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In figure skating circles, defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim of Korea is simply known as "The Queen." During Wednesday's short program, she performed like royalty.

The 23-year-old Kim is a grizzled veteran in the world of ladies' figure skating, and while she came into the Sochi Games as one of the favorites, she has been relatively out of practice, essentially retiring after winning gold in Vancouver before coming back four years later as if she never missed a day.

Terry Gannon, calling the event for NBCSN with Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, asked, "How do you step away, then come back like Michael Jordan did, and not lose a step?"

It was incredible. To be away from competitive skating at this level like Kim has only made her short program that much more impressive. She was essentially flawless, scoring a 74.64 to set a mark none of the skaters to follow her were able to match.

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What time do the closing ceremonies begin?

The Olympics, at least in terms of Russia's longstanding dream of winning a gold medal in men's hockey, are over. Russia lost, 3-1, to Finland in the quarterfinals on home ice, thereby ending both any chance at Olympic glory and every hope of finishing the Sochi Olympics on a high note.

In a Winter Games full of small Russian disasters, this one is huge.

Some even think the men's hockey defeat is one of the biggest Olympic disasters in Russia's history. During the second intermission of Wednesday's quarterfinal, American commentator Jeremy Roenick said that a loss to Finland at this stage of the event would be "the biggest failure in Olympic history I think for Russia."

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I got into a fight with a Canadian today. Well, not a fight so much as a Twitter spat over the Stanley Cup being held hostage in the Canada house during the Sochi Olympics.

The Stanley Cup, for you hockey-illiterate Americans, is the giant silver trophy given annually to the NHL champion, something a Canadian team has not been since 1993.

Two decades have passed since a team from north of the border last won the Stanley Cup, yet someone thought it would be an inspiration to the Canadian contingent to bring the cup all the way over to Russia to remind people that hockey belongs to them.

There was much more of that kind of back and forth, with a few other Canucks getting into the mix as well. The primary retort to the Stanley Cup comment is that more Canadians have won the trophy than Americans, even though all of the Cup-winning teams play their home games in America. American teams win all the titles, but Canadian players make up the best talent on those teams.

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We've come to bury United States curling, not to praise it.

Truth be told, there isn't much to praise about the combined effort for the American men's and women's curling teams during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Of the 18 combined games played, the United States won just three.

The men's team, led by skip John Shuster for a second straight Olympics, won just two of their nine matches. The women's team, led by skip Erika Brown and vice skip Debbie McCormick, who led the 2010 squad in Vancouver, won just one match in Sochi, being outscored 77-40 in the tournament.

Shuster spoke with NBC's Trenni Kusnierek after the team's final game in Sochi and was asked if he is disappointed to return to the Winter Games and put up such a poor result.

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As most of the East Coast of the United States continues to dig itself out from another devastating winter storm that dumped ice, slush and, in some spots, more than a foot of snow on the ground, many of us have had little else to do* other than grab a blanket, stay warm and watch the Winter Olympics all day long.

(*Note: little else besides shoveling. There has been a lot of shoveling. If shoveling were an Olympic sport, I'm confident I could be a medalist at this point.)

The irony of watching these Winter Olympics during a snowstorm, however, is that there is no snow at the Winter Olympics. None. There is barely enough snow to even hold the events in the mountains. Seriously. From Liz Clarke of The Washington Post:

Snow guns. With all the problems in Sochi, the term "snow guns" seems to fit right in. Oh, and if Russia needs any more snow, some of us have a few thousand cubic meters we could send over. Though it will probably melt once it gets there.

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Out with the old, in with the new. That should be Team USA's motto for the 2014 Sochi Olympics after sweeping the men's ski slopestyle medals on Thursday.

American skiers Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nicholas Goepper brought home all three medals in the new Olympic event, the first American sweep of any event in these Winter Games and a clear message to the rest of the world that slopestyle is America's new favorite Olympic discipline.

Of the 12 skiers to compete in the men's slopestyle final, four were Americans, with 22-year-old Bobby Brown—ranked third in the world in slopestyle, according to Sochi2014.com—the only one failing to get on the medal stand. Brown's teammates would not be denied, however, combining to truly dominate a strong field on the challenging Sochi course.

Just four skiers recorded scores in the 90s on Thursday, with Norway's Andreas Haatveit finishing a close fourth after recording a 91.80 on his second run in the final. It was not enough to pass Goepper, however, as he put down a 92.40 on his first run, good enough to hold on to the silver position until Kenworthy put down a stellar run of 93.60 on his second attempt.

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There comes a time in every man's life when he looks in the mirror and sees something different. He sees someone different.

His face looks weathered and worn. His eyes look tired, maybe even sullen, definitely bruised. His hair looks shorter, more grown up. More professional.

When a man—any man, but in this case, let's call him Olympic champion Shaun White—looks in the mirror and sees how his face has changed over the years, it has to make him wonder if he can still be the same man he used to be.

Is it possible? Is it possible to be the same person you were a decade ago, with all the things in life you've experienced? With all the wisdom you've gained from getting older?

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Michael Sam is gay. He's known this for quite some time. He just didn't tell you.

Sam said in his many interviews released Sunday night with the New York Times, ESPN and Sports Illustrated that he wasn't keeping the fact he is gay a secret. He told SI's Jon Wertheim, "if I was walking down the street and someone asked me if I was gay, I would've told them I was gay." Not only did most of his friends and family know, but his entire Missouri team did.

So why would it be a distraction now that the rest of us know?

It didn't seem to be much of a distraction for his college team. You know the Missouri Tigers, right? The team that made it to the SEC title game, finishing the season 12-2, ranked fifth in the nation? Yeah, that team. Sam was their best defensive player.

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The caption to the photo on Julia Mancuso's U.S. ski team bio goes like this: "With eight major championships medals, Julia Mancuso is hands down the most dominant big race skier the U.S. Ski Team has ever experienced."

In her fourth Olympic Games, Mancuso used all that big-race experience to show just how dominant she still can be, winning bronze in the women's super combined. The medal is the fourth of her illustrious Olympic career, the most of any American woman in Alpine history at the Games. She adds the bronze to her gold and two silver medals, unparalleled success for an American rider—though perhaps still a bit bittersweet.

Mancuso set the tone during the downhill run of the combined event, completing the course in a blistering 1:42.68, nearly half a second ahead of the competition. Perhaps most importantly, Mancuso was more than a second ahead of German Maria Hoefl-Riesch, the reigning world champion and 2010 gold medalist in the super combined.

Hoefl-Riesch would not be denied another gold, however, dominating the medal contenders in the slalom run—besting Mancuso by more than a second and a half—to sneak across the line just 0.17 ahead of silver medalist Nicole Hosp of Austria.

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"What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." If there is a silver lining to the disappointing run for Bode Miller in the men's downhill final at the Sochi Olympics, it's that the Russian course didn't in fact kill him.

Something tells me a silver lining, especially one like that, does not feel as good as a gold medal might. Unfortunately for Miller, mistakes on the icy downhill trail pulled him far out of medal contention in the marquee Alpine event, finishing a disappointing eighth by race's end.

There is no silver lining in losing when you enter the final as the favorite.

Much like his Olympic career, Miller had a fascinatingly turbulent experience on the men's downhill this week. After training on Saturday, Miller looked like a clear favorite in the event, well out ahead of the field as he carved up the competition. He won two of the three training runs, setting a course record in his third time down the hill on Saturday.