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Feb 15, 2014

Olympics-Eyes on ice with big hockey clash, US speed skaters’ suit switch

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Russia meets the United States in men’s ice hockey at the Winter Olympics on Saturday in a clash redolent of rivalries past, while the American speed skating team are hoping a change of suits brings a change in fortunes.

The ice hockey qualifier at the futuristic Bolshoy Ice Dome by the shores of the Black Sea in Sochi will not determine any medals but it will play out before a capacity crowd of around 12,000, most of them roaring on the home team.

Feb 14, 2014

Putin meets U.S. team officials, basks in Olympic praise

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped in on the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi on Friday and sipped red wine, and his relaxed demeanour suggested he agreed with organisers when they said it had been a “truly great” Winter Games so far.

Hosting a successful Games will go a long way to deciding Putin’s legacy, and the huge price tag, which some put as high as an Olympic record $51 billion, underlines how important it is to him and his country.

Feb 14, 2014

Russia proud of Games so far, star skater’s absence felt

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Russian organizers are proud of a “truly great” Winter Olympics so far, although the sudden retirement of figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko left home crowds with no-one to cheer in the climax of the men’s individual event later on Friday.

The host nation’s two gold medals of the Sochi Olympics have come in figure skating, and the sight and sound of a packed Iceberg Skating Palace roaring on local athletes has been one of the enduring images of the February 7-23 Games.

Feb 14, 2014

Olympics-Russia proud of Games so far, star skater’s absence felt

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Russian organisers are proud of a “truly great” Winter Olympics so far, although the sudden retirement of figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko left home crowds with no-one to cheer in the climax of the men’s individual event later on Friday.

The host nation’s two gold medals of the Sochi Olympics have come in figure skating, and the sight and sound of a packed Iceberg Skating Palace roaring on local athletes has been one of the enduring images of the Feb. 7-23 Games.

Feb 13, 2014

Temperatures rise as men’s hockey giants hit ice at Russian Games

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Medals will be decided elsewhere, but the men’s hockey competition is the big draw at the Winter Olympics on Thursday as heavyweights Canada and the United States, and host Russia, all play their opening round games.

With the weight of a nation on its shoulders, the home squad takes on Slovenia at the gleaming new Bolshoy Ice Dome in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, while Canada meets Norway and the United States play Slovakia.

Feb 13, 2014

Olympics-Temperatures rise as men’s hockey giants hit ice at Russian Games

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Medals will be decided elsewhere, but the men’s hockey competition is the big draw at the Winter Olympics on Thursday as heavyweights Canada and the United States, and host Russia, all play their opening round games.

With the weight of a nation on its shoulders, the home squad takes on Slovenia at the gleaming new Bolshoy Ice Dome in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, while Canada meets Norway and the United States play Slovakia.

Feb 12, 2014

Drama in Russian mountains as Winter Games get first downhill tie

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – In a finish even a Hollywood scriptwriter would struggle to match, the women’s downhill at Russia’s Winter Olympics produced a tie for gold for the first time on Wednesday, on a thrilling fifth full day of competition.

The host nation got its second gold of the Games when Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov triumphed in the figure skating pairs competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Feb 12, 2014

Olympics-Drama in mountains as Winter Games gets first downhill tie

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 12 (Reuters) – In a finish that a Hollywood scriptwriter would struggle to match, the women’s downhill at Russia’s Winter Olympics produced a tie for gold for the first time on Wednesday, in a thrilling start to the fifth full day of competition.

Despite clear skies and mild temperatures, complaints about slushy snow conditions in the Caucasus mountains melted away, while on the Black Sea coast excitement grew with the first puck set to be dropped in the men’s ice hockey competition.

Feb 12, 2014

Drama in mountains as Winter Games gets first downhill tie

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – In a finish that a Hollywood scriptwriter would struggle to match, the women’s downhill at Russia’s Winter Olympics produced a tie for gold for the first time on Wednesday, in a thrilling start to the fifth full day of competition.

Despite clear skies and mild temperatures, complaints about slushy snow conditions in the Caucasus mountains melted away, while on the Black Sea coast excitement grew with the first puck set to be dropped in the men’s ice hockey competition.

Feb 11, 2014

Snowboard star White misses medal, mild weather a worry

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – American snowboarder Shaun White, one of biggest draws at the Winter Olympics and favourite to win his third straight halfpipe title, bowed out without a medal on Tuesday in the biggest upset of the Games so far.

The 27-year-old was criticised for withdrawing from the slopestyle event to avoid risk of injury and the strategy backfired when Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov was comfortably the better jumper and twister in the floodlit final.

    • 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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