Why isn’t one of world’s best snowboarders in PyeongChang?

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Some projected Yuki Kadono to win an Olympic medal, but the Japanese snowboarder isn’t even on the entry list.

Kadono made his fourth X Games Aspen big air podium in the last five years two weeks ago. He is the first man to land back-to-back triple cork 1620s and believed to be the only one to land a quadruple cork 1980 (though not in a contest).

Yet he has not competed in an International Ski Federation event (like a World Cup or world championships) since August 2015, making him ineligible for the Olympics.

The Japanese Olympic Committee did not detail why when asked about it Wednesday. Kadono and Japan’s snowboard federation have not responded to Facebook messages or an email asking the same question.

But others have. A man with Japan’s Mainichi Newspapers company in PyeongChang and Olympic big air medal favorite Max Parrot of Canada, in separate interviews, said that Kadono violated Japanese law while he was in the U.S.

“His federation, they didn’t like it, so they kicked him off the national team,” said Parrot, the three-time reigning X Games big air champion. “His career for that ended. But we have other contests like Dew Tour, X Games, so he can still participate in those ones.”

Three other Canadian riders said they didn’t know the exact violation, but they knew there was an issue between Kadono and the Japanese federation.

The absence of the 21-year-old Kadono from slopestyle starting with qualifying Friday night (ET) and the new Olympic event of big air in two weeks is felt by the medal favorites.

“I’ve gotten to know Yuki pretty well over the last four years, and it is really tough not having him here,” said Mark McMorris, a four-time X Games Aspen slopestyle champion. “Japan’s obviously a really strict nation not letting him come. It’s kind of their loss at the end of the day. The kid’s so nice, such a great representative of snowboarding. He’s a really polite kid. It’s too bad.”

NBCOlympics.com: How to watch every snowboarding competition

For McMorris, the episode reminds him of Kazuhiro Kokubo, the Japanese rider who was barred from the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony by his federation for showing up in Vancouver with his shirt untucked, tie loosened and pants sagging below his waist.

Kadono’s violation is not believed to be along those lines.

“It’s an honor thing,” NBC Olympics analyst Todd Richards said. “The Japanese team, they don’t screw around.”

The Canadians could sweep big air or slopestyle in PyeongChang, but they would rather do it with the groundbreaking Japanese rider in the field.

“If he was here, he could definitely be a medal contender in big air and slope,” said Tyler Nicholson, the 2017 X Games slopestyle silver medalist from Ontario. “He’s done one of the gnarliest snowboard tricks that’s ever been done, a backside quadruple cork 1980. When I saw that, I was just mind-blown. … He did 16 to 16 [at the 2015 U.S. Open]. It still hasn’t been done [since]. Maybe at this event you’ll see it from some of the dudes, but not Yuki, unfortunately.”

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final