News / Asia

China Skaters Golden on the Track; American Sweep in Slopestyle

Gold medalist China's Li Jianrou (C), silver medalist Italy's Arianna Fontana (L) and bronze medalist South Korea's Park Seung-hi celebrate during the medal ceremony for the women's 500 meters short track speed skating event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olymp
Gold medalist China's Li Jianrou (C), silver medalist Italy's Arianna Fontana (L) and bronze medalist South Korea's Park Seung-hi celebrate during the medal ceremony for the women's 500 meters short track speed skating event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olymp
VOA News
China took its spot on the medals board at the Sochi Olympics Thursday by winning two gold medals in speed skating.

Short track speed skater Li Jianrou won the women's 500-meter race, beating Italy's Ariana Fontana and South Korea's Park Sueng-Hi. In the women's 1,000-meter speed skating event, China's Zhang Hong beat two Dutch skaters for the top spot.

In skiing, American freestylers dominated the first-ever Olympic slopestyle competition, sweeping the top three spots. Joss Christensen won the gold medal, with Gus Kenworthy taking silver and Nicholas Goepper earning bronze.

Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won gold in the women's 10-kilometer cross country skiing race, and sharp-shooting French biathlete Martin Fourcade won the 20-kilometer individual gold.

In the final medals event of the day, Germany remained dominant on the luge track in the new team relay competition, which involves one women's, one men's and one doubles run in succession.

Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch and the pairing of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished first in the relay, giving the Germans gold medals in all four of the luge events so far in Sochi.

The win lifted Germany into the gold medal lead with seven.

On the ice, the top men's hockey teams -- Russia, the United States and Canada -- played for the first time in these Games Thursday. Russia beat Slovenia, 5-2, and the U.S. routed Slovakia, 7-1. Canada opened defense of its gold medal four years ago by defeating Norway 3-1.

In other developments, Russian figure skater Evgeny Plushenko pulled out of the men's individual figure skating competition Thursday. Plushenko, a two-time gold medalist, was seen clutching his back during warmups before he announced his withdrawal from the event.

He later said he is retiring from figure skating.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said he is not worried about the unseasonably warm temperatures that have been melting snow and ice in and around Sochi.

Temperatures in Sochi have been hitting 17 degrees Celsius for the past four days.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Bach recalled even warmer conditions at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.

"It's not as warm yet as it was in Calgary at the time, where I remembered going around the last days of the Games in a T-shirt. It was about 25 degrees Celsius, so the situation so far is under control. The organizing committee together with the international federations is working very, very hard. There is still storage of snow and so far it is going well," said Bach.

Bach said the accident of an Olympic track worker struck by a bobsled was not related to other accidents caused by sloppy conditions created by the warm weather.

The worker was on the track when he was hit by a forerunning sled, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training.

Olympic officials said he broke both legs and may have a concussion.

"That is different. It's a worker being in the braking zone of the bob and we do not know why he was there in this zone. This you cannot compare with any incident with an athlete," said Bach.

After six days of competition in Sochi, Norway leads in the overall medal count with 13, followed by the United States and the Netherlands with 12. Russia has 11, and Canada and Germany have 10 each.

There are 98 medal events at the Sochi Games, 12 more than in Vancouver in 2010.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More