Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 5

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A gold medal performance from American snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington tops today’s whip-around through the Sochi Olympics.

Farrington (pictured) eclipsed a field that featured the previous three Olympic women’s halfpipe champions to win Team USA’s third gold of these Games (all of which have come from snowboarding) by a narrow margin over the most recent title-holder, Torah Bright of Australia.

The U.S. also nabbed the bronze, as 2002 champ Kelly Clark hit the podium on the final run of the event. Unfortunately, another American snowboarder, Arielle Gold, was unable to compete today due to an injury sustained just before qualifying…

For the first time ever, two gold medals were handed out in the same Alpine skiing event. Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze posted identical times of 1:14.57 in the women’s downhill to create the Olympic first. As for Julia Mancuso of the U.S., she failed to medal in the event after winning bronze in the super combined – but more opportunities in Sochi are coming her way…

Complete recap of Team USA from Day 5

A surprise took place in the men’s 1000m speedskating event today as Shani Davis, the two-time defending Olympic champion, finished eighth and off the podium. The race went to Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands, with Canada’s Denny Morrison taking the silver. You’ll see more about the latter two later tonight on OlympicTalk…

In figure skating, the Russian romp continued. Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov won the gold in pairs competition, while their compatriots, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, earned the silver. The top American pair was Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir in ninth…

Rounding out the medal events, Germany earned two golds today from Eric Frenzel in the Nordic combined individual normal hill/10km and “The Tobis” – Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt – in doubles luge…

Men’s hockey officially got underway with a pair of games and you can go here and here for those recaps. The Canadian and American men both get started tomorrow, and have made decisions regarding goaltenders for their opening games…

Meanwhile, in women’s hockey, arch-rivals Canada and the U.S. collided in round-robin play and the Canadians held on for a 3-2 win that came with some controversy. NBCOlympics.com’s Jason Brough has a special report from that tilt

Out of competition, we did some looking back on the dramatic finale of yesterday’s men’s halfpipe final, which saw Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov topple Shaun White

Erin Hamlin’s hometown celebrated her bronze in women’s luge, the first U.S. Olympic luge medal in singles competition…

The four-year anniversary of the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was observed…

The Olympics’ ice hockey venue is a show in itself

And the “Wolfpack” was at it again.

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 12
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Germany – 6/1/1 – 8
2. Canada – 4/4/2 – 10
3. Norway – 4/3/5 – 12
4. Netherlands – 4/2/4 – 10
5. United States – 3/1/5 – 9
6. Switzerland – 3/0/1 – 4
7. Russia – 2/4/3 – 9
8. Austria – 1/4/0 – 5
9. Slovenia – 1/1/2 – 4
10. France – 1/0/2 – 3
T-11. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-11. Korea – 1/0/0 – 1
T-11. Poland – 1/0/0 – 1
T-11. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
15. Sweden – 0/3/1 – 4
T-16. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
T-16. Japan – 0/2/1 – 3
18. Italy – 0/1/1 – 2
T-19. Australia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. China – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
T-22. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-22. Latvia – 0/0/1 – 1
T-22. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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Nathan Chen leads Yuzuru Hanyu at Grand Prix opener (video)

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen hopes to become comfortable in this spot this season — ahead of reigning Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu in the standings.

The 18-year-old Chen landed two quadruple jumps in his short program at the opening Grand Prix event in Moscow, taking a 5.69-point lead over Hanyu going into Saturday’s free skate.

Two-time world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva of Russia topped the women’s short program with 80.75 points (one tenth off her world record).

Full Rostelecom Cup results are here.

Chen’s tally — 100.54 points — is the second-highest short of his flourishing international career. It would have been higher if not for two of his three jumping passes receiving negative grades of execution for wonky landings.

The Japanese megastar Hanyu fell on his final jump, a triple toe loop, on Friday. No matter, Winnie the Pooh bears rained down on the ice from the adoring crowd, many of whom traveled from Japan.

Hanyu scored 94.85 points, one month after breaking his world record short program score with 112.72 points in a small event in Canada.

“Today I made some mistakes in my short program, but overall it didn’t feel bad,” Hanyu said, according to the International Skating Union.

Hanyu, though he is the current PyeongChang favorite, has never won his season-opening Grand Prix event in seven tries.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu, who is four years older, in four of their last eight head-to-head skates.

Hanyu was better in the two biggest programs at last season’s world championships. Chen placed sixth at worlds in April, perhaps gassed at the end of his first senior season while competing on duct-taped skates.

In the women’s standings, Medvedeva topped Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy by 6.13 points.

American Mirai Nagasu landed a triple Axel that was called under rotated and fell on her other two jumping passes. She ended up ninth, two spots behind U.S. bronze medalist Mariah Bell.

In the short dance, two-time world medalists and U.S. champions Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani tallied 77.30 points.

The siblings lead by .97 over Russians Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev going into the free dance.

Russians are one-two in pairs. World bronze medalists Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov lead Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov by 5.49.

All of the free skates are Saturday, live on Olympic Channel. A full schedule is here.

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Rostelecom Cup
Men’s Short
1. Nathan Chen (USA) — 100.54
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 94.85
3. Dmitriy Aliyev (RUS) — 88.77
11. Grant Hochstein (USA) — 67.56

Women’s Short
1. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 80.75
2. Carolina Kostner (ITA) — 74.64
3. Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) — 69.60
7. Mariah Bell (USA) — 63.85
9. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 56.15

Short Dance
1. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 77.30
2. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS) — 76.33
3. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 71.32
7. Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) — 59.41

Pairs Short
1. Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 76.88
2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) — 71.39
3. Valentina Marchei/Ondřej Hotárek (ITA) — 68.48
7. Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) — 54.37