News / Europe

Germany Remains Dominant in Luge in Sochi

The silver medal team from Russia, (l) gold medal team from Germany, center, and bronze medal team from Latvia (r) pose with flowers after the luge team relay competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
The silver medal team from Russia, (l) gold medal team from Germany, center, and bronze medal team from Latvia (r) pose with flowers after the luge team relay competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Mike Richman
Germany ended the sixth day of competition at the Sochi Games Thursday by leaving no doubt which country sports the best luge athletes.

Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch and the pairing of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won the first-ever Olympic luge team relay, as heavy favorite Germany crafted a gold medal sweep of the four luge events in Sochi.

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

The luge team relay involves one women's singles, one men's singles and one doubles run.

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.

Also Thursday, China took its spot on the medals board by winning two gold medals in women's speedskating.  Li Jianrou won the short track 500-meter race, and Zhang Hong took the 1,000-meter event.

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.

On the ice, the top men's hockey teams - Russia, the United States and Canada - played for the first time in the Sochi Games Thursday.  Russia beat Slovenia, 5-2, the U.S. routed Slovakia, 7-1, and Canada topped Norway, 3-1.

Star Russian Skater Backs Out

In other news, 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 about 17 degrees Celsius in recent 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," Bach said.  "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."

Olympic Worker Injured

Bach also 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.

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

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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid