A Croatian alpine skier has won her country's first gold medal ever at the Winter Olympics, Canada won its first gold medal of the games, and a Russian won the men's figure skating gold medal.
The controversial results of Monday's pairs figure skating decision, in which the Canadians were edged out by the Russians, were still the talk of these Olympics when the men skated their free program Thursday night.
The Russian men apparently shook off any thoughts of the controversy surrounding their compatriots, and they won the gold and silver medals.
Alexei Yagudin, who had been first after Tuesday's short program, was tops in the long program as well. He landed two quadruple jumps and four of the nine judges gave him perfect scores for presentation. Teammate Evgeni Plusenko, who had been fourth after the short program, moved up to the silver medal position. He also landed two quads. American Tim Goebel was successful on three quad jumps and captured the bronze medal. Japan's Takeshi Honda, second after the short program, ended up fourth.
Catriona LeMay Doan won the women's 500-meter speed skating event. It was Canada's first gold medal of these Olympics, but in her post-race remarks, she made reference to the misfortune of her pairs figure skating compatriots. "I hope this just gets everybody excited, and we know that it should have been two gold up till now, but you know we can't change certain things, so we go on," she said.
The silver medal in the women's 500 meters went to German Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt and the bronze went to her teammate Sabine Voelker.
Janica Kostelic of Croatia won the women's alpine skiing combined event. She was fastest for both slalom runs and third fastest in the downhill segment. She won the gold medal by one-point-four-nine seconds over Austrian Renate Goetschl. "It was a great day for me. I got a really good result. It's like my dream came true and everything so I'm really happy about it. I still really can't realize it," she said. "This is the first real Croatian medal and I'm really proud of it."
The bronze went to German veteran Martina Ertl.
Earlier in the day, German-born skier Johann Muehlegg of Spain won his second gold medal of these Olympics, taking the men's cross country pursuit. It features 10 kilometers each of classical and freestyle technique. There was a tie for second place between Norwegians Thomas Alsgaard and Frode Estil, so two silver medals were awarded. Even a photo of the finish could not separate the two.
In women's ice hockey, the defending Olympic champion United States won its second straight game by a large margin, trouncing China, 12-1. Finland beat Germany, 3-1.