Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 9

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Bode Miller has earned another Olympic medal in what could be his final Games.

The U.S. Alpine skiing legend tied Canada’s Jan Hudec for the bronze in this morning’s men’s super-G, while Miller’s teammate Andrew Weibrecht nabbed a surprising silver behind Norwegian gold medalist Kjetil Jansrud.

It’s Miller’s sixth career medal, and it left him in tears. Afterwards on Twitter, he honored his late brother and said the day was one of the most emotional of his life…

Today’s super-G was one of four medal events that took place on Day 9. A fifth one, the men’s biathlon mass start, was postponed to Monday morning (10 am Sochi Time/1 a.m. ET) due to fog…

In speedskating, Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands broke an Olympic record in the women’s 1500m and led a 1-2-3-4 finish for the Dutch that also marked the third medal sweep they’ve pulled in Sochi (men’s 5000m, men’s 500m). The U.S. women were unable to give their team a much-needed morale boost, with Heather Richardson finishing seventh to lead them…

Czech rider Eva Samkova (she of the painted-on mustache) won the gold in snowboard cross after U.S. gold medal contender Lindsay Jacobellis suffered tough Olympic luck yet again when she fell while leading in the semifinals…

And in cross-country, the Swedish men took gold in the 4x10km relay one day after their female counterparts won the 4x5km relay…

Figure skating resumed with the short dance, which saw Team USA’s Meryl Davis and Charlie White deliver another gem of a performance. The duo broke their own world-record score to take the lead into tomorrow’s free dance over training partners/Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the defending Olympic ice dancing champions…

In men’s hockey, the U.S. didn’t miss a beat following their epic victory over Russia and defeated Slovenia, 5-1, on the strength of a hat trick from Phil Kessel. Here are the other men’s hockey recaps:

With that, the group stage is now complete on the men’s side. Here’s a look at the qualification round matchups

Meanwhile, U.S. women’s hockey star Julie Chu will gut out a hand injury she sustained on Saturday in practice. The Americans get Sweden in one semifinal game tomorrow, while Canada plays Switzerland in the other…

Bobsled got underway with the first day of two-man action, which left Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton of the U.S. in bronze position going into tomorrow. The U.S. has been unable to win a two-man Olympic medal since getting the silver at the 1952 Oslo Games…

Out of competition, the doctors for Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova may have her be airlifted out of Sochi to another hospital following surgery on her injured back…

Brazil’s women’s bobsled duo of Fabiana Santos and Sally da Silva emerged from this frightening training crash unscathed

A bad race from cross-country skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby had his mother calling him “the worst Norwegian”

Swedish freestyle skier Henrik Harlaut’s shout-out to Wu-Tang Clan was returned by Method Man

Arielle Gold of the U.S. shared video of the training accident that knocked her out of the Olympics…

Korea’s skating union is under fire after short track skater Victor Ahn, who won three golds for the country at Torino in 2006, won gold yesterday for Russia in the 1000m…

And after his minivan problems, the Sochi Polar Bear is back to his happy, dancing ways – which were mimicked by NBC Olympics hockey analyst Keith Jones

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 16
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

1. Germany – 7/3/2 – 12
2. Netherlands – 5/6/7 – 17
3. Norway – 5/3/6 – 14
4. Switzerland – 5/1/1 – 7
5. Russia – 4/7/5 – 16
6. Canada – 4/6/4 – 14
7. United States – 4/4/8 – 16
8. Poland – 4/0/0 – 4
9. China – 3/2/0 – 5
10. Belarus – 3/0/1 – 4
11. Sweden – 2/5/2 – 9
12. Austria – 2/4/1 – 7
13. France – 2/0/4 – 6
14. Japan – 1/3/1 – 5
15. Czech Republic – 1/2/1 – 4
16. Slovenia – 1/1/3 – 5
17. Korea – 1/1/1 – 3
18. Great Britain – 1/0/1 – 2
19. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
20. Italy – 0/2/3 – 5
21. Finland – 0/2/0 – 2
22. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
23. Australia – 0/1/1 – 2
24. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-25. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1
T-25. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Usain Bolt reveals extent of injury after hearing doubts

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Usain Bolt shared the extent of his injury — a torn hamstring requiring three months of rehab — after people questioned if he was really hurt at the world championships Saturday, according to tweets from his account since deleted.

“I don’t usually release my medical report to the public but sadly I have sat and listened to people questioning if I was really injured,” was posted on Bolt’s account. “I have never been one to cheat my fans in anyway (sic) & my entire desire at the championship was run one last time for my fans.”

Bolt pulled up with the leg injury running anchor on the 4x100m relay at worlds and then tumbled onto the track not yet halfway to the finish line.

A wheelchair was brought out, but Bolt got up and walked across the finish line, aided by his teammates.

Since, unconfirmed reports have surfaced that Bolt could play in a Manchester United exhibition game, but the seriousness of his injury revealed Thursday could put an end to that, at least for now.

The injury has not sidelined Bolt completely. He was able to go bowling earlier this week.

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U.S. men’s gymnastics team hits reset at P&G Championships

AP
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The sprawling sleeve of tattoos running down Alex Naddour‘s left arm is unmissable. The American flag on the shoulder. The Olympic rings running down the inside of his forearm. They serve as a testament to the Olympic bronze medalist’s passion and his longevity.

Oh and if they happen to send a message to the sea of new faces the national team captain finds himself surrounded by these days, all the better.

At 26, Naddour admits he’s “kind of the old guy,” and he’s not wrong. The core of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams are hurt, retired or both. Jonathan Horton. Jake Dalton. Danell Leyva. John Orozco. Chris Brooks. All have moved on.

Four-time national champion Sam Mikulak is recovering from his second major Achilles injury. Donnell Whittenburg is searching to regain the form that made him an all-around finalist at the 2015 World Championships.

Naddour isn’t exactly healthy, either, just six months removed from an arm issue he suffered at a meet in February that will limit him to just pommel horse and rings when the P&G Championships begin on Thursday night.

P&G CHAMPS: Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview
TV Schedule | Final Five Updates

That’s fine. Naddour still has time. He’s well aware that he’s a bridge of sorts between the old generation and the next one.

“I want these guys to feel what we felt [when we came up],” Naddour said. “We looked up to those guys [before us] and hopefully these guys look up to me because I’m team captain. Hopefully they take what I have to say seriously and take my experience seriously to help them get ready for what they need to get ready for.”

Namely, returning the U.S. to international prominence. While the women’s program has become a podium-hogging machine over the last decade, the men have struggled with inconsistency. They finished fifth in the team finals in both 2012 and 2016.

Though there have been flashes of individual success — like Leyva’s bronze in the all-around in London and Naddour’s bronze on pommel horse in Rio — the Americans have been on a treadmill, one that cost national team coordinator Kevin Mazeika his job last fall.

Enter Brett McClure. The 2004 Olympic team silver medalist was appointed the “high performance director” in February and charged with providing a needed jolt. Consider the message received.

“He’s the type of person that’s not going to beat around the bush,” Whittenburg said. “If something is bothering him, he’s going to let you know straight up. If there’s a problem, how do we fix it? I feel like the last couple [Olympic cycles] I felt we were missing that stern leadership. Sometimes you can’t be the nice guy all the time.”

The men have borrowed a page from former women’s national team coordinator Martha Karolyi‘s playbook. Training camps are now treated more like competitions, with members of the national team and world championship teams flown in to watch. The goal is creating a more competitive environment.

“You’re saluting, and it’s like you’re at championships, so you have to do your best,” Naddour said. “It’s going to help the national team grow a lot quicker and adjust in those pressure situations.”

Good, because they’re coming. Even if Naddour, Mikulak and Whittenburg all make the world championships roster when it’s released after Saturday night’s competition, it leaves three spots for newcomers. No pressure or anything.

Yul Moldauer captured the AT&T American Cup in March, beating a field that included Olympic silver medalist Oleg Verniaiev. Akash Modi served as an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team and won the NCAA all-around title for Stanford this spring. Allan Bower and Eddie Penev are also in the mix.

The lights will come on. It’s time to get a gauge on how the strategic plan put in place after an underwhelming team performance in the Olympics is working.

“If the whole world watches this competition and is like, `we’ve got them,’ then boo us,” said Mikulak, who will compete on pommel horse and high bar. “The world doesn’t know what’s going on with USA Gymnastics until we show ourselves in this competition. I hope everyone competing has a good performance to show the world that we’re not as weak as we look to them.”

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