge, Ont. They beat Sweden 4-3 at the Ice Cube Curling Centre, the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic venue.
At the Nordic world ski championships on Sunday, Canada finished inches short of a bronze medal. Devon Kershaw, 30, and Alex Harvey, 24, wound up fourth in the team sprint, a disappointing finish for the reigning world champions.
“We were fourth at the Olympics, and now fourth here at the world championships and that is hard to take,” said Kershaw, of Sudbury. He raced the opening leg of the sprint with Harvey, of Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., in the anchor role. Alexei Petukhov and Nikita Kriukov of Russia beat Sweden’s Marcus Hellner and Emil Joensson by 0.4 seconds to win.
At a World Cup event in Moscow, alpine snowboard racer Caroline Calvé of Aylmer, Que., continued her breakthrough season, winning her first title in parallel slalom. The six-year national-team veteran sits third overall in the World Cup standings in both parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom, a discipline that will make its Olympic debut in Sochi.
Alexandre Bilodeau of Montreal, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist and current dual world champion, was the only Canadian to earn a medal on Sunday at a dual moguls competition in Inawashiro, Japan. His silver behind Bradley Wilson of the United States was the highlight in an otherwise disappointing day for Canada’s powerhouse freestyle ski team, which advanced five men and four women to the final round of 16.
Still, they had already won four medals in singles moguls skiing a day earlier. On the women’s side, Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City took gold and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal edged out her sister, Justine, for the bronze. Among the men, Mikael Kingsbury of Deux-Montagnes, Que., who leads the overall World Cup rankings, won gold, while Bilodeau captured bronze.