Troy Dumais ends storied diving career on emotional note (video)

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The final competitive dive of Troy Dumais‘ storied career was one of his toughest.

As he stepped up on the springboard in the final round of the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials on Saturday, the crowd at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis gave the 36-year-old, four-time Olympian a standing ovation. He was already out of contention for a berth in a fifth Olympics, but he still wanted to nail his forward dive with two and a half somersaults and two twists.

“It took a lot out of me, I’ve got to be honest with you,” Dumais told NBC after the emotional dive.

But he executed flawlessly and called it a career – one of the greatest the sport of diving has ever seen. He didn’t use the word “retire,” but Dumais did say, “It’s been a great career.”

He was bidding to become the first U.S. man to dive in five Olympic Games, and he would have been the oldest to qualify for the U.S. Olympic diving team since at least 1912. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis is the only other U.S. male to qualify for four Olympics.

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

Ultimately, Dumais finished fourth when only the top two divers go to the Olympics. Since May, he’s been bothered by a nerve injury that causes numbness in his right arm.

But he fought through the pain and goes out as one of the most decorated U.S. divers of all time: 38 national championships, 21 consecutive national teams made (first appearance at age 16), seven NCAA championships, five World Championships medals, three-time USA Diving Athlete of the Year, and one Olympic medal.

He earned that bronze four years ago in London with synchronized partner Kristian Ipsen, the man who won the individual springboard event Saturday night. Upon clinching his Olympic berth, Ipsen was immediately greeted by Dumais.

“It was cool because he just said ‘You’re going to kill it,'” Ipsen said afterward. “It’s pretty awesome. He’s been to four Olympics now, so for him to say that was like passing on the torch. It was a really cool moment.”

Dumais’ final night was full of memorable moments.

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Ester Ledecka must decide between ski, snowboard worlds

AP
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SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy (AP) — Skier-snowboarder Ester Ledecka will not be able to follow up her dual sport gold-medal performances at the PyeongChang Olympics with a similar haul of world titles this season.

That’s because the schedule won’t allow it, and she’s not happy about it.

The parallel giant slalom at the world freestyle skiing and snowboard championships in Utah is Feb. 4 — the same day downhill training opens at Alpine skiing worlds in Are, Sweden, and a day before the super-G.

“I was a little bit hoping they would reschedule the snowboard race — put it a week earlier so I could do it both — but they didn’t want to so I have to choose,” Ledecka said Tuesday after placing 29th in a World Cup downhill.

In PyeongChang, Ledecka followed her super-G title by winning the parallel GS in snowboarding — becoming the first athlete to win two golds at one Winter Games using two different types of equipment.

The 23-year-old Czech is the reigning world champion in parallel GS.

Ledecka said she brought up the issue with the International Ski Federation, which governs both sports.

“On one side I see their point. For one athlete why should they do that, right? But from the other side I think I made snowboarding a little more popular, and I think a lot of fans would be happy to see me compete in both,” Ledecka said. “It’s their decision, and I have to respect it.”

Ledecka has not decided which worlds she’ll compete in. She’s currently going back and forth between the snowboard and ski circuits.

Last week, she finished first and second in two parallel GS events in Italy and then switched to downhill skis this week. She was fastest in a downhill training run Monday before finishing 29th in Tuesday’s race.

“I think I can decide right before,” Ledecka said. “But it will probably be early, so I’m well prepared.”

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Sandro Viletta, Olympic super combined champion, retires

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Sandro Viletta, the surprise 2014 Olympic super combined champion, retired from Alpine skiing at age 32 after major injuries, according to the Swiss Ski Federation.

Viletta, who did not defend his Olympic title in PyeongChang, has not raced on the World Cup since tearing a knee ligament in a December 2016 super-G crash. He hasn’t raced anywhere since another knee ligament tear in a lower-level race in March.

Viletta took gold in Sochi despite having one World Cup podium to his name (from more than two years earlier). Viletta was 14th in the downhill part of the Olympic combined, then had the second-fastest slalom to win by. 34 over Croatian Ivica Kostelic.

“I did not think this was possible; I did not expect to win, even after I had the lead today,” Viletta told reporters after the race. “But on one day, I had the perfect day.”

Viletta was the lowest-ranked racer in the downhill to come back to win the Olympic combined since the format changed from two slalom runs to one in 2010. He is Switzerland’s lone Olympic men’s Alpine champion from the last two Winter Games.

The combined’s place at the Olympics and world championships and on the World Cup is in peril as the International Ski Federation has incorporated more parallel slalom and giant slalom races in recent years.

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