February 13, 2014
China Skaters Golden on the Track; American Sweep in Slopestyle
China got on the medal board Thursday with its first two gold medals of the Sochi Olympics.
Short track speedskater Li Jianrou won the women's 500-meter race, beating out Italy's Ariana Fontana and South Korea's Park Sueng-Hi. Later, in the women's 1000-meter speed skating event, China's Zhang Hong beat out two Dutch skaters for the top spot.
In skiing, American freestyle skiers dominated the first-ever slopestyle competition at the Olympics, sweeping the top three spots. Joss Christensen won the gold medal, with Gus Kenworthy taking silver and Nicholas Goepper earning bronze.
Also Thursday, Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won gold in the women's 10-kilometer cross country skiing race.
Germany will look to continue its dominance on the luge track in the new team relay competition, which involves one women's, one men's and one doubles run in succession. The German lugers competing Thursday have already won gold in all three of the luge events so far in Sochi.
In men's ice hockey, two favorites -- Russia and the United States -- won their games against Slovenia and Slovakia respectively. Another heavyweight -- Canada -- faces off against Norway.
Russian figure skater Evgeny Plyushchenko will try to continue the host country's success as the men's individual competition begins with the short program. He helped Russia capture gold in the team skating competition. Russian pairs skaters Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov also won gold on Wednesday.
Medals will be awarded Thursday in the women's and the men's 20-kilometer biathlon.
Meanwhile, the president of the International Olympic Committee says he is not worried about the warm temperatures that have been melting snow and ice in and around Sochi.
Thomas Bach told the Associated Press Thursday, "the situation so far is under control," saying there was no need yet to bring in additional snow.
Norway leads the overall medal count with 13, followed by the United States and the Netherlands with 12. Canada has 10, while Russia has nine and Germany has eight. Germany has the most gold medals with six.
There are 98 medal events at the Sochi Games, 12 more than in Vancouver in 2010.