ALL THE NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION LIVE FROM SOCHI 2014 AS IT HAPPENS!
By Zjan Shirinian and Nick Butler
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are Russian
20:00 And that, as far as day three is concerned, is that - with a slightly earlier end of the day today.
Join us at 09:00 tomorrow morning (05:00 GMT) for all the action from day four right here on insidethegames.
Looking ahead to tomorrow...
19:53 It is a busy day on the medals front tomorrow with 12 sets up for grabs - six will be won in super-combined with the other half dozen to come in biathlon.
We also have another day of wheelchair curling action as the round-robin stage begins to heat up.
But, perhaps most excitingly of all, we have the return of ice sledge hockey, and there are four matches including a humdinger of a clash between the US and Russia.
19:45 A few of Britain's nutritional secrets are revealed in this picture taken midway through the curling encounter with Slovakia. I still prefer the chocolate biscuits sampled by Britain's women during the Olympic curling last month...
19:40 There has been more Nordic success for Russia, a second Alpine gold for Marie Bochet of France and Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany, and a first loss in wheelchair curling for Canada.
Oh...and we also had a first Winter Paralympic gold medal for Great Britain. We might just have mentioned that once or twice before...
Perhaps the highlight though was Brian McKeever of Canada winning an 11th Winter Paralympic medal in this his fourth Games. Scroll down to 12:18 for more information on his magnificent medal record.
19:29 So as we come to the end of day three of action here in Sochi - it has been another day where sport has come to the fore - maybe something we were not expecting this time last week considering developments in Ukraine.
19:24 With an ice sledge hockey shaped void to fill - we have a latest insidethegames blog to keep you entertained: Is a coach responsible for the doping of an athlete? Read it here.
19:10 Another star of the Games has been Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany as she secured her second gold medal earlier on today.
19:03 But we do still have medal ceremonies to keep us entertained on day three - we will try not to mention it again but the British national anthem has just been played for the very first time at a Winter Paralympic Games...
18:56 So with no afternoon ice sledge hockey match today, or in fact all day on day three, we have a void in our Sochi 2014 related entertainment for the rest of the day.
And unlike yesterday we don't even have too much other sporting action to keep us entertained.
Early evening curling action
18:44 So, all to play for at the halfway point of curling round-robin action. You cannot write off the dark horses of Sochi 2014, Slovakia, either as they still have three wins from four.
Most of the top teams are kept apart tomorrow but Norway against the tournament's inform side Great Britain is the pick of the seven matches on day four.
18:35 And a brilliant win for Norway as they follow get that much aspired for double-win day on the rink. After beginning with a 10-0 thrashing over South Korea, they have endured a topsy-turvy Games, but with three wins and two losses they are certainly still in the hunt.
18:30 And as predicted, Jim Armstrong cannot do anything on the final shot and Norway score two points to take an 8-6 victory.
That is quite a result and brings to an end Canada's unbeaten run. The double defending champion won their four opening matches but now join Britain and Russia on four wins and one loss.
18:25 Canada meanwhile are hovering on the brink against Norway in the extra end. There is one Norwegian stone in the circle, and Canada have the hammer, but it is a near impossible shot to reach the Norwegian one because there are so many blocking stones.
18:18 And Russia hold on for a 6-5 victory! Relief for the crowd as the final stone blasts one US one out of the way and the host nation hold on.
Only in curling would a seemingly one-sided match have such a pulsating conclusion.
18:16 The US have placed some very good guards and have three stones in the circle but Russia have the hammer - the final stone for those yet to become familiar with curling terminology - so only need to dislodge one.
18:13 We are also in the closing stages of Russia against the United States. With six ends gone the host nation were cruising at 6-2 but, after pulling one back in the seventh, the US are well positioned in the eighth. Is the most unlikely of comebacks possible?
18:10 Two other matches are still ongoing however, and there are some nervous moments for the Canadian fans, as their side have finished 6-6 with Norway and we are heading for a deciding end.
18:05 So a thumping victory for Great Britain in the big match at the Curling Centre this afternoon. Their opponents Slovakia were unbeaten heading into the clash but, after leading 2-0 after one end, a rampant Britain did not concede a single point for the rest of the match and eventually won 12-2.
There was also a comprehensive scoreline in the other match to have finished so far as China beat South Korea 11-2.
17:55 Three more points in the seventh end for China and South Korea seem likely to concede in that match. A real up and down tournament for the South Koreans has taken another downward curve after a real sloppy performance this afternoon.
A team that has been everything but sloppy today, is Great Britain. More points in the eighth end and they have now definitively ended Slovakia's winning run.
17:48 Another point for Norway and they are at 6-6. We are heading for an extra end.
17:40 Surely China have got things wrapped up now. Three points in the fifth end and another in the sixth and it is a 8-2 lead now over South Korea.
But a big moment in the Canada v Norway match as the Norwegians pull two stones back. Canada need the winning mentality of compatriot Brian McKeever here to see them over the line...or into the circle in a curling sense.
17:34 Things have not gone too well for US skip Patrick McDonald today. His shot accuracy is down at 33 per cent as his side still trail 6-2 to Russia.
17:28 Britain are showing medal winning form but will have to get past the still unbeaten Canadians if they are to win gold. Canada are not having things all their own way but they lead Norway nonetheless - by a 6-3 margin.
17:22 Slovakia's winning run is surely coming to an end now as Britain score four unanswered points in the penultimate seventh end to move into a 10-2 lead.
What is it with Britain and the seventh ends. Four points today and five yesterday against South Korea.
Another day of perfect conditions for cross-country
17:16 A quick respite from the tension of curling to bring you some of the best cross-country pictures from earlier on.
Two more golds for Russia but the victory for Brian McKeever of Canada was perhaps the highlight of the day.
17:01 Make that 6-2 to Britain as Slovakia miss the chance to take three points and in turn concede one.
16:56 Britain are getting the upper hand over the Slovaks now. Two stones in the fourth end for a 5-2 lead at halfway and there are chances in the sixth as well...
The home crowd #LoveCurling too! The noise is creating a great atmosphere as play continues in end 5. #GoParalympicsGB #WheelchairCurling
- The British Paralympic Association are clearly enjoying themselves as Britain continue a historic day in Sochi
16:49 China and Russia are looking comfortable in the other two matches.
Russia lead the US 5-1 while China are 4-2 up ahead of Asian rivals South Korea. South Korea were runners-up four years ago in Vancouver remember but are struggling to replicate their best form here.
16:40 Some proper old fashioned curling going on to entertain the Canadian cohort. Skipper Jim Armstrong used all his experience - employing multiple guards and blocks as his team move 4-1 ahead of Norway.
The double defending champions are chasing a fifth win out of five.
16:25 And the curlers are not doing too badly either. Two points in the second end to level things up against Slovakia and the a "steal" in the third to take a point against the hammer.
16:18 It has already been mentioned but Britain won their first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal earlier on today courtesy of visually impaired skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans.
Their medals will be presented by IPC President Sir Philip Craven - rather fittingly as he is from Bolton, Lancashire in the North of England.
This was something we said most mornings during the Olympic Games - before other sport began at around 11am - but at the Paralympics the void is more of an afternoon occurrence.
15:31 And we're underway at the Ice Cube.
15:19 Four curling matches coming up at the Ice Cube: Slovakia versus Great Britain, Korea versus China, Canada versus Norway, and Russia versus United States.
The top four of the 10 nations competing in the round robin matches will advance to the semi-finals.
Canada are top at the moment, with four wins from four in their quest to become the first team to successfully defend their curling Paralympic title. Slovakia, with three wins from three, are currently second ahead of Russia and Great Britain.
15:04 A unique sheet of three postage stamps has been released to commemorate the Sochi Paralympics.
Unique stamps commemorating the Paralympics have been unveiled.
Each sheet, of which there are 150,000, has one stamp depicting each of the medals – gold, silver and bronze.
They were unveiled by the President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russia Dmitry Kozak, President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, and Deputy Head of the Federal Communications Agency Igor Chursin.
Three types of metallic paint - bronze, silver and gold – have been used in their design, as well as "hot stamping" to give the image of the medal a 3D effect.
14:45 The medal action may have ended, but we still have four curling matches to enjoy. They get underway in 45 minutes. Scroll down to 12:32 to see who's playing.
14:39 There is some more good news with confirmation that after their respective crashes in the Super G earlier on - Alana Nichols and Stephani Victor are both "concious and responsive" in hospital, the US Paralympic Committee have just revealed.
Scorching in Sochi
14:31 It's been T-shirt (or no shirt at all) weather up in the mountains in Sochi. Temperatures have been as high as 14 degrees Celsius, and the sunshine has been making the snow conditions tricky, giving the skiers plenty of challenges.
14:22 That's the last of the medal action today. Russia have won two golds to extend their lead at the top of the medals table. Germany, Sweden, France, Canada and Great Britain all secured one gold today.
It means Germany now lie second, behind Russia, with three gold medals. Ukraine are in third, ahead of Austria, who also have two gold and two silver, but less bronze medals. Click here to see the table in full.
14:10 It's gold for Elena Remizova who finishes ahead of Russian team-mate Mikhalina Lysova. Yadviha Skorabahataya of Belarus wins bronze.
13:59 A Russian 1-2 is on the cards in the visually impaired race, with Elena Remizova now leading Mikhalina Lysova by more than a minute.
13:54 A phenomenal performance from Helene Ripa of Sweden, who wins 15km standing cross-country gold by 3.9 seconds over Iuliia Batenkova of Ukraine. Ripa was 35 seconds behind at one point, and clawed it all back. Anna Milenina of Russia claims the bronze.
13:53 Sweden's Helene Ripa crosses the finish line and collapses in a heap on the snow. Has she done enough to overhaul Iuliia Batenkova?
13:50 Iuliia Batenkova of Ukraine is fighting. Her lead has been cut again, but only just. She has just under 10 seconds in her pocket as they race around the final lap.
13:46 Helene Ripa of Sweden is going like a freight train - she has cut Iuliia Batenkova's lead to 10.5 seconds.
13:42 Russian Elena Remizova has doubled her advantage over her team-mate Mikhalina Lysova in the 15km visually impaired race.
13:39 We could be in for a grandstand finish in the 15km standing cross-country. Helene Ripa has cut her deficit to Iuliia Batenkova to under 30 seconds.
13:32 In the 15km visually impaired cross-country race, Elena Remizova has a slender three-second lead over countrywoman Mikhalina Lysova as they reach the 3km check point.
13:29 Helene Ripa of Sweden is 35 seconds behind leader Iuliia Batenkova in the 15km standing cross-country at the 7.7km checkpoint. Alena Kaufman of Russia and countrywoman Anna Milenina are third and fourth.
13:22 The four skiers in the women's 15km classic for the visually impaired have taken the start. Two Russians, a Belarusian and a Canadian in this one.
Meanwhile, Iuliia Batenkova of Ukraine remains the leader in the 15km standing as they edge towards half distance.
"I'm delighted, it is so good to have such a great reward for all my and Charlotte's hard work. I couldn't have done it without Charlotte's constant determination and talent. She's a star! I'm so delighted to be part of such a unique and historical moment for British Paralympic sport and I can't wait to more disabled skiers out on the mountain now."
- Kelly Gallagher after winning Great Britain's first ever Winter Paralympic gold earlier with guide Charlotte Evans in the super-G for visually impaired skiers.
13:09 As this picture proves, the cross-country is one of the most brutal events on the Paralympic programme. The 20km was won earlier today by Canada's Brian McKeever, who now has eight Paralympic gold medals to his name.
13:04 Iuliia Batenkova of Ukraine, silver medallist in this event four years in Vancouver, is the early leader as the skiers reach the first check point.
13:01 A great turnout at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Centre to watch four gold medals being won today. And big cheers as each athlete takes the start. All 12 women are now on the course in the 15km standing.
12:56 Kateryna Pavlenko of Ukraine sets off to get the 15km standing cross-country underway.
12:50 The women's 15km standing cross-country begins in five minutes. Twelve skiers going for gold, including four from Ukraine, two from Russia and two from Norway.
12:42 Ukraine have been pushed down to fourth in the medals table, with Germany climbing to second behind Russia, and Austria third. See the full table here.
"More spectators in the alpine centre stands than during the Olympics! #ParalympicsRULE."
- Belgium's Chef de Mission Ellen Volckaert on a great turn-out.
Sweeping up the curling
12:32 Four more curling matches will begin at 15:30. Slovakia play Great Britain, Korea face China, Canada will be looking for their fifth win in five when they play Norway, and Russia are up against the United States.
12:29 A steal for Norway. Finland have the hammer, but Norway have two stones in the house and win the extra end to take an 8-6 victory.
12:26 Three of the four round robin curling matches have been completed. Russia scored three in the final end to overhaul Korea and win 7-5. The United States conceded defeat to Canada 7-2 on completion of the seventh end, while Sweden also accepted defeat at the same stage to China, who won 8-4.
It's nail-biting stuff in the Norway versus Finland match. They're tied at 6-6 with an extra end being played.
12:23 Two more gold medals to be won today, both in women's cross-country. The 15km classic standing gets underway at 12:55, with the 15km classic for visually impaired skiers at 13:20.
McKeever's medal rush
12:18 So another gold for cross-country skier Brian McKeever, who now has 11 Winter Paralympic medals across four Games. Here is his roll of honour, including a biathlon bronze.
Gold: 10km freestyle (2002)
Gold: 5km classic (2002)
Gold: 10km classic (2006)
Gold: 5km freestyle (2006
Gold: 20km freestlye (2010)
Gold: 10km classic (2010)
Gold: 1km sprint (2010)
Gold: 20km classic (2014)
Silver: 20km freestlye (2002)
Silver: 20km classic (2006)
Bronze: 7.5km biathlon (2006)
12:07 What an athlete - Brian McKeever of Canada wins an eighth all-time Paralympic gold in the men's 20km cross country for visually impaired athletes. Stanislav Chokhlaev of Russia wins silver in front of a buoyant crowd. Sweden's Zebastian Modin claims the bronze.
11:59 Brian McKeever crosses the finish line. Victory looks almost guaranteed. Only Stanislav Chokhlaev of Russia can deny him, but he needs to find half a minute on the final gruelling lap.
11:58 Canadian Brian McKeever of the cusp of greatness here. Two cross country golds in both Salk Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006, with three golds in Vancouver 2010. Is he about to add an eighth in the 20km classic for visually impaired athletes? He currently leads with just over 2km to go.
11:52 An update from the Ice Cube, where the four curling matches are into their eighth ends.
Korea are 5-4 up on Russia, with Norway 6-5 up on Finland. Canada, who have been in form form so far in Sochi, are 7-2 up on the United States, with China leading Sweden 8-4.
11: 47 We're almost at the 15km mark in the men's 20km visually impaired cross-country. Brian McKeever of Canada is on for his eighth Paralympic gold as things stand. Vladimir Udaltcov of Russia lies second, with Jacob Adicoff of the United States third.
11:45 That gold vaults Germany into second in the medals table early on day three, with three golds. Russia, with six golds and a clutch of silver and bronze, are top.
11:42 Gold for downhill champion Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany in the women's sitting super-G. Silver goes to Claudia Loesch of Austria, with Laurie Stephens of the United States winning bronze. Three of the eight skiers failed to complete the course.
11:39 Only Momoka Muraoka of Japan can deny Anna Schaffelhuber gold in the sitting super-G.
11:38 A fall for Anna-Lena Forster ends her run. She is unhurt as she skis off the course.
11:37 Anna-Lena Forster, of Germany, is on the slope. The 18-year-old has already given two seconds away to her team-mate at the top of the course.
11:36 Austrian Claudia Loesch slots into second, 2.09secs behind the leader.
11:35 Three more women to come, Claudia Loesch of Austria is the first of them.
11:34 Second for Laurie Stephens, 2.93secs behind Anna Schaffelhuber.
11:33 Let's hope Laurie Stephens, of the United States, can make it down this hill in a competitive time after seeing her two team-mates flown to hospital.
11:30 The helicopter has landed. Stephani Victor is placed inside on the back of a stretcher and flown to hospital.
11:27 The men's 20km cross-country for visually impaired athletes is well underway. Seven-times Paralympic gold medallist Brian McKeever of Canada leads as they approach half-distance.
11:25 The competition has been delayed as Stephani Victor remains on the course.
11:22 Two Americans have gone down this hill in this event, and both have had nasty looking crashes. The medics were very quick to get to Stephani Victor.
11:20 Stephani Victor of the United States is the fourth of eight women to take to the slope in the sitting super-G.
Big crash for Victor as she catapults into the crash netting at the side of the course.
11:18 Anna Turney of Great Britain goes second, 6.16secs adrift of Anna Schaffelhuber's time.
11:16 Downhill gold medallist Anna Schaffelhuber, of Germany, is the first to complete a run as the sitting super-G resumes. She sets a very competitive time of 1:29.11.
11:11 Alana Nichols is placed into a helicopter which has landed on the course, and will be taken to hospital.
11:09 Alana Nichols is stretchered away after 10 minutes of medical attention on the slopes. The competition has been delayed until 11:15.
11:07 Gold for Rushan Minnegulov of Russia in the men's 20km standing cross-country. Finland's Ilkka Tuomisto wins silver, with Vladislav Lekomtcev of Russia in third.
11:03 Alana Nichols continues to receive medical attention at the side of the course.
10:59 An uncomfortable moment as Alana Nichols lies relatively motionless after that hard crash. She is now receiving medical attention.
10:58 A heavy crash for Alana Nichols of the United States as she loses control at the top of the course.
10:57 Alana Nichols is the first of the eight women to head down the slope in the sitting super-G.
10:54 The final alpine gold medal of the day is about to be contested in the women's sitting super-G. Eight skiers will go for gold, including three from the United States.
10:52 Russia's Rushan Minnegulov remains the leader of the men's 20km standing cross-country, as they near the 15km point.
10:47 A French 1-2 is confirmed, with Marie Bochet winning gold in the women's standing super-G ahead of Solene Jambaque. Stephanie Jallen of the Untied States will claim bronze assuming Inga Medvedeva is disqualified for appearing to miss the final gate on her run.
10:46 No, Ursula Pueyo Marimon falls as she leaves the start gate.
10:45 Canada's Alana Ramsay finishes 11th, just Ursula Pueyo Marimon of Spain left to ski for gold. Can she deny France a 1-2?
10:44 It's sixth for Mariia Papulova.
10:43 Three women remain, the first of them is Mariia Papulova of Russia.
10:42 It's a 1-2 for France as Marie Bochet blitzes the time of her team-mate by two seconds.
10:41 Solene Jambaque of France takes the lead by 1.99 seconds, and she yelps with excitement as she looks up to the big screen to see her time.
10:40 Five women yet to begin their runs in the standing super-G. Three have so far failed to complete the testing course.
10:38 Almost halfway now in the men's 20km standing cross-country and Russia's Rushan Minnegulov leads from Ilkka Tuomisto of Finland.
10:36 We have a new leader (taking Inga Medvedeva out of the equation for the time being). Stephanie Jallen makes it a United States 1-2.
10:34 Inga Medvedeva of Russia is shown as the leader on the timing screen in the standing super-G - but there is an asterisk next to her name after she seemed to miss the last gate. If she is disqualified, and there seems little doubt she will be, the actual leader will be Allison Jones of the United States.
10:30 That first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal can only mean it's time to unfurl the British flag. Before these Games, Great Britain had won six silver and 15 bronze since 1976. In fact, in the last four Winter Paralympics, the country has won just won silver, in Turin 2006. They currently have one medal of each colour to their name from these Sochi Games.
10:28 It's worth remembering that Kelly Gallagher - gold medallist in the super-G for the visually impaired - was last in the downhill on Saturday. What a difference a couple of days makes.
10:26 Allison Jones of the United States is the early leader in the standing super-G.
"Historic GOLD MEDAL from @Kellygallagher & @CharEvans1 ensures @ParalympicsGB have met the target of 'at least two' medals #GoParalympicsGB"
- UK Sport, who fund Britain's athletes, give Kelly Gallagher and Jade Etherington - and themselves - a pat on the back.
10:21 The women's standing super-G is about to begin. Fifteen skiers are competing.
10:19 We've reached quarter-distance in the men's standing cross country. A reminder that 20 men are going for gold in this event. Five athletes from China, and four from Russia are among them as things slowly begin to take shape on the snow.
10:14 The challenges of the course are plain for even the untrained eye to spot. Gritty skiing from all six women.
10:11 Great Britain win their first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal, with Kelly Gallagher taking victory in the super-G for visually impaired skiers. Russia's Aleksandra Frantceva wins silver, with Britain's Jade Etherington in third.
Australia's Melissa Perrine was almost two seconds up on Gallagher's time before missing a gate.
10:10 Melissa Perrine of Australia, the final skier, begins her run.
10:08 A dramatic crash for defending Paralympic champion Henrieta Farkasova. The Slovakian is up on Jade Etherington before losing control.
She picks herself up and finishes the run, but the downhill champion is last.
10:07 America's Danelle Umstead is given lots of instruction by her guide, whose voice is echoing as they roll down the slopes. Fourth for Umstead, and that means Jade Etherington is guaranteed a medal.
10:06 Aleksandra Frantceva holds an advantage of three tenths over Jade Etherington as she reaches the final few twists and turns, but she slots into second with a time of 1:28.94, just two tenths shy of the lead.
10:05 Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia next up.
10:04 More heart in mouth stuff as Jade Etherington clatters a gate. She crosses the finish line in 1:29.76 to lie second.
10:03 Team-mate Jade Etherington, who won silver in the downhill at the weekend, is next up.
10:02 It's a 1:28.72 for Kelly Gallagher who makes it to the finish line despite a couple of hairy moments on an immensely challenging course.
09:59 Great Britain's Kelly Gallagher will be the first of the six women to take to the slopes.
09:56 The women super-G for the visually impaired and the men's 20km standing cross-country both get away at 07:00 - we'll be keeping across both events.
09:50 Scores on the doors...ice...in the curling. Very early days, of course, but Canada use their advantage of the hammer to get on the board and lead the United States 1-0.
Korea also 1-0 up on Russia, as are Norway on Finland.
09:42 Slovakia's Henrieta Farkasova is the defending Paralympic champion in this event. She already has downhill gold in her pocket from the weekend.
09:39 Up at the Alpine Centre, six women will compete for gold in in just over 20 minutes in the super-G for visually impaired skiers: Kelly Gallagher and Jade Etherington, both of Great Britain, Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia, Danelle Umstead of the United States, Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia and Melissa Perrine of Australia.
The United States, Great Britain and Australia have yet to win gold at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics. Russia already have five, with Slovakia on two.
09:32 And we're off in the Ice Cube as the morning's four curling matches begin.
09:25 Canada have had a great start in the wheelchair curling, with wins over Great Britain, Russia (narrowly) and Sweden.
"It's day three off to breakfast before a big two game day."
- Canadian curler Dennis Thiessen prepares for a crunch match against the Untied States, before they play Norway later.
09:19 We also have cross-country to look forward to shortly.
The men's 20km classic standing is at 10:00, with 20 competitors - including four Russians - going for gold.
The 20km for visually impaired athletes is due to follow at 11:00.
Women's 15km standing and visually impaired races will also be held later this morning.
09:15 Three gold medals in the women's super-G will be won from 10:00.
The visually impaired race is up first, with the standing competition at 10:20. The sitting super-G is at 10:55.
09:09 Things begin at the Ice Cube in 20 minutes with four curling matches our first events of the day.
We have 2018 Winter hosts Korea taking on our 2014 hosts Russia, Finland versus Norway, a tie that always produces sparks on the ice in the United States and Canada, and China play Sweden.