Kasai
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Noriaki Kasai sets record with 8th Winter Olympics appearance

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By competing at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Noriaki Kasai set a record for most appearances by an athlete at the Winter Olympics. The Japanese ski jumper participated in eight straight Olympics, beginning in 1992 and stretching to 2018.

Just for the sake of comparison, the top ski jumper in the world in 2017 – Austria’s Stefan Kraft – was born in 1993, a year after Kasai’s Olympic debut.

Kasai’s performance at the 2014 Sochi Olympics was record-setting in its own right. Not only did he set the record – tying with Russian luger Albert Demchenko – for seven Winter Olympic appearances, but he set several other records as well.

NBCOlympics.com: Who is Noriaki Kasai?

Kasai became ski jumping’s oldest individual medalist in Sochi when he won a silver medal on the large hill. He was 41 years, 254 days old. He also became the oldest medalist in ski jumping when he earned a bronze medal in the team event two days later, at 41 years, 256 days old. Additionally, by winning medals in Sochi, he tied the record for longest gap between winning medals: 20 years between Lillehammer in 1994 and Sochi 2014.

Kasai was born in Sapporo, Japan, a few months after the city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972. He has said he expects to ski jump at the 2022 Olympics (his ninth Games), when he will be approaching 50.

More surprising still is that he hasn’t ruled out the 2026 Games, especially if Sapporo chooses to bid for hosting rights. Kasai would be 53.

NBCOlympics.com: All 4 U.S. men advance in normal hill qualifiers

As the owner of silver and bronze medals, he says his lack of a gold medal is what still drives him. If he accomplishes those goals in PyeongChang, he may reel back his claims of continuing in the sport.

Canadian equestrian competitior Ian Millar holds the overall record, competing in 10 Olympics. He competed at the Games in 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Canada boycotted the 1980 Olympics. His only medal, a silver, came at the 2012 London Olympics.

Kasai placed 20th in the men’s individual normal hill qualification round Thursday to advance to Saturday’s first round.

141 women accept ESPYs Arthur Ashe Courage Award for Larry Nassar survivors

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A total of 141 women accepted the ESPYs’ Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday night for the hundreds of Larry Nassar survivors, according to ESPN.

“1997. 1998. 1999. 2000. 2004. 2011. 2013. 2014. 2015. 2016,” Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said on stage. “These were the years we spoke up about Larry Nassar’s abuse. All those years, we were told, you are wrong. You misunderstood. He’s a doctor. It’s OK. Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered. Be careful. There are risks involved. The intention? To silence us. In favor of money, medals and reputation.

“But we persisted, and finally, someone listened and believed us. This past January, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina showed a profound level of understanding by giving us each the opportunity to face our abuser, to speak our truth and feel heard. Thank you, Judge Aquilina [in attendance], for honoring our voices.

“For too long, we were ignored, and you helped us rediscover the power we each possess. You may never meet the hundreds of children you saved, but know they exist. The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations.

“Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided. Predators thrive in silence. It is all too common for people to choose to not get involved. Whether you act or do nothing, you are shaping the world that we live in, impacting others.

“All we needed was one adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nassar. If just one adult had listened, believed and acted, the people standing before you on this stage would have never met him. Too often, abusers and enablers perpetuate suffering by making survivors feel their truth doesn’t matter. To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story. Your truth does matter, you matter and you are not alone.

“We all face hardships. If we choose to listen, and we choose to act with empathy, we can draw strength from each other. We may suffer alone, but we survive together.”

The Ashe award, named after the Grand Slam tennis champion and human rights advocate, goes to those with “strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”

Previous Olympian recipients include Muhammad AliCathy FreemanTommie Smith and John CarlosPat Summitt and Caitlyn Jenner.

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Erin Hamlin to run New York City Marathon

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Erin Hamlin, the first U.S. Olympic singles luge medalist and Team USA flag bearer at the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony, will run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.

Hamlin, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist who retired after her fourth Olympics in PyeongChang at age 31, is running to fundraise for the Women’s Sports Foundation. So is Marlen Esparza, who in 2012 became the first U.S. Olympic women’s boxing medalist (flyweight bronze).

Hamlin has no marathon experience, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

“Being challenged in sport is something I am very familiar with,” Hamlin said in a mass email Wednesday, according to TeamUSA.org. “Long distance running is something I most certainly am not!! It will be difficult, mentally and physically daunting, but a way to test my abilities in a sport so far out of my comfort zone.”

Many Olympians in non-running sports have raced the New York City Marathon.

Bill Demong, the 2010 U.S. Olympic Closing Ceremony flag bearer and only U.S. Olympic Nordic combined champion, ran the 2014 NYC Marathon in 2:33:05, crushing eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno‘s 3:25:14 from 2011.

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