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Ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin eyes 5-event Olympics after 3 last time

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Ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin eyes 5-event Olympics after 3 last time

First things first for Mikaela Shiffrin: She is certain she wants to participate in every individual women’s Alpine ski race at the Beijing Olympics.

The 26-year-old from Colorado also knows that was her aim for the last Winter Games — and things did not quite work out according to plan back then.

So as Shiffrin gears up for the start of the World Cup season this month, then looks further down the road toward the trip to Asia in February, she is examining various ways in which she can beat her best for both. That means how she performs while on her skis, speeding down the side of a mountain, of course, as well as areas she can work on while away from the slopes.

“Something I’m dreaming about right now is to be able to compete in each event in China. But that means I have to do a lot more preparation, mentally,” Shiffrin said from Austria on Friday, during a video conference with reporters. “Just understanding how that is going to affect me mentally and physically throughout, essentially, the three weeks that we’re there.

“So it definitely takes a lot of my focus to think: What are the boxes we have to check, even totally outside of skiing and technique and tactics and the physical side of things? What are the boxes we need to check to make sure that I have some comfort level staying in a place that I’ve never been before for three weeks and dealing with the jet lag and getting over that as fast as possible?”

Shiffrin owns three Olympic medals, two golds. She also has won 69 World Cup races — only Ingemar Stenmark, with 86, and Lindsey Vonn, 82, have more in the sport’s history — along with a trio of overall titles.

While careful to note some caveats, including that she needs to ski well enough to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the five individual women’s Alpine events in Beijing, Shiffrin would love to be in the starting gate each time; giant slalom Feb. 7, slalom Feb. 9, super-G Feb. 11, downhill Feb. 15 and combined Feb. 17.

Then again, that was the idea at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, too, before weather-related rescheduling contributed to Shiffrin participating in three races. She left South Korea with a gold in giant slalom, silver in combined and a fourth-place finish in slalom.

“I definitely walked away with eyes wide open after that,” Shiffrin said Friday.

“There’s a whole box of things that we can unpack with just, sort of, Olympic preparations and how how much I do care about putting in my best effort to make all events happen? But also knowing that so many things can change, not only between now and then, but just between the start of the first Olympic race to the end of the Games, that that plan could very, very easily change at the drop of a hat. So there’s that side of things,” she said. “And obviously, you go to the Olympics and hope for medals. That’s the dream. … But then you have the World Cup season.”

Yes, she is not ignoring that.

When the calendar opens Oct. 23 in Sölden, Austria, Shiffrin will make it a point to live up to what she called “another big dream” — contending for the overall trophy again.

That wasn’t a possibility last season, when she avoided speed races until the world championships after returning from a 10-month hiatus brought about by the death of her father, the coronavirus pandemic and an injured back.

“There is never going to be a guarantee that I can win it again, and it’s … really hard to say if that’s even a realistic goal for this season — or ever again in my career,” Shiffrin said. “But I’m trying to put in the work to make that a possibility.”

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Baylor WR, 3-star OL commit to CU Buffs

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CU Buffs football early National Signing Day class of 2022

One of the top receivers for the Big 12 champs is coming to Boulder.

On Sunday, RJ Sneed II announced that he will play his final season of college football at Colorado after spending the previous five years at Baylor.

Also on Sunday, Van Wells, an offensive lineman from C.E. King High School in Houston, announced his verbal commitment to the Buffaloes after spending the weekend in Boulder on an official visit.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, Sneed helped Baylor go 12-2 and win the Big 12 championship game, as well as the Sugar Bowl this season. He was second for the Bears in catches (46) and receiving yards (573) and caught two touchdown passes.

During his career, Sneed has 133 catches for 1,564 yards and eight touchdowns. After playing minimally in 2017 and redshirting in 2018, Sneed finished third on the team in receptions (42) and yards (437) in 2019. In 2020, he led the Bears in receptions (39), receiving yards (497) and touchdowns (three) and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors.

A 2017 graduate of Cypress Ranch (Tex.) High School, Sneed was a three-star prospect who had 20 scholarship offers, including from Colorado. He had offers from 17 Power 5 schools, including Alabama, Mississippi, TCU, Arizona State, California, UCLA and Utah.

Sneed graduated from Baylor with a degree in health, kinesiology and leisure studies in August of 2020 and has been working on a master’s in sports pedagogy. He will have one season to play at CU.

With the Buffs, Sneed will provide production and veteran leadership to a group that has lost four players to the transfer portal this offseason: Chris Carpenter, Keith Miller, Brenden Rice and La’Vontae Shenault. Rice has not announced his destination, but Carpenter (UTSA), Miller (Texas A&M-Commerce) and Shenault (Alabama State) have committed to other schools.

Statistically, Rice was the Buffs’ top wide receiver this past season, but the Buffs are slated to return seniors Daniel Arias, Maurice Bell and Jaylon Jackson, junior Dimitri Stanley and sophomores Montana Lemonious-Craig, Chase Penry and Ty Robinson.

Also in the mix will be three incoming freshmen: Grant Page, Chase Sowell and Jordan Tyson.

A three-star prospect, Wells is rated by 247Sports.com as a top-75 interior lineman nationally in the 2022 class. He has 19 total scholarship offers, including from Air Force, Houston and Maryland.

Wells is the third lineman in CU’s class, joining tackles Carter Edwards and Travis Gray.

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WATCH: Tyrei Randall hits three-quarter-court OT buzzer beater to lift Metro State men’s basketball over Colorado Mesa

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WATCH: Tyrei Randall hits three-quarter-court OT buzzer beater to lift Metro State men’s basketball over Colorado Mesa

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Lucas: Healey should give Biden a hand, he could use it

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Lucas: By bowing out, Charlie Baker leaves door wide open for Maura Healey

Democrat gubernatorial candidate-in-waiting Maura Healey ought to invite President Biden to her announcement ceremony.

After getting stiffed in Georgia by Stacey Abrams, who is also running for governor, Biden could use a hug.

The Stacey diss came when the Georgia Democrat, once on Biden’s short list of vice-presidential candidates, declined to attend Biden’s speech in Atlanta last week.

It would do Healey a lot of good among Democrats, liberals and progressives to host Biden. It would show that while Biden is down and out in the polls, he still has his base of support in Massachusetts

A warm Boston reception would stand in stark contrast to the cold shoulder many Democrats, including Abrams — once a strong supporter — gave Biden in Atlanta.

Once there Biden delivered a weird speech on voting rights, comparing opponents of the Democrat-sponsored voting rights bill to racists.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the speech was not only “profoundly unpresidential, but it also “was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office.”

Abrams claimed her absence was due to a scheduling conflict. Biden went along with the excuse. And nobody believed either one of them. You drop your schedule when the president of the United States says he is coming.

More realistically Abrams did not want to appear on the same platform as Biden, who has fallen so deep into a hole that it would take a cave rescue team to find him.

So, forget the Bulldogs, go Minutemen.

Although Attorney General Healey has not officially announced her candidacy for the Democrat nomination for governor, she will automatically become the favorite once she does.

She is a progressive who is far better known than her two opponents, has a two-term record as attorney general, has raised a ton of money and could become the first woman and openly gay governor elected in Massachusetts.

Currently the other two Democrats running are state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston and Harvard professor Danielle Allen.

With Healey in the race, it is likely that they would eventually drop out of the race the way former state Sen. Ben Dowling of Pittsfield did. Dowling, the first to get in the race, was the first to drop out.

So, Healey has nothing to lose and a lot to gain by inviting Biden to come to Massachusetts. She is a well-established Trump antagonist, having filed some 50 lawsuits against Trump when he was president. Most went nowhere but they helped weaken Trump, which was the point.

And despite his train wreck of an administration, Biden still has three years left on his term, so it makes good sense for a governor to be on good terms with him.

As all but crowned as the Democrat nominee, Healey would face conservative Republican Geoff Diehl, a Trump supporter, in the November election, which could make for an interesting race.

Healey, a good progressive Democrat, is a solid Biden supporter who is already campaigning against Trump.

No sooner did Biden give his speech in Atlanta, than Healey was out with a statement praising Biden and echoing what he said, even the parts that were untrue.

“Did you hear President Biden’s speech in Atlanta today?” Healey asked in a fundraising email to potential campaign donors. “He traveled to the cradle of the civil rights movement to outline the urgent need to protect our constitutional right to vote and the integrity of our elections.

“There’s no question that our democracy is under threat. One year ago, armed insurrectionists launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol,” she said.

“The former president and his cronies are still spreading lies about the integrity of our elections and initiating sham audits.

“Republican legislatures across the country are passing dangerous restrictions on the right to vote that disproportionately target black, Latino and Indigenous people,” she said.

“One of my top priorities this year is advocating for voting reform. We need legislative action to prevent election sabotage and protect the freedom to vote” as “a first step toward healing our democracy.”

Joe Biden could not have said it any better.

Healey, as the new leader of the Democrat Party in the state, may not be able to heal our democracy, but she sure could help heal old Joe.

And unlike Abrams and Georgia, Healey could welcome Biden and give the sad and confused old guy a much-needed hug.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.

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