Alexandre Bilodeau

Canada’s Alexandre Bilodeau makes retirement official

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Alexandre Bilodeau, the first freestyle skier to win multiple Olympic gold medals, will ski competitively for the last time on Friday.

The Canadian Freesyle Ski Association confirmed Bilodeau’s statements from during and before the Sochi Olympics that he will retire after this World Cup season, which ends in La Plagne, France, on Friday, according to the Canadian Press.

Bilodeau, 26, has said it’s been his plan since 2010 to retire after the 2013-14 season.

He exits as one of Canada’s greatest Olympians. He won the nation’s first gold at a Canada-hosted Olympics at Vancouver 2010, after Canadians were shut out of golds at Montreal 1976 and Calgary 1988.

Bilodeau successfully defended his title in Sochi, relegating countryman and two-time reigning World Cup champion Mikael Kingsbury to silver last month. Bilodeau is 31 World Cup points behind Kingsbury for this year’s title going into the final event.

Bilodeau has said he wants to focus on his accounting career once finished with skiing.

Other great Canadian Olympians include four-time gold medalist hockey players Hayley WickenheiserJayna Hefford and Caroline Ouellette, speed skaters Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes (six medals each, though two of Hughes’ were in cycling) and short track speed skaters Marc Gagnon (five medals) and Charles Hamelin (four medals).

Perhaps the most notable Canadian Summer Olympian is Donovan Bailey, who won double gold in 1996 in the 100m and 4x100m relay.

First tweets from Olympians

Watch profile of Kyle Snyder, youngest American to win wrestling World title

Kyle Snyder
AP
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Kyle Snyder, who became the youngest American to win a World Wrestling Championship on Sept. 11, had planned to redshirt his sophomore year at Ohio State to focus on training for the Rio Olympics.

But Snyder is back wrestling for the Buckeyes this season.

Why?

“Kyle wants to help the team win the national title,” Ohio State coach Tom Ryan said. “It doesn’t hurt Kyle’s chances to make the Olympic team. We meet. He jumps on it.”

The announcement that Snyder would wrestle this season was made at 12:01 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Learn more about Snyder in an NBC Columbus affiliate profile.

MORE WRESTLING: Burroughs says he’s ‘on Mount Rushmore’

Lydia Ko: Olympics are top priority this year

Lydia Ko
AP
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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Top-ranked golfer Lydia Ko says the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be her top priority this year.

Ko, who will defend her New Zealand Open title from Friday, said there was “so much excitement and vibe” around the Olympic tournament, “especially as it’s the first time women will play at the Olympics in golf.”

The 18-year-old New Zealander said “ever since they announced that golf will be in the Olympics I said, ‘Hey, I want to get myself on that team.’ For any athlete to say you’re an Olympian is a whole new proud feeling, and to represent your country on such an international stage it’s going to be a pretty special week.”

The 54-hole New Zealand Open at the Clearwater Golf Club is co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies PGA.

MORE: Inbee Park criticizes Olympic golf