Tuesday's Olympic Highlights

Feb. 11, 2014 at 4:12 PM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Highlights from Tuesday's action at the Winter Olympics:

-- Shaun White, as big a favorite as there was coming into the Sochi Games, failed to win a medal in snowboarding halfpipe. White was trying to become the first American man to win three straight gold medals in the same event. Instead, he tumbled on the first run of the finals and was good, but not great, on the second. The gold went to Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov.

-- Although White could not win a third straight gold medal, Sang-Hwa Lee was able to do so. The South Korean won the women's 500-meter speed skating race in Olympic record time. It was the first medal of the Games for South Korea and Belarus also came up with its first medal when Darya Domracheva won the women's biathlon pursuit. Domracheva became only the second Winter Olympics gold medalist from her country.

-- Women competed in Olympic ski jumping for the first time and Carina Vogt of Germany turned out to be the first winner. American Sarah Hendrickson went into the history book as the first woman to soar off the jump in official Olympic competition. She soared 94 meters and eventually finished 21st.

-- There have been three freestyle skiing events held at the Sochi Olympics and all three gold medals have gone to Canada. Dara Howell became the latest Canadian to win a gold, capturing the inaugural slopestyle competition. Canada has won six of the nine medals awarded overall in freestyle skiing.

-- The men's cross-country sprint race turned bizarre and Emil Joensson of Sweden benefited from that fact. Joensson, completely spent after the qualifying, quarterfinal and semifinal races, ran out of steam early in the finals and let the other five competitors in the race go off and leave him. But three of those finalists were involved in a chain-reaction collision and they were still trying to get to their feet when Joensson arrived on the scene. Joensson summoned up his remaining energy and managed to hold on for a bronze medal before collapsing at the finish line. Ole Vigen Hattestad of Norway won the race.

-- In the women's version of the cross-country sprint, American Sophie Caldwell came in sixth. That was the highest finish by an American woman in any cross-country race ever contested at the Olympics. She missed out on a legitimate chance for a medal when she fell early in the finals, one of her skis becoming entangled with a pole being carried by another racer.

-- The Swedish men's curling team has never won an Olympic medal and the Canadian men are two-time defending champion. But when those two countries met Tuesday, it was Sweden that prevailed 7-6. The Swedes are on top of the round-robin tournament with a 3-0 record.

-- After failing to win a medal on Monday, Norway picked up four of them on Tuesday. That gives them 11 thus far, two more than Canada. Norway, Canada and Germany all have four gold medals.

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