Sochi Olympics Curling Women

U.S. unlikely to win medal count after medal-less Day 15

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On the next-to-last day of the Sochi Olympics, the U.S. finally had its streak of earning at least one medal on each day of medal events snapped.

For those hoping to see the Americans top the medal count, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Three medal events are on tap for tomorrow’s final day of competition: Four-man bobsled, the men’s mass start in cross-country skiing, and the men’s hockey gold medal game.

As we saw today, the U.S. men’s hockey squad is heading back home with nothing after losing their bronze medal match with Finland. And the skiing event doesn’t have an American among the true contenders.

That leaves only Steven Holcomb and his team of bobsledders as the last legit chance for the U.S. to get one more piece of hardware. They’re currently .01 of a second off the bronze medal position after today’s first two runs.

But even if Holcomb and Co. get a 28th medal for the U.S., it won’t be enough to overtake Russia, which has 29 medals so far and could land two more tomorrow in bobsled (they’re currently first in the four-man) and in cross-country.

Third in the overall medal count is Norway, which has 26 medals but is tied with the Russians for the most golds with 11. Competitors from both nations are expected to figure heavily into the outcome of tomorrow’s mass start.

Canada is fourth overall with 24 medals, but could take third in the golds outright if their men’s hockey team can defeat Sweden tomorrow morning.

But one figures Canucks from Vancouver to the Maritimes won’t really care all that much about where their country winds up in the medal count; they just want their team to beat the Swedes.

Really, really badly.

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 22
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

1. Russia – 11/10/8 – 29
2. Norway – 11/5/10 – 26
3. Canada – 9/10/5 – 24
4. United States – 9/7/11 – 27
5. Netherlands – 8/7/9 – 24
6. Germany – 8/6/5 – 19
7. Switzerland – 6/3/2 – 11
8. Belarus – 5/0/1 – 6
9. Austria – 4/8/5 – 17
10. France – 4/4/7 – 15
11. Poland – 4/1/1 – 6
12. China – 3/4/2 – 9
13. Korea – 3/3/2 – 8
14. Sweden – 2/6/6 – 14
15. Czech Republic – 2/4/2 – 8
16. Slovenia – 2/2/4 – 8
17. Japan – 1/4/3 – 8
18. Finland – 1/3/1 – 5
19. Great Britain – 1/1/2 – 4
20. Ukraine – 1/0/1 – 2
21. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
22. Italy – 0/2/6 – 8
23. Australia – 0/2/1 – 3
24. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
25. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
26. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium