Monday’s Highlights at the Sochi Olympics
MONDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS AT THE SOCHI OLYMPICS:
For the second Winter Olympics in a row, Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won the gold in the women’s super-combined, which consists of both the downhill and the slalom. Nicole Hosp of Austria got the silver and Julia Mancuso of the United States got the bronze for her fourth career Olympic medal in Alpine skiing, twice as many as any other U.S. woman.
Canada got its first gold medal of the games as veteran short-track speedskater Charles Hamelin won the 1,500 meters for his third different Olympic title. Russia got its first short-track medal ever, thanks to Viktor Ahn, who captured the bronze for his adopted country. He won three golds for his native South Korea, but after missing the Vancouver Olympics, he changed his name and moved to Russia.
NYET FOR BJOERNDALEN
Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen just missed what would have been a record 13th Winter Olympic medal, finishing fourth in the men’s biathlon 12.5-kilometer pursuit. The event was won by Martin Fourcade, giving France its first gold. His teammate, Jean Guillaume Beatrix, picked up the bronze. Bjoerndalen has several more shots in Sochi to win the medal that would put him one ahead of cross-country skiing great Bjoern Daehlie.
THE BROTHERS, NOT KARAMAZOV
Michel Mulder edged his teammate Jan Smeekens by 12-thousanths of a second in the men’s 500, and Mulder’s twin brother Ronald got the bronze as the Dutch scored another speedskating sweep. The Netherlands also went 1-2-3 in the men’s 5,000 and took the top spot in the women’s 3,000 at the Sochi Games.
SCORCHER IN SOCHI
Temperatures at the Winter Olympics soared to 61 degrees F (16 degrees C) along the Black Sea coast, while it was well above freezing in the nearby mountains, where skiers were putting snow in their racing suits to cool down and ski jumpers were landing in puddles. The weather could get even warmer by the end of the week.
Canada, the Netherlands and Norway all have seven medals in total. A 1-2 finish in the moguls by defending champion Alex Bilodeau and teammate Mikael Kingsbury gave Canada three gold, three silver and one bronze, while the Dutch have three gold, two silver and two bronze. The U.S. has two gold and three bronze, and host Russia has one gold, two silver and three bronze.
Women ski jumpers have been fighting for more than a decade to get into the Olympics, and they finally make their great leap forward Tuesday, when the event debuts in Sochi. In another of the eight medals to be awarded, two-time defending champion Shaun White of the U.S. competes in halfpipe.