SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Fast Five, Friday edition: Five things you’ll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.
PLUSHENKO TAKING HEAT: Russian figure skating star Evgeni Plushenko is taking criticism in his hope country for dropping out of the men’s figure skating competition with injury after complaining of severe spinal pain during warmups before the short program. He was the only male Russian figure skater in a competition that awards its medals Friday night.
TICKET MILESTONE: Organizers say they have now sold more than 1 million tickets for the Sochi Games. They have also had more than 500,000 visitors to Olympic Park, including a Sochi record 106,000 on Thursday when the Russian men’s hockey team debuted.
SPEEDSKATING SUITS: The U.S. speedskating team is looking into concerns that its new high-tech skinsuit may be partly to blame for a miserable performance in the first week of the Sochi Olympics. After a strong season on the World Cup circuit, no U.S. skater has finished higher than seventh through six of 12 Olympic events. Some wonder if the Under Armour suit is actually a drag on performance.
INJURED WORKER: Olympic organizers say a Russian ice worker struck by a speeding bobsled was conscious and in stable condition Friday after undergoing surgery on two broken legs. IOC and Sochi officials say they are still investigating why the worker was on the track and didn’t hear the warning signals about the sled approaching. The sled — sent down the track to make sure conditions were suitable for two-man training — crashed into the worker Thursday near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center.
MEDAL MOVERS: China won its first two golds of the Sochi Games on Thursday, joining the United States as the biggest medal movers on the sixth day of title competition. Germany led the medal count after 38 events with 10 total medals — seven golds. Six title competitions were set for Friday.