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Kaillie Humphries takes break from bobsled with new focus

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Kaillie Humphries, the only female bobsled driver with multiple Olympic titles, is taking a break this season but plans to return for not only the 2022 Beijing Winter Games but also the 2026 Olympics if they will be in her native Calgary.

“I have been pushing boundaries for 16 consecutive years, and this season I will be stepping away from high performance competition,” was posted on the 33-year-old’s social media.

Humphries cited her engagement last month and her focus on building a strong marriage foundation.

In PyeongChang, Humphries followed her gold medals at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 with bronze behind surprise German winner Mariama Jamanka and American rival Elana Meyers Taylor.

She also won world championships in 2012 and 2013 and World Cup season titles in 2013, 2014, 2016 and last season.

If Humphries does compete through a fifth Olympics in 2026, she would be older than any previous female Olympic bobsledder. Humphries’ brakewoman in 2010 and 2014, Heather Moyse, holds the current age record at 39.

“I’ve got a lot more to give,” Humphries said before PyeongChang, according to the Canadian Press. “I’m not ready to be done. I don’t think by any means I’ve reached the top.

“What I want to achieve out of sport internally as well as the type of legacy I want to leave is forever changing.”

Calgary is one of three candidates for the 2026 Olympics.

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Posted by Kaillie Humphries on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Finn Christian Jagge, 1992 Olympic slalom champion, dies at 54

Finn Christian Jagge
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Finn Christian Jagge, the surprise 1992 Olympic slalom champion, has died at age 54, according to Norway’s Olympic Committee.

Jagge’s wife, Trine-Lise Jagge, posted on Facebook that he died of an acute illness.

Jagge, then 25, won the slalom at the Albertville Games in Savoie, France, stunning defending champion Alberto Tomba of Italy. Jagge had the fastest first run by 1.07 seconds and relegated Tomba to silver by .28 of a second after the second run. Tomba was going for his fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Jagge’s father won a Norwegian record 42 national tennis championships. His mother competed in Alpine skiing at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Jagge won his first Norwegian national title at age 18. After knee and back injuries, he won seven World Cup slaloms in the 1990s, retiring in 2000.

Vår største kjærlighet, vår største helt og klippe. Verdens beste Pappa og verdens beste MesterHubby, døde i dag, etter akutt sykdom❤️Det er ubeskrivelig vondt og vi er helt knust.

Posted by Trine-Lise Jagge on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Olympian, world champion snowboarder, drowns in spearfishing accident

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Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, drowned while spearfishing on Australia’s Gold Coast on Wednesday.

A police spokesperson said a 32-year-old man, later identified as Pullin, was unresponsive when taken from the water and died despite receiving CPR from lifeguards and emergency treatment from paramedics.

The accident happened at Palm Beach around 10:40 a.m. local time. Pullin had been diving on an artificial reef when he was found by a snorkeler.

“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in,” police said. “He didn’t have an oxygen mask. We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef.”

Pullin competed in Olympic snowboard cross in 2010, 2014 and 2018 with a best finish of sixth. He won back-to-back world titles in 2011 and 2013. He carried Australia’s flag at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014.

“We are all in shock today as one of the most beloved members of our close snow sport community, Chumpy, has sadly lost his life in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Snow Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said in a statement. “He was a mentor to so many of our younger snowboarders, giving up his time to coach and provide advice to our future Olympians. His loss will be felt right across our community.

“We know it won’t just be here in Australia that Chumpy’s legacy will be remembered, but throughout the international snowboarding community. It wasn’t just his ability to deliver results that will be missed, but his leadership and the path that he laid for so many.”

His parents owned a ski and snowboard shop in the Australian Alps, where Pullin began riding at age 8. Older friends gave him the nickname “Chumpy,” and it stuck.

Pullin, who spent time as a frontman for the surf-reggae band love Charli, often brought a guitar with him while traveling for competitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.