Farrington of the U.S. celebrates during the women's snowboard halfpipe finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor

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

Yevgenia Medvedeva breaks record in Grand Prix Final short program

MISSISSAUGA, ON - OCTOBER 28: Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia competes in the Women's Singles Short Program during day one of the 2016 Skate Canada International at Hershey Centre on October 28, 2016 in Mississauga, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva broke the record for highest women’s short program score at the Grand Prix Final on Friday.

Medvedeva, who hasn’t lost in more than one year, totaled 79.21 points in Marseille, France. That beat Mao Asada‘s 78.66 from the 2014 World Championships, the previous record under a decade-old judging system.

“I knew approximately about the record,” Medvedeva said through a translator. “For me, it’s one step further.”

Medvedeva leads Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond by 3.67 points going into Saturday’s free skate. No U.S. woman qualified for the six-skater Grand Prix Final for the first time since 2008.

Medvedeva, 17, hopes to repeat as champion at the Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual figure skating event.

She already holds the free skate world record and can break Yuna Kim‘s record for total score with a solid effort Saturday in Marseille. Medvedeva said she can perform better than she did Friday, specifically with her program interpretation and spins.

“I always strive for perfection,” she said through a translator. “When you stop doing that, you will stop progress.”

The Grand Prix Final concludes with the women’s and men’s free skates and free dance Saturday (schedule here). NBCSN will air coverage Sunday from 8:30-11 p.m. ET.

Earlier Friday, Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov held onto their short-program lead to win the pairs event by 7.14 points over China’s Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao.

Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, the two-time world champions and pre-event favorites, struggled in the short program and free skate and lost for just the second time in the last three seasons.

In the short dance, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir recorded the highest score of all time, an 80.50, to take a 2.53-point lead into Saturday’s free dance.

That Virtue and Moir lead is no surprise — they were the top couple in the fall Grand Prix season — but their closest challenger is a surprise.

It is not two-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, but instead Americans Maia and Alex Shibutani, who totaled a personal-best short dance.

MORE: Javier Fernandez builds toward last Olympic chance

Women’s Short Program
1. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 79.21
2. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 75.54
3. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 74.64
4. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 73.29
5. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 68.98
6. Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 65.74

Short Dance
1. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) — 80.50
2. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 77.97
3. Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 77.86
4. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS) — 74.04
5. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 72.47
6. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 70.87

Pairs Results
GOLD: Yevgenia Tarasovana/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 213.85
SILVER: Yu Xiaoyu/Zhang Hao (CHN) — 206.71
BRONZE: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 205.99
4. Natalya Zabiyako/Aleksander Enbert (RUS) — 188.32
5. Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) — 186.85
6. Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) — 183.19

Gracie Gold’s outlook for U.S. Championships clouded after more struggles

Gracie Gold
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Gracie Gold struggled in all four of her competitions this fall, capped by her lowest total score in four years at a Croatian event this week, putting her under scrutiny for the U.S. Championships in six weeks.

She singled three jumps and fell twice across two programs at Golden Spin in Zagreb, Croatia, on Thursday and Friday.

Gold totaled 159.02 points for sixth place, her first time below 160 points since 2012 Skate Canada in her first season as a senior skater.

Italian Carolina Kostner, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, won with 196.23 points in her first full competition since the 2014 World Championships.

GOLD’S SKATES: Short Program | Free Skate

Earlier this fall, Gold finished last of six skaters in the free skate-only Japan Open on Oct. 1, fifth at Skate America in October and eighth at Trophée de France in November.

Gold has spoken openly about trying to mentally and physically recover from last season’s world championships, where she dropped from first after the short program to finish fourth, and taking weeks off from training in the summer offseason.

Even with the rough skates, Gold still ranks fourth among U.S. women in top scores this season, behind Ashley WagnerMariah Bell and Mirai Nagasu.

She could struggle — to a degree — at the U.S. Championships in January and still make the three-woman world championships team. Gold has finished first or second at all four of her senior nationals appearances.

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

Top U.S. women’s skaters in 2016-17
1. Ashley Wagner — 196.44 (Skate America)
2. Mariah Bell — 191.59 (Skate America)
3. Mirai Nagasu — 189.11 (Autumn Classic)
4. Gracie Gold — 184.22 (Skate America)
5. Amber Glenn — 183.60 (Golden Spin)
6. Courtney Hicks — 182.98 (Rostelecom Cup)