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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Winter Olympics: Canadian apologizes for taking off silver hockey medal

PEYONGCHANG, South Korea — Canadian defenseman Jocelyne Larocque apologized for taking off her silver medal immediately after it was placed around her neck Thursday following Canada’s shootout loss to the United States in the women’s hockey final.

Larocque, a two-time Olympian, held on to the medal during the ceremony. Canada had won the previous four gold medals.

She apologized to the IOC, the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada, her teammates and fans in a statement issued by Team Canada. She said she meant no disrespect but her emotions took over.

"Please understand this was a moment in time that I truly wish I could take back," Larocque said.

After the game, Larocque was asked why she didn’t wear the medal.

"Just hard," she said in report by Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. "We were going for gold."

As Larocque approached Canada’s dressing room, an official from the international federation pulled her aside and told her sternly she had to wear the medal for legal reasons, the Globe and Mail said. It wasn’t clear if she put the medal on.

Diggins to carry U.S. flag at closing

Cross-country skier Jessie Diggins, who won the first U.S. gold medal in the sport with Kikkan Randall in the team sprint, was selected to carry the flag in the closing ceremony Sunday. A two-time Olympian, Diggins was selected in a vote by U.S. team members. "This is such an incredible honor for me," said Diggins, who had four top-six finishes in the Games. She is the first cross-`try skier to carry the U.S. flag in the closing ceremony.

Russian better get a new T-shirt

A Russian bobsledder who recently filmed an ad wearing a sweatshirt that said in English "I don’t do drugs" became the country’s second athlete to test positive for drugs at the Olympics. Alexander Zubkov, president of the Russian bobsled federation, said pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva tested positive for trimetazdine, a heart medication that can alter the body’s metabolism and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list. Sergeeva said she didn’t take the drug, said Zubkov, a former bobsledder who was stripped of two gold medals for the Russian doping scheme at the 2014 Games. Sergeeva will appeal, Zubkov said.

A different view came from Russian delegation leader Stanislav Pozdnyakov. "Unfortunately, (Sergeeva’s) case speaks to negligence by the athlete. She has let us down," he said in comments reported by Russian media.

Sergeeva’s crew finished 12th in the women’s competition Wednesday, after she had given the sample Sunday that later came back positive. That makes four doping cases at the Olympics, two of which have been Russians. Curler Alexander Krushel­nitsky tested positive for meldonium, also a heart medication banned for its performance-enhancing benefits. He gave up his bronze medal in mixed curling, won with his wife. The Russian team was barred from the Games in December for doping at the 2014 Games, but the IOC invited 168 Russians to compete under the Olympic flag.

Canada, U.S. add to medal counts

Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant won gold in the debut of men’s big air today. He scored 174.25 points in his two best of three runs. American Kyle Mack took silver with 168.75. He had a chance to better Toutant but sat down on his third and final jump. Billy Morgan of Great Britain earned bronze. American Red Gerard, who won gold in slopestyle, finished fifth.

Quotable

"I thought of this as my audition for Dancing With the Stars."

U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu, who in the women’s free skate couldn’t pull off the triple axel she did in the team event and finished 10th in the competition. The American women had their worst Olympic performance since the 1948 Games. On Friday, U.S. champion Bradie Tennell finished ninth, 47.22 points behind Russian winner Alina Zagitova, and Karen Chen was 11th, almost 54 points back of the winner.

Tweet of the day

"Travel advisory: Germans in Canada should exercise a high degree of empathy. Be nice, don’t gloat, give hugs, buy rounds of hot chocolate. Just imagine how you would feel if Canada beat us in soccer."

German Foreign Office, on its Twitter account, after the country’s upset win over Canada in men’s hockey

Associated Press

Two fans wearing Viking helmets and draped in the Norwegian flag watch countryman Henrik Fagerli Rukke in the 1,000 meters.

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