sochi 2014

Amanda Kessel

Amanda Kessel to miss 2014-15 season due to pre-Olympic concussion

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Olympian Amanda Kessel will not play for the University of Minnesota this season due to “lingering concussion symptoms due to injuries sustained as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team,” the university’s athletic office said Wednesday.

Kessel suffered a concussion leading up to the Sochi Olympics, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Kessel, the younger sister of NHL All-Star and Olympian Phil Kessel, scored three goals with three assists in helping the U.S. to a second straight Olympic silver medal in Sochi.

“I’ve had an unforgettable experience at the University of Minnesota thus far, so I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to return to the team this year,” Kessel said in a press release. “It’s obviously a difficult decision and one that I’ve taken time to come to terms with. As someone who has played through a lot of injuries, it wasn’t until suffering a concussion that I fully understood the importance of being 100% healthy when I’m on the ice. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case right now.

“My number one priority is my health, and I hope that I’ll be able to return to the ice in the future. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and everyone at the University for their support.”

Kessel did not play in the U.S.’ series of lead-up games against international opponents last fall due to an undisclosed lower-body injury, it was reported in December. She did play in games against boys teams, though.

Kessel said in Sochi she had been hampered by a hip injury that may have been related to torn labrum surgery in 2012. She reinjured it before the U.S.’ Bring on the World tour that started in October.

There were no reports that spread, if any, of a Kessel concussion going into or coming out of the Sochi Olympics.

“We knew she wasn’t at full strength the last couple of months,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost said, according to the newspaper.

Kessel visited a brain institute in Atlanta headed by the same doctor who worked with Sidney Crosby and two-time U.S. Olympic medalist Caitlin Cahow after their concussions.

Kessel won the 2012-13 NCAA Player of the Year award as part of Minnesota’s 41-0-0 NCAA champion team and missed the 2013-14 season to play for the U.S. National Team. She was to play her senior season for the Gophers this year.

Bob Suter of Miracle on Ice team passes away

How Sochi Olympic Park will look as F1 course (photos)

Sochi F1
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On Oct. 12, the Sochi Olympic Park will host a Formula 1 race. Here’s what the transformed park will look like to host the Russian Grand Prix:

Paralympic skier melts Sochi medal for engagement ring

Adelina Sotnikova: I want to show I deserved to be Olympic champion

Adelina Sotnikova
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Russian Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova knows she still has much to prove to many figure skating fans.

“After the Olympics I grew up,” Sotnikova told RIA Novosti. “I feel that my perspective not only on sport, but on life in general has changed. I look differently at my skating now. I want to show people that I deserved to be an Olympic champion, that it was not a coincidence, that I’ve got a gold medal for a reason!”

Sotnikova won gold under controversial circumstances, over 2010 Olympic champion Yuna Kim of South Korea. The Korea Skating Union filed two complaints in the spring over the judging in Sochi, which were rejected by the International Skating Union.

The complaints specifically mentioned Sochi Olympic judge Alla Shekhovtseva, who made headlines in the aftermath of the women’s free skate as being married to a top Russian figure skating federation official and was seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after she won gold.

Outside of the judging, Sotnikova’s gold was peculiar because she had finished ninth in her only World Championships appearance, the previous year.

Sotnikova, who turned 18 on July 1, became the first woman to win individual Olympic figure skating gold with no prior World Championships medals.

Sotnikova then skipped the post-Olympics World Championships in March. It’s now clear that when she comes back later this year, her top competition will be domestic.

The top two returning skaters for next season from those World Championships are both Russian, Yulia Lipnitskaya and Anna Pogorilaya. The 2014 World Junior champion is also Russian, Yelena Radionova, who is now 15.

Sotnikova was assigned to November Grand Prix season events in Moscow (with Pogorilaya) and Osaka, Japan (with rising Americans Gracie Gold and Polina Edmunds).

Video: U.S. pairs figure skaters throw unusual ceremonial first pitch