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

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

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MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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