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Kasai causes Althaus to have “fangirl moment”.

Germany’s best ski jumper Katharina Althaus fulfilled a dream even before the start of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing: a meeting with the Japanese ski jumping veteran Noriaki Kasai.

“Fangirl moment,” the 25-year-old captioned her Instagram story, which featured a picture of her and Kasai at the modern facility in Zhangjiakou.

The 49-year-old Kasai missed his ninth Olympic participation and is absent from the Winter Games for the first time since 1988. He now accompanies the major event as a television expert. Kasai told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers ahead of the start of the Beijing games: “I’m very frustrated, but I want to be passionate about my new role and see my compatriots leap to victory. And I’ll take the frustration with me as motivation for the next four years .”

2026 in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo Kasai, who won Olympic medals in 1994 and 2014, wants to be back. “And if that comes true and I can meet Claudia Pechstein, I’d like to talk to her about the Olympic Games and the path so far,” said the veteran, who is still actively jumping. Pechstein will be starting in Beijing for the eighth time, catching up with Kasai. This would be 53 years old for the next games.

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