Sochi Olympics torch

Details of Sochi Olympic torch relay’s trip to North Pole

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How is the Olympic torch going to reach the North Pole?

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee answered that question Thursday.

In October, the torch will travel 3,100 miles on a “nuclear powered icebreaker” named “50 Years of Victory.”

A “special Olympic Torch Lamp” will accompany the Olympic flame.

Dubbed the longest relay in Winter Olympic history, it will span more than 40,000 miles across 83 Russian regions.

Once at the North Pole, the Lighting Ceremony will take place and torchbearers from Russia and countries of the Arctic Council, comprising important people related to the study and conservation of the Arctic, will participate in the Relay. … The torchbearers will run alongside the icebreaker and across an ice block, after which they will light the Sochi 2014 Olympic Cauldron.

A polar explorer and federal lawmaker named Artur Chilingarov will lead the expedition, according to the Moscow Times.

“Expeditions to the North Pole have been routine practice for Russian ice-breakers for a long time,” he said, adding that the ship “has a very experienced captain who knows how to get there and back.”

The expedition is an opportunity for Russia’s nuclear fleet to flex its muscles, he said.

“We will show the whole world once again that the Arctic is completely accessible to our fleet,” Chilingarov said.

Ovechkin’s journey from U.S. to Olympia and back without missing a game

No NHL players means more mistakes and goals at Olympics

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Hockey is a game of mistakes and it’s on display in fine form at the Olympics.

It doesn’t look beautiful, of course, with players all outside the NHL turning the puck over for point-blank scoring chances or leaving opponents wide open in front. The talent level is lower, so the risk factors and the entertainment level are up. Goaltenders have to be on their toes for unexpected, game-saving stops even more than usual.

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“It’s a short tournament: A few mistakes can decide your fate,” Finland goaltender Karri Ramo said Saturday. “You try to create more than carry it out of the zone, so obviously teams are trying to keep the puck and create scoring chances, so those mistakes happen. You’re not going to win if you play safe.”

There’s not a whole lot of safe, low-risk play so far, and scoring has increased as a result. After each team played twice, games were averaging 5.1 goals, up from 4.7 in Sochi with NHL players on the rosters.

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Ligety exits quietly, Hirscher brilliant again

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian ski god, is finally having his moment. King of the World Cup tour for the past seven seasons, on Sunday Hirscher won his second Olympic gold, in the giant slalom.

Hirscher had won a grand total of no Olympic medals, nada, zip, zero in two prior Games. Now he might — could, should — win three here at PyeongChang. The slalom, another Hirscher specialty, is due to be run Thursday.

To watch Hirscher ski is to watch one of the great athletes of our — or any — time. Like being courtside in Chicago to see Michael Jordan back in the day. At Wimbledon for a Roger Federer volley. At the Water Cube in Beijing in 2008 when Michael Phelps was swimming the butterfly.

In Sunday’s race, Kristoffersen finished second, 1.27 seconds back of Hirscher. Pinturault finished third, 1.31 behind.

American racer Ted Ligety used to own this event: the Sochi 2014 giant slalom gold medalist, he was world champion in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Pinturault took Sochi 2014 bronze.

Considering his relatively low slalom ranking and the pounding that slalom demands, Sunday’s GS was — just like that, that quickly, that quietly — likely the final race of Ligety’s outstanding Olympic career.

“This is probably it for me at these Games,” he said after run two, adding that he is planning to head back to Europe, to race the remainder of the World Cup season.

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