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Scenes from around the Olympics

Chobani's quest to get its Greek yogurt to the Olympics is coming to an end. The company said Wednesday that it plans to donate a shipment of about 5,000 cups of yogurt it had hoped to send to U.S. athletes at the Games to food banks in New York and New Jersey. The shipment has been held up in a refrigerated warehouse at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport after Russian authorities said the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to provide a necessary certificate under its customs rules. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a big booster of the state's Greek yogurt industry, had said export trade rules shouldn't apply because the yogurt was only for U.S. athletes and wouldn't have been for sale. But Russia still wouldn't allow the shipment.

That's a Florida winter

Forget the parkas and stocking hats. Sunscreen and shades are the must-have items at the so-called Winter Games.

The temperature soared to 63 degrees Wednesday in Sochi, prompting Olympic visitors to hit the nearby beach for some sunbathing and even a dip in the Black Sea.

"I think it should always be like this," said Yuri Valyeyev, a resident of Bryansk, between Sochi and Moscow, who came to Sochi to work construction during the Olympics. "We are glad that it is held in Russia. Being a Russian I am very glad because everywhere in Russia is cold and here is warm."

And the heat just keeps on coming.

Forecasts call for highs of 63 today and Friday, and 61 Saturday before a gradual cool-down to the low 50s Sunday. But the warm weather is making life difficult for the skiers and snowboarders on the mountain in Krasnaya Polyana.

Officials have been using salt to firm up the soft, slushy snow on several of the courses, and the technique's effectiveness on the snowboard halfpipe Tuesday night for the men has created a minor feeding frenzy on the mountain's salt reserves.

"All other disciplines now want to have this salt because they see what is doable in the halfpipe,'' said Guenter Hujara, men's Alpine race referee.

Quote of the day

"The original story of the YOLO trick was that I was trying to impress a girl. Another funny thing is that she asked me why didn't I call the trick after her. I mean … what do you have to do to impress a girl? If she was Kate Moss I would have named it after her."

Iouri Podladtchikov, men's snowboard halfpipe gold medalist, talking about the trick he invented that helped him win and his obsession with supermodel Kate Moss

It's what you need

While the NBC universe continues to draw healthy ratings for its Olympic coverage despite the usual griping about it not showing more live events and U.S. stars not living up to expectations, enthusiasm is not as strong in at least one other country. In Australia, live TV coverage of one of its big stars, snowboarder Torah Bright in slopestyle, was beaten Sunday night by the first part of a miniseries about 1980s megaband INXS and a movie about an Australian jailed in Bali in a sensational drug smuggling case.

Brother, can you spare a medal?

The gold-medal tie between Slovenia's Tina Maze and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin in Alpine skiing's women's downhill raised the question: Are duplicate medals just sitting around waiting for moments like this? Yes, they are. Every Olympic organizing committee arranges for extra medals. There are 46 for Sochi. All the medals, made by Russian jewelry company Adamas, come with an inscription of the event discipline, but the extras are blank. For a tie, a blank medal must be modified according to the design for that discipline. To get the extra gold medal ready for today's downhill ceremony, Adamas had to spend at least 15 hours stripping the extra from its protective coating, engraving it, washing it in an ultrasonic bath and coating the medal with varnish, company spokeswoman Evgeniya Sazonova told the Wall Street Journal.

Compiled from Times wires, the Wall Street Journal, Infostrada Sports, olympstats.com.

Scenes from around the Olympics 02/12/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:04pm]
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