SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Fast five, Monday edition: Things you’ll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.
KRAMER MAY SKIP SHORT RACE: Dutch speedskating star Sven Kramer says he’ll likely skip a 1,500-meter to focus on a 10,000-meter race he lost in embarrassing fashion four years ago when he moved into a wrong lane. Kramer, who already won the 5,000 during the opening weekend of the Olympics, says the shorter distance would “likely” be too much of a distraction during his preparation for the longer race on Feb. 18.
FILLING EMPTY SEATS: Organizers for the Sochi Games are using volunteers to fill the many empty seats at some of the less popular events. Spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina says some volunteers enrolled in a motivation program are offered tickets to see competition after hours. Events like figure skating have been packed, but others like biathlon have been half-empty. London organizers used volunteers and troops to help fill venues in 2012.
RUSSIA STORMS AHEAD: It took an extra day, but Russia is starting to get results in its home games. The host nation was the top medal mover on the second day of medal competitions, with four medals in eight contests. It had five more shots at medals on Monday.
NORWAY REPRIMANDED: The International Olympic Committee is reprimanding athletes for wearing items commemorating the dead. Spokesman Mark Adams says the IOC sent a letter to the Norwegian Olympic Committee after its women’s cross-country skiers wore black armbands on Saturday in honor of a teammate’s brother, who died on the eve of the Sochi Games. Adams says athletes should find “a better place” to express their grief.
SKI JUMP TRAINING CANCELED: Most of the contenders in the normal hill ski jumping competition took the day off Monday, skipping training session because the weather was too hot. Temperatures of up to 15 Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) and sunny skies softened the snow in the landing area at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center, forcing organizers to cancel the first jump and postpone the second of three jumps.