Ukraine gets its first winter gold in 20 years

By David Pace / The Assoicated Press

SOCHI, Russia — Four Ukrainian women gave their politically torn country some good news at the Sochi Games on Friday.

As government and opposition leaders worked to end the monthslong Ukrainian crisis that erupted in deadly violence this week, the Ukraine women’s 4x6-kilometer biathlon relay team won the nation’s first gold medal in two decades.

The four women celebrated with a Ukrainian flag as lawmakers back home paused to mark the occasion.

The team of twins Vita and Valj Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, and Olena Pidhrushna missed five targets but avoided penalty loops to finish in 1 hour, 10 minutes, 2.5 seconds. Russia was 26.4 seconds behind to take silver, and Norway trailed by 37.6 to win bronze.

Freestyle skiing

Marielle Thompson and Kesley Serwa gave Canada its third 1-2 finish in freestyle skiing events in Sochi. The others came in men’s and women’s moguls. Canada also won gold and bronze in women’s slopestyle skiing, and picked up a silver in the men’s halfpipe, for a total of nine freestyle medals. In the skicross final, Ophelie David of France wiped out about two-thirds down the course, giving the bronze to Sweden’s Anna Holmlund.

Curling

Canada routed Britain 9-3 to win its third straight gold in men’s curling and gave the country a sweep of the curling titles in Sochi. Sweden won the bronze, taking an extra end to defeat China 6-4.

Short track

Victor Ahn, who was born in South Korea and became a Russian citizen in 2011, won the men’s 500 and now has a career-record eight short track medals. In addition to winning the 500, he anchored the Russian 5,000 relay team to gold. He also became the first skater to win all four individual short track events at the Olympics. The U.S. team won silver in the relay, ending a medal drought for the American speedskaters. Park Seung-hi of South Korea won the women’s 1,000.