Sochi’s most interesting (and odd) moments so far

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A foggy course might be the image of early Monday, but there were plenty of scary, scintillating and silly moments from the first nine days of the 2014 Olympics.

You can check out a great rundown at NBC News and a video reel from NBC Olympics, but here are some highlights from Olympic Talk’s perspective as well.

Oshie’s Island

There is plenty of hockey left, but the Olympics produced at least one breakout name in the sport, and it wasn’t someone expected like Patrick Kane, Zach Parise or Phil Kessel. Instead, it was T.J. Oshie, who clearly became the U.S. go-to guy in the shootout.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Julia rules

Julia Lipnitskaya, 15, put on quite a show for her home crowd in the team figure skating performance. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin was impressed.

source: AP
Credit: AP

I-Pod, injuries shuffle Shaun White’s plans

As Sochi approached, White wasn’t just attempting to set a record by becoming the first U.S. Winter Olympian to gain gold in the same event three straight times. The snowboarding icon was also trying to stretch his limits by shooting for a medal in snowboard slopestyle. Those ambitions faded dramatically as a wrist injury prompted him to drop slopestyle and some halfpipe struggles left him without a 2014 medal altogether. Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov instead won halfpipe gold with his “YOLO” trick.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Everyone wants to be Sage-like

While White’s snowboarding run ended in disappointment, snowboarding saw new faces emerge (not to mention the explosion of the term “spoice”). Kaitlyn Farrington and Jamie Anderson captivated audiences, but Sage Kotsenburg blew minds.

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Highs and lows in skiing

Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller experienced emotional (and performance) highs and lows in collecting their respective bronze medals.

Pikus-Pace’s resilient race to silver

After suffering serious injuries and even a personal tragedy, it seemed like Noelle Pikus-Pace would move on from skeleton and retire. Instead, her journey ended with tears and a silver medal.

source: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Triumph and turmoil for Pluschenko

After victorious moments in the team competition, Yevgeny Plushenko ultimately ended his Olympic swan song early because of injury concerns. NBC’s Nick McCarvel captured the scene:

Without skating a single moment Thursday night at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Yevgeny Plushenko was once again the talk of Sochi. Actually, the talk of the Olympic sporting world.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Plenty of other injuries

Plushenko was far from the only athlete who experienced an ending that foiled a storybook ending, as issues plagued plenty of others, including skicross athlete Maria Komissarova breaking her back, prompting a visit from Putin.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Arielle Gold went as far as to upload a video of the fall that dislocated her shoulder, providing an example of how social media is opening up another avenue of “access.”

Weird weather

When you think “Winter Olympics,” palm trees and fog don’t really come to mind. Those are some of the many images that people will associate with Sochi, however.

source: AP
Credit: AP
source: AP
Credit: AP

Hanyu hangs on in figure skating

It wasn’t a perfect performance by Yuzuru Hanyu, but he won Japan’s first men’s figure skating title nonetheless (and continuing the “Canadian Curse” in the process, as Patrick Chan finished with silver).

source: AP
Credit: AP

Dutch domination, U.S. disappointment in speed skating

Dutch speed skaters are on a record-setting run in Sochi. After Sunday’s 1-2-3-4 finish in the women’s 1500m, the Netherlands has swept three different speed skating events (also men’s 5000m and men’s 500m) and won 16 medals in the process, the most in one sport by any country at one Games.

source: Reuters
Credit: Reuters

Meanwhile, the United States has experienced significant disappointments from speed skating to short track. Shani Davis came up short in his attempt to win the men’s 1000m for the third consecutive Oympics. JR Celski’s short track bids didn’t happen. On the women’s side, audiences became used to seeing photos of a disappointed Heather Richardson.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Whichever suit was being worn in a given speed skating event, it seemed like it was being accompanied by an unhappy face.

German’s sweep the luge

German lugers swept all of their events in Sochi. That included putting an exclamation point on that impressive run by winning the first-ever team relay.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Ole’s historic run

“Boring” or not, Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen solidified himself as one of the all-time great Olympians by tying a Winter Olympics record with his 12th medal thanks to gold in the biathlon 10km sprint. He still has a chance to stand alone at 13 and almost hit that mark before.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Viktor Ahn’s unusual path

Viktor Ahn became the first man to win gold for two distinct countries in 2014, as he notched that speed skating medal for Russia after representing South Korea. South Korea is … displeased.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Johnny Quinn breaks through

Plenty of athletes generate laughs and drew eyeballs to their Twitter feeds already (Oshie’s follower increase has been healthy, to say the least), but few did it quite like Johnny Quinn:

Wild sliders

The sliding sports seemed to generate some of the most unusual moments. That included a shocking averted crash in training for luger Shiva Keshavan:

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An Irish bobsledder and Brazilian bobsledders either avoiding or surviving near-disastrous accidents of their own:

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But luger (Dancin’) Kate Hansen provided plenty of Beyonce-loving comic relief, too.

Even Al Roker and Matt Lauer got in on the action.

Olga’s oops

Russian skater Olga Graf got a little too wrapped up in the moment after winning bronze in the women’s 3000m, nearly flashing the audience in the process.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Bearly fitting

Sochi’s polar bear mascot provided two bits of comedy recently, beginning with a moment in which it could not fit into a mini-van:

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While Keith Jones celebrated happier times for the fuzzy beast:

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Opening Ceremony

For all the majesty on display at Sochi’s Opening Ceremony, The Police Choir of Russia’s rendition of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” was the highlight for many.

source: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

More to come

Of course, there is plenty of Olympic action to come, which you can follow through our watch live updates alongside Olympic Talk and NBCOlympics.com. From Yuna Kim’s star power to more hockey to Mikaela Shiffrin’s debut, there should be plenty of other unforgettable sights … whether they are hilarious, triumphant or some sublime combination.

source: AP
Credit: AP

Chloe Dygert crashes over guard rail at world championships, has surgery

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American Chloé Dygert crashed over a guard rail at the world road cycling championships time trial, where she appeared en route to a repeat title, and underwent leg surgery as a result.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, lost control of her bike while approaching a curve to the right. Her front wheel bobbled, and she collided with the barricade, flipping over into an area with grass.

Dygert, who had a left leg laceration, was tended to by several people, put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, about 25 miles from the worlds host of Imola.

“We are relieved that this crash was not worse than what it could have been,” USA Cycling chief of sport performance Jim Miller said in a press release. “While this crash is distressing, Chloe is young and a fighter. With Chloe’s determination, we know she will be back riding before we know it. For now, we want her to focus on healing.”

About 10 minutes after the crash, Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen won her first time trial title.

Van der Breggen took silver the last three years behind Dygert and countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, who missed this year’s race after breaking her wrist last week in the Giro Rosa.

Dygert, 23, had a 26-second lead at the 14-kilometer time check of the 31-kilometer race. Full results are here.

Dygert qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last year’s world time trial title. She has been bidding to make the Olympics on the road and the track.

Worlds continue Friday with the men’s time trial airing on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold for Cycling Pass subscribers at 8:15 a.m. ET. A full TV schedule is here.

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MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

2020 French Open men’s singles draw, bracket

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Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.

Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.

Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.

The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

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