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Slalom ‘King’ Marcel Hirscher gets World Cup win

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Marcel Hirscher was back on top of a slalom World Cup podium, winning the Snow King crown in Zagreb, Croatia. The last time the two-time Olympic gold medalist from PyeongChang raced slalom, he made some uncharacteristic miscues. Hirscher straddled gates and left the door open for Switzerland’s Daniel Yule to win his first ever World Cup event back in December.

In Zagreb, Hirscher faced two familiar challengers, his own countrymen, Marco Schwarz and Manuel Feller. After taking the lead with his first run by .33 hundredths of a second, Hirscher was passed by Schwarz who laid down a first run which was .37 hundredths of a second better than Hirscher’s.

Feller landed in the third position behind Hirscher and Schwarz at the end of his first run, and the table was set for an Austria vs. Austria vs. Austria second-run showdown.

Feller slid into second place after posting a second run just .02 hundredths of a second behind then current leader, France’s Alexis Pinturault.

Hirscher skied next, and showed why he has won 11 of the past 13 World Cup slalom events. He cruised down the course and crossed the finish line .60 hundredths of a second ahead of Pinturault.

Hirscher’s win was official after Schwarz straddled a gate early in his second run, disqualifying the Austrian contender. Pinturault held on to second place, while Feller finished in third. Full results are here.

Hirscher currently leads the overall World Cup standings, as well as the slalom and giant slalom leaderboards, by a commanding margin.

The men’s World Cup tour resumes on January 12-13 in Adelboden, Switzerland with giant slalom and slalom events being held. Watch the action on Olympic Channel or stream it live with 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)