Much of the uproar over the women’s free skate centers on what many perceived as a lack of artistry in Sotnikova’s program. Yet her marks were comparable or better than those for the highly artistic Kim. Her technical marks were significantly better.
Meanwhile, four Ukrainian women gave their politically torn country some good news at the Games on Friday and Canada delivered more bad news to the US — yet another Olympic ice hockey defeat.
As government and opposition leaders worked to end the months-long Ukrainian crisis that erupted in deadly violence this week, the Ukraine women’s 4x6km 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.
“Great proof of how sport can unite the nation,” Sergei Bubka, the pole vault great and leader of the Ukraine Olympic Committee, wrote on Twitter.
There were no celebrations for the US men’s hockey team, with Canada winning 1-0 and dashing the American hopes for men’s gold for the third time since 2002. And it happened just one night after the Canadian women had ousted their American counterparts for the third straight Olympics.
Canada and Sweden are to play for the men’s gold today. The Swedes beat Finland 2-1.
The first doping cases also hit the Winter Games on Friday. Italian bobsledder William Frullani and German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle were kicked out of the games after positive doping tests.
Also on Friday, 18-year-old US skier Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest-ever gold medal winner in the women’s slalom; Marielle Thompson of Canada edged teammate Kelsey Serwa for the gold in women’s skicross; Canada routed Britain 9-3 to win their third straight gold medal in men’s curling; and short track speedskating gold medals went to Viktor Ahn of Russia in the men’s 500m, to Park Seung-hi of South Korea in the women’s 1,000m, and to Russia in the men’s 5,000m relay.