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Ukraine city Lviv withdraws 2022 Winter Olympic bid

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Lviv, Ukraine, pulled out of bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Monday, citing the nation’s political and economic circumstances.

The International Olympic Committee is set to name finalists to host the 2022 Winter Games in one week, likely the three remaining cities that submitted bids by the March 14 deadline.

Those cities are Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing and Oslo. The 2022 Olympic host will be determined by an IOC vote on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Lviv joined Krakow, Poland, as cities that withdrew their originally submitted bids. Krakow pulled out in late May after residents voted against it. Lviv said it will now focus on a 2026 Winter Olympic bid.

“In my discussions with the Ukrainian Prime Minster and [National Olympic Committee] president, we concluded that it would be extremely difficult to pursue the 2022 bid under the current circumstances,” IOC president Thomas Bach said, “but that a future bid would make sense for Ukraine and Ukrainian sport.”

Almaty hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games and is the most populated city in Kazakhstan, which has never hosted an Olympics.

Beijing, the 2008 Summer Olympic host, proposes holding Alpine events 120 miles away in Zhangjiakou and could become the first city to host a Summer and Winter Games.

Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics. The Norwegian capital’s bid faces questions over public and financial backing with an ultimate decision on whether to press forward expected by the fall.

Figure skating Grand Prix assignments announced

First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW (AP) Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Clare Egan notches first World Cup podium in biathlon season finale

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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.

Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.

Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.

“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.