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Favored Russians ooze confidence, feel like ‘red machine’

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The Russians are here, and they look every bit like the gold-medal favorites everyone thinks they are.

They’re stocked with NHL talent from Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Slava Voynov to Kontinental Hockey League star Nikita Gusev and are fresh off an 8-1 drubbing of host South Korea in exhibition play. Asked to describe the Russian team, Nikita Nesterov said it is a “red machine.”

NBCOlympics.com: Masked mystery man Ryan Zapolski is best hope for US medal

“We’ll just play well and play Russian hockey,” Nesterov said Sunday as the Russians arrived at Gangneung Hockey Centre. “A lot of guys played (in the) NHL. It’s a good team, younger team. We’ll see what’s going on here.”

NBCOlympics.com: What you missed in PyeongChang last night: Red Gerard wins the first gold medal for Team USA

What’s expected to go on is for the Russian team in the nondescript “Olympic Athletes from Russia” red and white uniforms to roll over its competition to win the men’s hockey tournament. No other country has the high-end skill that Russia boasts, which has made it the team to beat.

Read the rest of the story and watch highlights from around PyeongChang

USA wins gold in men’s curling

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For the first time in history, the United States won the Olympic gold medal in curling.

A week ago, it didn’t seem like that would happen. Sitting at 2-4 and with a game against behemoth Canada coming up, John Shuster captained the United States to three consecutive wins (over Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain) to squeak into the semifinals. From there, they took down Great Britain before completing the run against Sweden in the gold medal game.

Tied at 5-5 in the eighth end, Shuster was able to hit both of Sweden’s rocks out of the house, giving the United States an incredible five points and a 10-5 lead heading into the ninth.

NBCOlympics.com: Watch: Team USA scores five points in eighth end

After that, it was all about protecting the lead. Just a few minutes later Swedish skip Niklas Edin conceded the game, and it was the United States standing on top of the podium for the first time ever in the sport of curling.

Click here to read the full recap from the gold medal game 

Ester Ledecka first woman to win gold in two sports at same Winter Olympics

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One week after shocking the world by winning a gold medal in Alpine skiing, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic strapped back into a snowboard and won a gold medal in her primary sport.

Ledecka, the No. 1 ranked athlete in women’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding, qualified for the finals of that event with the fastest time, then won four consecutive head-to-head races to claim her second gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics.

With the win, Ledecka is the first woman to win gold medals in two different sports at the same Winter Olympics.

Results: Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom

Gold: Ester Ledecka (CZE)
Silver: Selina Joerg (GER)
Bronze: Ramona Hofmeister (GER)
4. Alena Zavarzina (OAR)
5. Benjamin Karl (AUT)
6. Stefan Baumeister (GER)
7. Roland Fischnaller (ITA)
8. Edwin Coratti (ITA)

Click here to catch up on all of the snowboarding action from PyeongChang