Vladimir Putin can’t be happy about Russia being eliminated by Finland


Many considered Russia to be the favorite to take home the gold medal in men’s hockey with the Winter Olympics taking place in their home country, but Alexander Ovechkin and company were a shocking disappointment. Finland defeated Russia 3-1 in the elimination rounds and crushed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s dreams in the process.

While Russia only managed to score one goal with what was supposed to be a potent offense, head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is already taking the most heat for starting goalie Semyon Varlamov over Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky stopped all seven shots he faced after entering the game, including two spectacular saves late in the third period.

To make matters worse, Evgeni Malkin said after the game that he was the one who told Bilyaletdinov to pull Varlamov after he let in his third goal. Bobrovsky started for Russia against Norway and recorded a shutout to help his team advance to the quarterfinals. Varlamov had a shutout the game before against Slovakia, so both had been playing well.

Russia jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Tuesday before Varlamov let in a relatively soft goal:

As they often say in sports, hindsight is 20-20.

Photo via Twitter/Melanie Collins
GIF via @PeteBlackburn

US bobsledder Chuck Berkeley criticizes Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones bobsled

You know it would only be a matter of time before someone notable criticized USA Bobsled and Skeleton for choosing Lolo Jones as one of the three push athletes to represent the country at the Winter Games in Sochi. On Tuesday, it was bobsledder Chuck Berkeley who voiced his opinion.

Berkeley, who competed in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, criticized officials for choosing Jones over three other push athletes. Jones and pilot Jazmine Fenlator ended up 11th after the first half of competition Tuesday. Here’s what Berkeley said:

This trend seems to follow Jones whether she’s bobsledding or doing track and field. Remember during the Summer Games in London when her teammates were jealous of her popularity? Then last month some bobsledders who didn’t make the team complained that Jones made it because of her popularity.

I guess the only way Lolo will get rid of her critics is by medaling. She has her work cut out for her to achieve that.

Plus, I counted at least three times where their sled hit the rails. Last I checked, Lolo wasn’t steering the rig.

Skier Emil Hegle Svendsen almost cost himself gold medal by pulling a DeSean Jackson

Norwegian cross-country skier Emil Hegle Svendsen took home a gold medal in the 15km biathlon on Tuesday. The race required a photo finish that would not have been necessary if Svendsen waited another second to celebrate.

As he approached the finish line after a race that took longer than 42 minutes, Svendsen raised his arms in triumph. You can certainly understand being overwhelmed with joy after winning a nine-mile race, but the premature celebration nearly cost Svendsen the gold. France’s Martin Fourcase, who was hustling to the finish line, almost passed Svendsen at the last second.


As some of you may know, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson cost his team touchdowns twice by celebrating early. Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan did the same exact thing in the first game of the 2013 NFL season. Fortunately for Svendsen, he had just enough of a lead for it to not cost him. I’m sure he’ll realize how bad it could have been when he watches the replay.

GIF and screenshot via USA Today

Lindsey Vonn inspired by Bode Miller’s success

Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn is 29 and will be 33 when the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea roll around. Sadly, she was unable to compete in the Games at Sochi because of a knee injury, but despite her age, she has some faith heading into the 2018 Games thanks to Bode Miller.

Miller is 36 and became the oldest alpine skier to win an Olympics medal when he won bronze in the super-G.

“It gives me a little confidence going into Pyeongchang in four years. I’ll be 33. If Bode can do it, I can do it,” Vonn said during an appearance on “Today” per For The Win.

Skiing is no different from most sports in that most athletes are at their peak in their 20s. In order to win an Olympics medal, you have to be one of the top three in the world at that particular event. As athletes age, their bodies lose strength, recover slower from injuries, and their reaction times worsen. All of these issues contribute to most Olympians — especially ones in high-intensity sports like skiing — from being able to compete at the highest of levels as they get older. Not only that, but most skiers have blown out their knees so many times by the time they’re 30, competing is less realistic. If anything will prevent Vonn from competing in the next Olympics, my money would be on another knee injury because those are so common.

Former Canadian skier Brian Stemmle upset about Stanley Cup visiting Canadian Olympic House

Patrich Chan Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is awesome. It’s probably the coolest trophy in professional sports, and it has to be the only trophy that has security detail 24/7/365. Having a chance to be around the cup is rare, so of course any time there is a cup visit, there’s going to be excitement. Which is what happened on Monday.

The Stanley Cup, which appears to have been in Sochi for a few days, was in the Canada Olympic House, where many Canadian Olympians seized the opportunity to take pictures with it. But there was one grumpy guy who complained about the cup’s presence.

Here’s what former Canada skier and current TV analyst Brian Stemmle had to say:

If so many athletes had a problem with the Stanley Cup’s presence, they probably wouldn’t have been so excited about checking it out and taking pictures with it:

Lighten up, Stemmle. The Stanley Cup is awesome and can do whatever it wants whenever it wants.

H/T The Canadian Press

Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse takes a hot bath in a trash can


The Sochi Olympics have had plenty of problems when it comes to housing athletes, but you can’t really blame Olympic officials for not having bath tubs. Adults typically take showers. But when Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse needed a hot bath to relax her muscles over the weekend, she found a way to improvise.

“No bath tubs in the Mountain Village … So just chillin’ in a garbage bin doing a hot Epsom salt ‘bath’!” Moyse wrote on Twitter along with the photo you see above.

Please tell me that was an unused trash bin. A poll from the Toronto Sun revealed that 36% of people would do the same thing Moyse did, compared to 20% who wouldn’t. The other 44% said it would depend on how clean the trash can was.

Did the voters take stuff like Russian officials spying on showers and athletes getting stuck in bathrooms into consideration? That would probably skew the numbers a bit. Maybe Moyse is onto something.

H/T Fourth Place Medal

British skier Rowan Cheshire shares hospital photo after nasty fall


British Olympic skier Rowan Cheshire took a frightening spill during her training session for the women’s halfpipe over the weekend. The 18-year-old sustained a concussion and was briefly knocked unconscious after hitting her face and head off the hard-packed snow.

Cheshire spent Sunday night in the hospital and shared a photo of some of her battle scars on Twitter. It is unclear if she will be able to compete this week.

“After examination by Team GB medical personnel, it is confirmed that (Cheshire) has a concussion and, as a precaution, will stay at a local hospital overnight for further evaluation,” the British Olympic Association said in a statement, according to The Telegraph. “She will be evaluated further during the coming days before a determination is made about her fitness to compete.”

Cheshire appeared to be in slightly better spirits in a later photo with her teammates.

Here’s hoping she has a full and speedy recovery and still has an opportunity to compete for a medal.