Once again, Team USA began the day with a gold medal, Russia finally got on the scoreboard in a big way, and there's now a logjam trailing a fair piece behind the Norwegians. Your top five at the end of Day 3:
Alpine Skiing: Bode Miller shredded the first two splits, leading the race by 0.31 seconds, but had a very tentative middle of the race, clipped a gate, and lost nearly a full second over the second minute. Miller finished 8th, and didn't even lead the American contingent; Travis Ganong finished 5th. Steven Nyman was 27th and Marco Sullivan finished 30th. The gold went to Austrian Matthias Mayer; Italy's Christof Innerhofer took silver and the bronze was won by Norway's Kjetil Jansrud.
Biathlon: Anastasiya Kuzima of Slovakia won the gold, followed by Russian Olga Vilukhina and Vita Semerenko from Ukraine. Susan Dunklee of the USA posted a respectable 14th-place finish; Sara Studebaker finished 44th, Annelies Cook 53rd, and Hannah Dreissigacker finished 65th -- and last.
Bobsled: Begins next Sunday.
Cross-Country: An absolutely thrilling finish saw Switzerland earn their first-ever cross-country gold via Dario Cologna's win. In a race an hour and eight minutes long, Cologna beat Swede Marcus Hellner by less than half a second. Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby took third a second later, nipping Russian Maxim Vylegzharin by a mere one-tenth of a second, preventing the Russians from winning what would have been at the time, their first medal of the games. The Russians filed a protest, which was denied, over the finish; they claimed that Sundby had interfered with Vylegzharin in the final 10 metres. Noah Hoffman, who finished 34th, was the best USA finisher; he was followed by Erik Bjornson in 42nd, Brian Gregg in 47th, and Kris Freeman in 54th.
Curling: Starts tomorrow.
Figure Skating: Evgeny Plyushcenko did what he does, taking first in the team men's free skate and all but sealing the gold for Russia. Canada kept its hopes alive with a second-place finish from Kevin Reynolds, and the USA clung to third even though Jason Brown finished behind Japan's Tatsuka Machida. In the team women's free skate, the Russians again came out on top behind Yulia Lipnitskaya. Gracie Gold grabbed second for the USA; Kaetlyn Osmond ended up fifth for Canada, but the standings were solidified anyway with Russia clinching the gold, Canada the silver, and a USA bronze. The ice dance was thus rendered essentially irrelevant, but the USA's Meryl Davis and Charlie White went ahead and won it anyway, topping Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and the Russian pair of Elena Illinykh and Nikita Katsalapov.
Freestyle Skiing: Off day.
Ice Hockey: In Group B action, Japan put up a heck of a fight, and had plenty of great chances to put the puck in the net, but just couldn't get it done in a 1-0 loss to Sweden. Olga Sosina scored twice in the third period to key a four-goal outburst which erased a 1-0 German lead and gave the Russians a 4-1 victory in Group B action.
Luge: Felix Loch of Germany earned the gold, the ancient Russian Albert Demtschenko grabbed the silver, and Italy's Armin Zoeggeler took bronze. The USA's Christopher Mazdzer finished a respectable 13th, followed by Tucker West and Adam Kelly in 22nd and 24th, respectively.
Nordic Combined: Begins Wednesday.
Short Track: Starts tomorrow.
Skeleton: Begins Thursday.
Ski Jumping: Hey, Poland's on the board! Kamil Stoch took the gold in the Men's Normal Hill, and it wasn't particularly close. Slovenia's Peter Prevc won the silver, and Norway's Ander Bardal grabbed the bronze. All three Americans were eliminated in the "first round", which every other sport would call a semifinal.
Snowboard: Americans Jessika Jenson and Ty Walker finished 5-6 in the Ladies' Slopestyle semifinals, failing to qualify for the final. After finishing second in the first run of the final, American Jamie Anderson scored a ridiculous 95.25 on her second run to secure the second USA GOLD of the games. Finland's Enni Rukajarvi won silver, and Great Britain found the podium courtesy of Jenny Jones and the bronze. Karly Shorr of the USA finished sixth.
Speed Skating: Irene Wust of the Netherlands captured the gold, very nearly breaking the four-minute barrier at 4:00.34. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic took silver, and the bronze went to Olga Graf -- Russia's first medal of the 2014 games. Jillianne Rookard finished 11th for the USA; Anna Ringsred came in 27th out of 28 skaters.
Here's today's schedule. ALL events are available live via streaming at NBCOlympics.com, so long as you're a customer of a participating cable, satellite or FIOS provider. All times Central.
DELAYED BROADCAST INFO: On your local NBC station, NBC Daytime airs from 2:00-4:00pm; NBC Primetime from 7:00-10:30pm, and replayed from midnight-3:30am; NBC Latenight from 11:00pm-midnight. Be aware that NBC proper IS NOT SHOWING ANY LIVE COVERAGE OF THESE OLYMPICS.
Alpine Skiing: The Women's Super Combined Downhill begins at 1am with the downhill; the slalom begins at 5am. The American contingent consists of Laurenne Ross, Julia Mancuso, Leanne Smith, and Stacey Cook. MEDAL EVENT. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Primetime.
Biathlon: At 9am, the Men's 12.5km Pursuit will begin. Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, and Leif Nordgren will compete for Team USA. MEDAL EVENT. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Daytime.
Cross-Country: no events today.
Curling: It's finally here! Ten teams are competing in both Men's and Women's Curling, and round-robin competition begins tonight. Each session will feature four matches (thus, two teams will have byes each round, and 60% of the teams will play two matches every other day). At 11pm, we've got men's session one, with Denmark vs China, Germany vs Canada, Switzerland vs Sweden, and Russia vs Great Britain; Norway and Team USA have byes. Women's session one starts at 4am, with China vs Canada, Switzerland vs Team USA (LIVE on USA), Russia vs Denmark, and Sweden vs Great Britain. Japan and Korea get to wait until tomorrow night to get started. At 9am, Sweden meets Great Britain (LIVE on NBCSN), Canada faces Switzerland, Denmark plays Russia, and finally Norway and Team USA get into the action. The men's Germany-Canada match airs, delayed, at 2am on NBCSN. A full encore of one match will air at 2pm on NBCSN; the USA-Norway men's game will air on tape delay at 4pm on CNBC.
Figure Skating: no events today.
Freestyle Skiing: The gentlemen take to the mogul hill with qualification runs starting at 8am and the finals beginning at noon. Patrick Deneen and Bradley Wilson compete for Team USA. MEDAL EVENT. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Primetime.
Ice Hockey: Women's preliminary round action shifts back to Group A as Team USA meets Switzerland at 4am LIVE on NBC Sports Network. Finland takes on Canada at 9am LIVE on MSNBC. Replay action on NBC Sports Network from 4:00-6:00.
Luge: The first two women's singles heats take place today. The first run starts at 8:45am, the second run at 10:30am. Americans Kate Hansen, Erin Hamlin, and Summer Britcher will be in the field. Partial LIVE coverage at 10:30 on NBCSN; delayed coverage on NBC Latenight.
Short Track: We finally begin action on the little oval with three events, one of which culmninates in a medal. The action starts with the heats for the Men's 1500m at 3:45; J.R. Celski, Eduardo Alvarez, and Chris Creveling compete for the Americans. The semifinals are at 5:04am, and the final is at 6:05. MEDAL EVENT. In between each phase of the Men's 1500m, two other events begin. At 4:27, we'll have the heats for the Ladies' 500m. Emily Scott, Alyson Dudek, and Jessica Smith are in the field for the USA. The semifinals of the Ladies' 3000m Relay start at 5:35; Team USA is conspicuously absent, having failed to qualify for the Olympics. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Primetime.
Ski Jumping: no events today.
Snowboard: no events today.
Speed Skating: At 7:00am, the Men's 500m begins; the 500m is a two-race event with both runs counting toward total time, and the second run will kick off at 8:55. Shani Davis leads the American entries, which also include Brian Hansen, Mitchell Whitmore, and Tucker Fredericks. MEDAL EVENT. LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 6:30am; partial delayed coverage on NBC Latenight.
IF YOU INTEND TO WATCH TAPE-DELAYED COVERAGE, DON'T LOOK AT THE COMMENTS AFTER 11pm. YOU HAVE BEEN DULY WARNED.