Archives For Olympics

Gymnast Simone Biles wins her second gold medal

US gymnast Simone Biles reacts after seeing her score in the uneven bars event of the women's individual all-around final of the Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 11, 2016. / AFP / Ben STANSALL        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Phelps wins 20th Olympic gold!


Getty Images

Company is official Olympic partner



At just 4 feet 9 inches tall, Simone Biles might be the smallest American Olympian in Brazil, but she’s threatening to become Team USA’s biggest star of Rio 2016

American Katie Ledecky breaks her own record to take the gold in women’s 400 meter free style

United States' Katie Ledecky celebrates after setting a new world record in the women's 400-meter freestyle final.

French gymnast breaks leg during vault landing

Samir Ait Said of France fractured two bones in his lower left leg during the men's gymnastics competition.

Michael Phelps carries the flag for US team

Michael Phelps of the United States carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

By Shawn Smith,

All the talk leading up to the slopestyle final was about Canadian domination and triple corks.

American Sage Kotsenburg put an end to that.

Scoring a 93.50 on his first run, Kotsenburg earned the first gold medal of the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the first-ever gold medal awarded in the new snowboarding slopestyle discipline.

Kotsenburg has eschewed the trend of hucking huge triple corks, instead finding other ways to progress the sport. Not only did he have creative maneuvers in the rail section and unique grabs on the jumps, he also decided to go for it all and bust out a new trick – a backside 1620 with a Japan grab – that was both stylish and technical at the same time.

Kotsenburg had never attempted the backside 1620 before his run – not even in practice – but decided to try it after talking to his coach and his brother.

According to Kotsenburg, U.S. Snowboarding team coach Bill Enos told him, “If you do the 1620, I guarantee you’re gonna land it.”

So the 20-year-old from Park City, Utah went for it. “I dropped in, no stress, just having fun and doing stuff I normally do. And it ended up working out,” Kotsenburg said after his victory.

Kotsenburg kept it stylish. (Photo: Getty Images)

Norway’s Staale Sandbech earned the silver medal, and Canadian Mark McMorris – one of the favorites entering the day – took the bronze medal.

Once again for McMorris, it came down to his second run. He landed a clean run with two triple corks – one on the first jump, one on the last jump – but was still scored five points shy of Kotsenburg’s first-run score. It put him in second place for the time being, but he was bumped down to third soon after by Sandbech after the Norwegian’s second run.

Canadian Max Parrot – the top qualifier in Thursday’s opening round – was expected to contend for a gold medal as well but finished off the podium. Like McMorris, Parrot attempted two triples on his first run but washed out on the second one. He changed it up the second time out but with only one triple, he ended up in fifth just behind Sweden’s Sven Thorgren.

Sandbech and McMorris joined Kotsenburg on the podium. (Photo: Getty Images)

It was widely expected that it would not be possible to win in Sochi without one of those much-talked about triple corks. But Kotsenburg stood his ground and decided he was going to do things his way.

In the end, he was the one rewarded.

“It ended up working out in my favor because everyone was doing the same grabs and tricks today,” Kotsenburg said.

Kotsenburg had a busy day thanks to the format of the Olympic slopestyle event. After failing to qualify through Thursday’s opening round, he had to get in through the semifinal just a few hours earlier in the day on Saturday. He finished second in the semi, becoming the lone American rider to earn a spot in the final.

Great Britain’s Jamie Nicholls – another rider who landed a triple cork – finished sixth in the final with 2010 halfpipe silver medalist Peetu Piiroinen of Finland behind him in seventh. Japan’s Yuki Kadono, Canada’s Sebastien Toutant and Great Britain’s Billy Morgan rounded out the top ten.

Left to right: Steven Holcomb (bobsled), Ashley Wagner (figure skating) and Shani Davis (speed skating).<br>

Four years ago, American athletes took home 37 medals in Vancouver – a Winter Games record.

Leading the way were star skier Lindsey Vonn, who became the first U.S. woman to win gold in the downhill, and speed skating icon Apolo Ohno, whose three medals in Vancouver cemented his place as the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time.But now that Vonn has been sidelined with a knee injury and Ohno has officially retired, who will be the face of Team USA as it goes for gold in Sochi? Here are 10 athletes who figure to have a strong shot of making the medal podium at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

Putin promises ‘ring of steel’ around games 

BOSTON — When the Winter Games kick off next month in Sochi, Russia, one figure-skating pair will be closely watched by fans in the Boston area.

Watch NewsCenter 5 report

Marissa Castelli, of Cranston, R.I., and Simon Shnapir, of Sudbury, won the National Championships earlier this month in Boston, effectively clinching a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

They leave next week for Sochi.

“We’re so excited. This is a dream come true,” Marissa, 23, said Sunday, her 6-foot-4 partner, Simon, 26, standing to her left.

“We’re still kind of on cloud nine from our championship win just a few weeks ago here in Boston,” Simon added.

And the two, who’ve been skating together for eight years at the Skating Club of Boston, insist they’re not fazed by the much-talked about security concerns in Russia leading up to the 2014 games.

“We’re putting our trust into the U.S. and obviously the Russian security over there,” Shnapir said. “And it’s gonna be great. We’re going there to represent our country proudly, and our focus is our training and our competition, and that’s it.”

For U.S. security officials, the situation in Russia is far more alarming.

“The fact is, this is a dangerous region in Russia by the north Caucuses,” U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-NY, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “There are active terrorist organizations there.”

The Republican lawmaker slammed Russia’s government for refusing to share its intelligence with U.S. security officials. He claimed the country’s leadership is worried that giving the U.S. such information would reveal sensitive secrets about how its security forces gather intelligence.

President Vladimir Putin, in the meantime, has promised a “ring of steel” around Sochi, but King is skeptical.

“The fact is, once you get outside that venue, or even going from venue to venue, there is real vulnerability,” King said. “I would advise the athletes that they do everything they’re asked to do by the security team, by the State Department, by the FBI.”

Marissa and Simon, for their part, told NewsCenter 5 they’re focused simply on their routines.

They trust the American and Russian security forces, and said, as with many other U.S. Olympians, they will not wear their Team USA gear outside of the Olympic Village.

“Generally, when we travel overseas, we try not to wear our Team USA jackets outside; you don’t know what’s going to happen outside of the Village, how everyone else is going to treat you,” Marissa said.

Simon said the pair and their families should be better off than most. He was born in Moscow and speaks fluent Russian.