Russian fans in front of Sochi 2014 cauldron


By Duncan Mackay and Nick Butler in Sochi
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are Russian

BREAKING: Briton suffers concussion after ski halfpipe training crash (see 20:34, 20:55 21:07, and 22:49 for details)


00:02 And you can catch all the action, as ever, right here on the insidethegames live blog. See you then!

 It will be a busy day tomorrow with six gold medals up for grabs starting with the delayed men's 15km mass start biathlon at 10am.

We also have more medal action for the men in snowboard cross, aerials freestyle skiing and ski jumping while the ice dancing and two man bobsleigh events conclude as US and Russia look to convert their respective overnight leads.

Canada round off evening with ice hockey overtime win

But we also saw more domination for the Netherlands in speed-skating as they swept the first four places in the 1,500m while there was cross-country relay delight for Sweden, Super G gold for Norway and Czech victory in a chaotic women's snowboard cross 

After all that there has been a few changes on the medal table with the Netherlands and Norway now second and third behind long time leaders Germany.

And that brings competition to a close tonight in Sochi.

It's been a fairly quiet day on the medals front - with just four sets handed out after the biathlon was postponed until 10:00 tomorrow morning due to heavy cloud and fog on the mountains. 

Canada are safely through to the semi-finals but only after a tough test from Finns - who remain in a good position to join them in the last four as the best placed runner-up.

Canada celebrate after their overtime ice hockey victory over Finland ©Getty ImagesCanada celebrate after their overtime ice hockey victory over Finland ©Getty Images

Drew Doughty scores the winner and Canada have beaten Finland 2-1 in overtime

In to overtime we go between Canada and Finland...

We are heading for overtime in the ice hockey. Canada and Finland locked at 1-1 with less than a minute of the third period remaining.

Russia lead Japan 6-3 in the women's classification match.

American world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White take the lead at the death of the ice dancing short programme. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada lie second while Russia's Elena Ilnykh and Nikita Katsalapov slot into third. 

They apparently don't get on off the track but Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda make a rather good team on it. Russia lead at the halfway point in the two man bobsleigh. 

Alexander Zubkov celebrates as Russia stay on course for another sliding victory ©AFP/Getty ImagesAlexander Zubkov celebrates as Russia stay on course for another sliding victory ©AFP/Getty Images

Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon of Jamaica remain 30th and last after a few visor problems for Watts on their second run. They are almost four and a half seconds behind the Russian leaders.

Tuomo Ruutu has scored for Finland to make it 1-1 with Canada with ten minutes to go in the final period of their ice hockey clash. Surely not more overtime coming up...?

Concussion for British halfpipe skier injured in training crash

More news on Rowan Cheshire, the Briton injured tonight during training for freestyle skiing.

"Team GB halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire fell during halfpipe training this evening," British Olympic Association spokesman Darryl Seibel said. "She was attended to by the medical team at the halfpipe then taken to the polyclinic in the Mountain Village for further assessment. After examination by Team GB medical personnel it is confirmed that she has concussion and, as a precaution, will stay at a local hospital overnight for further evaluation. She will be evaluated further during the coming days before a determination is made about her fitness to compete."

Evening round-up

22:44 Superb by Russia. Alexander Zubkov drives them to the fastest time again and they will take a 0.32 second lead into the final two runs. 

Switzerland stay in second following their strong second run while Steven Holcomb's US team lie third. Disaster for the other US pair though as they fall from third to 11th overall.

Tactical withdrawal from Norwegians while Russian also pulls out. 

Interesting decision by Norway this evening to withdraw their entire men's speed skating squad from Tuesday's 10,000m event. The trio of Havard Bokko, Sverre Lund Pedersen and 10,000m substitute Simen Spieler will instead focus on the team pursuit taking place next Friday and Saturday. 

"They want to prepare for the team pursuit because they think they have a better chance of winning a medal there," explained Norwegian National Olympic Committee spokesman Lars Otto Bjoernland.

He added: "This was a team decision. They all agreed it is not worth taking risks in the 10,000m. They want to focus 100 per cent on a medal in the team pursuit."

Russia's Ivan Skobrev has also withdrawn - with no reason yet provided. The Russian won two medals at Vancouver 2010 and was the world all round champion in 2011 but has endured a disappointing Games - placing 18th over 1,500m and seventh over 5,000m.

Evening action

Switzerland, driven by Beat Hefti, hold the lead in the bobsleigh midway through the second run. Just the three first heat leading pairs to come.

We are all over in the curling for another night after men's wins for Norway, Denmark, Canada and Sweden this evening over Switzerland, Germany, China and the US.

Sweden and Canada are guaranteed semi-final slots with China third and Britain and Norway tied for fourth at the moment.

There is one round of matches left tomorrow afternoon - with China against Britain the highlight in terms of the qualification battle. Norway will face Denmark and its Germany v Russia and Switzerland v US. 

In today's action on the ice it is still 1-0 to Canada over Finland while Russia's women are 4-2 up on Japan in their fifth to eighth place classification match.

The women's semi-finals are to come tomorrow.

twitter logo
Congrats to T.J. Oshie and the U.S. men's hockey team on a huge win! Never stop believing in miracles. #GoTeamUSA
President Barrack Obama tweets his congratulations to the US ice hockey team after their victory over Russia yesterday.

The second run of the men's bobsleigh has just started after Russia led the way in heat one. 

We are into the final five couple in the ice dancing with Canada, Russia and Italy occupying the top three spots.

No more medals to be decided tonight due to the postponement of the biathlon until tomorrow morning - meaning that Germany will enjoy at least one more night  in the top spot.

But plenty still going on elsewhere

Russian pair Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviet close this segment of the ice dance competition and move into second behind Virtue and Moir

The US have been knocked out of the two top medal spots in the ice dancing by Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the defending Olympic champions, and Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lontte.

Canada are 1-0 up over Finland in men's ice hockey. Drew Doughty with the opening goal.

The first of two runs tonight - and four in total - in the bobsleigh has been completed. Alexander Zubkov's Russia lead ahead of two US pairs - driven by Steven Holcomb and Cory Butner respectively 

The Jamaicans? They are 30th and last after one run.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates are the new leaders in the ice dancing. We have a US 1-2 at the top of the leader board at the moment.

Congresswoman who lost both legs in Afghanistan to head US Paralympic delegation

Democratic Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has been chosen to lead the United States delegation heading to Sochi next month for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, it has been announced. Read our article here

Evening Session

The lead remains the same in the bobsleigh while Maia and Alex Shibutani of the US now lie first in the ice dancing. 

Briton injured in training crash

Cheshire's injury came at the end of a day in which crashes littered the women's snowboard cross competition, with Norway's Helene Olafsen and American Jacqueline Hernandez stretchered off the course after accidents in qualification.

Swiss aerials skier Christopher Lambert was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected dislocated elbow in a heavy fall during training.

Yesterday, Russian ski cross athlete Maria Komissarova sustained a broken and dislocated spine after a training accident. She underwent a six-and-a-half hour operation at a hospital in nearby Krasnaya Polyana. Read our article here.

BOA spokesman Darryl Seibel tells insidethegames "Team GB halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire was injured this evening during halfpipe training. "She was immediately taken from the course and is currently at the polyclinic in the Mountain Village, where she is being evaluated by Team GB medical personnel."

Great Britain's Rowan Cheshire was knocked unconscious in a training accident earlier today ©BOAGreat Britain's Rowan Cheshire was knocked unconscious in a training accident earlier today ©BOA

Evening Session

The US lie second and third but we are still waiting for the Jamaicans.

twitter logo
Feel di Rhythm, Feel di Rhyme, Get on up, It's Bobsled time! #JamaicaBobsled #Sochi2014
- The Jamaica Bobsled team quote directly from iconic film Cool Runnings as they get ready for action. They also posted this picture...

20:41 We are underway in the bobsleigh and the cheers are all you need to tell you that Russia have taken the lead. Driver Alexander Zubkov won World Championship gold in 2011 and holds Olympic silver and bronze medals but he has never topped the podium.

Another training injury as British freestyle skier knocked unconscious

 Britain's Rowan Cheshire is the latest athlete to be seriously injured here. She was knocked out while training for the Olympic debut of the ladies ski halfpipe competition today.

The 18-year-old from Stoke fell heavily on her face coming off the skier's left wall and, after remaining unconscious for  several minutes, she left the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park halfpipe on a stretcher for the nearby medical tent.

Cheshire, ranked seventh in the World Cup standings, is the top woman on the British halfpipe team. She came to Sochi 2014 having just claimed her first major victory at a World Cup event in Calgary.

There are currently no further details of her condition.

Evening Session

There are also nervous moments in the men's curling tonight as the round-robin stage nears its conclusion. Although when are there not nervous moments in curling, I hear you ask...

Norway, China and Sweden all leading at the moment.

Pernelle Carron and Lloyd Jones of France are the leaders early in the short programme of the ice dancing. Lloyd Jones was born in Cardiff in case you were wondering and switched nationality from Great Britain in 2009.

Winter triathlon...

Triathlon is not part of these Sochi 2014 Olympics but did you know it has its own Winter World Championships? And how Russia (and Norway) would have loved it to be part of the Games here as they claimed the titles. Read more here

20:13 So no biathlon this evening with the men's mass start event delayed until tomorrow morning due to cloud and fog up the mountains (see 19:42 and 19:17)

But plenty of other sport to come. 

Evening action has already started in ice dancing and - do I even need to say it - curling, while the men's two man bobsleigh is about to begin.

20:02 Imagine how dominant the Netherlands would be at the Winter Olympics if they had mountains...probably just as well it's flat.

The Dutch celebrate another sweep in the speed skating to rise to second on the medals table ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe Dutch celebrate another sweep in the speed skating to rise to second on the medals table ©AFP/Getty Images

19:50 Never before has one country claimed the top four places in an Olympic speed-skating event, the stadium announcer has just declared. Surely not in too many other events either...

It is also a pretty easy update to make to the medals table as the Netherlands leap frog five countries and move into second. They now have more total medals than anyone else...

They have 17 with 16 of them coming in speed-skating and the other one in short-track!

Biathlon postponed overnight

19:42 The men's biathlon 15km mass start race has been postponed until 10:00 tomorrow (Monday) morning.

After questions throughout the week over the impact of the warm weather, it is cloud and fog which causes the first overnight postponement of Sochi 2014.

Speaking from experience, I do not fancy taking one of those cable-cars back down from the biathlon centre tonight. Particularly not for those who have made a four hour round trip from the Coastal Cluster to get there...

Dutch finish in top four places in 1,500m speed skating

19:38 The brass band are back to mark the Dutch victory. Would you believe it they are playing Queen again - We Are The Champions this time.

You could almost re name it "The Netherlands Are The Champions." Not to mention the runners-up, the third place and the fourth place finishers...

Jorien ter Mors celebrates after breaking the Olympic record en route to gold ©AFP/Getty ImagesJorien ter Mors celebrates after breaking the Olympic record en route to gold ©AFP/Getty Images

Sochi 2014 gold medal
Jorien ter Mors takes gold. And it is a Dutch 1-2-3-4. Lotte van Beek snatches bronze from team-mate Leenstra with Ireen Wust taking silver. Merely coming first, second and third is so last week for the Dutch as their domination continues.

No change on the leader board after the penultimate heat. One pair left and only Claudia Pechstein of Germany can prevent another Dutch white-wash. I mean orange-wash. Pechstein is up against van Beek.

The crowd noise is deafening but Yuliya Skokova only goes fourth for Russia. Dutch clean sweep looking more likely by the minute with just four skaters left. And one of them is Lotte van Beek of the Netherlands...

19:21 Ireen Wust clocks 1 min 54.09. It will not win her another gold medal but is good enough for second place. The Netherlands are on for a 1-2-3 here at the moment. Again.

All change in the speed skating - for the minor medals at least. Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands goes second with Heather Richardson of the US third.

Ireen Wust up next...

Biathlon fog

twitter logoPetit soucis sur le stade de biathlon. .. report d'une heure a minima
French IOC member Tony Estanguet reports from the biathlon. You can see the reason for the delay from the picture he has also posted...
The reason the biathlon has been put back by one hour...not good conditions for skiing, shooting or spectating ©TwitterThe reason the biathlon has been put back by one hour...not good conditions for skiing, shooting or spectating ©Twitter

19:10 Russia will have to wait and see if they have made it through to the ice hockey semi-finals as the best second placed team. Otherwise they will go into the quarter-final playoff.

19:08 More good news for Russia as Yekaterina Shikhova goes into third in the speed skating. Olga Fatkulina still lies second so it is a host nation 2-3 at the moment.

19:05 Hold on. President Putin was at the ice hockey after all! He suddenly appears on Russian television screens following the victory...

19:01 They have done it! Chants of Ru-ssi-ya around the speed skating venue as news filters through. Russia beat Slovakia 2-0 in the ice hockey shoot out. 

18:55 Still scoreless in the ice hockey...

No sign of President Putin in the crowd today. What are the odds of Barrack Obama flying in the for the final next Sunday if the US are there, I wonder...

Putin was up at the cross country earlier on so maybe he has been caught up in the cloud and fog which is delaying the biathlon

Russian President Vladimir Putin and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev watch the host nation win cross country relay silver earlier on today ©AFP/Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev watch the host nation win cross country relay silver earlier on today ©AFP/Getty Images

18:50 You are not missing anything in the speed skating. A band is playing as the ice is treated. They are playing a brass version of We Will Rock You now. What is it with Queen at these Olympics?

Jorien ter Mors broke the Olympic record of Germany's Anna Friesinger which was set at Salt Lake City 2002. Some skate by the Dutch girl who, remarkably enough, came fourth in the 1,500m short track event yesterday.

Different challenges up the mountains today as the men's 15km mass start biathlon event is put back one hour due to cloud and fog. The new start time is 20:00.

18:42 Slovenia grab a late consolation score but lose 5-1 to the US in ice hockey. But yes, it is happening again, Slovakia and Russia finish 0-0 and we are heading into more overtime at the Bolshoy...

18:38 No surprises as a Dutch skater takes the 1,500m lead. Jorien ter Mors slices a staggering 4.3 seconds off Fatkulina's time to set an Olympic record 1 min 53.51. Her team mate Ireen Wust is the favourite here but that time will take some beating.

Quote graphicI think the biggest reason is these kind of conditions. The very warm conditions make the waxing very tough. We have really succeeded here with our skis, and that's the thing that gives us speed, so of course that's a really big reason."
Gold medal winner Johan Olsson explaining why he thinks his country were able to secure men and women's cross country relay titles over the weekend.

18:29 Kali Christ goes second in the speed skating for Canada. But the crowd noise is all you need to tell you that Olga Fatkulina is out in front.

18:23 Would you believe it? It is still 0-0 in the ice hockey. Could we be heading for another shoot out? The US won't be - they are 5-0 up on Slovenia now.

It is still all square between Russia and Slovakia ©Getty ImagesIt is still all square between Russia and Slovakia in ice hockey ©Getty Images

18:19 And the Russian takes the lead! 1 min 57.88 for the 24-year-old who won the 500m silver earlier in the week.

The skaters may take to the ice in pairs - but they are really competing against the clock with the fastest time overall taking the gold medal.

18:17 Huge cheers as Olga Fatkulina of Russia takes to the ice in the latest speed skating heat...

We are well underway in the speed skating now. Jelena Peeters of Belgium is the early leader after three heats of the women's 1,500m.

It is somehow a very graceful sport speed skating despite the great speeds they are travelling at. But like many sports, technique and efficiency is more important than sheer power.

Slovakia, somehow, are hanging on in the ice hockey. Chance after chance but Russia have yet to score and it remains 0-0. The US meanwhile are now 4-0 up over Slovenia. Phil Kessel scores his third before Ryan McDonagh also finds the net.

Right. Queen's We Will Rock You is playing in the Adler Arena now as the stadium continues to fill up. We're nearly ready for some rocking of the 1,500m speed skating variety here...

Arild Monsen, your boys took a hell of a beating! Really?

One more word about the "your boys took a hell of a beating" anecdote we explained at 15:13 and 16:32. These words came back to haunt Norwegian coach Arild Monsen when they were spoken to him - via the press - by Britain's Andrew Musgrave after he won the Norwegian cross country sprint national title last month.

Unfortunately Musgrave went out in the quarter-finals of the sprint here in Sochi before coming 44th in the classic race - so not sure he has the bragging rights any longer...

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Crowd are dancing to the birdy song by the tweets. Do they realise how uncool that is?
- insidethegames historian Philip Barker is not too impressed by the dance moves at the Russia v Slovakia ice hockey. But the crowd need something to keep themselves entertained by because it remains 0-0 in the second period.

We can all learn lessons from the London 2012 Games Makers

With the press briefing this morning focusing on volunteers, it seems appropriate that insidethegames' blog today, written by Britain's former 5,000m record holder Dave Moorcroft, is about the legacy of the London 2012 Games Makers. Read it here.

We're eagerly anticipating the evening medal action getting underway here in Sochi - with the seats just beginning to be filled in the Adler Arena ahead of the women's 1,500m speed skating in 30 minutes time. 

Still a trickle rather than a flood of people arriving so far but there already seems a large number of orange clothed fans - in pursuit of more Dutch medal success no doubt...

The Adler Arena is just beginning to fill up ahead of the speed skating this evening ©ITGThe Adler Arena is just beginning to fill up ahead of the speed skating this evening ©ITG

Russia chase ice hockey redemption

Group A action in men's ice hockey has also resumed. Russia and Slovakia will each want to avenge their defeats yesterday but it is stalemate at the moment in the first period.

But the US are already 2-0 up over Slovenia in the other match with Phil Kessel scoring twice for the group leaders.

Good day for Sweden gets better

Following the second half of their cross country relay double earlier on there is good news for Sweden on ice as well as snow after their women's curlers become the second team to qualify for the semi-finals. They edged out Russia 5-4 to guarantee themselves a last four spot alongside Canada - who continued their unbeaten record with a narrow 7-6 win over the US.

There is a real battle developing for the other two slots however with China, Great Britain and Switzerland all tied for third - although the Swiss missed an opportunity to take advantage of their two rivals not playing today when they lost 7-5 to Japan. Denmark beat South Korea 7-4 in the other match this afternoon.

Prncess Haya to be given chance for third term as head of FEI

16:55 There is some interesting International Olympic Committee-related news that is emerging. The International Equestrian Federation will vote in April on whether to change its statutes to extend its President's time in office and open the way for current leader Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein to stand for a third term and retain her position as an IOC member. Read the full story here

Now breathe, relax, it's the curling

16:48 We are currently in the mid-afternoon lull before the evening action starts. But you can always rely on the curling, a welcome contrast to all that madness we saw earlier in the snowboard cross. After the men this morning, it is the turn of the women. Denmark have already wrapped up a 7-4 victory over South Korea. In the other matches still in progress Japan and Switzerland are drawing 7-7, Russia are beating Sweden 4-3 and the United States and Canada are level at 4-4. Britain, having played twice yesterday, have a day off. 

Sweden first country to do cross country double for 42 years

16:41 Sweden have plenty to celebrate too after that cross country relay victory. They are the first country since the Soviet Union at Sapporo 1972 to win both the men and women's editions of the race at the same Winter Olympics. The French, outsprinted at the end by the Russians for silver, still had reason to enjoy their bronze. It was the country's 100th medal in the history of the Winter Olympics. 

"Your boys took one hell of a beating!": An explanation for foreign readers

16:32 We have received a couple of e-mails asking more about the famous piece of Norwegian commentary we referred to at 15:13. It was made by Bjørge Lillelien, a Norwegian commentator, after Norway had unexpectedly beaten England 2-1 in a World Cup qualifying match in Oslo in 1981. 

At the final whistle Lillelien launched into a passionate celebration of his side's victory. "We are best in the world! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants," he screamed. Then he added: "Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher - can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!".

No word yet of how Sweden's TV commentator at the 4x10 kilometres cross country relay celebrated his team's crushing victory over Norway. If we find out, we will let you know. 

Indian flag officially raised at Sochi 2014 during special ceremony

New Indian Olympic Association President Narayna Ramachandran (third from right) and athletes attended the Indian flag raising ceremony at the Mountain Olympic Village ©Getty ImagesNew Indian Olympic Association President Narayna Ramachandran (third from right) and athletes attended the Indian flag raising ceremony at the Mountain Olympic Village
©Getty Images

India's flag has been officially raised in the Olympic Village at Sochi 2014 during a special ceremony ©Getty ImagesIndia's flag has been officially raised in the Olympic Village at Sochi 2014 during a special ceremony ©Getty Images

15:46 The Indian flag has finally been raised at the Olympic Village during at a special ceremony, five days after the International Olympic Committee revoked a 14-month suspension on the country.

The 45-minute ceremony at the International Plaza of the Mountain Villag, was attended by luger Shiva Keshavan, Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross country skier Nadeem, the three Indian athletes taking part in the Games, along with newly elected Indian Olympic Association President Narayna Ramachandran and IOC officials.

"We were not allowed to fly the tri-colour and wear any dress on which is written India when the Games began due to IOA's suspension but after the suspension was lifted, we can now proudly fly our national flag and wear dresses with India written on them," said Roshan Lal Thakur, Winter Games Federation of India secretary.

Ramachandran hopes the ceremony marks the beginning of a new period for Indian Olympic athletes following the long suspension. "I am thrilled and delighted," he said.  "I don't look into the past. I only look for the future."

Thakur revealed that IOC President Thomas Bach earlier came at the Mountain Village in and met the Indian athletes over breakfast. "He interacted with us and it was a nice feeling," he said.


Sochi 2014 gold medal15:29 Sweden have retained their Olympic title while Russia came out on top in a thrilling finish for the silver medal, beating France. A great effort on the final leg lifted Norway to fourth but I somehow don't think that is going to be of much consolation to the world champions.

Sweden heading for victory in men's 4x10 kilometres cross country relay

We are into the final leg now of the men's 4x10 kilometres cross country. I don't think the finish is going to match the drama of yesterday's women's event. Sweden are more than 14 seconds ahead of second-placed Russia with France in third. Norway have rallied to sixth but are more than a minute adrift of their Scandinavian rivals. Wonder if the Swedish TV commentator will steal the famous "Your boys took a hell of a beating" commentary by Norwegian broadcaster Bjørge Lillelien after his country beat England in a World Cup qualifying match in 1981?

Putin watch

Russian President Vladimir Putin, looking super cool in a pair of aviator sun glasses, has just been spotted at the cross country relay with Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko. His presence has clearly had a big effect on the Russians because they have now moved into the silver medal position behind Sweden. France are in third while the Norwegians have moved up into seventh.

Read this Norwegians if you want to cheer yourselves up

If you are Norwegian you are probably feeling a bit down at the moment. So, why not console yourself with fond memories of Lillehammer 1994, widely considered the greatest Winter Olympic Games in history. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, David Owen has interviewed Gerhard Heiberg, the mastermind behind their success, about them. Read the full article here

Swedes leading men's 4x10km cross country relay

14:51 No word yet if the King and Queen have dashed up into the mountains but beginning the third leg of the men's 4x10 kilometres Sweden are in the lead from Finland and France. But world champions Norway are having a shocker - they are more than a minute behind the leaders in ninth place. 

Sweden: By Royal Appointment

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia of Sweden cheer on their men's curling team as they beat Russia 8-4 ©Getty ImagesKing Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia of Sweden cheer on their men's curling team as they beat Russia 8-4 ©Getty Images

14:44 Sweden have already had some reason to celebrate after their victory in the men's curling against hosts Russia ensured them of a place in the semi-finals (see 12:39). They were wathced Carl XVI Gustaf, the King of Sweden, and his wife Queen Silvia, who lent their support to Niklas Edin's world champion.

"It was a huge support that he was there watching," said Edin. "You feel more important when you play for your country and that the king is there watching as well. It is great he came out to support us playing for the nation."

Although Sweden's women have a strong record in Olympic Winter Games curling, with gold medals in the two most recent Games, at Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010, Edin's team is attempting to become Sweden's first men's Olympic curling champions.

As a result of its high-level recent performances, including winning the 2013 World Championship, the team enjoys huge support from the Swedish population. "Since we started winning medals, everyone in Sweden is a fan of curling, even the king," said Edin.

twitter logoOn the way home. Had to return earlier than planned, but had a great time in Sochi. Best ever?

- St Lucia's IOC member leaves Russia clearly impressed with Sochi 2014

Sweden seeking gold medal double in cross country relay

Meanwhile, the men's cross-country 4x10 kilometres relay is under way and already world gold medallists Norway are in the lead, with defending Olympic champions Sweden down in fourth. Sweden had won yesterday's women's event in one of the tightest finishes in history ahead of Finland and Germany. 

Perhaps the key to Samkova's win was that the 20-year-old led in each round and avoided the crashes that accounted for some of her biggest rivals. In the anything-can-happen fast-paced snowboard cross event, crashes and falls are common and they often take out even the best riders.

But competitors said the tricky course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park - filled with sharp turns, several series of rollers as well as jumps - was extremely fast, making every little bobble even more noticeable.


Sochi 2014 gold medal14:05
Czech Republic claim their first gold medal of Sochi 2014 thanks to Eva Samkova's victory in the snowboard cross. She beats Canada's Dominique Maltais and France's Chloe Trespeuch.

Czech Republic's Eva Samkova won the snowboard cross, an event marked by spills and thrills ©Getty Images Czech Republic's Eva Samkova won the snowboard cross, an event marked by spills and thrills ©Getty Images

There are thrills, spills and controversy in the snowboard cross. Canada's defending champion Maëlle Ricker is among those to have crashed out in the quarter-final while American Lindsey Jacobellis, who lost the chance of a gold medal at Turn 2006 when she was showing off, was leading in the semi-final, but under no pressure crashes on a corner. Britain's Zoe Gillings, meanwhile, has narrowly missed out on a place in the final after finishing fourth. 

twitter logoThanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother

- American Bode Miller thanks his fans after an emotional time during which, in April he suffered the shock death of his brother Chelone

Twitter takes off after classic ice hockey

But, of course, social media is a beast that cannot be controlled. Twitter have revealed that a total of 900,000 tweets were sent during yesterday's classic Russia versus United States ice hockey match. American forward T.J. Oshie was apparently mentioned 136,000 times while an incredible 72,630 tweets per minute were sent in the immediate aftermath of the US victory. 

South Korean trolls force British short track speed skater to delete Twitter account

13:15 Social media is hugely important to the success of these Olympics but one ugly aspect has emerged is that it also gives people the opportunity to abuse athletes competing here. It has been revealed that Britain's short track speed skater British skater Elise Christie received so much abuse from angry South Korean fans who blamed her for preventing Park Seung-hi from winning the 500m last Thursday that she has closed down her accounts.

Christie, who crossed the line second in the race but was subsequently disqualified, has admitted that the abuse affected her preparations for the 1,500m, where she was again penalised for an infringement and relegated to last place. 

"Like a lot of young people, [Elise] is very active on social media," said a spokeswoman for the British Olympic Association. "I've not spoken to her directly but I know after her race, she was very upset about what happened on the track. I think the Twitter stuff has rolled into that. So we took the decision on her behalf to take her Twitter site down so she can better focus on the competition. We didn't want it to become a burden or a distraction."

Miller: History maker

Some more interesting statistics from today's Super G. Miller's bronze makes him, at 36, the oldest man ever to win an Olympic Alpine skiing medal and he is now the joint second most successful US Winter Olympian alongside speed skater Bonnie Blair. Short-track star Apolo Ohno leading on eight medals.

Jan Hudec, meanwhile, who shared the bronze with Miller is the first Canadian to win an Alpine skiing medal for 20 years, equalling Ed Podivinsky's bronze in downhill in Lillehammer 1994.

Jansrud, meanwhile, ensured that Norway's domination of this event continued. This is the fourth consecutive Games that they have won the gold medal and he follows Kjetil Andre Aamodt at Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin and Aksel Lund Svindal at Vancouver 2010. It means Norway have equalled the men's record of four consecutive gold medals in one Alpine skiing event. Austria won four straight slalom gold medals from 1952 to 1964.

Meanwhile, is the sixth time a medal has been shared in an Alpine skiing event. But his is the first time this has happened twice at one Olympic Winter Games, after the gold medal was shared in ladies' downhill.

This morning's men's curling matches have finished with Norway beating Britain 7-6. That leaves Britain needing to beat surprise package China tomorrow if they are to make it through to the semi-finals. Canada edged the United States 8-6 while Sweden beat hosts Russia 8-4. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited injured freestyle skier Maria Komissarova after she had a six-and-a-half hour operation on her broken back ©KremlinRussian President Vladimir Putin has visited injured freestyle skier Maria Komissarova after she had a six-and-a-half hour operation on her broken back ©Kremlin

12:29 Of course, still fresh in the memories of everyone is the accident yesterday of Russian Olympic ski cross racer Maria Komissarova. Her mother Maria is due to arrive in Sochi today to visit her daughter. Late last night Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to see Komissarova. He has also called her father to ensure him of his support. 

The second of the qualifying rounds for the snowboard cross is currently underway. Unfortunately in the first qualifying there was another accident when America's Jacqueline Hernandez fell heavily. She did manage to sit up and has now been taken away on a stretcher.  

Kjetil Jansrud claimed Norway's fifth gold medal of Sochi 2014 when he won the Super G ©Getty ImagesKjetil Jansrud claimed Norway's fifth gold medal of Sochi 2014 when he won the Super G ©Getty Images

That is the third Olympic medal of Jansrud's career. Besides the bronze he had won in the downhill last Sunday, he had also claimed silver in the giant slalom at Vancouver 2010. Remarkably, it is the sixth Olympic medal Miller has claimed since his debut at Salt Lake City 2002. His tally now reads one gold, three silver and two bronze. 

That result in the Super G has had quite a big effect on the overall medals table. Norway have now climbed to second behind Germany, who still have a clear gap at the top, though, with seven gold medals compared to Norway and Switzerland, who both have five. To see the full table click here


Sochi 2014 gold medal11:54
It's official. Norway's Kjetil Jansrud claims gold in the Super G with the United States Andrew Weibrecht taking silver and his team-mate Bode Miller and Jan Hudec sharing the bronze. 

Greece's Kostas Sykaras, the last skier in the Super G, is on the course. Nearly time for Jansrud to start the celebrations. 

Another question about the lack of French and whether the volunteer programme targeted applicants who spoke the language. Pochinok explains that a priority was recruiting volunteers who spoke English, which was a big challenge as less than 10 per cent of Russians speak that language. Sochi 2014 spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina shows impressive language skills herself by switching to French to explain more.

Question for Sochi 2014 and IOC about the condition of Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova, who broke her back and underwent an six-and-a-half operation yesterday following an horrific crash. Both wish her well and hope for a speedy recovery but say it is up to the Russian Olympic Committee to issue updates. 

Back at the Super G there are less than ten skiers left. We are not expecting the duo from Greece to upset things...

Some random questions so far, including one from insidethegames' own Philip Barker complaining about the delay on his daily commute with Russian Railways each day and the delays he is facing. And one from a French journalist about the lack of French at these Games. The IOC's chief spokesman Mark Adams, on the top table, answers in English...

For those wondering what is happening in Super G. There are 14 skiers left to  go.

We have now just watched a video of spectators praising the volunteers, who have been fabulous. We are now onto questions. Probably safe to assume the press won't want to talk about the volunteeering programme...

Russia is now ranked among the top ten countries in the world for volunteering, have been "nowhere" before Sochi 2014. "It has been a great catalyst for the country and a great legacy," a proud Pochinok tells the world's journalists. 

Marina Pochinok, who is vice-president of workforce at Sochi 2014, is explaining what a challenge it has been to recruit so many Gamesmakers for these Games because there is no culture of volunteering in Russia. Of the 25,000 volunteers 60 per cent of them are females, who are more "socially responsible" according Pochinok.

But there has been a development in the Super G where America's Andrew Weibrecht has moved into second with a time of 1min 18.44sec, relegating Miller and Hudec to joint bronze. Jansrud still looking good for gold, though. 

IOC Daily Briefing

Today's briefing is dedicated to the volunteers, who are helping make these Games such a wonderful success.

There is still more than half the field to ski in this Super G but you feel that the medals have been settled with Jansrud set to add gold to the bronze he won in the downhill earlier these in Games and claim Norway's fifth gold of Sochi 2014, which will elevate them to second behind Germany overall. 

I have cursed Miller! Norway's Kjetil Jansrud has just moved ahead of the American with a time of 1min 18:14sec. And with Canada's Jan Hudec has now moved into joint second with Miller, recording the same time of 1min 18.67sec. Are we heading for another race where a medal will have to be shared?

Miller still in the lead - is he heading for the second Olympic gold medal of his career? He is looking increasingly confident at the bottom as he watches his competitors try - and fail - to match his time.

It's Miller time. The American takes the lead with 1min 18.67sec while Otmar Striedinger of Austria goes second.

10:22 Ligety slots into third behind Fill and Pridy.

10:18 Peter Fill of Italy is the new leader and the first man to break the 1 min 19 sec barrier. Ted Ligety of the US up next.

10:11 Morgan Pridy of Canada has now taken over the early lead in the Super G. It is very dangerous to predict these Alpine events - but could this be the day when it comes good for one of the Americans Bode Miller or Ted Ligety? Or even for Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal?

10:02 Super combined runner up Ivica Kostelic of Croatia has just got us underway in the Super G. with a time of 1 min 20.19 sec. 

twitter logo"I hope now they're not going to mix us up with Slovakia anymore."
US v Russia was not the only ice hockey match yesterday as Slovenia forward Anze Kopitar assesses the impact of his team's unexpected 3-1 win over Slovakia.

09:58 The Super G is an early starter this morning, but nothing ever starts before curling and we already have three matches underway in the men's event with Canada currently leading the US 3-2. It's all square at 2-2 in the other two matches - between Great Britain and Norway, and Sweden and Russia. 

A final ice hockey spectator picture here as Russian President Vladimir Putin and IOC boss Thomas Bach discuss shoot out tactics next to Soviet war veterans from Afghanistan.

The VIP spectators section at the ice hockey yesterday ©Getty ImagesThe VIP spectators section at the ice hockey yesterday ©Getty Images

Five gold medals up for grabs today beginning in a few minutes time with the men's Super G - brought forward by an hour to avoid the warmest temperatures. 

After that we have surely one of the most dramatic events on the Winter Olympic programme - the snowboard cross - as well as medal action in cross country, biathlon and speed skating. 

Day nine also marks the beginning of the bobsleigh, with the opening two runs of the men's two man event, as well as ice dancing - while the action continues in curling and ice hockey.

09:28 It is a bit of  a grey start this morning - and slightly nippier as well - but that will certainly not detract from what is set to be another great day of sporting action.

09:22 The ice hockey may have ended in disappointment for Russia but it once again illustrated the wonderful atmosphere that is increasing by the day in the Olympic Park - and also displayed the finest Olympic values of friendly but fierce competition.

Fans crowd into the Olympic Park to catch a glimpse of the ice hockey action ©Getty ImagesFans crowd into the Olympic Park to catch a glimpse of the ice hockey action
©Getty Images

09:15 Yesterday it is fair to say that we really did have it all. The narrowest of finishes to both the women's cross country relay - less than a second between the three medal winners - and the men's speed skating - three thousandths of a second between gold and silver - as well as home victories for Russia in both short track and skeleton. 

But most of all - we had an absolute ice hockey epic between Russia and the United States.

09:00 Good morning and welcome to the ninth day of action here in Sochi