News / Europe

Japanese Figure Skater Wins Olympic Gold

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan poses with the national flag after he placed first in the men's free skate figure skating final following the flower ceremony at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan poses with the national flag after he placed first in the men's free skate figure skating final following the flower ceremony at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Mike Richman
Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu became the first Asian to win the men's Olympic figure skating title, in the final medals event Friday at the Sochi Winter Games.

With a point total of 280.09, the 19-year-old Hanyu topped three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada and world silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan.

All three medalists had flawed performances that included crash landings.  But Hanyu held on largely because of his 3.93-point lead after Thursday's short program.  The competition took place without Russian skating star Yevgeny Plushenko, who withdrew after injuring his back in warmups Thursday.  

Big Day for Belarus, Switzerland

Belarus and Switzerland also had big days in Sochi Friday, each winning two gold medals.

Belarusian Darya Domracheva dominated the women's individual 15-kilometer biathlon, and teammate Alla Tsuper soared high to win the women's freestyle skiing aerials.

Earlier this week, Domracheva won the 10-kilometer biathlon pursuit, becoming the first female Belarusian to capture a Winter Olympic gold.

Winner Switzerland's Dario Cologna celebrates during a flower ceremony for the men's 15 km cross-country classic event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 14, 2014.Winner Switzerland's Dario Cologna celebrates during a flower ceremony for the men's 15 km cross-country classic event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 14, 2014.
x
Winner Switzerland's Dario Cologna celebrates during a flower ceremony for the men's 15 km cross-country classic event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 14, 2014.
Winner Switzerland's Dario Cologna celebrates during a flower ceremony for the men's 15 km cross-country classic event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 14, 2014.
Switzerland's Dario Cologna also won his second gold medal of the 2014 Olympics.  Skiing in short sleeves on another warm and sunny day in Sochi, he was outstanding in the cross-country 15-kilometer classic.  Cologna also captured the 30-kilometer skiathlon in Sochi.

Another Swiss skier, Sandro Viletta, pulled off a surprise first-place finish in the highly anticipated men's supercombined, which consists of one downhill run and one slalom run.

The Swiss now have five gold medals in Sochi, second to Germany with seven.

Britain won its first gold in the other medal event Friday, as Elizabeth Yarnold took first in women's skeleton.

In curling, China and Britain won close games to create a three-way tie with Sweden at the top of the men's standings.  The British women beat Japan, 12-3, to improve to 3-2 and remain in sight of their big rivals.  Undefeated Canada and 4-1 Sweden were not in action Friday.

In men's hockey, shorthanded Sweden defeated Switzerland, 1-0, to remain undefeated at 2-0.  Sweden's Daniel Alfredsson scored with 7:21 left and goalie Henrik Lundqvist had a 26-save shutout.

Sweden said before the game that captain Henrik Zetterberg will miss the rest of the tournament because of a herniated disk, taking a third key player off its roster.

Canada, Finland and the Czech Republic also won in men's hockey.

US, Russia to Clash on Ice

The United States and Russia meet on Saturday in a game featuring two of the men's hockey powers in Sochi.  The U.S. is aiming for a gold medal after a silver in 2010, and Russia is seeking its first gold since 1992.

Russian center Evegni Malkin, a star on the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, is not taking the U.S. team lightly.

"In the case of the Americans, it will be a good test for us, and we of course understand how strong the American team is," Malkin said.  "If we go out united in a good mood, then we have every chance of winning."

  • Shani Davis of the U.S. skates in the prototype of the official US Speedskating suit during a training session at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Latvia goaltender Edgars Masalskis reaches to block a shot on goal by the Czech Republic in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • The two-man team from Monaco MON-1, piloted by Patrice Servelle, start a run during a training session for the men's two-man bobsled at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • This multiple exposure photo shows the Sweden curling team throwing during a round robin session against China in the Ice Cube Curling Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Norway’s Haavard Vad Petersson and Torger Nergaard sweep ahead of the rock during men's curling competition against Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Workers groom the women's downhill course at the Rosa Khutor Alpine center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Evgenii Itbaev leaps as a friend takes her picture near the Olympic Cauldron at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Norway's Chris Andre Jespersen wears a cut suit as he gets to the finish area after completing the men's 15K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Swiss fans wear cow costumes and national flags at the Alpine ski venue for the men's supercombined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.

Meanwhile, Olympic officials said they have sold more than one million tickets for the Sochi games.  The announcement came a day after the Russian men's hockey team debuted in Sochi, helping push the number over the top.  
 
A record 106,000 fans packed into Olympic Park on Thursday, as Russia beat Slovenia 5-2 in hockey.  
 
The head of the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, praised Russian fans for their hospitality.

"The Russian fans are taking every nation into their hearts, not only for the Russian team but also cheering and greeting athletes from all around the world," Chernyshenko said.  "And in turn, we are having an electric atmosphere in the stadium."

The executive director of the International Olympic Committee, Gilbert Felli, echoed Chernyshenko's thoughts.

"For me, the atmosphere's great," Felli said.  "I was so surprised the first day I went to the competition venue in slopestyle.  Russia, where they knew they had no chance to make a medal, that medals are going to made by the Americans, and you could see the Russians applauding, and the kids there and yelling and everything, you said, 'Here we are, the magic of the games are at play.' "

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

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

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs