Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin assures NHL players will be safe in Sochi

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Russian hockey star Evgeni Malkin has sensed Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby is concerned about the safety of the Sochi Olympics.

So he’s told Crosby and other NHL players not to worry.

“He’s definitely a bit wary about the Olympics due to the events that happened, due to the explosions in Volgograd, and in Chechnya there are always blasts,” Malkin told R-Sport on Thursday. “That’s the question that worries them [NHL players] the most: Will it be safe in Sochi or not? But other than that, everyone’s burning to get to Russia, to play the Olympics, although they’re worried about security. But I’ve told them that everything will be OK, that they shouldn’t worry.”

Malkin will hope to help Russia to its first Olympic hockey gold medal since the days of the Soviet Union and the Unified Team.

Crosby will hope to lead Canada to a successful defense of the 2010 Olympic title. Canada looks to become the first nation to win back-to-back Olympic hockey golds since the Soviet Union.

1980 Soviet hockey captain reflects on Miracle on Ice

It’s over: a low-key Games on a far more human scale

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The 2018 Winter Olympics shivered Sunday to a close, surely defined by cold and wind but destined — just as in Seoul 30 years before — to mark a key chapter in history on the Korean peninsula.

NBCOlympics.com: Sights and Sounds from the 2918 Olympics Closing Ceremony

These Games are likely to be recalled as an inflection point in Olympic history, too. After logistical dramas and more at Rio 2016 and Sochi 2014, the Olympic scene needed a Games at which the venues were built, the buses ran on time, security was subtle, the volunteers were super-friendly — organizationally, everything more or less just worked — and the spotlight shone on the athletes and their stories of inspiration.

That’s what PyeongChang delivered.

A low-key Games on a far more human scale.

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More of best GIFs from PyeongChang Olympics

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The 2018 Winter Games are over, but that doesn’t mean we’ll forget all the amazing heights reached by American athletes. Take a look back at a few of them here with an added twist, powered by Giphy: