Senior Arts & Entertainment Correspondent
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Feb 21, 2014

Thrills on Russian ice, Ukraine athlete leaves in protest

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – The women’s figure skaters provided a thrilling climax to Thursday’s Winter Olympics action when Russian Adelina Sotnikova claimed gold, but a skier’s decision to pull out of the Games in protest was a reminder of the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.

Seventeen-year-old Sotnikova was second going into the free skating programme, and whipped the partisan crowd into a frenzy with an energy-sapping routine.

Feb 20, 2014

Women skaters go for gold, Ukraine and human rights loom

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – All eyes will be on the evening finale of the women’s figure skating contest at the Winter Olympics on Thursday, but Russia’s human rights record and its role in the crisis in neighboring Ukraine succeeded in diverting the world’s gaze.

The International Olympic Committee said some Ukrainian athletes had decided to leave Sochi for home, where at least 43 people have died in anti-government protests.

Feb 20, 2014

Olympics-Women skaters go for gold, Ukraine and human rights loom

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 20 (Reuters) – All eyes will be on the evening finale of the women’s figure skating contest at the Winter Olympics on Thursday, but Russia’s human rights record and its role in the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine succeeded in diverting the world’s gaze.

The International Olympic Committee said some Ukrainian athletes had decided to leave Sochi for home, where at least 43 people have died in anti-government protests.

Feb 19, 2014

Drama on ice at Sochi Games, Ukraine team frets over violence

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – The world’s ice hockey superpowers slug it out for a place in the men’s semi-finals at the Winter Olympics on Wednesday, when the more graceful yet no less competitive women’s figure skating also gets underway.

Far from the sporting arena, Ukraine’s Olympics boss Sergey Bubka called for an end to violence in his country, where at least 25 people have been killed in bloody street protests.

Feb 19, 2014

Olympics-Drama on ice at Sochi Games, Ukraine team frets over violence

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The world’s ice hockey superpowers slug it out for a place in the men’s semi-finals at the Winter Olympics on Wednesday, when the more graceful yet no less competitive women’s figure skating also gets underway.

Far from the sporting arena, Ukraine’s Olympics boss Sergey Bubka called for an end to violence in his country, where at least 25 people have been killed in bloody street protests.

Feb 19, 2014

Protest group crashes Russia’s Olympic party, Norway strike gold

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Members of Russian protest group Pussy Riot crashed the Sochi Olympic party on Tuesday when they were detained at a police station, briefly diverting the world’s gaze from snowboarders and skiers who braved thick fog, rain and snow to race.

Five group members were among those held for around three hours at a police station in the Adler district of Sochi, not far from the Olympic Park where Russia is hosting its first Winter Games.

Feb 18, 2014

Olympics-Norway scoop more gold as athletes ski through rain and mist

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Snowboarders and skiers raced through fog and rain at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday, as Norway continued their impressive Games with two more golds and short track speed skating produced more of its usual controversies.

After two days of delays and postponements organisers will have been delighted to get back on schedule as Frenchman Pierre Vaultier won the men’s snowboard cross in a race originally due to be run on Sunday.

Feb 18, 2014

Pussy Riot members detained by police in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Pussy Riot protest band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said they were detained on suspicion of theft in the Winter Olympics host city of Sochi on Tuesday, less than two months after their release from prison under an amnesty.

President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the Sochi Games, hoping they would show the world Russia’s modern face more than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Feb 18, 2014

Olympics-Pussy Riot members detained by police in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Pussy Riot protest band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said they were detained on suspicion of theft in the Winter Olympics host city of Sochi on Tuesday, less than two months after their release from prison under an amnesty.

President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the Sochi Games, hoping they would show the world Russia’s modern face more than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Feb 18, 2014

Athletes ski through rain and mist, Russian eyes on ice hockey

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Snowboarders and skiers raced through fog and rain at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday as organizers fought to clear a backlog of events in the mountains, while on the Black Sea coast, hosts Russia meet Norway in a do-or-die men’s ice hockey clash.

In the first medal to be decided on a wet, misty day, the men’s snowboard cross athletes soared over jumps, muscled rivals aside for the inside line and crashed out spectacularly in a thrilling contest narrowly won by Pierre Vaultier of France.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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