- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WEDNESDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS AT THE SOCHI OLYMPICS:

SAY IT AIN’T SO-CHI!

Finland crushed Russia’s hopes of a hockey gold medal at its home Olympics by beating the hosts 3-1 and putting an enormous damper on the final days of the Sochi Games. The loss extends the 22-year Olympic title drought for the nation where many consider hockey to be the national sport. Finland will now play Sweden in one semifinal, while the United States will face Canada in the other.

YUNA KIM TOPS IN SHORT PROGRAM


Defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea showed she has just enough to remain the favorite to claim another Olympic figure skating title, winning the short program. After finishing first in both programs in the team event to help the hosts take the gold, 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia fell on a triple flip and then broke down in tears. She was in fifth place.

OLE, OLE

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, winning his 13th medal - a gold in the team biathlon event. The 40-year-old Bjoerndalen helped Norway win the first Olympic mixed relay as he broke the total medals record he previously shared with retired cross-country skiing great Bjoern Daehlie at the Winter Games, and also matched his countryman’s record mark of eight golds.

NORWAY DOMINATES, FINLAND SURPRISES

Marit Bjoergen gave Norway a dominant victory in the women’s cross-country team sprint, her fifth career Olympic gold and second in Sochi. For the men, Sami Jauhojaervi gave Finland its first Winter Olympic gold since 2002 - and first in cross-country since 1998 - by taking advantage of a fall that slowed his two closest rivals.

CANADA’S WOMEN EDGE U.S. IN BOBSLED

Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada won their second straight women’s bobsled gold, edging Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams of the United States by 0.10 seconds. The Americans had the lead after two runs, but skids cost them time and, ultimately, the gold. Williams already has gold and silver medals from three Summer Olympic appearances as a sprinter. The U.S. also took bronze, with Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans.

ALPINE GOLD AGAIN FOR LIGETY

Ted Ligety got the U.S. Alpine team’s first gold medal at the Sochi Games by winning the two-leg giant slalom with a combined time of 2 minutes, 45.29 seconds. He became the first American man to win two Alpine skiing golds. France’s Steve Missilier got the silver, 0.48 seconds behind Ligety. Alexis Pinturault got the bronze, another 0.16 back.

TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE - AND GOLD - FOR AMERICAN-BORN WILD

Vic Wild, an American native who now competes for Russia, captured the Olympic gold medal in parallel giant slalom about 15 minutes after his wife, Russia’s Alena Zavarzina, won the bronze. Wild, who married Zavarzina in July 2011, moved past Nevin Galmarini in the second run of the finals, while Zan Kosir of Slovenia took the bronze. In the women’s race, Patrizia Kummer gave Switzerland its sixth gold medal in Sochi when Japan’s Tomoka Takeuchi lost an edge halfway through the second run of the women’s final.

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