sochi 2014

Oleg Znarok

New Russian hockey coach: Fans won’t be ashamed

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Russia’s new hockey coach expects to win the World Championships in May and that if the Russians lose, they “need to lose well.”

Latvian Oleg Znarok outlined his plans for the Russian National Team at a press conference Friday. Znarok, 51, took over for Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, who guided the team to a disappointing quarterfinal exit at the Sochi Olympics.

“I can say that no one will be ashamed of the Russian national team,” Znarok said, according to R-Sport. “The guys are going to fight to the end, I guarantee it. Even if the team loses, we need to lose well.”

Znarok previously led club team Dynamo Moscow to back-to-back Gagarin Cup titles in the KHL.

His reported deal is to coach Russia through the 2018 Olympics, but the next big event is the World Championships, May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus. Russia was also eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2013 World Championships.

“We should win the World Championships,” Znarok said, according to R-Sport. “Other plans simply don’t exist.”

Sochi could host World Swimming Championships

Jeweler repairs Eddy Alvarez’s Olympic medal after fixing London gold medal

Eddy Alvarez
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A Florida jeweler is cornering the market on repairing Olympic medals.

The same man who repaired Bahamian track athlete Demetrius Pinder’s stolen and damaged 2012 Olympic gold medal recently touched up the Sochi silver won by U.S. short track speed skater Eddy Alvarez.

Alvarez’s medal was scuffed by his 10-month-old nephew, Mako, last week.

“The edges were jagged to the touch and the scratches looked like what happens to the back of an iPhone after it rubs against a set of keys in a pant pocket,” reported the Bradenton (Fla.) Herald.

Alvarez’s instinct was to call his father. His father’s instinct?

“I Googled ‘people that fix Olympic silver medals,'” he said, according to the newspaper. “I Googled without any confidence that I would find anything.”

He found another Bradenton Herald story, the one about Pinder taking his medal to a place called Jess Jewelers. Pinder has trained at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Steven Dangler, a certified graduate gemologist for Jess Jewelers, had no problem fixing Alvarez’s medal fast enough for the skater nicknamed “The Jet” to be able to bring it with him for the Olympic Team’s visit to the White House next week.

ISU boss suggests major changes for speed skating

ISU boss defends Sochi Olympic figure skating judging

Yuna Kim

The International Skating Union hasn’t received a formal complaint from South Korea about figure skating judging in Sochi, the ISU president said while defending its judging system Thursday.

The Korea Olympic Committee said last week it would file an official complaint, along with the Korea Skating Union, about “unreasonable” and “unfair” judging that awarded Russian Adelina Sotnikova the Olympic gold medal over South Korean Yuna Kim in Sochi.

The complaint would “demand the [ISU] look into the makeup of the judging panel and whether a fair judgment was possible.”

That complaint hasn’t reached the ISU yet.

“As soon as we receive something official from the Korean Skating Union or the Korean Olympic Committee, we will comment,” ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta said at the World Championships in Saitama, Japan, on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

The Italian Cinquanta said a complaint needed evidence.

“Figure skating is an extremely difficult sport,” Cinquanta said, according to Agence France-Presse. “So the judging system is not easy [to be understood].

“In addition, when point of view and opinion are expressed and are criticism, that is one thing, but criticism of wrongdoing needs to be presented with evidence, so that we can make a difference between opinion and something more precise,” he said, according to Reuters.

One of the judges from Sochi is married to a top Russian figure skating federation official and was seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after she won gold. Another was suspended one year as being part of the 1998 Olympic ice dance fixing scandal.

“We are not perfect, as also the skaters are not perfect,” Cinquanta said, according to Reuters. “Sometimes, they do a mistake. Mistakes are possible, because we are human beings.

“But the best human beings we may use are those sitting in the arena. If one is seated in the row No. 32 or 34, he or she does not have the same view as the official has sitting at the rink.”

Skater breaks Kim’s record at World Championships