SHOOTOUT SUCCESS FOR OSHIE IN SOCHI
In front of a raucous, chanting crowd that included President Vladimir Putin and IOC President Thomas Bach, the United States edged Russia in a thrilling revival of a classic Olympic hockey rivalry. T.J. Oshie scored four times in the shootout and got the winner in the eighth round. The gimmicky shootout finish was entertaining, but the entire game was international hockey at its most compelling — and the third period was a thriller.
For the third straight Olympics, an Austrian woman has won the super-G. This time, it’s Anna Fenninger, who found a way through a tricky and uneven course. Austrian skiers have dominated the event since it debuted at the 1988 Calgary Games. Andrea Fischbacher won the gold at Vancouver in 2010 and Michaela Dorfmeister took the title in Turin in 2006.
INJURED SKICROSS RACER
Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova underwent a successful 6½-hour operation on her broken and dislocated spine following a training accident. The 23-year-old Komissarova fell on the third jump on the 1,200-meter course as she was practicing for the Feb. 21 event, the international ski federation said. Russian freestyle ski federation spokesman Mikhail Verzeba said she fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back and was taken to a hospital near the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park for emergency surgery.
RUSSIA’S NEW SHORT TRACK STAR SHINES
Viktor Ahn got the first short track gold medal for his adopted country of Russia in the men’s 1,000. The South Korean-born Ahn became the first man to win four short track golds. Vladimir Grigorev, who got the silver for Russia at 31 years and 191 days, is now the oldest man to win a short track medal.
THE RUSSIAN ROCKET RULES
Competing on a track he’s trained on more than anyone else, Alexander Tretiakov of Russia won the gold medal in skeleton in 3 minutes, 44.29 seconds, well ahead of Latvia’s Martins Dukurs, who won silver for the second straight games. Matt Antoine won bronze for the first men’s skeleton medal for the U.S. since Jimmy Shea’s gold in 2002.
POLAND WINS FIRST SPEEDSKATING GOLD — BY A WHISKER
In the first speedskating gold medal for Poland, Zbigniew Brodka edged Koen Verweij of the Netherlands in one of the closest 1,500 in Olympic history. The two were initially shown on the scoreboard as tied for the top spot, but when the time was broken down to the thousandths, the victory went to Brodka with a time of 1 minute, 45.006 seconds. Verweij settled for silver in 1:45.009. The bronze went to Canada’s Denny Morrison, his second medal in Sochi.
It was another tough day for two-time silver medalist Shani Davis and the rest of the American speedskating team. Despite changing suits, Brian Hansen was the top U.S. finisher in seventh. Davis was 11th. New suits or old suits, the result was the same — no medals through seven events in Russia.
SWEDEN FINISHES STRONG FOR FIRST GOLD
Charlotte Kalla erased a massive deficit on the final leg of the women’s cross-country relay and then won a three-way sprint to give Sweden its first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics. It was Sweden’s first victory in the 4×5-kilometer relay since 1960, and came on a day when heavy favorite Norway could only muster fifth place.
Russia picked up two more gold medals and one silver to take over the lead for total medals with 15. The United States and the Netherlands also added to their totals and trail by one with 14 each. All three countries have four gold medals overall, trailing Germany’s seven and Switzerland’s five.
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway is down to his last good chance for gold at the Sochi Olympics in the men’s super-G, one of five medal events on the schedule.