Sochi 2014: Report February 20

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Skating Sochi 2014

ALL THE NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION LIVE FROM SOCHI 2014 AS IT HAPPENS!


By Duncan Mackay and Nick Butler in Sochi, and Zjan Shirinian in London

Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are Russian  

00:24 Good night!

00:20 What about tomorrow?

Seven gold medals tomorrow with three coming in short track speed skating and others in ski-cross, biathlon relay and women's slalom Alpine Skiing.

The most tense medal event is sure to come in curling however as Britain face Canada for the gold medal. We also have the small matter of ice hockey semi-finals: Sweden v Finland and a chance for the US men to avenge their female counterparts, not to mention President Obama's beer supply, and beat Canada. 

00:10 On that note it seems just about time to wrap up for day 13 here in Sochi. 

Adelina Sotnikova provided the highlight of the day from a host nation standpoint with that historic figure skating victory. Canada enjoyed two team sport victories - in curling as well as ice hockey - while Norway, France and the US also took gold medals.

Lots going on from a political perspective as well with more developments regarding Ukraine, the IOC Athletes Commission Election and the latest 2022 applicant city press briefing. 

Canada comeback to win in overtime and claim fourth straight ice hockey gold

00:02 As we told you earlier (see 20:48), that result means that US President Obama owes Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper a crate of beer. The US men have a chance to make Harper return the compliment tomorrow...

twitter logoUSA hade alltså 2-0 med 3,5 min kvar av matchen och ett skott i stolpen med tom bur... och förlorar OS-finalen i sudden... bittert!! #os14se
- You don't need to speak the language to understand the gist of Swedish IOC member Stefan Holm's reaction to the ice hockey...

twitter logoAs a hockey fan, congratulations to the Swiss women's ice-hockey team on their #Sochi2014 bronze medal. Nail-biting! pic.twitter.com/ztCliFAg49
- FIFA President Sepp Blatter is more excited about Switzerland winning the bronze medal earlier on...

twitter logoLeft the hockey match for the @Heineken_House Good The match is still on TV here..! #IOCAC #Sochi2014 @NOS pic.twitter.com/JHPh8qA5ez
- IOC Athletes Commission chair Claudia Bokel also enjoyed the match...

An image that tells you all you need to know about the outcome of the overtime period ©Getty ImagesAn image that tells you all you need to know about the outcome of the overtime period ©Getty Images



23:56 Marie-Philip Poulin, scorer of Canada's winning goal, has been described as the "Sidney Crosby of the women's game". Well now there is another comparison - it was Crosby who scored Canada's winning goal against the United States when the men won gold in Vancouver four years ago‏

Sochi 2014 gold medal23:51 Canada win the gold medal! A fourth in a row! After 68 minutes Marie-Philip Poulin drives the puck home after a superb passing move. Canada win the gold medal and the US drought goes on as they have to settle for silver.

Heartbreak for the Americans as they lie utterly demoralised on the ice. 

23:41 The atmosphere is sensational. The US are creating more of the chances but cannot break the deadlock. It remains 2-2...

23:30 We are into overtime in the ice hockey. What must be going through the minds of the US players. They had this game. They were literally a few seconds from the gold medal and now they have to come out and do it again.

You have to favour the Canadians winning a fourth consecutive title at this point - but we shall see...

twitter logoWhat a night!!! Adelina Sotnikova wins a historic GOLD for Russia in #figureskating!!! National pride!!! Bravo!!! #Sochi2014
- Sochi 2014 chief Dmitry Chernyshenko is among those excited by the latest Russian victory

The history reference refers to the fact that Russia have never won this event before. In fact no Russian skater ever has - as the Soviet Union never won it either. 

23:19 Canada equalise! Unbelievable scenes and wild celebrations as Marie-Philip Poullin somehow finds the back of the net. Never write off the Canadians...

23:17 Canada pile the whole team forward and leave their goal completely unguarded but the US effort hits the post. One minute to go and the time-out is called. 

23:13 But Canada have just pulled one back! Brianne Jenner pulls one back. Have they got time to draw level.

23:09 Speaking of which, there is one gold medal still to be decided this evening - and it is looking more and more likely that it will be the US. They still lead 2-0. 

23:06 Russia remain fourth on the medals table but only the US now have more total medals

23:01 It was on the technical marks where Yuna Kim was let down. But all credit to the Russian. She was not the most fancied member of their team, but what a performance. 

An outstanding free skate is enough to propel Adelina Sotnikova to an unlikely gold medal for Russia ©AFP/Getty ImagesAn outstanding free skate is enough to propel Adelina Sotnikova to an unlikely gold medal for Russia ©AFP/Getty Images



Sochi 2014 gold medal22:54 Adelina Sotnikova of Russia takes the gold medal. Yuna Kim scores 144.19 and it is not enough. The Russian wins gold by 5.48 points overall. 

Bronze goes to Carolina Kostner of Italy.

22:50 Seems flawless by Kim but will it be enough? All you will need to tell you is the crowd reaction...

22:48 The US go 2-0 up in the ice hockey! Alex Carpenter scores and they are closing in on a first gold medal since Nagano 1998.

22:44 Next up is Ashley Wagner of the US. But it is only enough for sixth place. Next and last to go in Yuna Kim of South Korea...

Gold medal winner at Vancouver 2010 as well as at the 2009 and 2013 World Championships. She has won medals of some colour at the last six World Championships and will need every bit of that experience tonight if she is to dislodge the Russian...

 Maddie Bowman wins ski halfpipe gold. Will it be the the first of several US celebrations tonight? ©Getty Images Maddie Bowman wins ski halfpipe gold. Will it be the the first of several US celebrations tonight? ©Getty Images



22:38 Meanwhile, back in the figure skating there is another solid performance from US hope Gracie Gold. But it is only good enough for third place behind Soltnikova and Kostner. Just two more to go...

22:35 So a good evening already for the US with that victory. And it could get a whole lot better for them if their ice hockey team can hang on for one more period. They lead Canada 1-0 after two periods. 

Sochi 2014 gold medal22:28 The gold medal goes to Maddie Bowman of the US as we fly through through the second run of the ski halfpipe final. 

Marie Martinod for France came out of retirement to be here in Sochi and wins the silver medal while Ayano Onozuka of Japan takes bronze. So there is no change after the first run.

21:26 A wonderful performance by Adelina Sotnikova to score 149.95 points and take the overall lead. The crowd go wild - I dread to think what would have happened if hadn't been marked favourably. Yuna Kim is going to need her very best to top that. 

Switzerland's Mirjam Jaeger comes a cropper on the ski halfpipe ©Getty ImagesSwitzerland's Mirjam Jaeger comes a cropper on the ski halfpipe ©Getty Images





21:18 Into the last group so in other words the big guns in the figure skating now. Russia's 15-year-old sensation Yulia Lipnitskaya takes the lead with 135.34 before Carolina Kostner of Italy overtakes her after posting 142.61.

21:13 Big. big moment in the ice hockey because the US have taken the lead. Meghan Duggan with the goal. Still a good chunk of the second period and all of the third to go...but you still sense that could be significant.

21:07 There has been a lot more attention on the situation in Ukraine today and how it affects the Ukrainian team at Sochi 2014 (see 11:00-12:00 for reports on a barrage of questions at the IOC press briefing on the matter) as well as our latest article here.

An interesting development this evening as well - albeit not directly relevant to the Olympic Movement - is that the European Union has imposed sanctions on Ukrainian officials "responsible for violence and excessive force". This is set to include asset freezes and travel bans as well export licences for "equipment for internal repression."

21:03 Maddie Bowman of the US led after the first run of the ski halfpipe final. Marie Martinod of France is second and Ayana Onozuka of Japan third.

21:59 It remains Asada and then Suzuki at the top of the pile with Polina Edmunds of the US third. The final group of skaters is still to come...

Nathalie Weinzierl of Germany, 10th after the short programme, has just fallen.

And it is still 0-0 in the women's ice hockey final...

21:56 There are some very interesting messages being posted on Twitter about some of the judges for tonight's final from US journalist Christine Brennan. The second judge tonight, Yuri Balkov of Ukraine, was suspended for a year for trying to fix the 1998 Olympic ice dancing while the Russian judge Alla Shekhovtseva, is married to the President of the Russian Skating Federation President...

21:51 Still 0-0 in the ice hockey final. These sides know each other so well...and it shows. You feel that it is going to take either a stroke of genius or a mistake to prove the difference...

21:45 Asada remains out in front in the figure skating - leaping ahead of skater after skater who finished well beyond her in the short programme. Asada won silver at Vancouver 2010 and was one of the favourites for gold - but was woefully out of last night which has seemingly put paid to her chances.

21:28 The first run of the women's ski halfpipe final is about to begin. Meanwhile, it remains 0-0 in the ice hockey...

21:22 Akiko Suzuki of Japan moved into second place in the figure skating - but still a long way away behind the score of compatriot Asada.

21:11 Canada's Olympic team are as excited as anyone else ahead of their team's gold medal show down with the US - 0-0 in the first period at the moment. 

Canada will not need much in the way of a team talk to inspire them in a gold medal match with the USCanada will not need much in the way of a team talk to inspire them in a gold medal match with the US I'm betting @Twitter



20:59 As we have the customary break in figure skating while the ice is relaid, across the Olympic Park the women's ice hockey final is about to begin between Canada and the US. Canada have won the last three Olympic titles but will the US get revenge tonight?

20:48 After a very below par performance last night which saw her lie only 16th in the short programme after several stumbles, Mao Asada of Japan has found some form and she replaces team mate Murakami in the lead. 

She scores a whopping 142.71 to give her a total score 198.22. It won't be enough to win a medal but - after successfully pulling off a triple axel - it will be interesting to see how many, or if any, beat her score tonight. 


twitter logoI'm betting @barackobama one case of Canadian beer per hockey game this week. #teamusa is good, but #WeAreWinter. #GoCanadaGo
-
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is bullish about his nation's chances of double victory over the US over the next two days

20:36 I spoke too soon. Osmond is dislodged from the top of the leader board by the very next dancer in Kanako Murakami of Japan. 

20:28 Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada leads in the ice dancing in the early stages of the second dance. She will not stay in the lead but - after curling gold already and an ice hockey final to come - it could be quite an evening for Canadian women. 

Quote graphic"The giant slalom was a bit difficult due to atmospheric conditions - it was snowing."
-
Alessia Dipol of Togo, who finished 53rd in the giant slalom, seems a bit surprised at the sight of traditional winter sport conditions...

Quote graphic"I invited her to the wedding. I am going to make sure she has lots of cake to slow her down for next season."
-
Bobsleigh runner-up and bride-to-be Elana Meyers of the US has a cunning plan to dislodge gold medal winning friend and rival Kaillie Humphries of Canada from the top of the podium next time. 

20:21 It is just figure skating for the next hour or so here in Sochi in the form of the women's free event - surely one of the most eagerly anticipated gold medals of the Games. Yuna Kim of South Korea is the favourite and overnight leader after the short programme with Adelina Sotnikova of Russia lying in second place.

20:12 A wonderful performance tonight by Jennifer Jones Canadian team as they become the first women's team to go through an entire tournament unbeaten - although the Canadian men did achieve the same feat four years ago in Vancouver.

Could Canada become the first nation to win both curling gold medals at the same Games? Their men take on Great Britain in the final tomorrow. 

Canada celebrate after going through the entire competition unbeaten to win the curling gold medal ©Getty ImagesCanada celebrate after going through the entire competition unbeaten to win the curling gold medal ©Getty Images



Sochi 2014 gold medal
20:06 Canada's women win curling gold. Screams and jumps of joy from the quartet as they celebrate. Sweden, who overcame Canada in the final in Vancouver 2010, must make do with the silver. Great Britain won the bronze earlier today.

19:55 A disaster for Sweden, who, with the hammer, give away two to Canada in the penultimate end. With the 6-3 lead, the Canadians are on the verge.

19:37 The second runs in the women's ski halfpipe are well underway, it remained a USA 1-2 after the first runs.

19:34 Canada score one, but it should have been two. Sweden, 4-3 down going into the ninth end with the hammer, will smell blood.

19:33 To shouts of "hard", "hard", Canada make an error with their final stone in the eighth end. We'll have to get out the tape measure to work out whether Sweden or Canada have scored one in the curling final. It's 3-3 at the moment.

19:14 Perhaps one of the marquee events of a Winter Olympics, the women's figure skating, will have its gold medal decided tonight. The free programme has begun at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Korea's Yuna Kim, Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Italy's Carolina Kostner are separated by less than a point after the short programme. We'll have a bit of a wait before we see them perform, as they take to the ice near the end of the competition, with Yuna Kim last out.

19:01 In the women's ski halfpipe qualification, the United States have a 1-2, with Brita Sigourney leading from Maddie Bowman.

18:55 It's nip and tuck for gold in the women's curling final. Canada and Sweden locked 3-3 at the halfway point.

Sweden and Canada face each other for the second women's curling Olympic final in a row ©AFP/Getty ImagesSweden and Canada face each other for the second women's curling Olympic final in a row ©AFP/Getty Images


18:33 Qualification for the women's halfpipe has begun. There are 23 competitors in this.

18:21 It's all over, Switzerland win their first ever women's ice hockey medal. The Swedes drop their heads as the final whistle blows. 

18:19 Did we speak too soon? Sweden pull one back, it's 4-3. Who will win the bronze?

18:17 Seconds later, Switzerland do put it beyond doubt, as 15-year-old Alina Muller smashes the puck into an empty net - 4-2.

18:17 Switzerland miss the chance to put the game beyond Sweden in the ice hockey, as we enter the final 90 seconds.

18:09 Good news for Sweden in the women's curling gold medal match too, as they draw level in the second end to go 1-1 with Canada.

18:07 Real drama at the Bolshoy as Switzerland reel off three goals in the women's ice hockey bronze medal match without reply, to lead Sweden 3-2 having been 2-0 down going into the final period.

VIDEO: Jamaican bobsleigh pair on Russian food and Jamaican reggae

17:46
They may have come 29th of the 29 pairs who completed their bobsleigh runs earlier this week, but that hasn't ruined the mood of Jamaicans Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon. So how have they been enjoying their time in Sochi? Click below to hear from them, and get ready for some fine singing:



Let the sweeping being

17:34 It's a repeat of the Vancouver 2010 final, as Canada face Sweden in the women's curling final. Canada the strong favourites, but can their opponents cause an upset?

17:28 Switzerland are on the ropes as Sweden double their lead in the women's ice hockey bronze medal match to two, with a goal late in the second period.

Quote graphic"That shows what great athletes we are, you have to learn to lose before you can win and get back up from a defeat. To lose a semi-final at the Olympics and then come back and play for bronze is extra tough. We regrouped and came out fighting"
- Eve Muirhead, skip of the British women's curling team, after winning a bronze medal

Preparations for Pyeongchang

Editor Duncan Mackay interviews Pyeongchang 2018 President Kim Jin-sun ©Stratos Safioleas

17:18
Editor Duncan Mackay has been interviewing Kim Jin-sun, President of Pyeongchang 2018, to find out how preparations for the next Winter Olympics and Paralympics are progressing. Look out for his report later in the week.

17:03 As we ready ourselves for the women's curling gold medal match, Mike Rowbottom has been reflecting on the part he played in the triumph of Great Britain's women at the Salt Lake City 2002 Games.

16:43 It's the end of the first period in the ice hockey, and Sweden maintain their 1-0 advantage over Switzerland.

©Twitter"Tribute to @TeamGB 's awesome curling medals!! @DMurdoch17 @evemuirhead we call it 'skurling'!!!"
- British skeleton athlete David Swift gets the broom out for his tribute to Britain's curling medallists.

A different take on curling ©@SwiftSlider/Twitter

16:34 Sweden take the lead in the ice hockey, they're one up on Switzerland.

16:32 Qualification for the women's ski halfpipe will begin in two hours, with the final later on tonight. The free programme in the women's figure skating will begin at 19:00. Korea's Yuna Kim leads after the short programme.

But before all that will be the women's curling gold medal match between Sweden and Canada, which begins in our hour.

16:27 No goals as yet in the women's ice hockey bronze medal match between Switzerland and Sweden. The gold medal match between Canada and the United States will be contested from 21:00.

©Twitter"Congrats to Hayley and Ole Einer - two new and exciting additions to the #IOCAC !"
- International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission member Beckie Scott welcomes her two new colleagues.

Bjørndalen and Wickenheiser elected to IOC Athletes' Commission

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen has completed a wonderful 24 hours with election to the IOC Athletes Commission ©Getty Images

16:09
Norway's record Winter Olympic medal winner Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Canadian ice hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser have been elected to the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission. Full story here.

16:03
The women's ice hockey bronze medal match will be the sporting focus here in Sochi as things quieten down elsewhere for now. It's Switzerland versus Sweden at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. 

Sochi 2014 gold medal
15:53 A fantastic finish, as Norway race to the line to take gold in the team Nordic combined by 0.3 seconds from Germany. Austria take the bronze. It is Norway's first medal in this event since Nagano 1998.

15:51 It remains incredibly tight in the Nordic combined team cross country, as they make their way towards the finish. Norway, Germany and Austria will battle it out for the medals.

VIDEO: Olympic adverts in Russia

15:44
Wondering how the Olympics is being promoted in Russia? Adore Creative has devised two commercials for Rosneft, a Sochi Olympics General Partner and leader of the Russian petroleum industry. The TV spots feature heart-stopping skiing and children on ice. Check them out below:





15:28 Norway, Germany and Austria are nose to tail as we reach the halfway stage of the cross country in the team Nordic combined.

15:12 The women's curling final will be played between Sweden and Canada at 17:30.

15:08 It's bronze for Great Britain's women's curlers. The final stone from captain Eve Muirhead lands in the centre of the house for the medal. Switzerland finish fourth for the second Olympics in a row.

That medal means Britain will equal their record medal haul of four from the Chamonix 1924 Games, with at least a silver guaranteed in the men's curling.

14:56 Great Britain and Switzerland are locked at five all as we head into the final end to decide the women's curling bronze medal. Britain have the hammer - the final stone - in this end, a crucial advantage.

14:55 After that excitement, we've got the cross country in the team Nordic combined to look forward to in a few minutes. Germany lead after the ski jumping, and they will have a seven second head start over Austria in the cross country race, with Norway needing to make up a 25 second disadvantage.

Sochi 2014 gold medal
14:48 It's an emphatic 1-2-3 for France in the ski cross. Jean Frederic Chapuis takes the gold from Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol. Canada's Brady Leman crashes out.

The French have secured a 1-2-3 in the mens ski cross ©Getty Images

14:44 The final of the men's ski cross is about to get underway at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Russia's Egor Korotkov wins the small final.

14:39 Great Britain's women edge ahead of Switzerland to take the lead in their curling bronze medal match. It's now 5-4 as they play end nine.

14:31 Brady Leman of Canada and Arnaud Bovolenta of France add their names to the ski cross final. What odds a French 1-2-3?

14:26
 Jean Frederic Chapuis and Jonathan Midol, both of France, advance to the ski cross final - two more will join them from semi-final two.

14:23 A quick look over to the curling, where Switzerland lead Great Britain 4-3 in the bronze medal match. They're in the eighth end.

14:21 We have our eight ski cross semi-finalists - three from France, one Swiss, one Russian, one Canadian, one Slovenian and one German.

VIDEO: Bubka on black armbands request


14:13 After the discussion earlier at the International Olympic Committee press conference about whether the Ukrainians were banned from wearing black armbands out of respect for the deaths in Kiev, (see 11:34 and 11:44), this is what National Olympic Committee of Ukraine President Sergey Bubka has said:



14:08 Barely time for a breather before the first quarter-final begins, and there's a mass crash on the finish line as the two leaders take a tumble off the final kicker. Three men go across the line on their back - quite a photo finish.

14:03 Sixteen men are through to the ski cross quarter-finals, including four Frenchmen and three German. It;s brutal stuff out at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

13:49 A strong take-out by Muirhead and, after a somewhat shaky start, Britain are back on track against Switzerland. It is 3-3 after five ends and couldn't be closer. Curling? Close? I hear you ask...

13:46 From the slow burner that is curling to the all action blur that is ski-cross. It is the men's competition and the first round is underway...

13:38 Mirjam Ott is winning the curling battle of the skipper's with Eve Muirhead here. Britain pull one back but lose the hammer and then Switzerland score again to make it 3-1.

Janine Greiner of Switzerland takes to the ice in the early stages of their bronze medal playoff with Britain ©AFP/Getty ImagesJanine Greiner of Switzerland takes to the ice in the early stages of their bronze medal play-off with Britain ©AFP/Getty Images



13:23 Germany have stayed on top of the Nordic combined standing after final jumper Eric Frenzel leaps 129 metres. Frenzel won normal hill individual gold last week but team-mate Bjoern Kircheisen jumps slightly further at 131 metres. 

In second place is Austria ahead of Norway, France and the Czech Republic. 

13:08 We will bring you a full report on that Almaty press briefings later on - remember Beijing, Lviv and Oslo have all given similar briefings here in Sochi. For more information, have a look at the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic section of our website here.

Krakow, incidentally, were forced to cancel their event due to personal circumstances but remain hopeful of organising something later in the Games. 

12:55 The Swiss have started best and take a 2-0 lead after two ends. Over, or rather up, in the Nordic combined, it is the German team who are setting the early pace midway through the competition. 

12:40 The women's curling is also upon us - the bronze medal match between Great Britain and Switzerland is up first. A repeat of the Salt Lake City 2002 final where the British won a pulsating encounter...

Will history repeat itself or will the Swiss win an 11th medal of the Games?

12:27 Among those representing Almaty this afternoon is the male figure skating bronze medal winner Denis Tan. He describes how the Olympic Games is an "unique competition and that having it at home would make it extra special - it would be an unforgettable event for a whole generation."

Speakers from Almaty 2022 face the media this afternoon ©ITGSpeakers from Almaty 2022 face the media this afternoon ©ITG



12:13 The sporting action is also just beginning for the day with the jumping section of the team Nordic combined event. The two gold medals offered in the sport so far have gone to Germany and Norway - the top two nations on the overall Sochi 2014 medals table...

So will these two be battling it out for the gold medal this afternoon...?

11:55 But that is not the end of the press conference circuit for today - because we have a first opportunity to sample the Almaty bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in a few moments time.

IOC and Sochi 2014 press briefing

11:46 And on that note we are finished for another briefing. But wait - first we have the long awaited daily highlights. "I hope our Russian colleagues enjoy these" quips Adams - presumably in reference to their snowboarding success rather than a certain ice hockey match...

11:44 Ukrainian cross country skiers withdrew through injury rather than for political reasons, it is insisted before Adams repeats Sergey Bubka's view that he respects individual decisions but believes staying and competing here in Sochi is good for unity and reconciliation. 

They had a discussion about what would be the most appropriate thing to do and they decided other ways, he adds in response to yet another question about armbands.

11:39 Different issue now being discussed - relating to Tokyo 2020 and the impact of a new Tokyo Governor. It should not change anything, assert Felli. The aim of Tokyo is to be as good as every Games before in organisation and operations and we believe that they will do that and they are doing everything very well so far. 

11:34 Why were Ukrainians banned from wearing black armbands? They were not, Adams responds. "Ukrainian and IOC officials met and decided there were other ways of marking this moment," he adds. "They had a minutes silence in the Village instead but were never banned.

In terms of protection when they return to Ukraine that is a matter for the NOC, but we are also in contact with Sergey Bubka who is an IOC Executive Board member.

Next question is over what would have happened if they had chosen to wear armbands? "That is a hypothetical matter, next question" is the brief reply. 

11:28 A question on whether the place of women's ice hockey's on the Olympic programme is under threat due to the lack of depth. Adams says that it is not threatened and explains the improvements that have been made to increase the worldwide depth.

Gender equality is vital, explains Gilbert Felli. "I like women's hockey because it is less fast so easier to watch," he adds.

11:25 In response to further questions about the protests of the Pussy Riot members - Adams states that the Olympics should not be a grounds for political protest. I think it is fair to say we have heard that phrase a few times over recent months....

11:19 More questions about Tuesday's brief arrest of members of the band Pussy Riot in Sochi. It was a civil issue with nothing to do with the Olympic Games, says Adams. 

11:16 On to questions. And first up is the withdrawal of Ukrainian skier Bohdana Matsotska from the Games due to the political situation. IOC spokesman Mark Adams says that is an issue for the National Olympic Committee rather than the IOC but that they see solidarity and sport as a way to overcome problems. 

Adams has also spoken to Ukrainian NOC President Sergey Bubka this morning who suggested that staying to compete is best but that each athlete is entitled to their own individual decision.

11:14 Jerry Ling from the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee says that although South Korea has hosted many sporting events, the Olympics is on a different scale so that have to learn as much as possible from Sochi 2014.

11:11 We are now hearing from representatives from Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 to find out more about exactly how this transfer of knowledge takes place. 

11:07 Today's theme is the transfer of knowledge from one Olympics to the next. First to speak is the IOC executive director Gilbert Felli... "It is essential to enable an Organising Committee to deliver the Games," he concludes.

11:01 So the daily press briefing has begun and already there has been a deviation from the norm - when the daily highlights video fails to start. We will save it for the end, reacts Sochi 2014 spokeswomen Alexandra Kosterina. 

An update from insidethegames Olympic historian Philip Barker

philip barker10:45 In reaching the men's curling final yesterday Britain have guaranteed their first male Winter Olympic medal since they won bronze in the four-man bobsleigh at Nagano 1998. 

Meanwhile, Lauryn Williams just missed out yesterday on becoming the first women to win Summer and Winter Olympic gold medals. She has taken gold and silver but is yet to quite match the record of East German Christa Luding Rothenburger.

She won speed-skating gold and cycling silver in the same year in 1988

Some of the better quotes of day 12...

Quote graphic"You have to stand on the skis and not fall, that's just skiing."
- Swedish cross country skier Teodor Peterson reflects on his good fortune after a stumble by German rival Tim Tsharnke enabled the Swedes to win bronze in the team sprint.

Quote graphic"Every silver medal is different. The one in the 1000m and the 5k are silver with a little bit of gold in it, but the 1500m feels like silver. But I don't know how they smell because I didn't smell them, and I don't know how they taste because I didn't taste them."
- Dutch speed-skater Ireen Wust reflects on earning her third silver medal of the Games yesterday - she has also won one gold medal. 

10:26 With the exception of a four-man bobsleigh training run there is no sport going on for another hour or so - so we will keep you entertained with some more reaction and other Sochi 2014 highlights. 

10:08 Another medal highlight today comes in figure skating where the women's competition concludes with the free programme - with South Korea's Yuna Kim the favourite and overnight leader after a sensational short programme yesterday. 

09:54 Later this afternoon we have the medal matches in women's curling - including the final between Canada and Sweden - while later on we see the resumption of one of the greatest rivalries in Winter Olympic sport in the form of Canada versus the US in women's ice hockey. They meet in the final where Canada will be bidding for a fourth successive gold medal. 

09:46 But what do we have in store for day 13? It is a slightly quieter morning due to the lack of curling round robin and Alpine skiing action, we build up momentum towards lunchtime with the men's ski cross - the first of two freestyle golds up for grabs today - and the Nordic Combined team large hill event. 

09:36 As well as the sport we also had a day of reaction to the ever-escalating situation in Ukraine and we will continue to keep you posted on that today.

Snowboarding champion Vic Wild and bronze medal winning wife Alena Zavarzina ©Getty ImagesSnowboarding champion Vic Wild and bronze medal winning wife Alena Zavarzina ©Getty Images

Despondence for Russia as they crash out of the ice hockey competition ©Getty ImagesDespondence for Russia as they crash out of the ice hockey competition
©Getty Images


The Norwegians, including Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, win the first ever gold medal in mixed team biathlon ©Getty ImagesThe Norwegians, including Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, win the first ever gold medal in mixed team biathlon
©Getty Images


The Canadians celebrate after realising they had won the bobsleigh gold medal ©Getty ImagesThe Canadians celebrate after realising they had won the bobsleigh gold medal ©Getty Images



09:25
What's more, we had the tension of quarter-finals day in men's ice hockey - with Russia stunned by Finland and Canada pushed all the way by Latvia, as well as semi-finals day in curling - where Canada excelled to make both finals. Britain's men and Sweden's women will be their final opponents. 

09:15 Although we don't like to succumb to hyperbole here on the insidethegames blog it has to be said that today has a lot to live up to after the sheer drama, suspense and excitement that was day 12. 

We had Ole Einar Bjoerndalen becoming the most decorated WInter Olympic medal winner of all time, we had Ted Ligety becoming the first ever non-European winner of the giant slalom.

We had a former American winning gold for Russia in snowboarding a matter of minutes after his wife took bronze and we had a women's bobsleigh competition where just 0.10 of a second seperated the Canadian winners and the US runners-up

09:00 Good morning and welcome back to a slightly cloudy Sochi for day 13 of the Winter Olympic Games. 
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