Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010

from Left field:

Russia expects as Plushenko prepares for glory

OLYMPICS-FIGURE SKATING/Millions of Russians will be setting their alarm clocks a little earlier than usual on Friday morning.

The patriotic inhabitants of the world's largest country are desperate to see Yevgeny Plushenko bring home the cherished gold medal in the men's free skate at the Winter Olympics later today.

The flamboyant blond-haired veteran holds a narrow lead over his rivals at the competition's half way stage, and all of Russia is willing him to victory.

Plushenko's story has all the makings of a great Olympic drama. The 34-year-old retired from the sport following his landmark Olympic win in the same competition in Turin in 2006, but upset by a perceived decline in a proud Russian figure skating tradition he announced his intention to defend his title and with it Russian honour this year.

Winter Games, day six – live


Yevgeny Plushenko is the main attraction as the Russian attempts to seal gold with the men’s free skate but there’s plenty of irresistible medal action before then.

Join us on the live blog … we’ll be here all day with on-the-spot comments from our team if reporters, medal flashes, standback views and stats. Feel to dip in and out, and remember, comments are always welcome.

Winter Games: picture of the day



We’ve gone for another celebration picture today … and this one by Lucy Nicholson was just irresistible. The emotion of winning gold is captured in the strong expressions on the faces of husband-and-wife pair Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo after the scores for their routine in the figure skating pairs came in.

Original caption: China’s Shen Xue (L) and Zhao Hongbo celebrate on learning that they had won the gold medal after their performance in the pairs free skating figure skating event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Winter Olympics — day three


Cowbells are clanging, horns are blaring – it’s race day at Whistler Creekside at last… Yes, that’s right, the weather has finally improved to the point where Alpine skiing is possible at these Games. We expect the men’s downhill gold to be decided at around 1200 local time (1500 ET and 2000 GMT) and there’s plenty more action where that came from here in The Couver. Join us here for the fun.