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5 things to know about the Sochi Olympics

U.S. Speedskating Under Pressure

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Fast Five, Friday edition: Five things you'll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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PLUSHENKO TAKING HEAT: Russian figure skating star Evgeni Plushenko is taking criticism in his home 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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trishv53 February 14 2014 at 9:41 AM

I love watching the olympics, but NBC really sucks at providing coverage. Way too many commercials and they bounce from event to event instead of finishing one and going to the next. I am fortunate to live in a state that has coverage from CBC (Canada). Hardly any commercials and they show the events in the entirety.

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2 replies
olma7 trishv53 February 14 2014 at 9:52 AM

so true. alpine skiing totally left out. that station sucks

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rureallyserious4 trishv53 February 14 2014 at 9:58 AM

i totally agree. canadian station goes all day with hardly any commercials.

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captgma February 14 2014 at 9:47 AM

Traveling outside the US and unable to watch the Olympics, sad me. The athleats from all over the world are amaizing. Good luck to all of them and Go USA

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juney February 14 2014 at 8:39 AM

Plushenko is 31 which is ANCIENT in figure skating! He's had two spinal surgeries. Stating that he's taking criticism from his home country is simply journalistic license run amok. He's done more than make his country proud over the last 20 years of his life.

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1 reply
leontherat juney February 14 2014 at 9:30 AM

i agree with you. he led their team to victory when he was needed but could have only skated for individual and saved himself, but he did not. i also have a bad back and when i saw him land wrong i just cringed and felt his pain. it truly is like a knife going in your spine and very painful. he was already russian superstar and always will be . it just gives another russian skater a chance.

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douglaswhess February 14 2014 at 9:26 AM

I love watching the games but the commercial breaks are too frequent. Sometimes they go to a commercial after 4 or 5 minutes. Almost as bad as pro football. I record everything these days and zoom through the comercials.

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olma7 February 14 2014 at 9:50 AM

very bad coverage, I look elsewhere for coverage, like on my PC and local paper

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lattebreakjones February 14 2014 at 9:37 AM

Evgeni Plushenko you are a brilliant ice skater/athlete. It has been a pleasure to watch you skate over these years...and I wouldn't have missed you again just a couple of days ago,...beautiful program. I believe the world knows how talented you are! Good for you for stepping down now, in pain, take care of yourself, your health...all those triples and quads I am sure aren't good for the back. Just know, YOU are a GREAT skater and your name will not be forgotten.

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pftaylor February 14 2014 at 9:37 AM

After watching the figure skating couples the other night I now believe there is still bad judging going on.

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cgssnavickas February 14 2014 at 9:50 AM

Evgeni Plushenko cares more about his health and body over trying to win a gold coin dangling from a thick ribbon and the Russians are all up in arms about it? What audacity Plushenko has being concerned about how down the road he may end up crippled skating with a back injury! I guess you're only popular when you compete and earn a medal.

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2 replies
moudsie cgssnavickas February 14 2014 at 9:58 AM

He sure made the right decision--you could see he was in terrible pain -- and he already won one more medal--better get out now and be able to still walk!

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donnovak cgssnavickas February 14 2014 at 10:02 AM

let see you skate instead obf bi he has been a pro for years let him live,

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myrtlebeachsobol February 14 2014 at 8:23 AM

Ditto!!!!!!!!!!

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ohioamerican February 14 2014 at 9:19 AM

Shouldn't the U.S. have practiced with these suits before using them in the games? I mean excuses are weak.

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