Winter 2014 Olympics

Winter 2014 Olympics
10:49 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Women Are Front And Center In Today's Olympic Events

The Canadian women beat the U.S. in an early round match in Sochi on Feb. 12. The two teams face each other again today for the gold medal.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:32 pm

Forget about the men. There's only one Olympic hockey rivalry that matters today, and it's between the women.

The women's hockey teams of Canada and the U.S. will face off today for Olympic gold. It's the latest square-off in a tug of war that's been hot since 1998, when the U.S. team won the first Olympic gold in women's hockey, beating Canada.

Update at 6:30 p.m. ET: Canada Won, 3-2

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Winter 2014 Olympics
9:45 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Finnished! Russian Hockey Team Bounced Out Of Olympics

Russian fans who gathered in Sochi's Olympic Park react with dismay as they watch a broadcast of the ice hockey match between Russia and Finland.
Shamil Zhumatov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:33 pm

"Uskotko ihmeisiin?"

No, this isn't exactly a "do you believe in miracles?" bit of history for Finland, but its men's hockey team just produced a moment-to-remember at the Sochi Games.

Finland beat Russia 3-1, bouncing the home team out of the tournament.

As NPR's Robert Smith has reported, there was tremendous pressure on Alex Ovechkin and his Russian teammates to win gold in Sochi.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
10:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go'

Elana Meyers, during a training session in Sochi last week, is a driver on the U.S. team. She started out as a brakeman.
Tobias Hase EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:51 am

If there's one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed, it's bobsled.

The bobsled brakeman does about five seconds of hard work, jumps in the sled and can then relax a bit. During the women's bobsled competition tonight in Sochi, we should keep our eyes open, because it's fun to watch.

The women call themselves brakemen — not brake women or brake person — in a nod to the fact that bobsled was an all-male sport until 2002.

Even now, the women only race two-man — not four-man — bobsled.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
6:04 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In Men's Figure Skating, U.S. Pins Hopes On A New Class

Jason Brown skated to Prince during his short program Thursday.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

What's the hardest sport at the Winter Games — biathlon, aerial skiing, snowboarding, or high-flying slopestyle?

Jeremy Abbott thought it was one of those until an Olympic official told him otherwise. "Hands down," he was told, "absolutely, figure skating is the hardest."

Abbott may not completely agree, but he says it's the rare affirmation he's gotten as a male figure skater.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
12:47 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Substitute Racer Takes Olympic Silver In Sochi

Silver medalist Denny Morrison of Canada celebrates his feat, made possible after a teammate gave him a slot in Wednesday's 1,000-meter speedskating race in Sochi. Morrison stands next to gold medalist Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:31 pm

Olympic athletes often endure weeks of anticipation as pressure builds toward their moment on the global stage. That wasn't a problem for Canadian Denny Morrison, who got his spot in the speedskating finals just one day ahead of the race. Now he has a silver medal.

Many Americans were following the race mainly because American speedskating superstar Shani Davis failed to get a medal in the 1,000-meter race. He finished in eighth place.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
12:42 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

'Stomping' And 'Shredding The Gnar' — A Brief Slopestyle Glossary

Joss Christensen of the U.S. won gold in the men's ski slopestyle final Thursday at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:53 am

Slopestyle, one of four new events at this year's Olympics, is already a bona fide hit. It might get covered by the likes of Sports Illustrated, but it's also in Entertainment Weekly. When superstar snowboarder Shaun White dropped out of the slopestyle event at the last minute, it only drew more attention to the sport.

Slopestyle is sort of like a big skate park in the snow, a downhill course with rails and jumps. It can be performed on skis or on a snowboard.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
12:41 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Russian Star Plushenko Withdraws From Men's Skating

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia withdrew from the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, reportedly because of a recurring problem with his back.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 2:38 pm

Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, a star who hoped to compete one more time before his adoring home nation fans, pulled himself from the games on Thursday.

There's word that he may be headed into retirement because of a recurring back problem.

USA Today describes what happened at Sochi's Iceberg Palace:

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Winter 2014 Olympics
7:29 am
Thu February 13, 2014

In Front Of A Home Crowd, Russia Has Hockey History On Its Mind

Russia forward Alexander Ovechkin steps out onto the ice Thursday before a match against Slovenia. The Russians won 5-2. On Saturday, they'll meet Team USA.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 3:07 pm

There is a weird contradiction in Olympic hockey: On one hand, these professional players from the NHL arrive in a small town like movie stars.

They show up a week late, trailed by TV cameras and Russians begging for autographs.

And then they have to go back to basics. Early Thursday, members of Team USA were on the ice, doing the kind of simple drills that you'd see in a peewee hockey league.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
10:49 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shaun White Goes For 'Three-Peat'; India's Team Gets Its Flag

Shaun White of Team USA during a training session Saturday in Sochi.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:55 pm

There's big news for Team India as Day 5 of the games gets underway and potentially historic news for the man known to millions as The Flying Tomato.

After a standoff between the Indian Olympic Association and the International Olympic Committee, the three athletes from India can now officially compete for their country. Until today, they were competing under the Olympic flag, as "independent athletes," in cross-country skiing, Alpine slalom skiing and luge.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
10:25 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:53 pm

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
3:45 am
Tue February 11, 2014

U.S. And Canadian Women's Hockey Brings Plenty Of Heat To The Ice

The rival teams have already clashed during a Sochi Olympics preparation game last December. They will face each other in an early round game Wednesday.
Abelimages Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:28 pm

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Winter 2014 Olympics
7:40 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway practices in Sochi on Monday.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:55 pm

On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.

The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
6:33 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Time-Delay Question: Do Olympics Announcers Record Live?

NBC replayed Jamie Anderson's win in the Snowboard Slopestyle at least twice. One viewer wonders if the network's announcers use the time delay to hone their broadcast.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:59 pm

The Winter Olympics brings up many questions about the sports themselves. But people are also wondering whether announcers might use the big time difference between Sochi and the U.S. to improve their coverage.

That idea came up over at Quora, the question-and-answer site:

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Winter 2014 Olympics
2:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

So Far At The Games, A Low-Key Response To Russia's Anti-Gay Law

Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands, after her second run in the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal in Sochi on Sunday.
Sergey Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Leading up to the Olympics in Sochi, a dominant storyline was Russia's anti-gay propaganda law and what it might mean for athletes and other visitors. Would athletes protest in any way? Would Russian LGBT activists try to demonstrate against the propaganda law at the Olympics?

The answers (so far, at least) are: barely, and not really.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
1:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Olympic Guests Find Comfort Zones In First Day Of Games

Visitors to Olympic Park stroll around the base of the Olympic flame at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 3:14 pm

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Winter 2014 Olympics
8:12 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Germany's Hoefl-Riesch Wins Women's Super-Combined Skiing

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch during the slalom run of the women's alpine skiing super-combined event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Stefano Rellandini Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:47 am

As always, if you're among those who don't want to know who's won what until NBC-TV's primetime show is on the air, stop reading now. For those who do like to know what's happening, here's a quick look at the medals already awarded today and some of what's coming later on:

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Winter 2014 Olympics
10:19 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Team Figure Skating Already Has Its Share Of Controversy

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the team ice dance short dance figure skating competition at Sochi on Saturday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 12:37 pm

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
9:14 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Speedskaters Get A Little Help From Their Friends

From left: U.S. Speedskaters Kelly Gunther, Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Sugar Todd are aiming for Olympic glory in Sochi, Russia.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:15 pm

Speedskating is the U.S.'s most successful winter Olympic Sport. In Sochi this year, great things are expected again.

The secret to their success includes talent, skill and hard work, but there's also a network of support that buoys the team.

Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis is looking to win a history-making third: He would be the first speedskater to win the same event in three different Olympics.

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Winter 2014 Olympics
7:53 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Snowboarding With Women's Gold

Jamie Anderson of the United States, center, celebrates with silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, left, and bronze medalist Jenny Jones of Britain, after Anderson won the women's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Sunday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 12:06 pm

Jamie Anderson's win in the slopestyle snowboarding competition has given the U.S. a sweep of the event following Saturday's win by Sage Kotsenburg.

Anderson's near-flawless run clinched the women's gold.

The Associated Press reports:

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Winter 2014 Olympics
5:56 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Sochi Games Expose Indian Corruption And Redemption

Independent Olympic participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the men's luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 7:11 am

It's one of the most dangerous sports at the Olympic Games. And when Indian slider Shiva Keshavan crashed from his sled during a training run at the luge track Friday, his miraculous recovery went viral.

Flying through icy curves feet first, Keshavan thundered down the frozen tunnel, the scraping blades or "steels" of his small sled sounding like a runaway train.

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