Four years ago Mikaela Shiffrin had a ”crazy” dream of winning five gold medals at the 2018 Olympics. That aim is seeming less and less unrealistic.
Just after becoming the youngest ever Olympic slalom champion at the Sochi Games Youth Rashaad Penny Jersey , the then 18-year-old Shiffrin dreamed aloud ”of the next Olympics (and) winning five gold medals.”
Right away she admitted her ambition ”sounds really crazy.”
However, less than five weeks ahead of the Pyeongchang Olympics, that number seems more obtainable than ever before.
Shiffrin probably won’t win that handful of gold medals, but mainly because she is unlikely to enter five different events in South Korea.
She will only decide on short notice which events she is going to enter at the Olympics.
Unlike at previous games, this time the technical races of GS and slalom are the first events on the women’s Alpine Olympic schedule, enabling Shiffrin to compete in her core disciplines before making up her mind on possible starts in the speed events of downhill and super-G, and the concluding combined and team events.
Developed into a potential winner of every race she competes in, and even triumphing for the first time in a downhill in December, Shiffrin has been dominating the Alpine skiing World Cup for months.
Her win in a slalom in Slovenia on Sunday was her ninth of the season, and seventh out of the last eight races, boosting her career total to 40.
That number leaves her one short of the all-time record for most World Cup wins by a 22-year-old, set by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell in the 1970s.
With the World Cup season approaching the halfway mark, Shiffrin is leading the overall standings as well as every single discipline except for super-G, the only event she hasn’t won yet.
Her season stats are even far exceeding her achievements from last year, when she became the third American female skier after Tamara McKinney and four-time champion Lindsey Vonn to win the overall title.
Though winning is not all what Shiffrin is after.
”It’s a good way to put it that I am not competing, I am just enjoying every turn that I make, to make every turn aggressive,” Shiffrin said. ”Right now I am just enjoying that so much, the skiing, that it’s even more important than the winning.”
Still, the wins keep piling up.
With 100 points for every victory, Shiffrin has racked up 1,281 World Cup points after 18 of this season’s 38 races and looks set to break the record for the most World Cup points in a single season – 2 Youth Shaquem Griffin Jersey ,414 by retired Slovenian great Tina Maze, a record many deemed unbreakable.
In her main event, Shiffrin is not just winning, she is crushing the field. She triumphed in the past four slaloms by margins of 1.64, 0.89, 1.59 and again 1.64 seconds – a country mile in the sport.
Having won 20 of the last 25 slaloms she entered, it’s hard to see past Shiffrin for gold at the Pyeongchang Games, even if the American doesn’t regard herself unbeatable by any means.
”Every single of the competitors can match,” she said. ”That makes me even more motivated to keep moving forward.”
While a night race in Flachau on Tuesday will be the penultimate slalom ahead of the Olympics, Shiffrin will be eager to keep her momentum going in weeks to come.
After Sunday’s race, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden praised the American for ”taking the sport to another level.”
But Shiffrin, who usually refrains from keeping track of her records and statistics, said ”it doesn’t feel like it’s something crazy that’s happening.”
This time, she said, ”it’s not like dreaming. And that’s really cool.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. never doubted he would pull out of his slump, even as he hit .167 in June and fell further down Boston’s batting order.
He kept putting in the work. Kept tinkering with his stance and his swing. Kept believing he would snap out of it.
”You have to trust that what you’re doing is going to produce results,” Bradley said after his second straight three-hit game helped the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-1 on Tuesday night.
”If it doesn’t early on, it’s a long season,” said Bradley, who batted ninth and drove in four runs. ”You’ve just got to continue to grind. There’s no other way.”
Mookie Betts homered on John Lamb’s first pitch of the game, and J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 24th home run to back David Price’s six strong innings and lead the Red Sox to their fourth win in the last five games. The Angels lost their fourth straight game.
Christian Vazquez also hit one of Boston’s four homers to help Price (9-5) bounce back from his previous loss on Wednesday in Minnesota that was his first since May 3. He allowed five hits on Tuesday, including a solo homer to Chris Young, and two walks while striking out seven.
Bradley has now had back-to-back multi-hit games after producing just five in his previous 68 games this season. He had three hits http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-braden-smith-jersey , all singles, against Seattle on Sunday but still entered the night hitting .189.
”We all want the results now,” Bradley said. ”Sometimes the game’s a lot tougher than that. You can do everything right and still be out.”
Two-time AL MVP Mike Trout, who began the game batting .387 in June, singled in four at-bats for the Angels while serving as designated hitter to aid his recovery from a sprained right index finger. The Angels went hitless in their last three innings against Boston’s bullpen and fell into fourth place in the AL West for the first time since opening day.
Betts’ homer into the Red Sox bullpen sent right fielder Michael Hermosillo crashing over the wall in pursuit. It was his 15h career leadoff homer, extending his franchise record.
”Trying to set the tone against a good team,” Betts said. ”Just letting them know we’re here and we’re ready to go.”
Lamb (0-1) got just five outs. He allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits and a pair of walks.
He escaped more damage in the first after Betts’ 20th homer of the season, then was removed in the second after giving up Bradley’s two-run double and two more run-scoring hits.
”It was just a nice welcome to Fenway ballpark I guess by one of the better baseball players in the game right now,” Lamb said. ”I tried to get ahead on the outside part of the plate and they went ahead in the run column.”
Deck McGuire needed just one pitch to end that inning, but he surrendered solo homers to Bradley in the third and Vazquez in the fifth before Martinez hit one in the sixth that made it 8-1.
IN A JAM
Price only had trouble in the third, when Young homered and then the Angels loaded the bases with two out on two singles, a wild pitch and a walk. He retired Albert Pujols on a grounder to third to end the inning.
”Pujols can tie the game at that point,” Price said. ”To get that ground ball is big.”
Angels: McGuire was checked out by the team athletic trainer after Christian Vazquez lined a ball up the middle in the third inning, but he remained in the game.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright was put on the 10-day DL with left knee inflammation, and RHP reliever Justin Haley was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (4-5, 3.43 ERA) gets his first start since going seven innings and allowing one earned run on Friday against Toronto. Heaney has pitched at least seven innings in three of his last four starts.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (9-3, 3.44) has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts, holding the Twins to one hit over seven scoreless innings in his last turn on Thursday.
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