Meryl Davis, Charlie White

What to watch on Day 10 of Sochi Olympics

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Here’s a look at the compelling events, athletes and storylines of the Sochi Olympics on Monday, Feb. 17. A complete list of every Monday event can be found here.

WHAT TO STAY UP LATE FOR …

Biathlon, men’s 15km mass start, after 1 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Note: This event has been postponed indefinitely.

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is expected to take aim at the solo record for most Winter Olympic medals for the third time after his opening gold in the 10km sprint. This event was rescheduled from Sunday due to fog at the Laura Biathlon Center.

Bjoerndalen, 40, has been stuck on 12 career medals, finishing fourth in the 12.5km pursuit and 34th in the 20km individual event. He is not a medal favorite here. France’s Martin Fourcade is the star, looking for his third straight gold.

WHAT TO WAKE UP EARLY FOR …

Men’s snowboard cross finals, 6:02 a.m. (estimated) ETCLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Note: it’s been postponed at least once.

A new Olympic snowboard cross champion will be crowned at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. The only men’s gold medalist the event has ever known, American Seth Wescott, did not make the Olympic Team.

The U.S. sends four other men, including Nate Holland, who was fourth at the 2010 Olympics, Nick Baumgartner, Trevor Jacob and Alex Deibold.

The top international contenders include Australia’s Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who has played in a reggae band named “Love Charli,” and Austrian Markus Schairer. They were the top two finishers at the 2013 World Championships.

Women’s hockey semifinal, U.S.-Sweden, 7:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

The U.S. was expected to face Finland here, but the Swedes ousted the Finns by putting three goals past the world’s best goalie, Noora Raty, in the third period of their quarterfinal.

This sets up a third straight Olympic semifinal between the U.S. and Sweden.

In 2006, the Swedes shocked the Americans 3-2 in a shootout, the only time the U.S. failed to reach the gold-medal game. In 2010, the U.S. left no doubt with a 9-1 blowout before losing to Canada in the final.

WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS DURING THE DAY …

Two-man bobsled, runs 3 and 4, 9:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Russian Aleksandr Zubkov led by .32 of a second over Swiss Beat Hefti and .36 over American Steven Holcomb after the first two runs of four total. It will be tough to catch Zubkov, but second through sixth place is separated by .16.

Zubkov, 39, seeks his first Olympic gold medal after two-man bronze in 2006 and four-man silver in 2010. Hefti won on this track to conclude the 2012-13 World Cup season.

Holcomb is the World Cup champion and looking for the first U.S. Olympic two-man medal since 1952.

The other Americans, Cory Butner and Nick Cunningham, are 11th and 13th.

Figure skating, free dance, 10 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

The short dance went according to plan Sunday, with Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White taking a 2.56-point lead over Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, their training partners.

Davis and White haven’t lost in nearly two years, a stretch that includes a World Championship, Four Continents Championship, two Grand Prix Finals and four Grand Prix series events. They’re trying to win the first U.S. Olympic ice dance gold medal.

Virtue and Moir won the 2010 Olympic title in Vancouver but have been passed by Davis and White in the four years since.

Russian and French couples appear to be vying for bronze. Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Maia and Alex Shibutani were eighth and ninth after the short dance.

Women’s hockey semifinal, Canada-Switzerland, 12 p.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Canada is a heavy favorite here given it beat Switzerland 5-0 in group play. The Canadians have never lost in the semifinals of an Olympics or World Championships and are trying to win their fourth straight Olympic title.

Switzerland, whose team includes a D.C.-area Starbucks barista, has already clinched its best-ever Olympic finish. It’s playing with house money.

Ski jumping, team competition, 12:15 p.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Austria appears to be the favorite to win the team competition for a third straight Olympics, but its individual large hill results (seventh, eighth, 32nd, 40th) weren’t very inspiring.

Other medal contenders include Slovenia, which won both World Cup team events this season, and Germany, which was second to Slovenia both times. Norway and Japan also have a shot. Japan features 41-year-old Noriaki Kasai, who won silver in the individual large hill.

Poland’s Kamil Stoch swept the individual normal and large hill events, but the Polish team is not very deep. It appears unlikely he will join Finland’s Matti Nykaenen as the only ski jumpers to win three golds at a single Winter Games.

Men’s aerials final, 12:30 p.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

This shapes up as a China-Belarus battle, just like the women’s aerials competition. Again, China enters with higher expectations. It throws 2010 bronze medalist Liu Zhongqing, 2013 world champion Qiu Guangpu and 2013 world bronze medalist Jia Zongyang.

Belarus, meanwhile, boasts defending Olympic champion Aleksei Grishin and Anton Kushnir, who won a World Cup event in Park City, Utah, in January.

Canada’s Travis Gerrits is also threat after winning the 2013 World Championships silver medal.

Mac Bohonnon, with one World Cup silver this season, is the lone U.S. entrant.

Alex Zanardi, auto racer turned Paralympic champion, has 5-hour surgery to rebuild face after crash

Alex Zanardi
AP
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SIENA, Italy (AP) — Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi underwent a five-hour surgery Monday to reconstruct his face following a crash on his handbike last month.

It was the third major operation that Zanardi has had since he crashed into an oncoming truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19 during a relay event.

Dr. Paolo Gennaro of Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena said the operation required three-dimensional digital and computerized technology that was “made to measure” for Zanardi.

“The complexity of the case was fairly unique, although this is a type of fracture that we deal with routinely,” Gennaro said in a hospital statement.

After the surgery, Zanardi was returned to the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma.

“His condition remains stable in terms of his cardio-respiratory status and grave in terms of his neurological status,” the hospital medical bulletin read.

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, has been on a ventilator since the crash.

Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma, and doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

Zanardi won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.

Last month, Pope Francis penned a handwritten letter of encouragement assuring Zanardi and his family of his prayers. The pope praised Zanardi as an example of strength amid adversity.

Shawn Johnson East shares struggles with body image, prescription drugs

Shawn Johnson
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Shawn Johnson East, a 2008 Olympic gymnastics champion, detailed past struggles with body image and prescription drugs and reflected on her eating disorder as an elite athlete, to show there is hope to others in difficult situations.

“It all started with pregnancy and having my daughter,” East, who had daughter Drew in October, said on TODAY on Monday. “I had so many people asking me questions about how did pregnancy affect you mentally and how did you get your body back after having your daughter. I couldn’t answer that without giving a greater and a larger story.”

East first went public about her undiagnosed teenage eating disorders in 2015, three years after retiring from the sport. She said she limited herself to 700 calories per day and didn’t tell her parents.

In a June YouTube video, Johnson said she also binged and purged, including while dating future husband Andrew in the mid-2010s. And that she had depression and anxiety in 2011, when she returned to competition for the first time since the Beijing Games.

“I thought it would fix all of my problems,” East said of returning to gymnastics for a 2012 Olympic bid.

When East won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009, she “hit a very low spot” going through puberty on national TV. She said she gained 15 pounds after the 2008 Olympics and started taking medications and drugs “to look like I did at the Olympics.” It included fad diets, diuretics and a three-week stretch of eating nothing but raw vegetables.

“Most pain of my entire life because I couldn’t digest anything,” she said.

At some point in 2011, East began feeling burned out. She was back to eating too few calories and overtraining. An unnamed USA Gymnastics doctor prescribed her Adderall “to lose more weight, have more energy and be more successful in gymnastics.” She took “heavy doses.”

“It helped my performances, but there were massive consequences to it,” she said. “I continued to compete into 2012, where I just started to get depressed.

“I was overdosing on Adderall. I was overdosing on any medication that wouldn’t be caught by USADA.”

Adderall was a banned substance in competition without a therapeutic use exemption, but was legal outside of competition.

“I was so controlled by other people’s opinions that I wouldn’t live up to that Olympic standard that I did anything to get it back and I could never have it back,” East said. “I didn’t learn that until later on.”

East’s mental hurdles re-emerged when she had a miscarriage in 2017. She blamed herself, believing her unhealthy lifestyle in the past was a contributor.

“Our natural inclination is to say, what did I do? And what did I do wrong?” she said. “It haunted me. I felt like I had sacrificed everything for an Olympic medal to not actually get the dream I had wanted my entire life [to have a child].”

With the help of a nutritionist and therapist and her husband, she conquered the demons through her 2019 pregnancy and childbirth.

“Having gone through a whole pregnancy and knowing that I felt confident through the whole thing, I feel like I’ve climbed Everest,” she said.

MORE: Why Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson went 8 years without talking

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