Sochi Winter Olympics Recap — U.S. Sweeps Men’s Slopestyle Skiing Medals
The U.S. moved up to a second-place tie in the overall medal count, and a Russian Olympic veteran withdrew from the Winter Games. Here's a recap of Thursday's action in Sochi:
U.S. Takes All the Men's Slopestyle Skiing Medals
Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper won the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively in men's slopestyle skiing on Thursday. The impressive display on the obstacle-filled, snow-covered course put the U.S. into a tie with the Netherlands in overall medals.
It was the first Winter Olympics sweep for the U.S. since taking the three top places in men's halfpipe snowboarding in 2002. All four of the Americans' gold medals in Sochi have come at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
Russia's Evgeni Plushenko Retires
Russian figure skating legend Evgeni Plushenko, who had just days earlier helped his nation capture the team figure skating gold, withdrew from the Sochi Games after injuring himself while warming up for his short program.
A medalist in four separate Olympics, including a gold medal in 2006 and silver medals in 2002 and 2010, the 31-year-old Plushenko decided to retire rather than risk further injury.
U.S. Routs Slovakia in Hockey Opener
Paul Stastny scored two goals, and the United States dominated Slovakia, 7-1, on Thursday in the Olympic hockey opener for both teams. The Americans tallied six goals in the second period en route to thumping their opponents.
Elsewhere, Russia beat Slovenia, 5-2; Canada topped Norway, 3-1 and Finland dropped Austria, 8-4. NHL star Teemu Selanne of Finland left the game with an upper-body injury, but he is not expected to miss future action. He's participating in his sixth Olympic games.
China's Li Jianrou Avoids Crash To Win Speedskating Gold
Li Jianrou avoided a crash that took out all of her closest competitors, and she won the women's 500-meter speedskating gold medal on Thursday. Her victory gave China its fourth straight Olympic title in the event.
Arianna Fontana of Italy took the silver, and Park Seung-hi of South Korea claimed the bronze. Both skaters fell after Elise Christie of Britain crashed in the second turn of the finals' first lap.
Norway retained its lead in the overall medal count with 13, but the U.S. surged into a second-place tie with the Netherlands with 12 total medals.
4 gold; 3 silver; 6 bronze
4 gold; 3 silver; 5 bronze
United States (12)
4 gold; 2 silver; 6 bronze
2 gold; 5 silver; 4 bronze
7 gold; 2 silver; 1 bronze
4 gold; 4 silver; 2 bronze