NPR Sports

Sports
6:27 am
Sat February 8, 2014

U.S. Snowboard Wins First Gold Of Sochi Olympics

Sage Kotsenburg takes a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Sergei Grits AP

Sage Kotsenburg of the United States won the first gold medal of the 2014 Olympics on Saturday, soaring to victory in the men's snowboarding slopestyle final.

Kotsenburg had a score of 93.50 to edge Staale Sandbech of Norway. Mark McMorris of Canada, who barely made the finals, took bronze.

Canadian Max Parrot, who topped qualifying on Thursday, missed the podium. He washed out at the end of his first run and his second run wasn't quite crisp enough. Parrot finished fifth.

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Europe
4:50 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Sochi Games Showcase Putin's Hopes And Fears

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The 2014 Winter Games officially kick off today. And we're going to spend a few minutes to talk about the driving force behind them, Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's been in power since Russia began bidding for the games back in 2005, and he's made it a mission to bring them to Sochi. NPR's Corey Flintoff is on the line with us from Sochi to talk about why these games are so important to the man at the top. Hi there, Corey.

COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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Sports
4:50 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Glory And Glitches At Sochi Opening Ceremonies

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:04 pm

The 2014 Winter Olympics officially opened Friday with a ceremony celebrating Russian culture and introducing Olympic athletes from around the world. NPR's Robert Smith was at the ceremony in Sochi and joins us to recount the pomp and pitfalls on display.

The Edge
4:34 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Olympic Photo Of The Day: Giant Head Edition

Tatyana Zenkovich EPA/Landov

Imagery from Russia's recent past – including the hammer and sickle that adorned the flag of the Soviet Union – is seen in the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics Friday. The display came in a portion of the program describing Russia's industrial growth.

For more pictures and events from today, see our post covering the ceremony.

The Edge
11:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: As It Happened

Ooops: The fifth Olympic ring fails to deploy in the early moments of the Opening Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:17 pm

Large-scale pageantry opened the Sochi Olympics on Friday, in a symbolically rich Opening Ceremony that was marred by an early and highly visible mistake — one of five massive Olympic rings failed to fully appear.

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The Edge
3:23 am
Fri February 7, 2014

In Team Event, Figure Skating Rivals Cheer For Each Other

Marissa Castelli (front center) and Simon Shnapir (front right) of the U.S. wait for their scores in the pairs short program Thursday in Sochi. With them are coach Robert Martin and teammates (back, from left) Jeremy Abbott, Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
Darren Cummings/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:26 am

There's always a lot of drama in figure skating, and not necessarily on the ice. There's the judging and the personalities — think Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

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The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

A Legend At The Plate And In The Booth: Ralph Kiner Dies At 91

Ralph Kiner, seen here in 1982 with fellow Hall of Famer Willie Mays, has died at 91.
Harry Harris AP

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:26 am

Ralph Kiner, a home run-hitting Hall of Famer who starred for the Pittsburgh Pirates and later helped define the New York Mets' broadcasts, has died at 91. He was a frequent all-star who later became a favorite of Mets fans and players.

Outside of sports fans' circles, Kiner's name might not ring a bell. But as the New York Daily News reports, he was most definitely a "somebody" for nearly all of his long life:

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The Edge
6:29 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

In Sochi, An Olympic Artist Sees The 'Possible'

Artist Marc Ahr has been drawing at all the Olympic Games since 1992, but for him, Sochi is special.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:50 pm

The thing about Sochi and the surrounding area, and the sidewalks, and the roads, and the land around the train tracks, is the construction. It is everywhere — in places where some might see it and say, "Wait, it doesn't matter. This will not be on TV. No one important is staying here. Just let it go." Miles away from any venue or lodging or Olympic rings.

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The Edge
6:18 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Sochi's Stray Dogs Melt Hearts, And Put Officials On Defensive

Olympic volunteers pet a stray dog in downtown Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday. The city's long-standing contract with a pest control company has animal right groups concerned about the fate of the many strays roaming the area.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:28 pm

It's after dark in Sochi, and a pack of stray dogs is hogging the sidewalk like they own the place. There are a dachshund mix, several random mutts and one dog that looks like it may be part chow. They're cute and look like pets; seemingly well-fed and with decent pedigrees.

That is, until a fight breaks out. It's loud but ultimately more dog park than street fight, and the dogs quickly get back to prancing around and eating abandoned leftovers.

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Sports
4:51 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Trains May Be Slow In Sochi, But The Snowboarders Are Flying High

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Enough talk about whether or not Russia is ready to host the Olympics, it's time. The competitions have begun. Snowboarders and figure skaters took to the snow and ice today, even though the Opening Ceremony doesn't happen until tomorrow.

NPR's Robert Smith traveled with Russian fans to the first event to see if years of planning have paid off.

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