Mikaela Shiffrin after winning last week's World Cup slalom at Squaw Valley, California // Getty Images

Skiing

Feeling 22, and everything is so all right

The American racer Mikaela Shiffrin on Friday clinched enough points to win the fancy crystal globe that goes to the alpine World Cup tour’s best overall female skier.

She becomes just the third American to win the season title. Tamara McKinney won it in 1983. Lindsey Vonn has won four big globes, as they like to call it on the tour, most recently in 2012. Now comes Mikaela Shiffrin, who just this past Monday turned 22.

Lindsey Vonn with her downhill and super-G World Cup crystal globes // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Lindsey Vonn’s first next chapter

It was long ago the case that Lindsey Vonn became the best alpine skier the United States ever produced.

Now, as this season’s racing draws to a close, with Vonn on a not-really-100 percent right knee, she has written a fascinating first next chapter to the ongoing story that is her singular career.

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Kobe, Tiger, Lindsey, Rita, First Amendment and more

A quick quiz. How are Kobe Bryant and I alike? For starters, let’s count the ways in which we’re not: he makes $25 million a year, has a cool nickname — Black Mamba — along with a way better jump shot and can dunk. The world has to be different for people who can dunk. I wouldn’t know.

That two-handed dunk Wednesday night, in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss (another loss) to the New Orleans Pelicans, apparently proved too much. Like me — aha! — he has a bad right shoulder. Him: torn rotator cuff. Me: torn labrum. Me: surgery last Thursday (thank you, Dr. Keith Feder). Kobe: got examined Friday, and now will be examined again Monday, probably out for the season if he, too, needs surgery.

Lindsey Vonn, flanked by Stacey Cook, left, and Julia Mancuso on the podium after the Lake Louise downhill // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Second race back: Lindsey Vonn wins

Lindsey Vonn won Saturday. Improbably, maybe, but only if you don’t know Lindsey Vonn, who is as mentally tough as they come.

That she won is good — obviously — for her. Better, it’s good for the U.S. team, for alpine skiing and for Olympic sports, because the Olympic world needs stars and Lindsey Vonn is a big star, arguably the biggest in all of winter sports, even though she didn’t even ski at the Sochi Olympics.