Indian sports minister hopes to lift IOC ban

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The morning after having the Indian Olympic Association suspended by the IOC because it failed to comply with the Olympic charter, Indian sports minister Jitendra Singh is prepared to do whatever he can to ensure that the ban is lifted and the country’s athletes can compete in the Games.

Singh told reporters Wednesday that he met with IOA officials earlier this week to warn them about the ban, and to have them amend their constitution to include government guidelines on age and tenure limitations for committee members.

“Today, instead of playing the blame game, the need is to have a future strategy,” Singh said. “I will once again talk to the IOC and write to them that let’s talk about solving this problem for the future of Indian sportspersons. The government will take every step and we are willing to mediate.”

The ban was announced Tuesday after the IOA allowed Lalit Bhanot, a sports official who had spent eleven months in custody for corruption charges stemming from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, to run unopposed for secretary-general of the country’s Olympic Committee.

London marked the  most successful Games in history for India, which won six medals including two silver and four bronze. India has won eleven medals in field hockey in Olympic history, including eight gold.

Diggins, Randall win historic gold medal for U.S. in cross-country

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The long, long wait is over.

Team USA ended their 42-year Olympic medal drought in cross-country skiing Wednesday and they made American cross-country history in the process.

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall became the first American cross-country skiers to capture a gold medal by winning the women’s team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea. Sweden captured silver and Norway took home bronze.

Diggins and Randall are the first American women to win an Olympic medal and join Bill Koch as the only American cross-country skiers to earn an Olympic medal.

The Americans advanced to the finals courtesy of their first place finish in the semifinals, beating Sweden and OAR in the process.

Diggins out-sprinted both the gold and silver medalists of the individual sprint (Stina Nilsson and Maiken Falla, respectively) in the final stretch to take the gold.

Results

Gold: Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins (USA)

Silver: Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson (SWE)

Bronze: Marit Bjoergen and Maiken Falla (NOR)

Click here for a full recap of Team USA’s historic run

Czech Republic advance to medal round with shootout win vs. United States

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Petr Loukal scored the lone shootout goal as the Czech Republic defeated the United States and advance to the medal round.

Jan Kolar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation, while Pavel Francouz made 18 saves and stopped all five shootout attempts.

Ryan Donato scored his tournament-leading fifth goal, and Jim Slater added a shorthanded goal as the Olympics come to an end for the United States.