Swimmer Emma McKeon issues plea after hometown hit by Australia fires

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Australian Olympic swimmer Emma McKeon‘s family was reportedly evacuated from an area affected by the country’s wildfires that are causing states of disaster.

“Sadly our home town in Lake Conjola was hit very badly, and we were extremely lucky to be safe where we were,” was posted on McKeon’s Instagram. “But our heart goes to the victims who lost so much, and to the place many call home.”

McKeon, 25, earned an Australia-leading four medals at the Rio Olympics, including gold as part of the 4x100m freestyle. Her father, Ron, and brother, David, also swam for Australia at the Olympics.

The McKeon family was evacuated Friday, according to Swimming World.

At least 17 people have died since the fires broke out, and almost twice the land of New Jersey has been scorched, according to NBC News.

It is so hard to truly understand the level of devastation and suffering happening right now across the country from these fires,” was posted on McKeon’s Instagram. “I am so grateful to the relentless work and sacrifice from the firies, most of who are volunteers, saving thousands of people’s homes and lives, and still continuing.

“From being down at Lake Conjola over the last week, you can feel the way the community has come together to support eachother. Everyone across Australia can come together as a country and support from afar aswell by donating to those who have sadly lost their homes and everything in them, and to the fire fighters and volunteers who are risking their lives daily.”

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It is so hard to truly understand the level of devastation and suffering happening right now across the country from these fires. I am so grateful to the relentless work and sacrifice from the firies, most of who are volunteers, saving thousands of people’s homes and lives, and still continuing. From being down at Lake Conjola over the last week, you can feel the way the community has come together to support eachother. Everyone across Australia can come together as a country and support from afar aswell by donating to those who have sadly lost their homes and everything in them, and to the fire fighters and volunteers who are risking their lives daily. We can often feel helpless from far away but we can do the best we can by donating to those who have lost so much. Sadly our home town in Lake Conjola was hit very badly, and we were extremely lucky to be safe where we were. But our heart goes to the victims who lost so much, and to the place many call home. To help the victims from Lake Conjola’s recent bush fires of New Years follow the link in my bio 🔗 Some other suggestions are: *Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief (just google it) You can also support our brave volunteer fire fighters: *NSW RFS Donations Page Those still in the areas, please be safe, we are thinking of you, and to those fighting these devastating fires, THANKYOU, SO SO MUCH🙏🏽

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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