SOCHI SCENE: Loud and clear

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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - Russian skier Elena Yakovishina wears hearing aids in both ears, allowing her to enjoy the roar of the adoring hometown crowd at the bottom of the course.

The fans were at their noisiest when she stepped into the starting gate Monday for the slalom portion of the women’s Olympic super-combined. The trumpets blared, flags waved and the supporters shrieked, which definitely motivated Yakovishina. She didn’t win, finishing 4.26 seconds behind Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, but she certainly appreciated all the applause.

Yakovishina said she’s been hearing impaired since she was born.

“I heard that (roar from the crowd) very good,” said Yakovishina, who wound up 14th in the event that combines the times of a downhill and slalom run. “I was so nervous. I’m happy I finished. Just a difficult course.”

Pleased with her performance?

“My dream is to win the Olympic title,” she said. “I’m not going to give up the sport. I’ll keep on going til the next Olympic Games in South Korea. The Games in Sochi will add much to my experience and I hope to be more successful in Korea.”

- By Pat Graham - Twitter


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