Canadian freeskier crashes hard in ski slopestyle final

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The excitement of the inaugural women’s Olympic ski slopestyle final was brought to a devastating halt after Canadian rider Yuki Tsubota suffered a vicious crash in her second and last run on the Rosa Khutor course.

Running fifth after her first run, Tsubota was aiming to climb into medal position when she landed hard on her final jump, went briefly airborne, and came back down again before sliding to a stop.

Replays appeared to show that her head made contact with her knee on first impact, which also caused her to lose a ski and her goggles.

VIDEO: Watch the crash here

The latter piece of gear could be seen rolling down the slope as course workers quickly rushed to her aid. She was eventually carried off on a gurney.

Early media reports, including those from CBC reporter Carly Agro, Denver Post writer Jason Blevins, and National Post (Canada) writer Bruce Arthur, indicate that Tsubota suffered a jaw injury but will otherwise be okay.

Tsubota’s Canadian teammates, Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre, went on to win gold and bronze in the final. Team USA’s Devin Logan took the silver.

source: Getty Images
Tsubota fell on her last run in the women’s ski slopestyle final. Photo: Getty Images
source: Getty Images
The impact caused Tsubota to lose one of her skis as well as her goggles. Photo: Getty Images
source: Getty Images
Course workers quickly attended to the injured Tsubota when she slid to a stop after her crash. Photo: Getty Images.
source: Getty Images
Medical personnel carry Tsubota off on a gurney. Photo: Getty Images.

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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