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Americans Claim Five Winter World Cup Wins This Weekend — And That’s Not Counting X Games

by Chrös McDougall

Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman compete at the FIL Luge World Championships on Jan. 30, 2021 in Koenigssee, Germany.


Bobsled & Skeleton
Kaillie Humphries won her first two-woman world cup race of the season, while Elana Meyers Taylor took second in both Saturday’s monobob and Sunday’s two-woman races in Igls, Austria. Humphries is the defending world champion in two-woman and has also won two races this season in monobob, an individual event that will make its Olympic debut in 2022, though she elected not to race monobob this weekend. Meyers Taylor has now reached the two-woman world cup podium in three consecutive races, and she’s been on the monobob podium the past two races.
On the men’s side, Codie Bascue drove his two-man sled to a season best 10th-place finish on Saturday, then was 13th in Sunday’s four-man contest. In Friday’s skeleton races, Katie Uhlaender took 13th for the women, while Austin Florian 14th in the men’s race. Next up for some of the U.S. athletes are the world championships, which begin next week in Altenberg, Germany.
Brittany Bowe swept the 1,000- and 1,500-meter races this weekend in Heerenveen, Netherlands, one week after sweeping them in the world cup opener in the same location. With just two world cups in this abbreviated season, Bowe’s perfect record secured the season titles in both distances, too. She now has five season titles at the 1,000 distance, including each of the last three, as well as three at 1,500. This also marks the third season in which she’s won both, having done so also in 2016 and ’19.
Bowe’s performances highlighted the U.S. team’s performances in Heerenveen, though fellow two-time Olympian Joey Mantia also had some standout moments, including finishing fourth in Saturday’s mass start. Following a rest weekend, the skaters will be back at the iconic Thialf stadium in Heerenveen for the world championships Feb. 11-14.
X Games
The stars certainly came out to play at the X Games Aspen, which continue through tonight. On Friday two-time Olympic slopestyle snowboarding champion Jamie Anderson won her seventh X Games gold medal. With her 18th X Games medal she’s now tied with Shaun White for the second most of all time.
On Saturday it was Chloe Kim’s turn. The 2018 Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champ took 22 months off before returning to competition last weekend. Although she spent time in the emergency room this week due to an allergic reaction and then injured her ribs during her opening run Saturday, she was able to hit a frontside 1080 tailgrab on her winning second run.
The next big star to compete will be White, who makes his X Games Aspen return on Sunday night, where he’ll go for a ninth halfpipe snowboarding title. Should he win, it would be his first since 2013.
Other U.S. medalists so far included Aaron Blunck (silver) and Birk Irvin (bronze) in men’s slopestyle skiing, and Alex Hall (bronze) in big air skiing. On Sunday, 17-year-old Dusty Henricksen became the first American in 12 years to win slopestyle snowboarding gold at the X Games. He also won the snowboard knuckle huck competition Friday.
Another weekend, another win for the U.S. aerials team. This time it was Megan Nick, who claimed her second victory of the season — and her career. Nick edged overall world cup leader Laura Peel of Australia on Saturday in Raubichi, Belarus. Winter Vinecki, who won her first world cup event last week in Moscow, was third, while Christ Lillis was the top U.S. men’s finisher in sixth. 
The U.S. luge team’s abbreviated season continued this weekend at the world championships in Koenigssee, Germany, where on Sunday Summer Britcher led the U.S. women with a sixth-place finish and then joined Tucker West and the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman to take fourth in the team relay. Three women finished among the top 12, with Emily Sweeney taking seventh and Ashley Farquharson finishing 12th. On Saturday, Mazdzer led the U.S. with a season best 10th-place finish in men’s singles, while West was 14th. Mazdzer and Terdiman finished 16th in doubles. The event was part of the Team USA Champions Series, presented by Xfinity. 
Cross-Country Skiing
Jessie Diggins follow a thrilling win in Friday’s 10K freestyle race to lead the U.S. in the weekend’s races in Falun, Sweden. Diggins, the overall world cup leader, finished seventh in Saturday’s 10K classic mass start, then reached the semifinals of Sunday’s classic sprint and ultimately finished eighth. Rosie Brennan, who ranks third in the world cup standings, finished eighth on Friday, then 33rd and 19th. On the men’s side, up-and-comer Gus Schumacher continued his strong season, finishing ninth in Friday’s 15K freestyle and then 28th in Saturday’s 15K classic mass start. With Schumacher not taking part in Sunday’s classic sprint, James Clinton Schoonmaker was the top American man at 18th.
Alpine Skiing
The U.S. men’s alpine team was in Chamonix, France, for a pair of slaloms this weekend. Luke Winters tied his career best when he finished 19th in Sunday’s race. Isabella Wright was the top American in 29th in a women’s super-G Saturday in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany. A second super-G scheduled for Sunday was postponed to Monday.
Alpine Snowboarding
Seventeen-year-old Iris Pflum finished 20th in the women’s parallel slalom Saturday in Moscow, setting a new career best. Cody Winters was the top U.S. man in 35th.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic Movement for since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.