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Feb 24, 2014

Sochi sees Russian resurgence as winter power

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Two decades after it last led the medals table, Russia triumphantly captured top spot at its first home Winter Olympics – albeit with a big contribution from two “adopted Russians” – and can look forward to a Sochi-fuelled boost in 2018.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, a dominant Olympic power for four decades, Russia lost all its mountain training bases – a point highlighted by President Vladimir Putin when he presented Sochi’s bid in 2007.

Feb 24, 2014

Olympics-Sochi sees Russian resurgence as winter power

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Two decades after it last led the medals table, Russia triumphantly captured top spot at its first home Winter Olympics – albeit with a big contribution from two “adopted Russians” – and can look forward to a Sochi-fuelled boost in 2018.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, a dominant Olympic power for four decades, Russia lost all its mountain training bases – a point highlighted by President Vladimir Putin when he presented Sochi’s bid in 2007.

Feb 23, 2014

Victorious Zubkov drained after carrying nation’s hopes

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Former taxi driver Alexander Zubkov steered Russia to victory in the four-man bobsleigh on the last day of the Winter Olympics on Sunday but looked more exhausted than elated after carrying the weight of the nation’s hopes.

“Zero emotion, honestly. We gave everything,” said the 39-year-old Siberian, who also won in the two-man bob.

Feb 23, 2014

Olympics-Bobsleigh-Victorious Zubkov drained after carrying nation’s hopes

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Former taxi driver Alexander Zubkov steered Russia to victory in the four-man bobsleigh on the last day of the Winter Olympics on Sunday but looked more exhausted than elated after carrying the weight of the nation’s hopes.

“Zero emotion, honestly. We gave everything,” said the 39-year-old Siberian, who also won in the two-man bob.

Feb 22, 2014

Matt puts gloss on Austrian dominance

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Mario Matt rolled back the years and Marcel Hirscher made a ‘nearly impossible’ surge from ninth place to second in the men’s slalom on Saturday as Austria’s skiers ended the Sochi Olympics where they began – on top of the podium.

Nearly two weeks after Matthias Mayer’s surprise win in the men’s downhill, 34-year-old “Super Mario” delivered an even bigger shock by taking gold in the slalom, the same discipline in which he won world titles as far back as 2001 and 2007.

Feb 22, 2014

Olympics-Alpine skiing-Matt puts gloss on Austrian dominance

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Mario Matt rolled back the years and Marcel Hirscher made a ‘nearly impossible’ surge from ninth place to second in the men’s slalom on Saturday as Austria’s skiers ended the Sochi Olympics where they began – on top of the podium.

Nearly two weeks after Matthias Mayer’s surprise win in the men’s downhill, 34-year-old “Super Mario” delivered an even bigger shock by taking gold in the slalom, the same discipline in which he won world titles as far back as 2001 and 2007.

Feb 22, 2014

Alpine skiing: Musical bumps for Mexico’s mariachi

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Mexican slalom skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe chose a mariachi folk costume to lighten the mood at his sixth Winter Olympics, but the music came to a sudden stop when he found himself lying on his back in the snow.

Starting 111th in a vast field of 115, the 55-year-old was making stately progress down the Rosa Khutor piste when he suffered a spectacular wipeout, turning the crowd’s cheers to groans.

Feb 22, 2014

Olympics-Alpine skiing-Musical bumps for Mexico’s mariachi

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Mexican slalom skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe chose a mariachi folk costume to lighten the mood at his sixth Winter Olympics, but the music came to a sudden stop when he found himself lying on his back in the snow.

Starting 111th in a vast field of 115, the 55-year-old was making stately progress down the Rosa Khutor piste when he suffered a spectacular wipeout, turning the crowd’s cheers to groans.

Feb 21, 2014

‘Only in Russia’ moments brighten up Games

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Behind the shimmering $50 billion facade of the Winter Olympics, beneath the shiny wrapping of Vladimir Putin’s gargantuan gift to the world, lie traces of a Russia that never changes: sometimes frustrating, often bizarre and always strange and exciting.

Winston Churchill famously called Russia “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, and the country’s contradictions and incongruities were on full view in Sochi.

Feb 21, 2014

Olympics-’Only in Russia’ moments brighten up Games

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Behind the shimmering $50 billion facade of the Winter Olympics, beneath the shiny wrapping of Vladimir Putin’s gargantuan gift to the world, lie traces of a Russia that never changes: sometimes frustrating, often bizarre and always strange and exciting.

Winston Churchill famously called Russia “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, and the country’s contradictions and incongruities were on full view in Sochi.

    • About Mark

      "I've reported for Reuters from about 35 countries, with postings in Brussels, Warsaw, Moscow, Wellington and Berlin. Career highlights including covering the collapse of the Soviet Union and reporting on many aspects of the "war on terror" as security correspondent between 2003 and 2008. I now work on the political and general news desk in London, and as an editorial trainer."
      Hometown:
      Manchester
      Joined Reuters:
      1986
      Languages:
      French, Russian, German
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