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February 9, 2014 | By Philip Hersh
SOCHI, Russia - Julia Lipnitskaia found the perfect way to cap what her singles performance meant Sunday. She put on the Russia baseball cap someone had thrown onto the ice after she finished. It was not apparel figure skaters are accustomed to wearing. It was a fitting way to symbolize the idea of team at the sport's first team competition in Olympic history. With Russian President Vladimir Putin among the spectators at the Iceberg Palace, Lipnitskaia's free-skate victory meant Russia had clinched the gold medal even before the ice dancers completed the four-discipline event.
February 8, 2014 | By David Wharton
SOCHI, Russia - It was 2:30 a.m. and the stranger on the other side of the door wanted into my hotel room. "How many cards do you have?" he kept asking in broken English. The lock rattled and eventfully broke. Still hazy from sleep, I did all I could to keep him from forcing the door open. Finally, he backed away as more footsteps hurried down the hall. A new speaker identified himself as the hotel manager. He said the late-night intruder was a locksmith mistakenly sent to change the lock.
February 8, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
SOCHI, Russia - Bode Miller hasn't won a World Cup race since December 2011, the Beaver Creek downhill in Colorado. He is 36 years old and coming off micro-fracture knee surgery that forced him to miss all of last season. He was born in the 1970s, is married and the father of two. Yet, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest old man racer is the man to beat in Sunday's men's Olympic downhill. FRAMEWORK: View the best images from the Sochi Olympics "It's his race to lose," teammate Marco Sullivan said Saturday.
February 8, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- As the National Anthem played at the start of the Westminster Kennel Club's agility championship, people weren't the only ones standing at attention. Lacey, a Labrador retriever, sat up on her hind legs, occasionally holding out a paw to owner Colleen Copelan. Copelan and Lacey live in Camarillo, Calif., where Copelan is a psychiatrist and Lacey is a therapy dog, working mainly with troubled children and adolescents.   “Her soul is gorgeous,” Copelan said of the brown-eyed blond, a relative novice to agility competition.
February 6, 2014 | From staff reports
SOCHI, Russia - Now that he has been chosen as the U.S. team's flag bearer for the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, Todd Lodwick faces a potentially painful challenge. Holding the flag. Less than a month ago, the Nordic combined athlete fell hard in the ski jump portion of a competition in France. He fractured his left shoulder, tearing the labrum and ligaments. "It was a devastating crash," he said. Lodwick, who competed in his first Olympics in 1994, kept the arm immobilized for three weeks, taking it out of a sling only for physical therapy.
February 6, 2014 | By David Wharton
SOCHI, Russia - The first few days of training on the slopestyle course at the Sochi Olympics did not go smoothly. Two snowboarders crashed and were carried away on stretchers as much of the field grumbled about treacherous rails and jumps with too much boost. Officials found themselves scrambling to quell a growing storm. "Just some small adjustments," course designer Anders Forsell said. Glitches are common in the days leading up to any Olympic Games. But the slopestyle controversy earlier this week represented a rare bump for Sochi, whose venues have otherwise received glowing reviews.
February 5, 2014 | By Scott Gold and Lisa Dillman
SOCHI, Russia - In the parlance of the sport, it had to be gnarly. Slopestyle, the newest Olympic event, was always going to be a flashy addition to the Games - an acrobatic, free-form assault on a snowy obstacle course of rails and jumps. Elements of danger wouldn't just be evident. They would be a selling point, a path that would lead "slope" from X Games curiosity to legitimacy at the highest levels of international sport. But did the 2014 Winter Olympic Games go too far? On Wednesday, Shaun White, the most famous snowboarder in the world and one of the Games' seminal faces, abruptly withdrew from slopestyle, a day before competition would begin for the first time at the Olympic level.
February 1, 2014 | By Chris Hine
When quarterback Everett Golson returns to the practice field, coach Brian Kelly won't just hand him back the keys to the program. Kelly put Golson on notice Friday when he heaped praise on quarterback Malik Zaire and issuing a warning to the Irish. “I just want to caution everybody that we have a very good quarterback in Malik Zaire,” Kelly said. “I'm not ready to hand everything over to Everett. I love Everett, he played in the national championship game, but I also want to make sure we give everybody an opportunity to compete for that position.” No doubt Kelly is hoping to light a fire under both in saying the job is up for grabs, but it would be quite the upset if Zaire, who red-shirted in 2013, were to overtake Golson on the depth chart.
February 1, 2014 | By Seema Mehta, Richard Simon and Phil Willon
Highly competitive congressional races in California, attracting interest across the nation, were already drawing many millions of dollars in donations even before the election year began, according to new campaign reports. From the Bay Area to San Diego, at least nine candidates for the House of Representatives reported raising more than $1 million in 2013, reflecting the tight nature of the races. That's in stark contrast to statewide contests, where many incumbents face token opposition.
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