- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

SOCHI, Russia —  Skiing sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe won over many new fans as the first Canadian siblings to medal in the same Olympic event.

But in a packed news conference Sunday, Chloe wept as she reflected on two of their most important: their parents.

“I’m sorry I’m overwhelmed,” said the 22-year-old women’s moguls silver-medalist. “This is the best moment in my life.”

She said she and her two sisters — 19-year-old gold-medalist Justine and 25-year-old Maxine, who competed in the same event but didn’t place — knew they couldn’t let their parents down after they’d made sure their daughters had everything they needed to participate in sports.

“You would think that it’s not a big deal because it’s a run down the hill,” Chloe Dufour-Lapointe said. “But there are years of training behind it and I just told myself, ‘You have to be very brave, you have to do what you can.’”

The moment loosened up a tightly orchestrated news conference, with French and English-speaking journalists squabbling about which language answers should be spoken in and where everyone should stand when the athletes entered the room with their parents.

The middle sister made the affair a family celebration, where the girls and their parents talked about sharing pea soup, summers on a sailboat and sibling rivalry.

Sitting next to them, their father Yves Lapointe was asked about the sacrifices he’d made to get them to that point. The engineer said he wouldn’t put things that way.

“It’s all about choices — what you want to do,” he said. “Sacrifices, I don’t think is the right word. Choice is much better.”

Slovaki’s Kuzmina makes history in women’s biathlon

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia —  Anastasiya Kuzmina became the first woman in biathlon to successfully defend an Olympic title by winning gold in the 7.5-kilometer sprint Sunday at the Sochi Games.

Competing for Slovakia, the Russian-born Kuzmina shot flawlessly and finished in 21 minutes, 6.8 seconds.

Kuzmina won gold in the sprint and silver in the pursuit in Vancouver four years ago.

Her victory in Sochi came one day after her brother, Russian biathlete Anton Shipulin, had lost his chance for a medal in the men’s 10K sprint after missing the final target.

Olga Vilukhina of Russia trailed Kuzmina by 19.9 seconds to win silver, and Vita Semerenko of Ukraine was 21.7 behind for bronze.

Winning gold again completes a remarkable return to form for Kuzmina.

After earning two medals in Vancouver, she added a bronze in the sprint event at the world championships the next year.

Germany’s Loch repeats with easy victory in luge

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Furiously fast and fluid, Felix Loch is an Olympic gold medalist again.

And at 24, he’s only just begun.

Germany’s newest luging lord locked up the title he won four years ago in Vancouver on Sunday by easily beating a field of racers he left in his icy wake. Loch completed four runs down the Sanki Sliding Center track in 3 minutes, 27.562 seconds — 0.476 seconds ahead of Russia’s Albert Demchenko, who won the silver in his seventh Olympics.

Italy’s Armin Zoeggeler won the bronze, giving him a record six in six games.

Loch arrived at the Sochi Games expected to win. It seemed to be a mere formality that he would add another gold medal to Germany’s cache of Olympic hardware. He dominated and delivered.

“Unbelievable. It’s so crazy for me,” Loch said.

Huge first jump helps net gold for Poland’s Stoch

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Kamil Stoch of Poland made his first Olympic medal a gold one, winning the men’s normal hill individual ski jump at the Sochi Games on Sunday after a stunning first-round jump put him in control.

Down the hill last among 50 starters in the first round, this season’s World Cup leader had a jump of 105.5 meters, four meters better than Anders Bardal of Norway.

Peter Prevc of Slovenia, the 2013 world champion, overtook Bardal in the second round to take the silver. Bardal settled for the bronze. Simon Amman of Switzerland, the defending champion from Vancouver in 2010 and who was seeking a record fifth Olympic gold medal, finished 17th.

Russia captures gold in team figure skating

SOCHI, Russia | Russia won its first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics on Sunday, taking the new team figure skating event even before the ice dancers finished up.

Evgeni Plushenko and Julia Lipnitskaia secured the gold by winning the free skates, thrilling the Iceberg crowd that was almost completely comprised of their countrymen.

Russia had 67 points with the ice dance yet to come, and Canada was next with 56 points. The United States stood third with 50, while Japan and Italy had 45 each.

Russia, Sweden, Switzerland win in women’s hockey play

SOCHI, Russia —  The Russian women’s hockey team awakened in time to preserve its chances of reaching the medal round.

In front of a boisterous crowd that was the biggest yet at the Shayba Arena, the home team scored four times in the third period to come from behind and skate away with a 4-1 victory over Germany on Sunday night. Earlier in group play, Switzerland beat Japan 1-0.

Germany’s Franziska Busch broke a scoreless tie in the second period, and Viona Harrer took a shutout into the third before the Russians scored four times in a span of 7 minutes, 11 seconds. Yulia Leskina made 14 saves for Russia on her 23rd birthday and in her Olympic debut.

Harrer stopped 33 shots for Germany. Smolentzeva had a goal and two assists in front of the home crowd of 5,048, which banged drums and chanted “Ro-ssi-ya! Ro-ssi-ya!” at the puck-shaped venue on the coast of the Black Sea.

The Russians, who were third at the most recent world championships, are trying to play their way out of the second-tier Group B and into a spot in the quarterfinals. Only the top two teams in the round-robin will make the elimination stage, where they will meet the bottom two teams in Group A; the top two teams in the upper tier will get a bye to the semifinals.

Sweden won its Group B opener Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Japan. Jenni Asserholt deflected a shot into the net for a first-period goal.

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