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France Sweeps Event Medals for First Time at Winter Olympics

France has swept the medals in an event for the first time at the Winter Olympics.

Jean Frederic Chapuis won the gold medal to lead the French in skicross Thursday in Sochi. Arnaud Bovolenta took silver and Jonathan Midol captured bronze.

Skicross is often considered part of freestyle skiing because it incorporates terrain features traditionally found in freestyle.

This was the sixth podium sweep at the Sochi Games, adding to four by the Dutch speedskating teams and one by the U.S. men's slopestyle ski squad.

Elsewhere, Norway won the Nordic combined team competition for its 10th gold medal, the most thus far at the Sochi Games. The Norwegians finished third in the ski jump, but cross-country specialist Magnus Mon made up the difference in the first leg of the 20-kilometer pursuit race.

Germany took silver and Austria bronze.

In women's curling, Canada beat Sweden, 6-3, to win the gold medal in the sport for the first time since 1998. The Canadians had lost in the 2010 final in Vancouver to the Swedes, who were seeking a third straight title on Thursday. Britain won the bronze medal with a 6-5 win over Switzerland.

In women's hockey, Switzerland rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Sweden, 4-3, and win the bronze medal. Florence Schelling made 28 saves for the Swiss, who earned their first medal since women's hockey became an Olympic sport at the 1998 Nagano Games.

The U.S. women's hockey team is taking on heated rival Canada as it seeks its first Olympic gold medal since winning in Nagano. The Canadians have won the three gold medals since then, including two in the finals against the U.S.

South Korean women's figure skater Yuna Kim is the favorite to win the the gold medal as she takes to the ice in Thursday's free skate event. Kim, who holds a slight lead over Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Carolina Kostner of Italy, is looking to become the first back-to-back Olympic champion in the event since 1988.

American freestyle skier Maddie Bowman is the favorite to take gold in the women's halfpipe, a new event that has the contestants performing somersaults and other tricks.

The United States leads the overall medal count with 23. Russia and the Netherlands are tied with 22 apiece, followed by Norway with 21, Canada 19, Germany 16 and France 14. In gold medals, Norway leads with 10 and Germany has eight.

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