The Sochi Olympics opened with a celebration of Russia’s past greatness and hopes for future glory, especially for a group of athletes who marched into a rollicking seaside stadium with no shortage of pride.
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Hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak and three-time figure skating gold medalist Irina Rodnina ran out of the stadium and joined hands to light the towering Olympic cauldron.
In a new type of culture war, about 5,000 cups of Greek yogurt from Team USA sponsor Chobani isn’t getting to Sochi because of a customs dispute. U.S. halfpipe skier Aaron Blunck said that for traveling athletes, getting food from home is part of feeling fit and healthy. Russian authorities say the U.S. Department of Agriculture has refused to provide a certificate that is required for dairy products.
AND YOU THOUGHT SHORT TRACK WAS ONLY IN SPEEDSKATING
Norwegian skiers thought the biathlon track was too short, and they were right. The loop at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center should measure 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles), but they had to add 40 meters (130 feet). The venue hosted a World Cup biathlon event last year but the shape of the course has been modified since.
The first five medals at Sochi will be awarded: the men’s 5,000-meter speedskating, where Sven Kramer of the Netherlands opens defense of his lone Olympic title; the men’s 10-kilometer sprint in biathlon; the women’s moguls, the men’s slopestyle final; and the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon, where Marit Bjorgen of Norway, the most successful athlete of the Vancouver Games with three golds, a silver and a bronze, leads a strong Norwegian team.