Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 6


The U.S. finally got a Sochi Olympic gold medal outside of snowboarding, and it came as part of a medals sweep in the inaugural men’s ski slopestyle competition.

Joss Christensen (gold), Gus Kenworthy (silver), and Nick Goepper (bronze) became the third American trio to pull that feat off in a Winter Olympics, joining those from the 1956 men’s figure skating and 2002 men’s snowboard halfpipe podiums. After the event, Christensen dedicated the win to his late father, saying to’s Nick Zaccardi:  “I hope I made him proud.”…

While the Americans continued their Sochi slopestyle surge, the world of figure skating said a dramatic goodbye to Yevgeny Plushenko, who withdrew from the men’s competition after suffering an apparent injury in warmups before today’s short program and then retired shortly afterwards.

Plushenko was both loved and hated but he was impossible to ignore, and his departure marks the end of an era. But the show went on and it was quite a show indeed.

MORE: Complete recap of Team USA on Day 6

After U.S. skater Jeremy Abbott showed what he’s made of after a hard fall on his opening jump, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu earned a world-record score to take the lead going into tomorrow’s free skate. Jason Brown of the U.S., making his Olympic debut in Sochi, put on a solid program and placed sixth to put himself in medal contention…

French biathlete Martin Fourcade earned his second Sochi gold in the 20km individual, while Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finished 34th in his second attempt to become the most decorated Winter Olympian ever in these Olympics. The race also saw Team USA’s Lowell Bailey finish eighth, the best-ever individual result at the Olympics by a U.S. biathlete

The U.S. speedskaters had another trying day at Adler Arena, with Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe both unable to medal in the women’s 1000m, a race won by China’s Zhang Hong…

China also got a gold today in short track as Li Jianrou won the women’s 500m after teammate and event favorite Fan Kexin crashed out in the semifinals…

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland overcame a broken foot to win the women’s cross-country 10km classic, and the all-conquering German lugers won the first-ever team relay event at the Sanki Sliding Center…

The U.S. and Canadian men’s hockey teams both began their Sochi programs with wins, as the Americans thrashed Slovakia and Team Canada topped Norway. Host nation Russia also got a win over Slovenia in front of a red-hot crowd and Finland scored a whopping eight goals in their win over Austria…

American hopefuls Noelle Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender are firmly in the medal conversation after the first of two days in women’s skeleton…

Out of competition, officials are still trying to figure out how a track worker at Sanki Sliding Center was hit by a forerunner sled prior to training runs this afternoon…

The aforementioned Mr. Kenworthy is trying to adopt and bring home a group of stray puppies and their mother, who have been living by an Olympics media center (yes, there are photos of the cuddly pooches in the link)…

Fans and athletes alike have been working around the relatively warm temperatures in Sochi…

The slopestyle set aren’t all that bothered by their falling pants

Two-time Olympian/NBC Olympics figure skating analyst Johnny Weir shows off some of his fashion ensembles

And new halfpipe champion Kaitlyn Farrington got a sigil from the “Game of Thrones” gang.

(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Germany – 7/2/1 – 10
2. Canada – 4/4/2 – 10
3. Norway – 4/3/6 – 13
4. Netherlands – 4/3/5 – 12
5. United States – 4/2/6 – 12
6. Switzerland – 3/0/1 – 4
7. Russia – 2/5/4 – 11
8. China – 2/1/0 – 3
9. France – 2/0/2 – 4
10. Poland – 2/0/0 – 2
11. Austria – 1/4/0 – 5
12. Slovenia – 1/1/2 – 4
13. Korea – 1/0/1 – 2
T-14. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-14. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
16. Sweden – 0/4/1 – 5
T-17. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
T-17. Italy – 0/2/1 – 3
T-17. Japan – 0/2/1 – 3
T-20. Australia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-20. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
22. Latvia – 0/0/2 – 2
T-23. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-23. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

U.S. women’s basketball team, statistically greatest ever, rolls to FIBA World Cup title

FIBA Women's World Cup

The revamped U.S. women’s basketball team may have been the greatest of all time.

The Americans completed, statistically, their most dominant global championship ever by routing China 83-61 in the FIBA World Cup final on Saturday in Sydney — giving them 60 consecutive wins between the Olympics and worlds dating to 2006.

It marked the largest margin of victory in a World Cup final since the event converted from a fully round-robin format in 1983.

For the tournament, the U.S. drubbed its opponents by an average of 40.75 points per game, beating its previous record between the Olympics and worlds of 37.625 points from the 2008 Beijing Games. It was just off the 1992 U.S. Olympic men’s Dream Team’s legendary margin 43.8 points per game. This U.S. team scored 98.75 points per game, its largest at worlds since 1994.

“We came here on a mission, a business trip,” tournament MVP A’ja Wilson said in a post-game press conference before turning to coach Cheryl Reeve. “We played pretty good, I think, coach.”

Since the U.S. won a seventh consecutive Olympic title in Tokyo, Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles retired. Tina Charles ceded her national team spot to younger players. Brittney Griner was detained in Russia (and still is). Diana Taurasi suffered a WNBA season-ending quad injury that ruled her out of World Cup participation (who knows if the 40-year-old Taurasi will play for the U.S. again).

Not only that, but Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx succeeded Dawn Staley as head coach, implementing a new up-tempo system.

“There was probably great concern, and maybe around the world they kind of looked at it and said, ‘Hey, now is the time to get the USA,'” Reeve said Saturday.

The U.S. response was encapsulated by power forward Alyssa Thomas, the oldest player on the roster at age 30 who made the U.S. team for the first time in her career, started every game and was called the team’s glue and MVP going into the final.

Wilson and Tokyo Olympic MVP Breanna Stewart were the leaders. Guard Kelsey Plum, a Tokyo Olympic 3×3 player, blossomed this past WNBA season and was third in the league’s MVP voting. She averaged the most minutes on the team, scored 15.8 points per game and had 17 in the final.

“The depth of talent that we have was on display,” Reeve said. “What I am most pleased about was the trust and buy-in.”

For the first time since 1994, no player on the U.S. roster was over the age of 30, creating a scary thought for the 2024 Paris Olympics: the Americans could get even better.

“When you say best-ever, I’m always really cautious with that, because, obviously, there are great teams,” Reeve said when asked specifically about the team’s defense. “This group was really hard to play against.”

Earlier Saturday, 41-year-old Australian legend Lauren Jackson turned back the clock with a 30-point performance off the bench in her final game as an Opal, a 95-65 victory over Canada for the bronze. Jackson, who came out of a six-year retirement and played her first major tournament since the 2012 Olympics, had her best scoring performance since the 2008 Olympics.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup

The U.S. women’s basketball team won its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headlined a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, included neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team had nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 60 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The U.S. beat China in the final, while host Australia took bronze to send 41-year-old Lauren Jackson into retirement.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), wasn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule, Results

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium 85, Bosnia and Herzegovina 55 Group A
11:30 p.m. Serbia 81, Mali 68 Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA 145, South Korea 69 Group A
2 a.m. France 67, Japan 53 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 95, Puerto Rico 60 Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia 75, Canada 72 Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 92, South Korea 73 Group A
11:30 p.m. China 81, Belgium 55 Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA 121, Bosnia and Herzegovina 59 Group A
2 a.m. Canada 88, Mali 65 Group B
3:30 a.m. Serbia 68, France 62 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 71, Japan 54 Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. USA 88, Serbia 55 Quarterfinals
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Canada 79, Puerto Rico 60 Quarterfinals
4 a.m. China 85, France 71 Quarterfinals
6:30 a.m. Australia 86, Belgium 69 Quarterfinals
Fri., Sept. 30 3 a.m. USA 83, Canada 43 Semifinals
5:30 a.m. China 61, Australia 59 Semifinals
11 p.m. Australia 95, Canada 65 Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. USA 83, China 61 Gold-Medal Game