Scenes from the Olympics

Number

of the day

3 Members of the U.S. Olympic team with the last name Gold: figure skater Gracie Gold and snowboarders Taylor Gold and Arielle Gold. No athlete with that last name from any country has won an Olympic gold medal.

Tweet of the day

"Russian goalie problems began a few months ago when the perennial starter Alexandrova got a lower-body injury. Can I call pregnancy that?"

Slava Malamud, writer for the Russian newspaper Sport-Express, about Nadezha Alexandrova (right), who was named the top goalie at the 2013 world hockey champion­ships but withdrew from the Russian team just before the start of the Olympics because she is pregnant

Celebrity connection of the day

Italian speed skater Francesca Lollobrigida, 23, who finished 23rd in the 3,000 meters Sunday, is the great-niece of former film star and sex symbol Gina Lollobrigida.

'Top Chef' meets 'Iron Chef' meets 'Kitchen Nightmares'

The opening ceremony was a few days away, but Allen Tran, the chef for the U.S. Alpine, snowboarding and Nordic skiing teams, was dashing through the streets in full competition mode.

"We were in a battle with the Koreans, who bought out all the rice noodles in Sochi," Tran said. "They spent $35,000 in groceries. But luckily we knew about an alternative market, so we responded. We got our game on, too. It's an international competition not just for the slopes but for groceries."

Tran procured the rice noodles, as well as chicken, flour, sugar, salmon and Asian fish sauce he needed for the 100 athletes and staff members he is feeding at the U.S. team's hotel in the mountains outside Sochi. For a chef trying to make three familiar, popular and nutritious meals a day in an unfamiliar, remote place with an exotic food culture, it was another food disaster avoided. For the athletes, eating recognizable foods with a taste of home will keep them not only well-fed for competition but also less susceptible to illness or gastric difficulties.

"We can't let four years of hard work go to waste because of a bad cold or food poisoning," said Tran, 28, who is a registered dietitian and a former professional chef and has a master's degree in exercise science.

Making sequins feel inferior

Johnny Weir had the best bling in the figure skating venue Sunday. And he wasn't even on the ice. The three-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian-turned-NBC analyst accessorized his white jacket and T-shirt with a bold pearl necklace you couldn't take your eyes off of every time he and broadcast partner Tara Lipinski were on camera during the finale of the team event. In a Twitter post, Weir said the necklace was by high-end jewelry designer Erickson Beamon. Erickson Beamon then took the opportunity to say on Twitter that the necklace is available for special order by calling (646) 619-6857. (It didn't give a price, but if you have to ask …). Weir also played a role in the other major fashion moment of the broadcast. He pointed out that the Russian dance team had a point deducted from its free skate score because a feather from the woman's costume fluttered to the ice during the routine.

Information from the Associated Press, the New York Times, olympicstats.com and sports.yahoo.com was used in this report.

Scenes from the Olympics 02/09/14 [Last modified: Sunday, February 9, 2014 11:04pm]

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