AP

Ester Ledecka must decide between ski, snowboard worlds

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SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy (AP) — Skier-snowboarder Ester Ledecka will not be able to follow up her dual sport gold-medal performances at the PyeongChang Olympics with a similar haul of world titles this season.

That’s because the schedule won’t allow it, and she’s not happy about it.

The parallel giant slalom at the world freestyle skiing and snowboard championships in Utah is Feb. 4 — the same day downhill training opens at Alpine skiing worlds in Are, Sweden, and a day before the super-G.

“I was a little bit hoping they would reschedule the snowboard race — put it a week earlier so I could do it both — but they didn’t want to so I have to choose,” Ledecka said Tuesday after placing 29th in a World Cup downhill.

In PyeongChang, Ledecka followed her super-G title by winning the parallel GS in snowboarding — becoming the first athlete to win two golds at one Winter Games using two different types of equipment.

The 23-year-old Czech is the reigning world champion in parallel GS.

Ledecka said she brought up the issue with the International Ski Federation, which governs both sports.

“On one side I see their point. For one athlete why should they do that, right? But from the other side I think I made snowboarding a little more popular, and I think a lot of fans would be happy to see me compete in both,” Ledecka said. “It’s their decision, and I have to respect it.”

Ledecka has not decided which worlds she’ll compete in. She’s currently going back and forth between the snowboard and ski circuits.

Last week, she finished first and second in two parallel GS events in Italy and then switched to downhill skis this week. She was fastest in a downhill training run Monday before finishing 29th in Tuesday’s race.

“I think I can decide right before,” Ledecka said. “But it will probably be early, so I’m well prepared.”

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Olympic Channel announces ‘The Nagano Tapes’ film

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The Czech Republic’s historic upset in the 1998 Olympic hockey tournament — the first with NHL players — is the subject of the first film of the Olympic Channel Five Rings Films series.

“The Nagano Tapes” will premiere worldwide on Feb. 28 on Olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps, plus on NBCSN.

Directed by Czech Sundance award winner Ondřej Hudeček, it includes never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with Olympians Dominik Hašek, Jaromir JagrEric Lindros and Brett Hull.

The Czechs, behind Hašek’s dominant goaltending, upset Canada in the semifinals and Russia in the final.

“Many people in the Czech Republic treasure this story like a scripture,” Hudeček said in a press release. “To me personally, it brings back the memories of a 10-year-old kid inspired to see the world around him as a much smaller place, and I wanted to weave all of these threads into a film that could be relevant and fun to watch for everyone — not just hockey fans.”

Future Five Rings Films subjects include iconic Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, a three-time Olympic gold medallist who famously turned down $5 million to fight Muhammad Ali. “La Lucha” is directed by Peter Berg of “Friday Night Lights” fame.

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World No. 2 biathlete to miss Olympics

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Gabriela Koukalova, the Czech Republic’s Sportsperson of the Year and second-ranked biathlete in the world last season, will miss the PyeongChang Olympics due to a calf injury, according to the Czech Biathlon Union.

Koukalova, 28, has not competed this season after placing second in last season’s World Cup standings behind German Laura Dahlmeier.

Koukalova won an individual medal of every color at last season’s worlds. She also took the 2015-16 World Cup season title.

She competed at two previous Olympics as Gabriela Soukalova — before her marriage — and won two silvers in Sochi.

This season’s World Cup leader is Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia.

The top American, world silver medalist Susan Dunklee, has a best finish this season of sixth.

Biathlon is the only Winter Olympic sport where the U.S. has never earned a medal.

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