It’s definitely winter World Cup season. Skiers of all disciplines, plus biathletes and bobsled, skeleton and luge racers are competing around the world in various World Cup events this weekend. Back at home, top snowboarders, cyclists and Paralympic Nordic skiers have competitions as well. And summer sport athletes are busy, too, as the Nastia Liukin Cup series for gymnastics kicks off this weekend. Find all the details in this week’s Team USA Weekend Preview.
FIS World Cup Alpine, women’s downhill and super-G, Jan. 9-13, St. Anton, Austria
Lindsey Vonn is ready for her World Cup return.
Slowed by an intestinal illness this season, Vonn, a 57-time winner on the World Cup circuit, intends to return to action Saturday in the downhill and Sunday in the super-G in St. Anton, Austria.
“It feels awesome,” Vonn told the Associated Press after a training run Thursday. “It’s great to see all the girls on the World Cup. I am excited to be here, excited to be racing again.”
The four-time overall World Cup champion returned to Austria last week to train. She has not competed since the middle of December, when she fell in the giant slalom in France. Her illness at one point had her in a hospital in the United States.
Vonn placed 24th in the training session Thursday. The training session Friday was canceled for all skiers due to bad weather.
TV: 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 5:45 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com
IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup, Jan. 13-20, Cable, Wis.
A team of 16 U.S. skiers, including five members of the national team, will compete in the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup, beginning Sunday in Cable, Wis. The event starts Sunday with the cross country short (5/10km freestyle).
National team members Dan Cnossen (Related: "Navy SEAL Dan Cnossen Strives For Sochi"), Eric Frazier, Sean Halsted, Andy Soule and Jeremy Wagner were among those named to the squad. Cnossen posted two top-10 finishes at a World Cup event in December in Finland.
Also in skiing:
FIS World Cup Alpine, men’s giant slalom and slalom, Jan. 12-13, Adelboden, Switzerland
TV: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 4:30 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, men, Jan. 10-12, Zakopane, Poland
FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, women, Jan. 11-13, Hinterzarten, Germany
FIS World Cup Cross Country, Jan. 12-13, Liberec, Czech Republic
Webcast: 8:15 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup Nordic Combined, Jan. 12-13, Chaux-Neuve, France
Webcast: 7 a.m. ET Sunday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup Freestyle, men’s and women’s ski cross, Jan. 11-12, Les Contamines, France
Webcast: 5 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup Freestyle, men’s and women’s aerials, Jan. 12, Val Saint Come, Quebec, Canada
Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, Jan. 9-12, Copper Mountain, Colo.
Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira, Annalisa Drew and Chas Guldemond are among the U.S. snowboarders who will chase after podium finishes in the finals of the slopestyle snowboarding event Friday at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colo. Every U.S. Freeskiing slopestyle athlete made it through Wednesday’s qualifying and into the finals.
The halfpipe finals, featuring eight U.S. snowboarders, will be held Saturday. Half of the 16 spots in the finals were won by U.S. snowboarders in qualifying Thursday, including by Louie Vito, Scotty Lago and Spencer Shaw.
TV: 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC Sports Network; 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, NBC
Also in snowboarding:
FIS World Cup Snowboarding, men’s and women’s parallel slalom, Jan. 11-12, Bad Gastein, Austria
World Cup, Jan. 11-13, Koenigssee, Germany
Following an extended training camp on the 2013 world championship track in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the U.S. bobsled teams rejoin the World Cup circuit this weekend in Koenigssee, Germany. The course is known for its tricky combinations of “snake pit” corners.
Bobsled pilots Steven Holcomb (USA-1), Cory Butner and Nick Cunningham are expected to race in both Saturday’s two-man bobsled and Sunday’s four-man bobsled. Holcomb and Steve Langton finished the first half of the season in December as the top-ranked two-man team in the World Cup.
The women’s bobsled, featuring USA-1 pilot Elana Meyers and national push champion Aja Evans, was to be held Friday. The women’s bobsled team also includes track Olympian Lolo Jones.
Katie Uhlaender and Noelle Pikus-Pace, who both medaled last week in Altenberg, Germany, were to compete in women’s skeleton Friday. The U.S. men’s skeleton team Saturday includes John Daly, Kyle Tress and Matt Antoine.
Also in bobsled/skeleton:
Intercontinental Cup, Jan. 12-13, Altenberg, Germany
Nastia Liukin Cup Series, Jan. 11-13, Indianapolis and Atlanta
The fourth annual Nastia Liukin Cup Series begins Friday at the Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational in Indianapolis and the Atlanta Crown Invitational. The top gymnasts selected from 19 invitational meets held over the next month will advance to compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup on March 1 in Worcester, Mass.
“It is such an honor to continue my partnership with USA Gymnastics and be able to provide young girls with this unique and exciting opportunity,” says Liukin, the all-around champion at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. “I look forward to another year of great competition and I hope to help inspire these gymnasts to achieve their dreams.”
IBU World Cup, Jan. 9-13, Ruhpolding, Germany
Susan Dunklee, Annelies Cook, Sara Studebaker and Lanny Barnes were scheduled to compete for the United States in Friday’s women’s 7.5k sprint at the IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany. They combined for a 13th-place finish in the women’s relay Wednesday.
The competition continues through Sunday.
Tim Burke, the leader of the U.S. men’s team with an 11th-place spot in the World Cup standings, missed the men’s relay on Thursday due to illness. Without him, Lowell Bailey, Leif Nordgren, Russell Currier and Jay Hakkinen combined for a 14th-place finish.
World Cup, Jan. 11-13, Oberhof, Germany
Erin Hamlin, the top-ranked American women with a seventh-place standing in the World Cup, hopes for a relaxed but effective slide this weekend in Oberhof, Germany.
“My main goal for this week is to really slide relaxed and have good position,” she said after a training run. “Working so hard to get the perfect lines takes over once in a while and the position side of things fall off. I had my best result ever here last year so I’m hoping it goes similarly this year.”
Joining Hamlin in the women’s luge will be Julia Clukey and Kate Hansen. Both Hamlin and Clukey have already qualified for the world championships.
The men’s field includes Chris Mazdzer, a 2010 Olympic teammate of Hamlin and Clukey. Taylor Morris and Joe Mortensen will also slide for the United States. The U.S. athletes will hope to stop a winning streak by Germany that included the Germans winning all the events, men and women, last week in Koenigssee, Germany.
Also in luge:
Norton Luge Challenge, Jan. 12-13, Wachusett Mountain, Mass.
FIL Junior World Championship, Jan. 15-16, Park City, Utah
World Financial Group Continental Cup, Jan. 10-13, Penticton, Canada
Victories by men’s squads skipped by Glenn Howard and Kevin Martin helped Team North America pull close to Team World after one day of play in the World Financial Group Continental Cup. North America trails Team World 5-4 entering Friday’s play. Howard’s team won, 6-3, and Martin won, 4-3.
The Continental Cup is a four-day competition between Team North America and Team World, fashioned after golf’s Ryder Cup. The tournament features competition in women’s team, men’s team, mixed doubles and skins matches. Each side has six teams.
Also in curling:
World Curling Tour, International Bernese Ladies Cup, Jan. 11-13, Bern, Switzerland
USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships, Jan. 9-13, Verona, Wis.
Katie Compton, who has clinched the UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross women’s points title, and Jeremy Powers will be in Wisconsin this weekend to defend their national elite titles at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships. Power leads the USA Cycling Pro CX standings. The nationals continue through Sunday at Badger Prairie Park in Verona, Wis.
Both elite races will be held Sunday. Age-group championship races will be held Friday and Saturday.
Adam Craig won the men’s singlespeed race Wednesday, and Kari Studley successfully defended her national title in the women’s singlespeed race. Thursday’s winners included seven-time national titlist Kathy Sarvary in the women’s 55-59 race and Susan Butler, who overcame recent back surgery and won the women’s 44-44 race.
FIVB World Cup, Jan. 9-13, Brazil
Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, silver medalists at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson are competing this weekend at an FIVB World Cup event in Brazil. Kessy and Ross were named the USA Volleyball Beach Team of the Year for 2012. Gibb is a 2012 Olympian who placed fifth in London with former partner Sean Rosenthal.
World Junior Synchronized Team Selection, Jan. 11-13, Fraser, Mich.
The United States’ two spots in the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships will be decided this weekend in the team selection competition in Fraser, Mich. Team Braemar, of Edina, Minn., placed fourth at the junior worlds (previously called Junior World Challenge Cup) last year and The Skyliners of New York placed fifth.
The top two finishing teams at the competition will earn berths to the junior worlds. The annual U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will be held in Plymouth, Mich., beginning Feb. 27, but the junior world berths will be decided this weekend because the U.S. nationals occur just a week before the junior worlds begin in Helsinki.
USA Taekwondo National Team Trials, Jan. 12-13, Colorado Springs
The National Team Trials and Fight-Off for USA Taekwondo will be held Saturday and Sunday in Colorado Springs. Finalists determined at the trials will advance to the National Team Fight-Off. Winners in each of the eight men’s and women’s weight classes in the fight-off will earn spots on the national team and qualify for the 2013 WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Mexico.
Junior World Team Open, Jan. 7-11, Reno, Nev.
Championship matches in all weight classes will be held Friday night in the inaugural Junior World Team Open in Reno, Nev. Winners of the 13 male weight classes will qualify to compete in the 2013 AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships. The tournament features the top 15- and 16-year-old boxers in the nation.
Also, six female divisions are being held at the Sierra State Pavilion in the Grand Sierra Resort.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.