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JOC names ski jumper Kasai captain, curler Ogasawara flag-bearer


JOC names ski jumper Kasai captain, curler Ogasawara flag-bearerAgeless wonder Noriaki Kasai will be the captain of Japan's team at next month's Sochi Winter Olympics, while veteran women's curler Ayumi Ogasawara will bear the national flag, the Japan Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

Kasai on Saturday became the oldest athlete to win a ski jumping World Cup event and took third place the following day. He will be the oldest ever Olympic captain, and when Kasai jumps, he will be competing in a record seventh Winter Games.

"There was never any discussion of my being captain at my previous six Olympics," Kasai said. "But this year, I have been in top form since the start of the season, and I began privately expecting it might somehow happen."

"That it has become a reality is a great honor."

Ogasawara is bound for her third Olympics after taking part in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and the 2006 Turin Olympics. She started a family following the Turin Games but has now returned to competition.

Women's speed skater Maki Tabata was named vice captain.
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