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Snowboard slopestyle kicks off Sochi’s first medal events

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Ready or not, it’s time for Olympic athletes to go for the gold.

Snowboard slopestyle

Five medal events take place at Sochi on Saturday, with the snowboard slopestyle finals kicking it all off at 3:45 a.m. ET. Favorites Max Parrot and Mark McMorris hope to win the first-ever gold in the event while Sage Kotsenburg represents the U.S. after a strong semifinals run.

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Cross-Country

Women’s Skiathlon 7.5km Classic and 7.5km Free, 5 a.m. ET

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Norway’s Marit Bjoergen dominated the 2010 Olympics, nabbing three gold medals and five medals overall. Fellow Norwegian Therese Johaug may very well represent her best cross-country competition.

Speed skating

Men’s 5,000m – 6:30 a.m. ET

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The United States is hoping to score a lot of speed skating medals, but Jonathan Kuck & Co. remain a longshot at 5,000 meters. Sven Kramer hopes to add to his legacy but a field including Denis Yuskov hope to take the gold instead.

Biatholon

Men’s 10K Sprint, 9 a.m. ET

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America hasn’t ever won a medal in biathlon, but that pursuit begins on Saturday. French biathlete Martin Fourcade may laugh off Michael Phelps comparisons, yet he could very well bring in quite the collection of medals himself.

Freestyle Skiing

Women’s moguls final, 1 p.m. ET

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Can Hannah Kearney continue her impressive run with a second moguls gold? She’s been outstanding, but she’ll need to overcome a field that includes the formidable Dufour-Lapointe sisters (Chloe, Justine and Maxime).

Helen Maroulis lifts Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals game (video)

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U.S. Olympic wrestling gold medalist Helen Maroulis took down a 13-time world champion in Rio. As part of her homecoming celebration, she lifted up the 26th President of the United States.

Maroulis followed fellow Maryland native Katie Ledecky in being honored at a Washington Nationals game Thursday night.

Maroulis did not throw a ceremonial first pitch, as Ledecky did, making headlines using Bryce Harper as a medal rack.

But Maroulis had her own viral moment, showing off her strength in lifting Teddy Roosevelt off the ground after the famed Presidents Race.

Maroulis, who became the first U.S. Olympic women’s wrestling champion in Rio by dethroning Japanese legend Saori Yoshida, aims to return to training after a break and wrestle through the 2020 Tokyo Games.

MORE: Historic win for Maroulis came with stunning dietary discipline

Appeal for harsher Oscar Pistorius murder sentence denied

Oscar Pistorius
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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African judge on Friday dismissed an appeal by prosecutors for a harsher sentence against Oscar Pistorius who was found guilty of murder for killing his girlfriend in 2013.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said the state’s appeal to extend the six-year sentence against the 29-year-old double amputee Olympic sprinter had a limited prospect of success.

“I am not persuaded that there are reasonable prospects of success for an appeal,” she said in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp, 29, in the early hours of Feb. 14. He claimed he thought she was an intruder. The state charged that he shot her in anger after an argument. Pistorius was found guilty of murder and sentenced by Masipa to six years in prison.

The sentence was “shockingly light” and that the judge should have used 15-year minimum as starting point as Steenkamp had suffered a “horrendous death,” said prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Pistorius never offered an acceptable explanation for having fired four shots through the toilet door, he said.

The fact that Pistorius fired four shots using hollow point bullets that are designed to inflict maximum damage meant the possibility of death was more likely and should have been an aggravating factor, said Nel.

The state may appeal Masipa’s decision at the Supreme Court of Appeals in the city of Bloemfontein, but is yet to indicate whether it will do so.

MORE: Oscar Pistorius timeline since London Olympics