Scenes around Sochi

The Associated Press /

Published Feb 19, 2014 at 12:01AM

The official timing could not tell who had won, as the difference was less than one-tenth of a second.

Only a slow-motion review of TV footage and the finish photo showed whose ski crossed the line first.

Probably the only person in the Laura biathlon stadium to be immediately certain about the result was the winner himself.

Emil Hegle Svendsen edged his French rival Martin Fourcade in a tight finish to the men’s 15-kilometer mass start race at the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday.

However, the Norwegian said he had never been in doubt of his victory — even before entering the finish stretch.

“It looked like a close finish but I had quite a good control of him,” Svendsen said about Fourcade. “Going into the last hundred meters, I knew I had the gold.”

Not so hidden

Camouflage is meant to conceal military positions. Yet it seems Russian forces did not count on the lack of snow in the mountains that overlook Sochi.

Sentry posts lining the roads to the mountain sports venues are covered in bright, white camouflage netting. But surrounded by bare, brown earth or concrete paving instead of snow, the posts are anything but concealed.

Security forces staffing the positions also seem divided on how to deal with the lack of snow cover. Several were spotted huddling inside one post wearing full white winter camouflage uniforms. Farther up the road, though, one policeman was wearing a green high-visibility vest inside his “camouflaged” hut.

A case of Sochi’s security forces hiding in plain sight?

Mancuso in 2018?

Julia Mancuso is leaving the door more than open for a 2018 Winter Olympics run in PyeongChang.

The 29-year-old four-time medal winner said after failing to finish a giant slalom qualifying run on Tuesday that being in Sochi makes her want to compete again in four years.

“At the beginning of the season, I felt like there was no way I could come back,” the American said. “But after coming here, and having that magical day, it makes me want to keep going.”

That magical run was her bronze finish in the women’s super-combined slalom.

“I still want gold,” said Mancuso, who was born in Reno, Nev., and lives in nearby Squaw Valley, Calif. Mancuso won a gold in the 2006 Turin Games.

She said she has been inspired, in part, by fellow American skier Bode Miller.

“So who says what’s a good age?” Mancuso said. “You just have to go for it, and I love to ski, so we’ll see.”