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Medals from space on an anniversary at Sochi Winter Games

Medals from space on an anniversary at Sochi Winter Games
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Alpine Skiing

The first of Sunday’s medals in Sochi were in Alpine skiing in Super-G track. Gold went to Norway, but not round the neck of Aksel Lund Svindal, but his team mate Kjetil Jansrud who trailed two Americans for most of the race, the sensational Andrew Weibrecht and veteran medal winner Bode Miller.

But Jansrud skied the final part superbly and took gold. Miller won a bronze medal. It is his fifth Olympiad and sixth Olympic medal. Canadian Jan Hudec shared bronze with Miller. Aksel Lund Svindal, the world champion, could only manage seventh place. Without a medal in the combination, downhill and the super-G for the skier who is leading the World Cup, the Games have been a failure.

Cross Country Skiing

In the cross-country 4 × 10 k men’s relay there was an expected victory for defending champions Sweden. Joint leaders with Finland after the first two legs they took the lead in the third leg.

Russia, with a titanic effort from Alexander Legkov, claimed second place on the third leg and stayed there with Maxim Vylegzhanin extending their lead over the French who won bronze – the country’s first podium finish in this event.

For Russia it was their first Olympic medal in this discipline in the post-Soviet era. The men of Norway, just like the women, missed out on the medals, finishing fourth.

Putin drops in on the Ukrainians

Russian President Vladimir Putin was out meeting and greeting national delegations once again. On Saturday the Russian head of state dropped in on the Ukrainians for a chat and a bite to eat.

It’s understood events in Kyiv were not on the menu and the main course was a wide ranging discussion on sport, the teams performance and how the Ukrainians were enjoying the Sochi experience.

Putin appeared relaxed despite having just watched the Russian Ice Hockey team lose to arch-rivals the United States when a late disallowed goal denied the host nation a victory in a group stage match.

Medals from space

Exactly one year ago, on February 15, a large meteorite scorched across the skies over Chelyabinsk making headlines across the world. Now it is front page news at Sochi.

Regional officials wanted to mark the anniversary by presenting Sochi medal winners with a souvenir piece of the meteorite, an out-of-this-world medal. But the International Olympic Committee stepped in to deny them the move as the rules are clear that only medals from competition can be presented during the Games.

“It was broadcast all over the world and everybody was excited, people were calling from all over the world to find out what was going on. It’s a bid deal, and its interesting and not usual. It’s not diamonds but something very unusual,” explained Evgeniya Dukhina, spokeswoman for the Chelyabinsk region.

So for the moment people can only look pieces of the meteorite which are on display. It had scorched across the sky at speeds of 30 kilometres per second – somewhat quicker than any Olympian.