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Today at the Olympics: A sweep for US freeskiers, US men's hockey begins play against Slovakia

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  February 13, 2014 08:02 AM

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Each day throughout the Winter Olympics, we'll bring you a daily rundown on what to expect and a look at key story lines in Sochi.

What to watch today, Thursday, Feb. 13

While you were sleeping (spoilers):

It was a historic moment for US freeskiing, as Americans Joss Christensen (gold), Gus Kenworthy (silver), and Nicholas Goepper (bronze) swept the podium in the men’s slopestyle event in Sochi on Thursday. It is only the third time the US has swept all three medals at the Winter Games.

Freeskiing, one of the fastest growing disciplines of the industry, is making its debut at the 2014 Games, and Thursday’s results will no doubt have an impact on its popularity.

You can catch the action as part of NBC’s prime time coverage Thursday night.

Elsewhere, Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk won the lake’s 10 K classic in cross-country (American Sadie Bjornsen finished 18th), and China’s Jianrou Li won the gold in the ladies’ 500 meter short track speedskating final.

Medal watch:

In women’s skeleton, American Noelle Pikus-Pace is in contention for a silver medal after two heats. The final two heats take place on Friday.

But of course, the biggest event of the day is the debut of the men’s US hockey team, taking on Zdeno Chara and Slovakia (7:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network) while the Russians face Slovenia (MSNBC). Earlier on Thursday, Germany beat Japan, 4-0, and Finland beat Austria, 8-4. Still to come, Canada will play Norway at noon (USA Network).

The team luge competition gets underway at 11:15 a.m. (It can be seen on NBC at 3 p.m.), with Americans Erin Hamlin, Pittsfield’s Christopher Mazdzer, Christian Niccum, and Jayson Terdiman in the mix. The men’s short program in figure skating also gets underway later Thursday morning (10 a.m., NBCSN).

In curling, the US continued to struggle, with the men losing to Great Britain, 5-3. The women will take on Japan at 10 a.m. (MSNBC). The Americans have so far won only one match in Sochi.

Tweets from the athletes:

Slopestyle gold medalist Joss Christensen:

Christensen’s skiing colleagues also reacted to the historic podium sweep:

Vermont’s Kelly Clark after winning bronze in the women’s halfpipe:

Halfpipe gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington:

US speed skater Shani Davis after coming up short in the men's 1,000 event.

Cranston, R.I.'s Marissa Castelli after she and partner Simon Shnapir finished ninth in pairs figure skating:

Photo of the day:

freestyle.jpg

Silver medal winner Gus Kenworthy, Gold medal winner Joss CHristensen, Bronze medal winner Nicholas Goepper, all of the USA, celebrate after the Men's Freestyle Skiing Slopestyle Final in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. EPA/FEHIM DEMIR

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