- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

THURSDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS AT THE SOCHI OLYMPICS:

GUESS WHO

A Russian won gold in women’s figure skating, but it wasn’t Julia Lipnitskaia. With the much-heralded 15-year-old Lipnitskaia stumbling, 17-year-old Russian teammate Adelina Sotnikova burst from the shadows to win the country’s first gold medal in women’s Olympic figure skating. The favorite, defending champion Yuna Kim, ended up with silver. Carolina Kostner of Italy took bronze.

GOAL CANADA!

Marie-Philip Poulin scored in sudden-death overtime to give Canada its fourth straight Olympic women’s hockey title. The Canadians rallied from two goals down in the third period beat the United States 3-2, with Poulin scoring the tying goal with less than a minute to go in regulation and then again after about six tense minutes of overtime hockey. Brianne Jenner also scored for the Canadians, while Meghan Duggan and Alex Carpenter scored for the U.S.

FIRST GOLD FOR CANADA’S WOMEN CURLERS

Canada won the gold medal in women’s curling, beating Sweden 6-3 to avenge a loss in the final at the Vancouver Games. The Canadians broke up a scrappy, error-strewn game with two steal points in the ninth. It’s the Canadian women’s first gold in what has been the country’s second most popular sport since 1998, when curling returned to the Olympics. The Canadian men’s team has won gold at the last two Olympics. Britain beat Switzerland 6-5 to win the bronze medal.

IT’S NORWAY IN NORDIC COMBINED

Norway outdueled Germany and defending champion Austria to win the gold medal in the Nordic combined team event. Cross-country ski specialist Magnus Moan made up a 25-second deficit on the first leg, and final-leg skier Joergen Graabak, who grabbed gold in the individual large hill event, outsprinted German rival Fabian Riessle in the final 100 meters to win by three-tenths of a second.

AS EASY AS UN, DEUX, TROIS

Jean Frederic Chapuis led a French sweep in Olympic skicross, taking gold while Arnaud Bovolenta won silver and Jonathan Midol captured bronze. A fourth finalist, Canada’s Brady Lehman, briefly moved into the third position but wiped out two-thirds of the way down the mountain. Earlier in the week, Pierre Vaultier won France’s first snowboardcross medal.

UKRAINIAN ATHLETE WITHDRAWS

Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska has withdrawn from the Olympics in response to the deaths of anti-government protesters in her country. She is refusing to ski Friday in the slalom, which is her third and best event at the Sochi Olympics. Matsotska said: “I don’t want to participate when in my country people die.”

EXIT PUSSY RIOT

The punk group Pussy Riot ended its visit to Sochi by posting a video criticizing the Winter Games and President Vladimir Putin. The group has been shooting video in the Olympic host city since Sunday. On Wednesday, members of a Cossack militia attacked them with horsewhips as they tried to perform under an Olympic sign.

Story Continues →