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Can You Lend a Grinding Machine?

KRASNAYA POLYANA — If the German biathletes and cross-country skiers are going to win a medal at the Sochi Olympics, they will owe host nation Russia a favor.

The German ski federation's own grinding machine, used to prepare skis before a race, got damaged during transport to the Olympic city in the days leading up to the Games. It left the servicemen with no chance to work properly on about 40 new pairs of skis, until Russia offered them a solution.

With the help of Sergei Kushchenko, the Russian vice president of the International Biathlon Union, the Germans got access to the Russian grinding machine and could use it for one night — enough to get the skis ready.

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