Archives For Sochi


By Scott Polacek, Featured Columnist Feb 23, 2014

Olympic 2014 Medal Count: Final Nation Rankings and Standings from Sochi
Felipe Dana/Associated Press

There truly is no place like home when it comes to the Winter Olympics and Russia.

The host country took advantage of familiar ice, snow and everything in between at the 2014 Games in Sochi by finishing atop the medal count race with an impressive 33 medals. Among those 33 podium finishes were 13 golds, which was also the most of any nation.


Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

Among the sports that Russia dominated was figure skating, with the gold medal in the team competition behind the brilliance of JuliaLipnitskaia and the gold in the ladies’ individual event from AdelinaSotnikova.

The real question from a Russian perspective is whether winning the overall medal tally and taking home the most gold medals is enough to compensate for the sting of losing in the quarterfinals in the men’s hockey tournament.

Click Here to see the Full Medal Count

The United States checked in at second place in the medal count, with Norway, Canada and the Netherlands rounding out the top five.

From an American perspective, it was an Olympics filled with ups and downs.

 

 Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

On the one hand, the 28 medals were the most for the Red, White and Blue at a Winter Olympics held outside of North America, but it’s hard not to compare this year’s effort to the 37 medals brought home at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. That was the most-ever podium appearances by any nation in one Winter Olympics.

Many of the marquee names heading into these Games failed to medal, including Shaun White, Shani Davis and the men’s hockey team. Gracie Gold took home a bronze in the figure skating team competition, but she was one spot off the podium in the ladies’ individual event.

However, there was complete dominance from Meryl Davis and Charlie White in the ice dancing and two podium appearances from Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton in bobsledding. Tim Reynolds, an Associated Press sports writer, pointed out that they were the multiple-medal winners in Sochi:

Leaders on the iceThere was also the birth of a new superstar on the ski slopes, as Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest woman ever to win the gold in the slalom.

If her comments to reporters that were passed along by PaulMyerberg of the USA Today are any indication, there is plenty of success to come at the 2018 Games:

I’m still young and I still have a lot of strength to gain over the next few summers of conditioning and the next few winters of skiing. I don’t want to push myself too far too fast and definitely don’t get greedy, but at the same time, I’m a dreamer.

So right now I’m dreaming of the next Olympics, winning five gold medals. Which sounds really crazy. Sorry I just admitted that to you all.

Another marquee story from the 2014 Olympics was the performance of the Netherlands in the speedskating events. Yes, head coach JillertAnema made some headlines with his comments on the United States, but the real story was the 23 medals, eight of which were gold, that the Dutch won in the various competitions.

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Netherlands finished in fifth place in the overall medal count, and 23 of its 24 podium appearances came in speedskating.

Elsewhere, Canada was strong as usual in the Winter Games.

Its hockey team was filled with elite NHL talent and it showed throughout the tournament. The Canadians defended their gold medal from Vancouver, knocking off the Americans in the semifinals and the Sweden team in the championship match.

 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Safe to say, those on the Canadian team won’t mind the additional fatigue once the grueling NHL schedule starts back up again. A gold medal around your neck has a funny way of making the extra games worth it.

Looking forward, two questions remain now that the Olympics are officially in the rearview mirror.

As with any Olympics, what will happen next with the additional sporting venues and the extra hotel rooms in Sochi?

Mark Kramer of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies did not sound optimistic, via Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post:

I doubt Putin is going to want to channel large amounts of scarce funding to bolstering all these facilities once the Olympics are over and begin to fade from memory…Putin has channeled ample funds to his native city, St. Petersburg/Leningrad, and he is fond of Sochi, but in the list of priorities, it’s not going to rank high. Hence, I expect that Sochiwill end up with a lot of facilities and hotels that are going to be pretty useless five years from now.

At least the Fisht Olympic Stadium, which was solely used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in the Games, will be a featured site for the 2018 World Cup.

The other post-Olympic question is how the 2018 Games in South Korea will unfold.

Will Russia be able to defend its medal count title? How will the traditional powerhouses of Canada and the United States fare? Finally, will South Korea receive a boost from its home fans?

For now, Russia has Winter Olympic bragging rights for the next four years.


It was a heartbreaking loss for the US Women’s hockey team after falling to Canada in overtime in the gold medal game Thursday.

women's hockey team loss


Terror groups working on new shoe-bomb designs, officials say   

Loose airplane seats issue solved?

WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department has warned airlines that terrorists could try to hide explosives in shoes.

It’s the second time in less than three weeks that the government has issued a warning about possible attempts to smuggle explosives on a commercial jetliner.

Homeland Security said Wednesday it regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, but it declined to discuss specifics of a warning sent to airlines.

“Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment,” the department said in a statement.

A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that DHS released a notice to airlines reiterating that liquids, shoes and certain cosmetics were of concern, all of which are covered under existing Transportation Security Administration security policies.

The latest warning was focused on flights headed to the United States from abroad.

The official said “something caused DHS concern, but it’s a very low threshold to trigger a warning like this.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Earlier this month Homeland Security warned airlines with flights to Russia to be on the lookout for explosive devices possibly hidden inside toothpaste. The Transportation Security Administration then banned passengers from bringing any liquids in their carry-on luggage on nonstop flights from the U.S. to Russia.

That warning became public just days before the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

It is unclear if the latest warning, first reported Wednesday by NBC News, is related to the earlier threats to Russia-bound flights.

Air passengers in the United States have had to take off their shoes at airport security checkpoints since shortly after Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives hidden in his shoes on a Miami-bound flight in late 2001. Reid pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and is serving a life sentence.

The traveling public has grown increasingly impatient with expanding security checks at airports.

TSA in recent years has changed some security procedures to allow young children and passengers 75 and older to keep their shoes on. The security agency has also launched a fee-based program that allows willing flyers to submit to background checks and avoid having to remove their shoes, jackets and small amounts of liquids packed in carry-on luggage.


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  • 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia Live
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Melrose native’s bronze is first medal in 2-man bobsled since 1952

The team from the United States USA-1, piloted by Steven Holcomb and brakeman Steven Langton, celebrate their bronze medal win after the men’s two-man bobsled competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

AP Photo/Dita Alangkara

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia —The first thing Steven Holcomb noticed when he crossed the finish line Monday night was that the Russian fans were wildly cheering.

Images: Meet local Olympians

The next second felt like forever. Had he medaled? Had he blown it? He had no idea. But as his sled slowed to a stop, friendly, joyous faces — people clad in red, white and blue — came into view.

“I saw the flood of Americans coming up and over the wall,” Holcomb said, “and that’s when I knew.”

Victory was not his. But he’d ended another 62-year drought for U.S. bobsledding, and that was more than enough. Holcomb and Steve Langton, of Melrose,  won the bronze medal in two-man bobsledding at the Sochi Games, the first Olympic medal by an American sled in the event since 1952.

By now, 62 must be Holcomb’s favorite number. His four-man gold medal at the Vancouver Games also snapped a 62-year U.S. drought in that race.

“If there’s anybody who needs a 62-year drought broken, give me a call and I’ll try to help you out,” Holcomb said.

Russia’s Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda won the gold in a dominant home-ice show, beating the Swiss team of Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann by 0.66 seconds. Holcomb, of Park City, Utah, and Langton, of Melrose, Mass., were another 0.22 seconds back, finishing just 0.03 seconds ahead of another Russian sled in the race for bronze.

“Man, thank God,” said Holcomb, who raced through a strained left calf that required treatment Sunday and Monday. “There was a lot of pressure on me there.”

Holcomb needed 45 minutes of treatment after racing Sunday night before he could emerge for interviews, and it was clear the team was worried about his leg. Langton said he and Holcomb didn’t even discuss the injury on Monday. Langton just knew Holcomb was going to show up and do his job, one way or another.

“Best driver in the world,” Langton said, pointing across a room toward Holcomb. “The best. That guy.”

Langton graduated from Northeastern University in 2005 with a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. He was a member of Northeastern University’s track and field team as a sprinter and jumper.

Zubkov had the home-ice edge. Hefti has long been one of the best two-man drivers. And for quite some time, Holcomb has been fighting to dispel the notion that he’s only truly elite when racing on the North American tracks he knows best.

He debunked that theory Monday. An Olympics, in Russia, in conditions in which he’s never trained, facing a 62-year drought — and he delivered.

Great U.S. drivers such as Brian Shimer and Todd Hays tried in recent years to be the streak-busters, coming close but never getting over the final hump. So maybe it was fitting that one of the first people Holcomb embraced when that mob of love reached his sled was Shimer, who simply beamed.

“Holcy’s the man,” USA-2 pilot Cory Butner said, “and he proved it again.”

Germany, which had won the last three gold medals in two-man, had its top sled finish eighth in the worst showing for the sliding power in the event since 1956.

“If in 2010 we were sitting in a Formula One car, then this time we were sitting a trabby,” brakeman Kevin Kuske said, referring to one of the least-popular cars ever sold in Germany. “It’s definitely an equipment issue.”

That used to be the case for the Americans. Not anymore.

Holcomb and Langton gave the U.S. its fourth sliding medal so far at the Sochi Games, a total that beats the three the Americans combined to win in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010. With women’s bobsled and four-man bobsled still to run, and the Americans expected to vie for golds in both, the U.S. has to be thinking their total will grow before the Sochi cauldron is extinguished.

“What Holcomb has done is unbelievable for the sport,” USA-3 pilot Nick Cunningham said. “He’s put USA Bobsled on the international map.”

And on the Olympic medal stand. Again.

“It means a lot,” Holcomb said. “I have an Olympic gold in four-man, world championship in four-man, world championship in two-man. The one elusive medal was this one. We wanted gold, it didn’t happen … but I’m happy. Gold, silver, bronze, going home Olympic medalists. That was our goal. I’m losing my mind right now. This is amazing.”


1. When the Mohawk Lacrosse Team Played at the Olympics

Source: Library and Archives Canada
The Native lacrosse players in this photo did not play at the 1904 Olympics — but the generation that followed them did. The Library and Archives Canada describes the image as ‘Men from the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake (Caughnawaga) who were the Canadian lacrosse champions in 1869.’

2. Hardcore Version of Olympics: the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks

Logan Clow/Daily Herald-Tribune
A snowboarder grabs some air at the slopestyle event during the Arctic Winter Games Trials.

3. Watch an Asteroid the Size of Three Football Fields Rush Past Earth

Asteroid via artist’s rendering.

4. Is Jason Momoa of ‘Game of Thrones’ the Next Great Native Star?

source: sundance.tv
Actor Jason Momoa as Phillip Kopus in the Sundance Channel series ‘The Red Road.’

5. Administration Agrees to Fully Pay Tribal Contract Support Costs

Indian Health Service Acting Director Yvette Roubideaux

6.4 Fast-Food Marketing Tactics Parents Can Adapt to Improve Kids’ Health

Courtesy Cornell Food & Brand Lab

7. Mills Kills Passamaquoddy-State Elvers Agreement

Joel Page/Reuters
Elvers in Maine.

8. Olympic Star T.J. Oshie’s Girlfriend, Lauren Cosgrove, Also a Gold Medalist

TheBigLead.com
T.J. Oshie and his girlfriend, Lauren Cosgrove.

9. New Digs in the Sonoran Desert: Tohono O’odham Members Line Up to Live in Villages

Lee Allen
One of the 14 newly-constructed homes in the Tohono O’odham San Xavier District

10. Are Pedophiles Getting Free Pass in South Dakota?

Courtesy Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
Brother Francis Chapman, or “Chappy,” (labeled “12”) and Paul Frey (“27”), both deceased, were accused of abusing children in their care at St. Francis Mission, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota. Recently, Father Clarence Vavra, now of Minnesota, has confessed to abusing boys while at St. Francis in 1975, according to Ken Bear Chief, a paralegal and investigator with Tamaki Law Firm, in Washington State.

11. Preserving Indigenous Democracy

An Indian of the Tarahumara Mountains in northern Mexico in January 2012.

12. Coast Salish Nations Unite to Protect Salish Sea

13. Sacred Site Advocates Ask Senate to Heed Keith Harper Concerns

 


New Hampshire native won bronze medal in Olympics men’s super-G ski race

United States’ Bode Miller wipes his face as he stands with his wife, Morgan, after finishing the men’s super-G at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

AP Photo/Gero Breloer

SOCHI, Russia — American skier Bode Miller is responding to criticism of an NBC post-race interview by saying it was a “crazy emotional moment.”

The interview, conducted after Miller won a bronze medal in the men’s super-G ski race, turned to his emotions given the passing of his younger brother, Chelone, who died last year. A visibly emotional Miller began crying during the interview, leaning against a railing.

The moment drew backlash toward interviewer Christin Cooper, who pressed Miller about his brother, and NBC, which aired the full tape-delayed interview in primetime in the United States several hours later.

“I appreciate everyone sticking up for me,” Miller tweeted on Monday. “Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment”

(See the tweet)

Miller was a trending topic on Twitter in the United States for much of the day after the tweet and critics said the interview was insensitive.

Richard Sandomir of The New York Times called it “overkill,” Kami Mattioli of the Sporting News said Cooper “repeatedly badgered” Miller and the AP’s David Bauder called it “a shameful spectacle.”

NBC said in a statement that its intent was to convey the emotion Miller felt.

“We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story,” the statement said.

“My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have,” Miller said in another tweet. “Pushing is part of it, she wasn’t trying to cause pain.”

(See the tweet)


SOCHI, Russia – T.J. Oshie scored four times in the shootout and got the winner in the eighth round, leading the United States past Russia 3-2 Saturday in the thrilling revival of a classic Olympic hockey rivalry.

Cam Fowler and Joe Pavelski scored in regulation for the Americans in the marquee game of the preliminary round. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves and stopped five attempts in the shootout.

International rules allow the same player to take multiple shots after the first three rounds of a shootout, and U.S. coach Dan Bylsma leaned on Oshie, one of the NHL’s shootout specialists.

The St. Louis forward went 4 for 6 against Sergei Bobrovsky, ending the game with one last slow-developing move past the Columbus goalie. The Americans improved to 2-0 in preliminary-round play, all but wrapping up an automatic berth in the quarterfinals next week.

Pikus-Pace wins silver in skeleton as U.S. men disappoint in super-combined

Although the game had little impact on the medal race in Sochi, the finish woke up the echoes of a U.S.-Russia rivalry best known for the “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid in 1980, when a team of American college students stunned the Soviet Olympic team.

Mike Eruzione was 25 then and captain of the team the whole country was watching.

“There was a telegram from a lady in Texas,” Eruzione told CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith  in an interview broadcast this week on CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” “and all the telegram said was, ‘Beat those commie bastards.’ And it had nothing to do with the hockey game. But that was the mindset, and I think that’s what kind of made the moment so special for so many people.”

And “special” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The U.S. team defeated the Soviets with a score of 4-3. The victory, then and forever known as the “Miracle on Ice,” triggered an outburst of national pride.

“For everybody it had a different meaning,” said Eruzione. “For us as a hockey team, we won. But for a nation, we won.”

The sociopolitical impact of that game is long gone, and the nations have already met three previous times in the Olympics since NHL players joined the games in 1998. Several players on both teams are teammates in the NHL, and this result only helped determine positioning for next week’s elimination games.

But the Sochi Games are extraordinarily important to the Russian players, and the arena was packed to overflowing with fans of both nations jovially posing for photos and comparing their colorful sweaters. The Russians waved hundreds of flags, blew horns and banged drums from the first moments of warm-ups.

On Saturday, captain Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals in regulation and another in the shootout for the Russians, who rallied from a third-period deficit. In a fast-paced game played in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an energized home crowd, the Russians also had an apparent goal waved off with 4:40 left because Quick’s net came off its moorings.

The gimmicky shootout finish was entertaining, but the entire game at the Bolshoy Ice Dome was international hockey at its most compelling – and the third period was a thriller.

Pavelski scored the tiebreaking goal for the Americans on a power play with 10:33 to play, but Datsyuk tied it with 7:16 left during a Russian power play, spurring Putin out of his seat to cheer.

After review, the officials waved off Fedor Tyutin’s apparent go-ahead goal because the net was loose, incensing the Russian crowd.

Both teams had quality scoring chances in overtime, but Bobrovsky denied Patrick Kane on a breakaway in the most hair-raising moment.

Oshie started off the shootout with a low shot between Bobrovsky’s legs, and the next four shooters missed before Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the third round. Datsyuk and Kovalchuk scored in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, but Oshie tied it twice in dramatic fashion.

Datsyuk and Oshie both missed in the seventh, and Quick denied Kovalchuk again before Oshie ended it.

Oshie was among the final selections for the U.S. roster, and the 27-year-old from Warroad, Minn., was chosen for exactly this type of situation. Although Oshie has never had a 20-goal NHL season, the hard-nosed forward has one of the highest rates of shootout success among the American-born players.


1. A Call to Action by Diné Women Activists

2. John Warren Sworn in As Pokagon Band Tribal Council Chair

3. First Treaty Signed at Fort Pitt With Delaware for Trade and Alliance

This image shows a tribe of Delaware Indians, but at a later time period than when the Treaty of Fort Pitt was signed.

4. Ojibwe T.J. Oshie’s Shootout Heroics Lead USA Hockey Past Russia

AP
Oshie, seen here celebrating today’s win with starting goalie Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, is tied for the Blues’ team lead with 46 points this season and his +17 is second on the team.

5. Tribal Council Strengthens Contracting Preference for Cherokees

Courtesy Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and the Tribal Council recognized Barbara Williams, a prevention specialist for her health advocacy work among teens. Williams, of Tahlequah, has worked 36 years for the tribe.

6. Full Snow Moon and Vibrant Venus Fete Lovers for Valentine’s Weekend

Thinkstock/Andreas Weber
February’s full moon is often called the snow moon, a name that is especially apt this winter.

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