Winter Olympic Village: Day Two, wrap

TheJournal.ie

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(Dario Cologna cries on the podium after winning the gold medal in the men’s cross-country 30k skiathlon — Gregorio Borgia/AP/Press Association Images)

Talking points

    Russia are off the mark: National idol Yevgeny Plushenko and rising star Julia Lipnitskaia got hosts Russia off the mark on Sunday sealing gold in the inaugural team figure skating event at the Sochi Olympics. Watched by President Vladimir Putin, the 31-year-old Plushenko took his fourth Olympic medal after gold in 2006 and silver in 2002 and 2010. But his achievement was almost overshadowed by Lipnitskaia, who sealed the victory at the age of just 15 to euphoria at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
  • Meyer upsets the odds: Matthias Mayer, the 23-year-old Austrian skier, defied a host of headline acts to win the blue riband men’s downhill in 2min 06.23sec on the 3.5km-long course at Rosa Khutor, high above the Black Sea. It was the first Austrian downhill gold since Fritz Strobl at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. “Of course it means a lot to me,” an emotional Mayer said. “It’s really difficult to go down the track without mistakes.”
  • Snowboarding success for US: Jamie Anderson gave the United States a slopestyle snowboarding double following Sage Kotsenburg’s victory in the men’s competition. Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi was second while Jenny Jones took third to give Britain its first ever Olympic medal on snow.
  • Kuzmina makes history: Defending champion Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia became the first woman to win two Olympic titles in the same individual biathlon when she claimed the 7.5km sprint. The Russian-born Kuzmina won in a time of 21min 06min 8sec to see off Russia’s Olga Vilukhina who was 19.9sec behind. Vita Semerenko of Ukraine took bronze, 21.7sec back from the champion.

You said what?

Thomas Ulsrud on the Norwegian curling team’s “rose-painting knickers”: “When Chris (Svae) gave us these, I said, ‘Come on, give me a break here,’” Ulsrud told The Associated Press, chuckling to himself. “I can go out there in loud pants and everything, but I said, ‘You are going to cut them off at the knee? Come on.’

“But I hate to say it, they are really comfortable to play in. Nice and loose.”

Yevgeny Plushenko on winning a gold: “It’s the first medal for Russia this Olympics. I love being first.”

Hero of the day

Ireen Wust. The Dutch athlete triumphed in the 3,000 meters Olympic speedskating, winning a gold medal at the Winter Olympics for the third consecutive time, having previously triumphed in the same competition in the Turin 2006 games, and in the 1500m at the Vancouver Games in 2010.

Irish eye

No Irish athletes are in action today or tomorrow, so here’s an interview with Winter Paralympian Kelly Gallagher to keep you amused.

Moment that took our breath away

It has to be Julia Lipnitskaia’s gold medal-winning performance aged just 15.

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The best thing we read today

For casual and hardcore fans alike, Sports Illustrated’s projected medal count is a fascinating read.

Medal table

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(Via the official site of the Winter Olympics)

What’s happening tomorrow

If you’re willing to get up at the ungodly hour of 5am, some curling group games take place, with Britain in action against Russia.

Short track: men’s 1500m — Interestingly, this event, which starts at around 9.45am, features Russia’s Viktor Ahn, who won in 2006 while representing South Korea  under the name Ahn Hyun-soo.

Coverage of the Men’s speed skating 500m can be accessed on the BBC’s red button service from 1pm

Additional reporting by AFP and gifs via Business Insider

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