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Sochi Briefs

Big Ratings for Hockey

SOCHI — The numbers are in for the thrilling U.S.A.-Russia men's hockey game, and they are huge.

NBC Sports Network says that 4.1 million people in the U.S. tuned into the Americans' dramatic 3-2 victory, a record number for a hockey game on the channel. When the game went to a shootout, 6.4 million people tuned in to watch T.J. Oshie score four times to lead Team U.S.A. to the win. The ratings are even more impressive considering the game aired on Saturday morning back home.

Oshie, a very good player for the NHL's St. Louis Blues but by no means a star, added more than 150,000 followers to his Twitter account — @OSH74 — after the win and received a tweet of congratulations from U.S. President Barack Obama.


Mae to Make Olympic Debut

ROSA KHUTOR — When it comes to Olympic skiing, violin virtuoso Vanessa Mae may be more like an amateur plucking away on a one-stringed banjo than a professional slalomer.

The 35-year-old makes her Games debut on Tuesday representing Thailand in the giant slalom, the only discipline she is entered for after meeting the qualifying standard with a late flurry of races last month.

Completing both legs will be no small achievement for the diminutive Singapore-born musician, whose fame far exceeds most of those competing for the medals.

Mae, a British citizen competing under her natural father's name of Vanakorn, started skiing at the age of four and will be only the third person to represent Thailand at the Winter Olympics.


British Halfpipe Contender Cheshire Out of Hospital

ROSA KHUTOR — British freestyle skiing halfpipe medal contender Rowan Cheshire was released from the hospital on Monday after spending the night under observation for a concussion she sustained in a fall in training.

The teenager fell on her face at the Extreme Park halfpipe on Sunday and was knocked unconscious for several minutes before being carried away on a stretcher in a neck brace.

"Cheshire will be discharged today after the doctors were happy with her progress," said a Team GB statement.

"She will return to the athlete's Mountain Village where she will be looked after by a team of medical staff."

Cheshire posted a picture of her bloodied face on Twitter along with the message: "Wasn't the best day yesterday, still don't remember much! Thanks everyone for the lovely messages."


Kim to Go 17th, Lipnitskaya 25th in Short Program

SOCHI — Defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim of South Korea will skate 17th in a field of 30 in the short program Wednesday at the Sochi Games.

Her main competition for the gold medal, Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia and Mao Asada of Japan, will go 25th and 30th, respectively.

U.S. champion Gracie Gold drew the 22nd slot Monday, while two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner will go 27th.

Unlike the old scoring system, there is no real advantage or disadvantage as to where a skater is drawn in the field.


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