Mikaela Shiffrin earned 21 World Cup victories, two world championship titles, an Olympic gold medal and a pair of reindeer -- thats right, reindeer -- by racing within her comfort zone.Next for the 21-year-old skier: raising her speed limit.Shes working with a new coach -- Mike Day, the former giant slalom mentor of Olympic champion Ted Ligety -- in order to help Shiffrin, in her words, become comfortable with being uncomfortable.Because thats where she believes she can unlock even more speed and possibly more victories in her quest to one day win a World Cup overall crown.On one hand, its nice to know I can ski within in my comfort zone and be on the podium, said Shiffrin, who will compete this weekend at the World Cup stop in Killington, Vermont. But on the other hand, I really want to win races, so I have to take it to the next level because theres always somebody willing to go a little bit harder, take a little bit more risk, and if I just ski within my comfort zone, they will come out on top.Ive got to change what my comfort zone is.Shiffrins always been so swift in the slalom, a discipline in which she captured gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Of Shiffrins 21 World Cup wins, 20 have been in slalom, including the competition in Levi, Finland, two weeks ago when she won by 0.67 seconds.That particular win came with an unusual reward -- a reindeer. She named him Sven, after the reindeer from the movie Frozen. Her other reindeer, the one she got by winning in 2013, is named Rudolph.Its a pretty cool prize, said Shiffrin, whos from Eagle-Vail, Colorado. Im not sure if this is allowed, but it would be fun to have a reindeer farm in Colorado.No time for any reindeer games now, though.Her focus is squarely on revamping her giant slalom. Shes fine-tuning her technique under the guidance of Day, whos also helped Bode Miller and Ligety -- whos been referred to as Mr. GS. Shiffrin wants to compete with more of a go-for-broke style, similar to Swiss standout Lara Gut, the reigning overall World Cup champion.In training, if I can prepare to push the limit, push the line, get in some tough positions but make it happen because my technique is good enough, the speed will come out in the races, said Shiffrin, whos currently 80 points ahead of Gut in the overall this season after two competitions.Nothing too drastic, of course.She doesnt have to ski with reckless abandon, Day said. Our goal is for her to ski within herself and still reach the top step (of the podium). She has 180 points out of a possible 200 this season and we havent seen much risk in her skiing yet. To me, thats a positive sign.We dont want to ski a high-risk style, because were already getting a nice reward. Consistency is important when chasing titles.Her knee is no longer any sort of issue, either. Shiffrin missed two months last season after tearing a ligament in her right knee during a wipeout while training in Sweden.Its been 100 percent for quite a while now, said Shiffrin, the charismatic competitor whose list of sponsors includes Red Bull, Barilla, Atomic, Longines and Oakley. (The knee injury) made me much more motivated this summer, to try to make the most of my strength and how much stronger I can get. Because maybe it gives me a shot to ski down the mountain harder than I otherwise would if I was weaker. I feel stronger right now.So much so, shes contemplating the addition of more speed events. She will race the upcoming downhill and super-G races at Lake Louise, Alberta, for sure, maybe even the speed events at Val dIsere, France, in mid-December.After that, her team will play it by ear, depending on how shes doing in the slalom and giant slalom.Although tempting, Shiffrins trying hard not to think about the overall World Cup race. But with four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn sidelined by a broken arm and two-time overall champion Anna Veith (formerly Fenninger) trying to return from a knee injury, the door is open. It could come down to Shiffrin and Gut.Its becoming more of a thing in my brain all the time, Shiffrin said. Lara looks strong right now. Just have to wait and see how the first speed races of the season go. Well kind of go from there. Custom Minnesota Vikings Jerseys
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. -- Charline Labonte couldnt have asked for a better homecoming. LAS VEGAS -- Kentucky played North Carolina in arguably the best college basketball game of the season, a thriller that may not be topped again until March Madness hits.The sixth-ranked Wildcats dont get much time to enjoy it.Next up is No. 10 Louisville on Wednesday, a rivalry game that had their attention right after the buzzer sounded in Las Vegas on Saturday.Now weve got another war in three or four days after we traveled half a country away to go back home and play Louisville on the road, Kentucky coach John Calipari said.Kentucky (10-1) has one loss, to No. 2 UCLA, and blew out everyone else it played, so Calipari wanted a close game for his young team.It certainly got it against North Carolina .The Tar Heels have the length and athleticism to match the Wildcats, and the teams put on quite a show along The Strip, trading highlight-reel plays.Kentuckys Malik Monk scored a Kentucky freshman-record 47 points and hit a late 3-pointer to propel the Wildcats to the 103-100 victory. The win moved Kentucky up a spot to No. 6 in the latest AP Top 25 .Now the Wildcats get the 50th meeting with their biggest rival.Louisville (10-1) had a hard time shaking Grand Canyon on Dec. 3 but has won its past three games in blowouts and has one of the nations best defenses.The Cardinals lead the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 87.8 points per 100 possessions, and held Wichita State to 17 points in the first half earlier this season.Louisville-Kentucky games are always intense, and last years game was won by the Wildcats 75-73 to give Coach Cal his 200th career victory.Were going to run with them, but we have to take good shots, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. Hopefully its good enough to beat them. They are a great transition team.Louisvilles schedule doesnt get much easier after Wednesday. The Cardinals play No. 12 Virginia on Dec. 28, No. 16 Indiana three days later, then at No. 25 Notre Dame on Jan. 4.---CAROLINA RIVALSThatt Bluegrass battle isnt the only rivalry game this week.ddddddddddddAlso on Wednesday, No. 22 South Carolina hosts Clemson in a 9 p.m. EST game.The Gamecocks (9-1) dropped six spots in the poll after losing to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden but bounced back with an 11-point win over South Florida .Clemson (8-2) has rallied from losing two of its first four games -- to Xavier and Oklahoma -- with six straight wins, including 67-54 over Alabama on Sunday.South Carolina leading scorer Sindarius Thornwell has been suspended indefinitely for violating athletic department policy, so the Tigers could have a shot on the road.---LIGHT SLATEThe holiday week is light on big-time matchups and front-loaded with games, with no Top-25 teams playing on the weekend.Kentucky-Louisville is the only game between ranked teams and many of the teams in the Top 25 are expected to have blowouts against smaller schools.A handful of games could be close, at least for a little while. Those include No. 18 Arizona, which is short-handed, against New Mexico on Tuesday and No. 8 North Carolina against Northern Iowa on Wednesday.---WATCH LISTA few teams that could make a move into the poll with wins this week:Florida. The Gators (8-3) had a rough week two weeks ago, losing to Duke and Florida State, but again received votes this week after blowing out Charlotte . They play Little Rock on Wednesday.Virginia Tech. The Hokies (9-1) have three wins over Power-5 teams and their only loss was close to Texas A&M. They received more votes last week and could find themselves ranked with a win over Charleston Southern on Tuesday.Maryland. The Terps (11-1) have wins over Georgetown, Richmond and Oklahoma State and may be back in the rankings with a win over Charlotte on Tuesday.---More AP college basketball at http://collegebasketball.ap.org Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada
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