Americans Come Up Short in Men’s Super-Combined
American's Bode Miller and Ted Ligety finished well back in the men's super-combined.
The surprise winner was Switzerland's Sandro Viletta with favorite Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finishing second. Viletta took advantage of a blistering slalom run to beat the favored Kostelic in a race held in spring-like conditions with snow turning to slush. Viletta stood only 14th after the downhill portion but put down the second-fastest slalom run to finish in a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 45.20 seconds.
Defending champion Miller made a big mistake during his downhill run and finished sixth, while world champion Ligety had a ragged slalom leg and placed 12th.
Elsewhere at the Winter Olympics
- The U.S. men's hockey team has announced that Jonathan Quick will start in goal against the Russians on Saturday. He worked the nets in the opening game, 7-1, win over Slovakia. In his Olympic debut he turned back 22 shots.
- The U.S. speedskating team is desperately trying to figure out why it hasn't had the kind of success it expected in Sochi. After a podium-filled season on the World Cup circuit, no U.S. skater has finished higher than seventh through six of the 12 Olympic events. Many people are wondering if the last-minute high-tech suits the Americans are using might be the problem. The secretive Under Armour suit was developed with help from aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin and introduced to the American team just before arriving in Sochi.
- A career filled with Olympic and international success hasn't helped Russian figure skating Evgeni Plushenko as he is taking a lot of criticism in his homeland for dropping out of the men's figure skating. Just days after helping Russia win the first-ever team figure skating competition Plushenko withdrew before the men's short program, complaining of severe spinal pain during the warmup. Over his career Plushenko has undergone 12 surgeries, most notably on his back.
A member of Russia's parliament said on Twitter, "perform through the pain for the honor of the country."
- The men's figure skating competition comes to a close today with skaters from Japan, Canada and Spain best positioned to medal. Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu leads Canada's Patrick Chan and Spain's Javier Fernandez heading into the free skate.
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