Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 13

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Team Canada refused to lose. That’s about all you can say after their thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the U.S. for the gold medal in women’s hockey.

The U.S. took a 2-0 lead deep into the third period before Brianne Jenner pulled the Canadians within 2-1 and then Marie-Philip Poulin leveled the game at 2-2 with 55 seconds left in regulation.

At the 8:10 mark in OT and with Canada on a 5-on-3 power play, Poulin fired a quick shot into the net to secure her country’s fourth consecutive Olympic women’s hockey title.

The U.S., now with their second consecutive set of silver medals, will have to wait four more years before its next attempt to win their first gold since Nagano in 1998.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL REPLAY of today’s gold medal game…

The bronze medal game was also a great one, as Switzerland rallied from two goals down against Sweden and held on to win, 4-3, and earn their first-ever women’s hockey medal.

Meanwhile, up in the mountains at Rosa Khutor, an American sweep in a brand-new Olympic discipline – ski halfpipe – was completed as Maddie Bowman won the women’s gold two days following David Wise’s victory in the men’s event.

Bowman, the two-time reigning X Games champion, earned an 89.00 on her second run to help her earn Team USA’s eighth gold in Sochi. It’s the fourth American gold medal in as many days…

Russia also struck gold today and it was a big one. Adelina Sotnikova shocked defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim to become the first Russian to win gold in ladies’ figure skating. The 17-year-old from Moscow earned a stellar 149.95 in her free skate, which pushed her total to 224.59.

Kim was the last woman to skate and she had a great free program herself. But she came up a few points short, earning 144.19 for a total of 219.11.

Italy’s Carolina Kostner held off Gracie Gold of the U.S. for the bronze – which meant the Americans were unable to garner a men’s and women’s individual medal in figure skating for the first time since the 1936 Winter Games in Germany…

Another set of Canadian women earned gold medals of their own today. Jennifer Jones and Co. finished off a perfect 11-0 run in Sochi with a 6-3 win over Sweden in the women’s curling gold medal match. Great Britain won the bronze

Also earning golds were the Norwegian men in the Nordic combined team large hill/4x5km relay and France’s Jean Frederic Chapuis as part of a French medal sweep in men’s skicross

Out of competition, Maria Lamb criticized U.S. Speedskating in the wake of the Americans failing to win a medal in the individual events…

The president of the International Skating Union wonders if some countries are “sleeping” on speedskating as the Dutch dominate

The aforementioned Gracie Gold will be part of the events surrounding this year’s Indianapolis 500

Ted Ligety may need to get some more servers for his company’s website after it went down following his giant slalom win

Steven Holcomb continued to make progress after straining his calf muscle and looked ahead to this weekend’s four-man bobsled competition…

And President Obama now owes Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper some beer.

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 20
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

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

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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