Allison Jones

U.S. wins 3 medals on first day of Sochi Paralympics

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Veteran U.S. Paralympic medalists added three more Alpine skiing medals on the first day of competition at the Paralympics on Saturday.

The greatest success came in women’s sitting downhill, where Alana Nichols and Laurie Stephens took silver and bronze. Nichols, the first U.S. woman to win gold medals in the Summer and Winter Paralympics, took her sixth career Paralympic medal. She was .14 of a second behind gold medalist Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany.

“I really feel like I could have skied better,” Nichols said, according to TeamUSA.org. “Not terribly happy with the performance today, but considering I hung in there and was able to finish in second, I consider it a win.”

Stephens won her fifth career Paralympic medal.

Earlier, seven-time Paralympian Allison Jones led it off with a bronze in the standing downhill. Jones, who has won Summer and Winter Paralympic medals in cycling and Alpine skiing, bagged the eighth of her career.

The defending Olympic champion U.S. men’s ice sledge hockey team beat Italy 5-1 to open its schedule. It got two goals from Brody Roybal.

The U.S. wheelchair curling team lost its first two games, 6-4 to Slovakia and 9-5 to South Korea.

Russia won 12 medals overall Saturday to take a comfortable lead in the overall medal table. The U.S.’ three medals tied for third after the first of 10 days of competition.

Sochi Paralympics broadcast schedule

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: