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THURSDAY: 5 things to know about the Sochi Olympics

Thursday, February 13, 2014 | 11:33 a.m. CST; updated 7:43 a.m. CST, Friday, February 14, 2014

SOCHI, Russia — Things you'll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.

USA SKI SLOPESTYLE SWEEP: Team USA got a sorely needed medal boost with Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper sweeping the podium in freestyle ski slopestyle. The podium sweep was just the third for the U.S. in Winter Olympics history, joining men's figure skating in 1956 and men's halfpipe snowboarding in 2002.

WARM AGAIN: Temperatures in Sochi reached the mid-60s Thursday as the warm front on the beachside resort town continued. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said officials are "very relaxed" about the warm temperatures, which aren't expected to cool until Saturday at the earliest. Russian officials said they have not needed to tap into their snow reserves on the mountain yet and that all events are taking place on schedule.

RUSSIAN HOCKEY OPENS: The Russian men's hockey team made its Sochi debut Thursday, and the headliners of the Winter Games enlivened the rest of Olympic Park. The sprawling campus had an empty feeling for the first week of the games. But Russian fans poured in by the thousands Thursday, packing the park and creating long lines at the Russian fan house and the Olympic store.

BROKEN FOOT? NO PROBLEM: Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won gold in the 10-kilometer cross-country ski race despite a fractured foot, finishing in 28 minutes, 17.8 seconds. She hurt her foot in January, making it unclear if she would live up to her status as an event favorite.

MEDAL MOVERS: Germany led the medal standings after 35 events in efficient fashion with six golds. Its eight total medals were fewer than the next four countries in the standings, all above 10 medals each. Germany was the top medal mover Wednesday with two golds and a bronze, with six medal events on Thursday.


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