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Japanese ski jumping legends joined in hailing Ryoyu Kobayashi for becoming the first jumper from Japan in 24 years to top the Olympic podium while also ending the nation’s half-century drought on the normal hill with his gold medal triumph on Sunday.

Ski Association of Japan Director Masahiko Harada, who won a gold medal in the team event on the large hill at his home Olympics in Nagano in 1998, said Kobayashi is a hero to a new generation of men’s ski jumpers in Japan.

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