Sports Extra

Ski Racing

For once, the 35-year-old Miller is taking it slow

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Whether it’s in life or on the slopes, Bode Miller charges after what he wants at a breathless speed.

The U.S. skier simply doesn’t do slow.

On the course, that go-for-broke approach has served him quite well – 33 World Cup wins, two overall titles and five Olympic medals.

Off it, too: He met pro volleyball player Morgan Beck in May, and five months later they were married in a private ceremony on his boat. He also fancied owning a racehorse and recently partnered with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s wife to purchase a 2-year-old colt.

But now comes the difficult part: Slowing down for a bit.

Miller is coming off a major knee injury, and it’s taking time to get back to full speed. Maybe years ago, when Miller was much more impatient and racing meant just about everything to him, he might have gambled and returned before he was ready.

Not at 35, though, and in the twilight of his career. He insisted he’s in no rush to click back into his skis and compete. If he has to miss a few races to allow the left knee to heal after microfracture surgery just nine months ago, so be it.

“There’s no gain to come back and race a few races and get away with it a few times and then screw up my knee and have to retire,” Miller said.

He’s definitely out for the World Cup stop in Lake Louise, Alberta, next weekend. And he probably won’t be ready to race in Beaver Creek either, even though he is the defending downhill champion on the demanding Birds of Prey course.

Ask him when he hopes to return, and he’ll just smirk.

“Hope doesn’t play much part in it. You can hope for a (winning) Megabucks ticket, or hope for anything else,” said Miller, who was scheduled to attend the U.S. Ski Team’s introduction ceremony Thursday night in Vail. “The fact is it’s an injury that takes a long time to heal. If you come back too soon, you really do risk undoing the surgery and putting yourself back to square one.”

Illness unknown, Vonn still awaiting her test results

VAIL – Lindsey Vonn was released from the hospital in Colorado on Wednesday, but details of her illness remain unclear, and there is no indication of when she will return to skiing.

Vonn’s publicist, Lewis Kay, said she is “awaiting results from diagnostic testing for severe intestinal pain.”

Health permitting, Vonn’s next scheduled races are the giant slalom and slalom in Aspen on Thanksgiving weekend, followed by speed events in Lake Louise, Alberta.

NBA

FIBA hopes to lure NBA stars to its World Cup qualifiers

GENEVA – Basketball’s governing body will try to lure NBA stars to play in some World Cup qualifiers after creating a new format with more matches in their home countries.

The path to the revamped 2019 World Cup includes round-robin qualifying groups played in six separate fixture windows over a 14-month span starting November 2017.

The U.S., which has not played competitively at home since the 2002 worlds hosted in Indianapolis, will be guaranteed six home qualifiers in each World Cup cycle.

NHL

Hope is fading for the deal to save the NHL season

TORONTO – Forget optimism, hope is nearly gone as the NHL lockout drags on.

With no negotiations scheduled, and overall communication shutting down, too, the NHL appears to be getting close to calling off more games, putting the entire hockey season in jeopardy.

For the second consecutive day, the NHL and the players’ association weren’t even in contact by phone.

The sides put on a push to make an agreement last week when they met over six consecutive days in New York. However, Friday’s session ended with a heated exchange, and talks lasted only about an hour Sunday.

Associated Press