Wu Minxia
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Chinese diving legend emotionally retires

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Wu Minxia, one of two divers to win five Olympic gold medals, announced her retirement Thursday, reportedly saying her physical condition would not allow her to compete.

Wu, 31, made the emotional announcement on Chinese TV (video here).

“I am really sorry, but my physical condition does not allow me to continue training,” Wu said on TV, according to Agence France-Presse and Reuters. “I really feared the coming of today.”

Wu hinted at retirement in a Weibo post Wednesday.

“Now, though reluctantly, it’s time to leave,” was posted, according to Reuters. “The story of Chinese diving didn’t start with me, and it won’t end with me.”

Wu contemplated retirement after the 2012 London Olympics and has had many injuries during her decorated career, most recently a reported leg injury in May. So many that she was nicknamed “The Fragile Girl.”

Wu is the only diver to win gold medals at four Olympics and, with countrywoman Chen Ruolin, one of the only two with five gold medals total.

Chen announced her retirement at age 23 in October due to injuries.

Wu made her Olympic debut at Athens 2004 at age 18, winning the first of her four straight Olympic synchronized springboard titles. The first two were with Guo Jingjing. The last two were with He Zi and Shi Tingmao.

Wu also owns a full set of individual springboard medals (silver in 2004, bronze in 2008 and gold in 2012).

Only one diver owns more Olympic medals — Russian Dmitry Sautin — who won eight from 1992 through 2008.

MORE: Barrier-breaking U.S. diver dies at age 96

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

“We are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play,” the U.S. players said in a statement.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

“We ask that they approve the original agreement that, the players believed, was acceptable to both parties after Monday’s meeting,” the players said in a statement. “Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship.”

Neither side has said when the next meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set