Considered a gold medal contender going into today’s cross-country individual sprint, Kikkan Randall has come up empty-handed.
The American World Cup sprint champion got a tough draw for her quarterfinal heat, which included not one but two of her biggest rivals for sprint gold in Norway’s Marit Bjorgen and Germany’s Denise Herrmann.
Randall was able to charge to the front of the heat, but then fell back late and finished a disappointing fourth behind Herrmann, Bjorgen and Italy’s Gaia Vuerich.
Herrmann and Bjorgen automatically advanced out as the top two finishers in the heat, and Randall failed to be one of the two “lucky losers” – the two fastest third or fourth-place finishers – that also go to the next round.
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She lost out on a “lucky loser” spot by a mere five one-hundredths of a second to Vuerich.
Sochi marks Randall’s fourth Olympics and she was hoping to become the first American woman to win an Olympic medal and the first American man or woman to win cross-country gold.
Instead, her teammate, Sophie Caldwell, will look to get that chance after she advanced into the semis. She is the lone American in that round, after Randall, along with Ida Sargent and Jessie Diggins, were unable to move on.
One of Randall’s teammates, Holly Brooks, reacted to Randall’s early defeat on Twitter:
Family members of the Munich 1972 Olympic attack victims “described the extent of the cruelty” in interviews for “Munich 1972 & Beyond,” an upcoming documentary on the massacre, according to The New York Times.
Eleven Israeli athletes and officials were killed after being taken hostage by a Palestinian group in the athletes’ village nearly 40 years ago, with nine dying in a failed rescue attempt.
In 1992, widows of two of the victims learned details of how the athletes and officials were treated — including via graphic photographs — and recently spoke publicly about it, according to the newspaper.
“What they did is that they cut off his genitals through his underwear and abused him,” Ilana Romano said through a translator of husband Yossef Romano, an Olympic weightlifter, according to the newspaper. “Can you imagine the nine others sitting around tied up? They watched this.”
The documentary “Munich 1972 & Beyond,” announced earlier this year, is set to be released in early 2016. Here’s an interview with one of the film’s producers.
In 2014, it was announced that a $2.3 million memorial in Munich was planned to remember the victims, with the International Olympic Committee contributing $250,000.
At Rio 2016, a moment of remembrance will be held during the Closing Ceremony and a special mourning area will be in the Olympic village to honor those who have died during an Olympic Games.
PHOTOS: Munich 1972 Olympic sites, including massacre site
The torch relay for the second Youth Winter Olympics — in Lillehammer, Norway, from Feb. 12-21 — began with a ceremonial flame lighting at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Tuesday.
The stadium hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896.
The flame will travel across all 19 Norwegian provinces before the Feb. 12 Opening Ceremony at the 1994 Winter Olympic host city. The first Youth Winter Olympics were in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012.
The Rio 2016 Olympic torch relay will begin with its ceremonial flame lighting at the ancient Olympic site of Olympia in Greece on April 21.
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