Krasnaya Polyana, Russia • Bode Miller is at his fifth Olympics and already owns a U.S.-record five Alpine medals, so in many ways he certainly already has, as he put it Thursday, "been here and done this."
While Miller’s past accomplishments, plus propensity for speaking his mind, might have made him an athlete to keep an eye on during the Sochi Games anyway, his skiing still can grab headlines. Miller delivered the fastest opening downhill training run (2 minutes, 7.75 seconds) ahead of Sunday’s race.
"He’s been fast this whole season, but especially these last three weeks," said Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway.
Women’s downhill training was interrupted for about an hour while the lip of a dangerous jump was flattened by machines. Only three racers went down the hill before the delay, and one got hurt.
Henrik Sedin sits out
Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin pulled out of the Games on Thursday, saying he’s physically unable to play for Sweden.
"I’m disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country," Sedin said.
Russia takes lead in team figure skating
Thrilling their countrymen on the first day of competition, Russia took the lead after the pairs and men’s short programs in the new event of team figure skating.
Three-time medalist Evgeni Plushenko finished second to Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu in the men’s portion Thursday night, then world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov convincingly won the pairs.
The combined 19 points lifted the hosts ahead of Canada, which scored 17. The team competition continues Saturday with ice dance, the women’s short program and the pairs free skate. It concludes Sunday with the other three long programs.
Finnish goalie’s mask runs afoul of IOC rule
On her Olympic mask, Finnish goaltender Noora Raty included the words, "Hakkaa paalle," which loosely translates to "Cut them down." It is a battle cry with roots that date back four centuries, to the Thirty Years’ War, and it has become the national team mantra, something players recite before every game. On Wednesday, an International Olympic Committee official told Raty, 24, that she would have to cover the phrase with tape because it violates a rule that prohibits advertising, demonstration or propaganda on an athlete’s equipment. Finland opens play Saturday against the U.S., whose goaltender Jessie Vetter was told last month to remove text of the U.S. Constitution from her mask.
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