Scenes from Sochi

The Associated Press /

Published Feb 21, 2014 at 12:01AM

The way the Switzerland women’s hockey team was euphorically celebrating their victory, and the way the Swedes were crestfallen in defeat, you would have thought that the two teams were playing in the Olympic gold medal game.

In a way, they were.

The Canadians and Americans are so dominant in the sport that the bronze medal, which Switzerland earned with the 4-3 victory on Thursday, is pretty much considered the championship of the rest of the world. Switzerland’s wild celebration of the bronze showed that the rest of the field can still have a great time, even if they’re only playing for third place.

As the final horn sounded, the red-shirted Swiss stormed the ice and piled onto one another like a baseball team winning the World Series. Some mimicked making snow angels on the ice, goalie Florence Schelling leaped into her teammates’ arms and they all gathered for a big group photo.

No to arm bands

The IOC’s reluctance to allow competitors to wear black arm bands, or any other individual badge, to honor fallen loved ones might seem on the surface to be insensitive. That’s hardly the intent, the Olympic committee says.

At the Sochi Games, the IOC has reprimanded Norwegian competitors for wearing an arm band to honor a family member of one of the athletes and told Australian snowboarder Torah Bright she could not wear a sticker on her helmet in memory of snowboarder Sarah Burke, who died in 2012.

On Wednesday, Ukraine officials said the IOC denied them permission to wear arm bands to honor those killed in a clash between anti-government protesters and police in Kiev. IOC spokesman Mark Adams says that they never made a firm denial and that Ukrainian officials decided on their own to make a different gesture before it got to that point.

Harper 1, Obama 0

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is ready for the icy cold one U.S. President Barack Obama promised him.

The leaders had wagered a case of beer on each Olympic hockey game, a bet they apparently brewed Wednesday while in Toluca, Mexico, for a day of meetings with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

“@pmharper and I bet on the women’s and men’s US-Canada hockey games. Winner gets a case of beer for each game. #GoTeamUSA!” Obama said in a morning tweet signed “-bo,” which is how the White House designates messages sent personally by the president.

About the same time, a message on Harper’s official Twitter feed said: “I’m betting @barackobama one case of Canadian beer per hockey game this week. #teamusa is good, but #WeAreWinter. #GoCanadaGo.

He will receive one of the varieties of beer that are brewed at the White House using honey from the beehive on the South Lawn.

“I look forward to watching the game later and @barackobama, I look forward to my case of beer,” said a follow-up message on Harper’s Twitter page.

Thankfully, there is no truth to billboard (shown above) posted to Twitter this morning by Chicago sign company Command Sign.