Olympics Live: Austria’s Mayer on course for super-G gold

Medical workers wearing protective gear prepare swabs for people participating in Beijing Winter Olympics Torch Relay activities at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. With more than 30 new COVID-19 cases detected daily ahead of the Beijing Olympics, organizers said Wednesday they were not worried and expected the numbers to drop within days.  (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Medical workers wearing protective gear prepare swabs for people participating in Beijing Winter Olympics Torch Relay activities at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. With more than 30 new COVID-19 cases detected daily ahead of the Beijing Olympics, organizers said Wednesday they were not worried and expected the numbers to drop within days. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

PA

The latest news on the Beijing Winter Olympics:

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Defending champion Matthias Mayer of Austria sits first in the men’s super-G at the Beijing Games and is on course to win a third Olympic gold with only lower-ranked skiers.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the United States is 0.04 seconds behind in second and World Cup super-G leader Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway is 0.42 seconds in third.

Mayer broke Norway’s 16-year hold on the men’s Olympic super-G title when they won it in 2018. That was four years after winning the downhill in Sochi.

Mayer, 31, also won bronze in the men’s downhill on Monday.

Marco Odermatt of Switzerland was among the favorites but lost control of his skis in a turn and went off the ski. Odermatt was slower than Kilde at the final checkpoint before going out.

Kilde tops this season’s super-G standings ahead of Odermatt.

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The International Ski Federation said five jumpers were disqualified from mixed team competition at the Beijing Olympics because their suits were too big and provided an aerodynamic advantage.

The FIS say no one lodged an official protest after the suits were inspected during the competition.

German silver medalist Katharina Althaus and Japanese star Sara Takanashi were among five women whose costumes broke the rules in the Olympic debut of an event that featured two women and two men on each team.

Slovenia won gold on Monday night while Russia and Canada claimed silver and bronze in upsets as four nations expected to fight for medals were hurt by disqualifications.

According to the FIS, the suits that broke the rules were produced exclusively for the Olympics and were not tested in advance, an opportunity only a few nations took advantage of before arriving in Beijing.

Norway had two jumpers, Silje Opseth and Anna Odine Stroem, with combinations that failed inspection. Austrian Daniela Iraschko Stolz was also disqualified.

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Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai spoke with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and watched American-born Chinese freeskier Eileen Gu win gold in the women’s big air event on Tuesday.

Peng emerged a day after giving a controlled interview in Beijing that focused on sexual assault allegations she made against a former high-ranking member of China’s ruling Communist Party.

His answers – delivered in front of a Chinese Olympic official – left unanswered questions about his well-being and what exactly happened.

Bach said he and Peng spoke with athletes at the Big Air Shougang venue for about 30 minutes, and the pair were seen together in the stands.

Bach said Peng told her she was going to self-quarantine later on Tuesday and planned to step out of the closed coronavirus Olympic bubble.

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NBC says comedian Leslie Jones is free to comment on the Olympics on social media after a misunderstanding with some of her posts.

NBC spokesman Greg Hughes said Monday night that some of Jones’ videos containing Olympic footage were blocked due to a “third-party error.”

“We have resolved the situation. She is free to do her social media posts as she has done in the past,” Hughes told The Associated Press. “She’s a super fan of the Olympics and we’re super fans of her.”

Some of Jones’ posts have been blocked due to increased monitoring of recorded videos posted on social media platforms. In 2014, NBC reached a $7.75 billion deal with the International Olympic Committee for rights through 2032.

Jones took to social media on Monday morning saying she might give up live-tweeting the Beijing Games.

“I love athletes and they love me doing it. And I know you all love it. But now it has become too hard. And no one is fighting for or with me. Soooo I guess I’ll leave that to the pros,” Jones wrote on Twitter and Instagram.

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The US Ski Team says US skier Nina O’Brien suffered an open fracture to her left tibia and fibula after falling towards the end of the women’s giant slalom at the Beijing Games.

Monday’s race had to be delayed about 15 minutes when O’Brien crossed the finish line at the end of his second run. She was screaming in pain after stumbling through the last door as her skis swept past her.

O’Brien was taken to Yanqing Hospital for “an initial stabilization procedure” and the team said she would return to the United States for further evaluation and care.

O’Brien, 24, was sixth fastest after the first run.

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US-born Eileen Gu of China threw the first 1620 of her career on her final jump, stunning France’s Tess Ledeux and winning the first of what she hopes will be three big air golds female freestyle.

Nicknamed the “Snow Princess”, Gu is one of the biggest local names at the Beijing Games. She is a favorite for medals in big air, slopestyle and halfpipe. His first gold stab went down in the last round.

Ledeux is the only other woman to land a 1620 – 4 ½ laps – in competition, and she stomped one with a slight swing on landing in the first lap.

Gu hinted after qualifying on Monday that she might be able to match Ledeux. With everything on the line, she did.

The 18-year-old from San Francisco screamed as she landed the jump, then dropped to her knees when her score of 94.50 was announced.

Ledeux attempted to improve on her second run of Round 3, entering the back jump for a 1440 switch. She was shaky on the landing, however, clearing the way for Gu’s gold.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki wore a Team USA pin and brought a bottle of Team USA water to the daily White House briefing.

She noted that the administration did not send a diplomatic delegation to the Olympics due to the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”

“At the same time, we wanted to emphasize that Team USA has our full support. We are behind them. We are watching from home. We want to thank them and their families for all they have sacrificed over the years. .

PSAKI described herself as an “Olympic-obsessed person”, and she mentioned figure skater Nathan Chen – “we’re going to watch it” – snowboarder Chloe Kim and skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who fell during her first event, the giant slalom, and was disqualified, but expects to compete in additional races.

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A second Finnish male hockey player has been taken to an isolation hotel after testing positive for coronavirus in Beijing.

Goalkeeper Jussi Olkinuora joined striker Marko Anttila in isolation. The Finnish Olympic Committee confirmed that Olkinuora was taken on Monday and that Anttila remains there.

A Finnish Olympic Committee spokesman said Olkinuora and Anttila recovered from COVID-19 last month and tested negative to travel to Beijing. Neither Olkinuora nor Anttila reported any symptoms.

The Finnish Olympic Committee does not know when either player might be released. The team plays its first game on Thursday.

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More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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