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Kamil Stoch is second ski jumper to sweep Four Hills Tournament

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BISCHOFSHOFEN, Austria (AP) — Kamil Stoch of Poland rounded off his second straight Four Hills Tournament victory by also winning the last stop on Saturday.

The man who swept the Sochi Olympic golds became the second ski jumper to win the annual competition by triumphing at all four stages, 16 years after Germany’s Sven Hannawald completed the feat.

Hannawald, who was working at the event as a TV commentator, appeared in the finish area soon after Stoch’s winning jump and congratulated him.

“I am positively surprised, happy, and a bit tired,” said Stoch, adding that the win was a “great reward” for him.

After winning in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck, Stoch said that the prospect of matching Hannawald’s record had not put him under extra pressure.

“It was big pressure this whole tournament, not just today. The most important was to stay focused on your job,” he said. “I just wanted to do my job, that’s all. I didn’t focus on winning. I focused on doing it right.”

The 30-year-old Stoch won both individual events at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, adding to his world title on the large hill a year before.

In 2017, he became the second Polish winner of the Four Hills Tournament after Adam Malysz took the title in 2001.

On Saturday, Stoch had jumps of 132.5 and 137 meters to finish on 275.6 points, edging Anders Fannemel of Norway by 3.2 points.

Andreas Wellinger of Germany was third with 270.5 points, and he finished runner-up to Stoch in the final Four Hills standings.

With his fourth straight World Cup win, Stoch overtook Richard Freitag atop the overall standings with 723 points, 12 clear of the German.

Freitag didn’t enter Saturday’s event having injured his left hip in a crash in Innsbruck two days ago.

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IOC: ‘More exciting initiatives’ for Korean unity in PyeongChang

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic organizers on Friday welcomed an agreement between North and South Korea to unite athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Games and promised that “much more exciting initiatives” promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.

“Watch this space,” International Olympic Committee presidential spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press in an interview, a day before a crucial meeting of Korean delegations at Olympics headquarters in Lausanne.

He declined to elaborate, saying the decisions would come Saturday.

Referring to a detailed peace-making agreement between the rival countries announced Thursday by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, including a joint team in the women’s hockey tournament, Adams said it was “great … but these are discussions” — meaning the IOC had not yet given the deal the final green light.

“I can tell you that there will also be some much more exciting initiatives coming through as well tomorrow,” he added.

Provided that the IOC finalizes the deal, it would mark the first time the two National Olympic Committees would be competing together in a single team.

Some have questioned the fine print of the agreement announced by the two Koreas, saying it gives the combined hockey squad a far larger roster than any other national team.

Asked how the IOC planned to maintain the integrity of the sport, Adams said: “People would say that these are exceptional circumstances, and we need exceptional measures.”

“This is about the Olympic spirit,” Adams added. “And the Olympic spirit is about nations competing, athletes competing, and we will do our best make sure that it sends a signal that sport can improve the world.”

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Julia Mancuso skis final race dressed as Wonder Woman (video)

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Julia Mancuso bid farewell like only she could — with a tiara, cape and Wonder Woman suit.

The most decorated female U.S. Olympic skier with four medals announced Friday morning that today’s World Cup downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo would be the last race of her career.

More on Mancuso’s retirement, career and immediate future here.

She raced Friday as her nickname — “Super Jules” — and coasted to the bottom 18 seconds slower than winner Sofia Goggia.

Afterward, U.S. Ski Team members sprayed her with champagne and lifted her up in the finish corral.

Mancuso chose an appropriate venue for her last race.

She notched her first World Cup podium in Cortina in January 2006, then won the Olympic giant slalom in Sestriere, Italy, four weeks later.

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