5 things to know about the Sochi Olympics | Inquirer Sports

5 things to know about the Sochi Olympics

/ 11:13 PM February 08, 2014

Japan’s Sara Takanashi speeds down the track during a women’s ski jumping training session at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. AP

SOCHI, Russia  — Fast five, Saturday edition: Things you’ll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN: And they do. The first five gold medals of the Sochi Games were up for grabs Saturday (Sunday in Manila), including: men’s 10-kilometer biathlon sprint, women’s 7.5-kilometer + 7.5 kilometer skiathlon, women’s freestyle ski moguls, men’s snowboard slopestyle and men’s 5000-meter speedskating.

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THAT MISSING RING: “I don’t see what the problem is, to be honest,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams says of questions about Russian state television’s use of rehearsal footage to mask the fact that one of five Olympic rings didn’t light up during Sochi’s opening ceremony. While the 40,000 spectators in the stadium saw the glitch, Russian state television cut away to air the recorded images showing all five rings joining together and fireworks exploding.

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HIJACK RATIONALE: More information is emerging on the 45-year-old Ukrainian man who authorities say tried to hijack a Turkey-bound commercial flight and divert it to Sochi on the day of the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony. They say he wanted to press for the release of anti-government protesters in his country. Turkey’s transport minister suggests the man probably acted alone.

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INTERESTING CHOICE: The IOC is also defending Russia’s choosing of figure skating icon Irina Rodnina as one of the torchbearers for the Sochi opening ceremony. Rodnina, a three-time gold medalist, drew criticism in September for tweeting a photo of U.S. President Barack Obama that some felt was racist. Sochi Organizing Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko says the Olympics is about sports, not politics.

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BREAK DOWN THE DOOR: Locked in a bathroom in the athletes’ village, U.S. bobsledder Johnny Quinn found a novel way out: crashing through the door. The former NFL player with Green Bay and Buffalo posted a photo of a gaping hole in the former door. A U.S. team spokeswoman couldn’t say whether Quinn will have to pay for it.

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