2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: Men's slopestyle skiing results
SOCHI, Russia (KABC) -- Team USA swept the podium in men's slopestyle skiing - adding three more medals Thursday in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Joss Christensen soared to gold in the sport's Olympic debut, posting a score of 95.80 to beat teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper. The gold was the fourth for Team USA in Sochi, all won on the slopes of the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
Christensen was by far the best - each of his four runs scored in the 90s. His first run in the finals won the gold, and his second would have been good enough to win silver.
The sweep is the third for the U.S. in Winter Olympic history, joining men's figure skating in 1956 and men's halfpipe snowboarding in 2002.
The three medals gave the U.S. five in the span of 15 hours, boosting Team USA's total medal count to 12.
Another big headline at the Sochi Olympics Thursday: one of figure skating's all-time greats said goodbye.
Evgeni Plushenko, the first figure skater in the modern era to win medals in four Olympics, retired from competitive figure skating shortly after withdrawing from the men's competition for medical reasons. The 31-year-old Russian said he injured himself during practice on Wednesday, then fell on a triple axel during warmups Thursday.
Before leaving the ice, he held up both hands to the crowd as if to say he was sorry, and took a small bow. When Plushenko limped out of the arena, the cheering stopped, eventually turning into mild applause.
A look at Thursday's events:
CROSS-COUNTRY: Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk, skiing with a fractured foot, won gold in the women's cross-country 10-kilometer classical race. Kowalczyk led virtually all the way, finishing in 28 minutes, 17.8 seconds and beating silver medalist Charlotte Kalla of Sweden by 18.4 seconds. Therese Johaug of Norway took bronze, 28.3 seconds behind.
FIGURE SKATING: Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu made figure skating history, becoming the first figure skater to break the 100-point mark with a spectacular performance in the men's short program. He earned 101.45 points with a playful, almost seductive routine in which he seemed to flow above the ice. The competition concludes Friday with the short program.
SHORT TRACK: Li Jianrou won gold in 500-meter short track speedskating after all three of her opponents in the final fell, keeping the Olympic title with China. Injured teammate Wang Meng couldn't defend the title she has won at every Winter Games since 2002. Arianna Fontana of Italy took the silver and Park Seung-hi of South Korea earned the bronze. Elise Christie of Britain caused the first crash of the wild final and was disqualified.
SPEEDSKATING: In the women's 1000-meter race, Zhang Hong pulled off a stunning victory to give China its first gold ever in Olympic speedskating. Her time of 1 minute, 14.02 seconds, broke the track record and just missed the Olympic mark set by Chris Witty at the 2002 Games. Ireen Wust took the silver and Margo Boer the bronze, giving the Dutch a dozen speedskating medals.
BIATHLON: Martin Fourcade of France earned his second gold of the Sochi Games with a victory in the men's 20-kilometer individual race. Fourcade, who won the 12.5K pursuit on Monday, finished 12.2 seconds ahead of silver medalist Erik Lesser of Germany. Yevgeny Garanichev of Russia won the bronze.
LUGE: Germany scored a golden sweep of all four luge events by winning the inaugural team relay. Felix Loch, Natalie Geisenberger and the doubles team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished their runs in 2 minutes, 45.649 seconds, beating Russia (Vladislav Antonov, Albert Demchenko, Alexander Denisyev and Tatyana Ivanova) for the title by 1.030 seconds. Latvia (Martins Rubenis, Andris Sics, Juris Sics and Eliza Tiruma) won the bronze.
ICE HOCKEY: The United States defeated Slovakia 7-1 and Russia topped Slovenia 5-2 in preliminary rounds of the men's ice hockey competition, setting the stage for the two powers to battle on Saturday. Also, Canada defeated Norway 3-1 and Finland beat Austria 8-4. In the women's tournament, Germany defeated Japan 4-0 and Russia beat Sweden 3-1.
FREESTYLE SKIING: For only the third time in Winter Games history, a U.S. team swept the podium. Joss Christensen took gold in his Olympic debut, posting a score of 95.80 on Thursday to beat teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper, taking silver and bronze, respectively.
CURLING: Gold medal favorites Canada, Sweden and Britain posted wins in the men's curling tournament, keeping the pressure on undefeated China, which had a bye Thursday. In the women's competition, Canada swept away its fifth straight opponent, while Sweden knocked Switzerland from the ranks of the undefeated. Britain revived its chances of making the semifinals with a win over China.
SKELETON: Lizzy Yarnold of Britain and Noelle Pinkus-Pace grabbed the top two spots midway through the women's skeleton competition. The final two runs for the gold are Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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