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Diggins drops out of top three as Tour de Ski heads to last test

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Racing in the penultimate Tour de Ski event, U.S. skier Jessie Diggins finished 7th, complicating her attempt to finish on the podium after tomorrow’s final 9km slog, dubbed the Final Climb in Val di Fiemme.

For much of the first part of the women’s 10km Mass Start, Diggins positioned herself just behind the top ten skiers. Diggins worked her way into seventh place at the halfway mark, but was unable to do better as she neared the finish line. 

This 10km Mass Start was raced using the classical cross-country racing technique. It is a style of skiing Diggins has shown rapid improvement, but today she struggled to match the times of the best in the world, including Tour de Ski overall leader, Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg. Full results are here.

Oestberg takes a 53-second lead into the Final Climb event tomorrow, one in which she has struggled with in the past. The last 3km stretch of the Final Climb is a punishing 30% grade uphill fight to the finish. Every second will count for the Norwegian as she attempts to win her first Tour de Ski title. She finished second in the seven-stage event in 2016 and 2018.

Watch the conclusion of the Tour de Ski with the men’s and women’s Final Climb tomorrow beginning at 7 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel or stream on NBC Sports Gold.

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IOC pledges €500,000 to help restore Notre Dame ahead of 2024 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.

NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patrick Kane joined by NHL All-Stars on world championship roster

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NHL All-Stars Jack EichelRyan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.

Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.

Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.

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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster
Forwards

Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)

Defensemen
Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Goalies
Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)