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Fourth-Place Medal
  • We hear every day the incredible stories that athletes bring to the Olympics — of their journeys, and transformations. But what about the medals these athletes work so hard to win? Ever wonder how they get to the final podium? 

    The Olympics YouTube channel put together this wonderful 89-second video documenting the journey of an Olympic medal — from the warehouse where it's handcrafted to the medal podium at the Sochi Games, where it immortalizes a champion.

    Sadly, for Sage Kotsenburg and others like him, there is no bacon in the aforementioned medal warehouse. But it's still a beautiful video.

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    Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

    Read More »from From the lathe to the podium — the journey of Olympic medals (Video)
  • Barack Obama and Stephen Harper bet a case of beer on the CAN-USA game Thursday.

    The United States and Canada are on the proverbial collision course on the hockey rink in both the men's and women's divisions. And since the world would probably look unfavorably on the U.S. invading Canada, the leaders of both nations have resorted to a more sporting form of settling disputes: a gentleman's wager.

    President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Steven Harper have bet a case of beer on each game. "For a very brief period of time, I may not feel as warm towards Canadians as I normally do, at least until those matches are over," Obama told Harper while both were at a leaders' meeting in Mexico on Thursday.

    The leaders announced the bet on Twitter:

    Read More »from Obama bets cases of beer with Canada's Prime Minister over hockey games
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) Lauren Gray, Claire Hamilton, Vicki Adams, Anna Sloan and Eve Muirhead of Great Britain celebrate during the flower ceremony for the Gold medal match between Sweden and Canada on day 13 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Ice Cube Curling Center on February 20, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

    It only took 90 years for Great Britain to equal its medal winnings from the first Winter Olympics back in 1924. After securing a bronze medal Thursday in women's curling and with a medal guaranteed in Friday's men's curling final, Great Britain will leave the Sochi Games with at least four medals. 

    That doesn't sound like much, but for Great Britain, it's historic. The Brits are pretty good at Summer Olympic sports — they're third all-time in total medals. But in winter events they've been futile. For comparison: Norway has won 10 gold medals in Sochi. Great Britain has won 10 gold medals EVER. 

    In fact, Lizzy Yarnold's gold in the skeleton this year was Britain's tenth. In addition to the two curling medals, Jenny Jones' bronze in snowboarding slopestyle gives Britain its four medals. How excited are British sports officials? Consider this from the BBC:

    Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, said: "For them it is due reward for the years of training and preparation they have put
    Read More »from Great Britain will win its most Winter Olympic medals since 1924
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 16: David Backes #42 of the United States celebrates after scoring a goal with Ryan Callahan #24 against Slovenia in the third period during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day nine of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

    SOCHI, Russia – The line of David Backes, Dustin Brown and Ryan Callahan specialize in giving opposing teams headaches in their own zone. It’s their moniker that gives their coach one.

    “They got their own nickname, but, um …” said Team USA coach Dan Bylsma.

    Can you tell us the nickname? “I won’t,” he said, with a twinge of embarrassment.

    Too late. Backes already revealed after Team USA’s win over the Czechs that his line is called … The Meat Line.

    [Related: Americans on a mission to erase 2010 memory]

    “I’m the beef. Dustin Brown’s the pork. Callahan’s the chicken. So that’s our meat line,” said Backes.

    Where did this carnivorous label originate?

    “Truth be told, Derek Stepan had a lot of input on that. He’s been a guy who only got into one game, but he’s added a lot of character in the room,” said Backes of Stepan, the New York Rangers center.

    Stepan decided the trio, easily the Americans’ most physical group, would be known as the Meat Line, and began assigning each player a protein.

    Read More »from Meet the Meat Line, sizzling for Team USA in medal round
  • Could we see a WNHL any time soon? Gary Bettman doesn't think so

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: Kendall Coyne #26 of the United States goes for a loose puck against Charline Labonte #32 of Canada in the first period during the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

    With women from the United States and Canada occupying Thursday's gold medal spotlight, it seems natural to ask the question: Might we ever see a women's pro hockey league in North America?

    International competition, after all, has proved a natural springboard for larger endeavors. The WNBA used the 1996 Olympics as a pseudo-launching pad while the late Women's United Soccer Association was a product of the intense popularity the 1999 U.S. World Cup team achieved. 

    The creation of a "WNHL," however, remains a non-starter with Gary Bettman, who had plans to attend Canada's 3-2 overtime win over the the United States on Thursday. The NHL commissioner has been asked about the possibility of pro women's hockey a few times this past week and his responses haven't left much room for optimism.

    In short: While women's hockey in North America has been a  relative success at the Olympic and collegiate levels, it doesn't yet have the sheer numbers of younger players that soccer and basketball

    Read More »from Could we see a WNHL any time soon? Gary Bettman doesn't think so
  • Feb 20, 2014; Krasnaya Polyana, RUSSIA; French competitors Jean Frederic Chapuis (green) and Arnaud Bovolenta (blue) and Jonathan Midol (yellow) react after the big final for men's ski cross during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. (Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports)

    Four groups of Dutch speedskaters provided the brawn while American and French skiers provided the boost into the history books. Now the Sochi Games stand alone as the Winter Games that boast the most podium sweeps in Olympic history.  

    Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol's French sweep of the men's ski cross podium on Thursday was the sixth in Sochi, surpassing the 1964 Innsbruck Games, which had five.  

    [Related: Three-way crash in men's skicross might be best finish in Sochi]

    The Frenchmen joined the Orange Crush at the speedskating oval (the Dutch took all three medals in four different events — the men's 10K, 5K and 500 as well as the women's 1500) and a trio of American skiers that took gold, silver and bronze in the men's ski slopestyle event. 

    Thursday's French sweep was the first in Winter Games history for that nation. 

    A few more podium sweep facts, thanks to Olympstats.com:

    • There have been 45 sweeps at the Winter Games. In comparison, there have

    Read More »from French skicross team takes sixth podium sweep in Sochi, a new Winter Olympics record
  • Women's figure skating free skate. (Getty Images)

    Will Yuna Kim continue her reign as the queen of figure skating?

    The reigning Olympic champion heads into Thursday's free skate with the slightest of leads, ahead of a young Russian upstart and another veteran. Three American skaters are in the medal mix, as well.

    Many expected Russian sensation Julia Lipnitskaia to vie for gold, but her teammate Adelina Sotnikova was the biggest surprise in the short program, placing second. Italy's Carolina Kostner finally skated up to her potential and is in third. Less than a point separate the top 3, meaning the gold is up for grabs.

    [Photos: Ladies short program]

    Speaking of gold, U.S. champion Gracie Gold is in fourth, while her teammates Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds sit in sixth and seventh, respectively. They have an outside chance for a medal; don't forget Denis Ten moved up from 9th to claim the bronze in the men's event.

    Don't count of Lipnitskaia, who already won gold in the team event. She's in fifth. And Japanese veterans Mao Asada

    Read More »from Ladies figure skating: Kim, Sotnikova, Kostner vie for gold
  • SOCHI, Russia – What is the reaction in Russia to the elimination of the host nation from the Sochi Olympic hockey tournament?

    The reaction is that there is no reaction.

    The fans are quiet, outside of their reaction at the end of the loss to Finland on Wednesday. As the Russian team was gathered in the center circle of Bolshoy Ice Dome by their captain Pavel Datsyuk for a tribute to their supporters, all the team could hear was loud whistling – the European version of booing. It was the only way the 12,000 representatives of their nation could send their message.

    [Watch: Alex Ovechkin reacts to Russia's quarter-final loss to Finland]

    As they were walking away from the Bolshoy their flags were not flying high, but were dragged along a wet pavement. Their eyes were red and their faces were pale. They were too shocked to comprehend what happened to them, too stunned to even express their emotion. When the Russians lost to the United States there was anger, there was passion, there was

    Read More »from Russian reaction to hockey elimination? Stunned silence, shaken pride
  • Three-way crash in men's skicross might be best finish at Sochi Games

    Click the image for more crashes and wipeouts at the Sochi Games. (Getty Images)

    The quarterfinals of the men’s skicross led to a photo finish that you likely won't see again at the Sochi Games.

    With four skiers barreling toward the end of the race Thursday, Russia’s Egor Korotkov, Sweden’s Victor Norberg and Finland’s Jouni Pellinen all went down after the final jump, allowing Switzerland’s Armin Niederer to easily take the win. But Niederer’s win takes a back seat to how the other three competitors finished. Korotkov, who had the lead before crashing, ended up being the first of the three to slide across the finish line – courtesy of his flailing arm.

    [Related: France gets record-setting sweep in ski cross]

    Words do not even do justice to how close it was, so check out the series of photos that people are going nuts over on Twitter:

    Read More »from Three-way crash in men's skicross might be best finish at Sochi Games
  • SOCHI, Russia – Amanda Kessel relished the opportunity her American women’s ice hockey team has earned at the Sochi Games. On Thursday night, they’ll play for Olympic gold; but they’ll also get another chance to finally vanquish their rivals to the north.

    “I have a little sour taste in my mouth here,” said Kessel about Team Canada. “I’d like another crack at them.”

    [Follow live: USA vs. Canada for Olympic gold medal, 12 noon, ET]

    Their second meeting of the tournament – Canada won in preliminaries, 3-2 – was inevitable; despite the women’s tournament being more competitive than in previous Olympics, these are the titans of their sport. Canada has won 19 consecutive Olympic contests, collecting three straight gold medals – including wins over the U.S. in Salt Lake City and Vancouver.

    It’s the greatest rivalry in international hockey, no matter the gender of the participants. The competition is fierce. The animosity real, manifesting in line brawls between the teams that gain thousands

    Read More »from USA vs. Canada women’s gold medal showdown: Revenge, perseverance fuel rivals

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