Feb 19, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
Ted Ligety’s victory in the Olympic men’s giant slalom this morning was a breakthrough on several fronts for U.S. Alpine skiing.
Ligety not only became the first American man to grab the gold in the event, but he also became the first American man to earn two Alpine skiing Olympic golds (he won in combined at Torino in 2006).
Prior to today, Andrea Mead Lawrence had been the only other U.S. skier to pull off that feat (Oslo 1952, slalom and giant slalom)…
It was the highlight of a three-medal day for Team USA, which also got a silver and a bronze from women’s bobsled.
Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams narrowly missed out on the gold by one-tenth of a second to now two-time reigning Olympic champions Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada.
Right behind Meyers and Williams were Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans, who earned the bronze in the Americans’ No. 2 sled.
Meyers is now the seventh U.S. bobsledder – and the first woman among that group – to win multiple Olympic medals, while Williams is now the fifth Olympian ever to win medals in both a Winter and Summer Games (she won gold as part of the U.S. 4x100m relay in London two years ago)…
Beyond Team USA, the top story was Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who helped Norway earn the inaugural Olympic gold in the biathlon mixed relay and won a record 13th Winter Olympic medal.
Bjoerndalen lived up to the title he’s earned: “The Biathlon King.” Running the third leg for the Norwegians, Bjoerndalen was a perfect 10-for-10 in shooting and built a big lead for his team before letting Emil Hegle Svendsen bring it home.
With the 13th medal, Bjoerndalen broke a tie with Norwegian cross-country skiing legend Bjorn Daehlie. But now, he’s got one more tie to break with Daehlie – they both have a record eight Winter Olympic golds.
OEB will have one shot to take the gold record for himself: Saturday’s men’s relay, the final men’s biathlon event of these Games…
The always highly-anticipated ladies’ figure skating competition got underway and the defending Olympic champion, South Korea’s Yuna Kim, looked every bit ready to contend again.
But while Kim leads after the short program, it’s only by a narrow margin over Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, who now appears to be the host nation’s big hope for gold after Yulia Lipnitskaia’s fall in her program.
As for the U.S., Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner both earned berths into the final group for tomorrow’s free skate with top-six results (Gold 4th, Wagner 6th). Polina Edmunds was also impressive in her first senior-level international competition and currently sits seventh…
In snowboarding, Russian husband-and-wife duo Vic Wild and Alena Zavarzina both came away with medals in parallel giant slalom. The American-born Wild, who gained Russian citizenship after he married Zavarzina three years ago, won the gold on the men’s side, while Zavarzina claimed the women’s bronze…
Finland and Norway won the men’s and women’s cross-country team sprints respectively, and Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic briefly interrupted the “Oranje crush” of Dutch speedskating in Sochi with a win in the women’s 5000m…
It was quarterfinals day in men’s hockey, and it was marked by a major shocker from Finland as they bounced the host Russians out of the playoffs with a 3-1 win. The loss will likely resonate for some time to come with Team Russia, which was unable to overcome several obstacles. The Finns head for a semifinal matchup with Sweden, who ended Slovenia’s impressive run with a 5-0 result.
Meanwhile, the Americans got goals from five different forwards in their 5-2 win over the Czechs. They’ll face off in the other semifinal against archrivals and defending Olympic champions Canada, which needed a late goal from Shea Weber to finally vanquish Latvia in a tight 2-1 decision…
Two more Canadian squads advanced onward as well today – in curling. The Canadian men and women will both be playing in their respective gold medal matches; the women tomorrow, the men on Friday…
Out of competition, the Sochi Polar Bear was in a sad mood following Russia’s exit from the men’s hockey playoffs…
Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the latest U.S. Olympians to earn themselves a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box…
And figure skaters in men’s, women’s, and pairs’ disciplines are preparing to have the option of using vocal music with lyrics for their programs…
MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 19
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Norway – 9/4/7 – 20
2. Germany – 8/3/4 – 15
3. United States – 7/5/11 – 23
4. Russia – 6/9/7 – 22
5. Netherlands – 6/7/9 – 22
6. Switzerland – 6/3/1 – 10
7. Canada – 5/9/4 – 18
8. Belarus – 5/0/1 – 6
9. Poland – 4/0/0 – 4
10. France – 3/2/6 – 11
11. China – 3/2/1 – 6
12. Austria – 2/6/1 – 9
13. Sweden – 2/5/4 – 11
14. Czech Republic – 2/4/2 – 8
15. Slovenia – 2/1/4 – 7
16. Korea – 2/1/1 – 4
17. Japan – 1/4/2 – 7
18. Finland – 1/3/0 – 4
19. Great Britain – 1/0/1 – 2
20. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
21. Italy – 0/2/5 – 7
22. Australia – 0/2/1 – 3
23. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
24. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-25. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1
T-25. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1
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