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Gregor Schlierenzauer returns to ski jumping

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Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer, the most decorated ski jumper in World Cup history, will return to competition this weekend after a year break.

Schlierenzauer announced on his 26th birthday last January that he would take an indefinite break from the sport.

“I want out of the spotlight,” Schlierenzauer said then, according to an International Ski Federation (FIS) translation. “Right now I simply don’t know what the future brings, I want to spark the passion again and become clear about how my way shall continue without any pressure.”

Then in March, Schlierenzauer suffered a torn ACL while skiing recreationally in Canada.

Schlierenzauer owns rock-star status in Austria, where he’s been known by a nickname — “Schlieri” — since he was a teen.

He owns a record 53 World Cup victories and individual gold or silver medals at each of the last four world championships. But he has not performed as well at the Olympics, picking up two bronze medals in 2010 and no medals in 2014. He also earned team gold in 2010 and silver in 2014.

Schlierenzauer’s last World Cup win was Dec. 6, 2014.

The new ski jumping stars are Poland’s Kamil Stoch — who swept the normal and large hill events in Sochi and just won his first Four Hills Tournament title — German Severin Freund and Slovenian brothers Domen and Peter Prevc.

MORE: Austrian ski jumper partially paralyzed after crash

Shaun White’s crash lands him in hospital

Shaun White
Shaun White's Instagram
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Double Olympic snowboard champion Shaun White suffered a serious crash in training in New Zealand for the second time in as many months.

White was in the hospital after a “straight up old fashioned face plant” while preparing for the Olympic season, he said in an Instagram post Saturday.

“I’ve always lived my life by pushing the limits,” was posted on White’s Instagram. “Winning is great, but it’s the tough times that truly define you. I took a slam while training the other day, but don’t worry I’ll be back soon and better than ever!!”

White, 31, also crashed in early September, leading him to withdraw from his season-opening halfpipe contest in New Zealand. Doctors told him then to take a few weeks off.

White can afford to miss most of the fall. The snowboarding season does not ramp up until December. The first of a series of Olympic selection events is the second week of December in Breckenridge, Colo.

White is arguably the favorite for gold in PyeongChang in February despite finishing a disappointing fourth in Sochi, where he was bidding to three-peat as Olympic halfpipe champion.

White gradually improved last season after taking time off, changing coaches. dropping slopestyle (and his band work) and undergoing fall left ankle surgery.

He was 11th at January’s Winter X Games — his worst finish there since 2000 — but then finished first, second and first in his last three events.

He peaked at the finale, the U.S. Open in Vail, Colo. White landed a cab double cork 1440 and a double McTwist 1260 in one run for the first time, according to The Associated Press.

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Gymnastics doctor’s lawyers want trial moved, cite media coverage

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Attorneys for a former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting dozens of athletes are pushing to have his trial moved out of the Lansing area.

The Lansing State Journal reports that attorneys representing Larry Nassar filed a change-of-venue request because of what they called “inflammatory and sustained media coverage” that they say has made it difficult for Nassar to get a fair trial in the area.

The media attention grew more intense this week when 21-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney wrote on Twitter that Nassar started assaulting her when she was 13.

Nassar has pleaded not guilty to nearly two dozen charges in Michigan. He has pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in an unrelated case but has not been sentenced.

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