•American Ted Ligety won gold in the giant slalom in Sochi in dominating fashion Wednesday, posting a combined time of 2:45.29. Ligety became the first American man to win two gold medals in Alpine skiing. Ligety won his first gold at the 2006 Turin Games at the age of 21. Ligety’s first run gave him a comfortable 0.93 second lead that allowed him race conservatively in his second run to avoid a mistake and preserve a win.
•The United States men’s hockey team again put forth an impressive performance in a 5-2 quarterfinal win over Czech Republic Wednesday. Things got started when James van Riemsdyk scored just 1:39 into the contest. The Czechs tied things up a few minutes later but the Americans followed later in the first with goals from Dustin Brown and David Backes. The U.S. added insurance goals from Zach Parise and Phil Kessel and Jonathan Quick turned away 23 of 25 shots in net.
•The Americans will face Team Canada who eked past Latvia 2-1 on a game-winning power play goal from Shea Weber with 6:54 to play. The Canadians struggled to score on Latvia goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who made 55 saves in an awesome effort. Carey Price stopped 15 shots and will face a much tougher tasks against the high-powered Americans on Friday. Unfortunately for the Canadians, they will be without forward John Tavares, who went down with a leg injury and will miss the rest of the tournament.
•Disaster struck for the Russians as the host team was upset by Finland in the quarterfinals, 3-1. An Ilya Kovalchuk power play goal gave Russia an early lead but the Finns responded with goals from Juhamatti Aaltonen and NHL veteran Teemu Selanne to take a 2-1 lead. After Mikael Granlund added a third goal for Finland early in the second, the Russians pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov, who allowed those three goals on just 15 shots. The Russian offense attacked and attacked, but couldn’t get the puck past Tuukka Rask, who stopped 37 of 38 shots for Finland. Finland will square off with Sweden in the semifinals.
•18-year-old figure skater Gracie gold turned in an impressive performance in the short program to put herself in contention for a medal. Even after her coach had to be rushed away to tend to a nosebleed, Gold scored 68.63, landing several challenging jumps that she previously feared may result in falls. Gold currently sits in fourth place behind Vancouver gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea (link), Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova and Italy’s Carolina Kostner.
•Team USA occupied two of the three spots on the podium in women’s bobsled, but Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won gold, besting the American tandems of Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams ad Aja Evana and Jamie Greubel. Humphries became the first women’s bobsledder to drive back-to-back Olympic golds while Meyers became the first American bobsledder to win multiple Olympic medals.
“Frank wasn’t there for 30 minutes of my warm-up because he had the most horrible nosebleed that I have ever seen. We were in the lounge and then he disappeared. They had to replace the tissue three different times and they were asking if he should get it cauterized. He wasn't worried what it was going to look like but he didn’t want it to be distracting, especially for me. He didn’t want NBC following him with a bloody nose. He wanted the attention to be on me. Fortunately my dress is red, but [I told him], stand over there."
- 18-year-old Gracie Gold on her coach Frank Carroll coming down with a nosebleed just minutes before her short program in figure skating.
— Olympics (@Olympics) February 19, 2014
•Women’s Ice Hockey:
Switzerland squares off with Sweden in the bronze medal match at 7 a.m. Eastern, but the main event is the gold medal match between the United States and Canada at noon. The Americans lost to Canada in the preliminary round and will face off with the Canadians for the fourth time in the last five winter Olympics.
•Women’s figure skating (10:10 a.m. ET) - Yuna Kim of South Korea is looking to take home gold again as she heads into Thursday’s free skate. 18-year-old Gracie Gold sits in fourth place and will looking to medal in her first Olympics.
•Men’s ski cross final (5:40 a.m. ET) – Michael Schmid of Switzerland will try to repeat with a gold medal like he did in the event’s debut in Vancouver in 2010. John Teller is the USA’s best chance to win a medal in the event.