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    Americans Sweep New Slopestyle Skiing Event; China Takes First Gold

    American freestyle skiers have dominated the first-ever slopestyle competition at the Olympics, sweeping the top three spots at the winter games in Sochi, Russia.

    Joss Christensen won the gold medal Thursday, with Gus Kenworthy taking silver and Nicholas Goepper earning bronze.

    China earned its first gold medal of the games with short track speedskater Jianrou Li winning the women's 500-meter race. South Korea's Sueng-Hi Park took the 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.

    Also Thursday, three of the favorites in men's ice hockey play their first games, with Russia taking on Slovenia and Canada facing Norway. Earlier, the United States beat Slovakia 7 to 1.

    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 1000-meter speed skating 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 with 12, followed by Canada and the Netherlands with 10. 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.

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