Familiar finish for Hoefl-Riesch
Just as she did four years ago at the Vancouver Games, Maria Hoefl-Riesch found herself trailing an American after the downhill leg of the super-combined before using her slalom skills to vault into first place and successfully defend her Olympic title in the dual-run event.
The German finished less than a second ahead of both silver medalist Nicole Hosp of Austria and Julia Mancuso of the United States, who won the bronze. Mancuso won silver in the event in Vancouver. She now has four career Olympic medals in Alpine skiing; no other American woman has more than two. Lindsey Vonn had the fastest downhill time in Vancouver, but when Vonn skied out on the slalom, Hoefl-Riesch roared back to claim gold.
Hamelin earns gold in 1,500M
Charles Hamelin of Canada raced to the 1,500-meter short track speedskating gold. At 29, Hamelin was the oldest skater in the first final of the short track competition. The wily veteran maintained a top-three position throughout most of the 14-lap race, leaving enough at the end to defeat a loaded field, including Viktor Ahn of Russia and silver medalist Han Tianyu of China.
Ahn was a three-time gold medalist for his native South Korea, but after missing the Vancouver Games he changed his name and became a Russian citizen. When he stepped on the medals podium, the mostly Russian crowd erupted in wild cheers for the country’s first-ever short track medal.
Mulder fastest man on skates
Michel Mulder of the Netherlands won the 500-meter speedskating gold, earning him the title of fastest man on skates. Teammate Jan Smeekens was 0.01 seconds behind for silver, and twin Ronald Mulder took bronze in a Dutch sweep.
Fourcade wins first medal for France
Martin Fourcade’s win in the 12.5-kilometer biathlon pursuit earned France its first medal. Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic took the silver, and Jean Guillaume Beatrix of France earned bronze. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway finished fourth, missing out on a record 13th Winter Olympic medal.
Bilodeau repeats in men’s moguls
Alex Bilodeau became the Olymics’ first repeat winner in men’s moguls. Canadian teammate Mikael Kingsbury won the silver, giving the Canadians a 1-2 finish in both men’s and women’s moguls.
Swiss men upset Canada in curling
The Norwegian men, curling’s fashion kings of cool, made their Sochi debut with another snazzy pattern on their pants – a mixture of red, white, blue and gray squares and rectangles. Norway dazzled the U.S. 7-4, but the surprise of opening day was Switzerland’s upset of defending champion Canada.
On the women’s side, Sweden defeated Britain 6-4 in a matchup of two favorites for the curling gold.
U.S. women poised for hockey semis
The United States romped to a 9-0 victory over Switzerland to all but clinch a spot in the Olympic women’s hockey semifinals. Canada topped Finland 3-0 to ensure a semifinal spot.