Yevgeny Plushenko

Knee injury forces Plushenko out of Russian Grand Prix event

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Three-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko withdrew Wednesday from the Rostelecom Cup, the Grand Prix event held in Moscow Nov. 22-24.

The Russian, who won Olympic gold in Torino and silver in both Salt Lake and Vancouver, registered a qualifying score for the Sochi Games a week ago at a small event in Latvia.

According to the Russian news outlet R-Sport, Plushenko suffered a knee injury in practice.

“Today during training [Plushenko] received a micro-injury of the left knee and doctors have recommended the athlete to decrease his workload,” Plushenko’s coach Alexei Mishin was quoted as saying on the Russian figure skating federation website, R-Sport reported.

“[Plushenko] can train, but it’s been recommended that he wait for competition in order to rule out any possible negative consequences,” Mishin was quoted as saying.

Plushenko has had several knee surgeries throughout his career and earlier this year had back surgery after pulling out of the European Championships midway through the competition.

The Russian figure skating federation president, Aleksander Gorshkov, said Plushnko would continue training in the near future.

“It’s obviously a shame that this has happened,” Gorshkov told R-Sport. “Plushenko’s an outstanding athlete, for many he’s an idol.”

The 31-year-old will need to perform well at the Russian national championships to secure his country’s lone men’s singles position in figure skating, though many feel as though the veteran is a lock for the position regardless. Eighteen-year-old Maksim Kovtun is seen as Plushenko’s biggest challenger. Kovtun was second at the Cup of China earlier this month.

Plushenko captures comeback event in Latvia

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.