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Saturday’s Highlights at the Sochi Olympics
Question of the Day
SATURDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS AT THE SOCHI OLYMPICS:
The Dufour-Lapointe family swept the top two spots in the women’s moguls. Youngest sister Justine won gold and middle sister Chloe got the silver. Oldest sister Maxime also made it into the finals, where she finished 12th. The Canadians aren’t the first sisters to finish 1-2 at the Winter Olympics. Christine and Marielle Goitschel of France did it twice in Alpine skiing at the 1964 Innsbruck Games, and Doris and Angelika Neuner of Austria did it in luge at the 1992 Albertville Olympics.
SOCHI’S FIRST GOLD, SLOPESTYLE’S FIRST GAMES
Sage Kotsenburg tamed the treacherous slopestyle course, getting the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics. The American did it with a run that left the 20-year-old who talks like a surfer and rides like a purist momentarily stunned in disbelief. Staale Sandbech of Norway got silver while Canadian Mark McMorris, who nearly missed the finals because of a broken rib, surged to bronze as slopestyle made its Olympic debut.
With the king, queen and prime minister of his country cheering him on, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands set an Olympic record and defended his title in the men’s 5,000 meters in speeskating. The 27-year-old Dutchman flew around the big oval and won gold with a time of 6 minutes, 10.76 seconds. He easily beat the Olympic mark of 6:14.60 that he set in Vancouver. The powerful Dutch team swept the medals. Jan Blokhuijsen took the silver and Jorrit Bergsma got the bronze.
TEARS FOR A TEAMMATE
Marit Bjoergen of Norway got her fourth career gold medal, winning the 15-kilometer skiathlon, and she dedicated the race to teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, whose brother died Friday. Bjoergen and her teammates, who also finished third and fourth, broke down in tears as they embraced after the race.
ISN’T HE GOOD …
Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen became the oldest individual gold medalist at the Winter Olympics. The 40-year-old won the men’s 10-kilometer sprint in biathlon, his seventh career gold. He beat the record held by Canadian skeleton racer Duff Gibson, who was 39 when he won gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Earning his 12th medal overall, Bjoerndalen also tied the record of fellow countryman and cross-country skiing great Bjoern Daehlie for most medals won at the Winter Games, and looks in a strong position to overtake Daehlie.
SILENCE ON GAY ISSUES
Plenty of athletes made clear before traveling to Sochi how unhappy they were about gay rights being curtailed in Russia, particularly with its law banning gay “propaganda.” But so far, competitors and coaches have largely been silent. Skating coach Brian Orser, who is gay, said: “I have my feelings about it, but I don’t know if this is the time or the place to voice it, although we do have a big audience, and that’s sort of important as well. So I am kind of torn.”
Eight gold medals are at stake, including the new event of team figure skating and the men’s downhill on the difficult and at times dangerous Rosa Khutor course, with Bode Miller of the U.S. and Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway the favorites.
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