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When Two People Win Gold, Where Do They Get the Extra Medal? Tie Between Slovenia's Tina Maze and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin in Skiing Begs the Question: Where Does the Extra Medal Come From?


SOCHI, Russia—When Slovenia's Tina Maze and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin each posted the fastest time in the women's downhill on Wednesday, they became the first alpine skiers in history to tie for Olympic gold.

Shortly after their results were finalized, they took part in a small victory ceremony at Krasnaya Polyana, a precursor to the official medal ceremony which will take place later in Sochi's Olympic Park. The two skiers briefly stood atop the podium, with bronze medalist Laura Gut of Switzerland to their left and no one occupying the silver post:

Which brings up a couple of questions: Does Sochi have an extra gold medal lying around? And, hey, what happens to that silver?

Turns out, the Olympic organizing committee makes advance arrangements for extra medals—at Sochi, there are 46, to be exact.

Organizers of the Sochi games signed an agreement with Russian jewelry company Adamas in March of last year to produce the medals for these games, including an allocation of extra medals in the event of a tie, according to Adamas spokeswoman Evgeniya Sazonova.

Though Wednesday's result was the first alpine double gold, co-champions have been named in other sports including luge, bobsled, and speedskating, according to the IOC.

Making the Sochi medals is a detailed, elaborate process, so extras aren't easy to whip up on a moment's notice. The prizes feature a transparent polycarbonate insert that is laser-engraved with the intricate logo pattern of these games, and the entire production involves 25 stages, taking more than 18 hours. The medals are smelted, cast, cut, drilled, etched and polished in Moscow, roughly 1,000 miles away from Sochi.

Even though medal producers plan to make extras, they're not immediately ready for presentation. All Sochi medals come with an inscription of the event discipline, but the 46 extras are left blank, Sazonova said. In the event of a tie, as there was today, one of the blank medals must be modified according to the design for that discipline.

To account for this, Adamas established a remote production complex somewhere in Sochi, the location of which remains a secret for security reasons.

To get the extra gold medal ready for the ceremony, Adamas will have to spend at least 15 hours stripping the backup prize from its protective coating, engraving it, washing it in an ultrasonic bath and coating the medal with varnish before it can be presented.

Following their discussion with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Adamas issued a statement pledging to have the gold ready for the downhill victors within 24 hours. The company reiterated it would take at least 15 hours to prepare.

So what about all the extras left after the games, like the silver no one will claim for women's downhill? Sazonova said they're all turned over to the IOC.

Rachel Rominger, a spokeswoman for the IOC, said that after the Games, the committee will take all of the surplus medals and their molds, and they will be kept in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.


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^what happens to the surplus medals? - get distributed to various museums, not just the IOC. I know the Vancouver Museum has a full set. Wouldn't be surprised if the BC Sports Hall of Fame has a set. And I think The Canadian Sports Hall of Fame here in Calgary and Canada Olympic Park also probably has sets of both Vancouver 2010 an Calgary '88 medals.

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Jacky Chamoun topless photo provides Sochi sideshow

In one of the odder sideshows of the Sochi Olympics, two skiers from Mexico and Lebanon are embroiled in a controversy over topless photos that one took of the other.

Lebanon's Jacky Chamoun apologized on Tuesday after racy pictures and a video from an old photoshoot surfaced on the internet, causing a stir in her Arab nation.

She said they were taken during a shoot for an Austrian ski calendar three years ago. The newly surfaced images, more revealing than those in the calendar, had not been meant to see the light of day.

Step forward Hubertus von Hohenlohe — aristocrat, photographer, businessman, pop singer and skier — who at the age of 55 is competing in his sixth Olympic Games and will represent Mexico in the slalom.

Von Hohenlohe, who descends from German nobility, was born in Mexico and has both Mexican and Liechtenstein passports, confirmed on Wednesday he had taken the pictures of Chamoun. But he said he had not made the video, and he had no idea how the latest material had found its way on to the internet.

In any case, the images were "not that heavy", he said. "They're very elegant and serene," he told Reuters, adding that he had spoken to Chamoun on Tuesday.

While she may regret having posed, he said, "she can't be upset with me — I didn't put anything anywhere" on the web.

Chamoun, a slalom specialist who lives in Switzerland and took part in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, said on Facebook: "I want to apologize to all of you, I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture. I fully understand if you want to criticize this."

In a show of support for the skier, her post had by Wednesday afternoon attracted well over 12,000 'likes.'

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Journalists report that Italian transgender activist and former MP Vladimir Luxuria arrested in Sochi for unveiling rainbow flag.

Can only find that news in Italian so far.

Also, I see Mitt Romney's winning friends again:

Mitt Romney criticises Putin for 'unsavoury' Sochi Olympics

Mitt Romney has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for spending billions on the Sochi Winter Olympics, as part of an “unsavoury” vanity project.

However Romney, who made his name turning around the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 before running unsuccessfully for president as a Republican in 2008 and 2012, risks being accused of hypocrisy. Several officials who worked alongside Romney in Salt Lake City have gone on record accusing him of using the Games for his own political gain.

Romney famously approved a series of Olympic pins bearing his own face, including one in which he was surrounded by official Games mascots beneath the slogan: “Hey Mitt, We Love You!”

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Romney complained that public funds for Olympics were being used “cynically, to show off the politicians in a country”, and said the International Olympic Committee should cap the amount spent on the Games.

“You don’t need to spend $50bn as Russia has or as China did [for the 2008 summer Games], to put on Olympic sport. Olympic sport can be demonstrated at $2-3bn, and all that extra money could be used to do some very important things in terms of fighting poverty and fighting disease around the world.”

He added: “To take money from some people so that politicians can be puffed up and can be shown around the world is, I think, something that is very distasteful at a time when there is so much poverty and so much need.”

Pressed on whether he was referring to Putin, who might think the enormous cost of the Olympics was “worth it” because of the personal attention the Games would bring, he replied: “I think there is no questions that politicians who take this money and spend $50bn to host the world for TV appearances, they think it is worth it – or they wouldn’t spend it.”

He added: “It is a very unsavoury thing and I think the International Olympic Committee is going to have to take action to limit how much is spent on Olympic Games.”

A former businessman who ran a successful Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign on the back of his Winter Olympics success, Romney made a similar argument earlier this week in a USA Today op-ed article.

“I personally attest that the Olympics is the experience of a lifetime for everyone who touches it,” he wrote. “To guarantee that the athletes remain the focus of the Games, and that the Olympics endures for generations to come, it is time to limit the excess.”

There has been growing speculation in recent weeks that Romney could mount a third bid for the White House, having failed to secure the Republican nomination in 2008 before losing to President Barack Obama in 2012. On NBC, he repeated earlier denials that he would would consider another campaign.

“I’m not Ronald Reagan,” he said, referring to a Republican president who reached the White House on his third attempt.

Romney is widely credited with helping turn around the Salt Lake City Games, which cost just $3bn. He was particularly adept at procuring private-sector backing.

However, critics also said he used the Games as a political launchpad, and did not hesitate to exploit the exposure and recognition he got from being parachuted in as chief executive and president of Salt Lake City’s organising committee.

“What turned me sour was his demand to get all the credit and ignore everybody who put in thousands and thousands of hours before he arrived,” Sydney Fonnesbeck, a former Salt Lake City councillor, told the Boston Globe in 2007.

Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, authors of The Real Romney, said Romney was the first Olympics executive in history to approve memorabilia pins emblazoned with their own image. One pin depicted Romney pulling at a sled filled with Powder, Copper and Coal, the cartoon characters which were the official mascots for the Salt Lake City Games, with the caption “100 Days To Go”.

A second showed the same cartoon mascots – a hare, coyote and bear – holding hearts, in an expression of Valentine’s Day devotion to Romney. A third simply depicts a chiselled Romney draped in an American flag and wearing a Salt Lake City Olympics necktie. Critics have remarked on Romney’s resemblance to Superman on the pins.

“There have been plenty of big-headed CEOs for Olympic Games, but none has ever had his or her likeness on a pin,” Ed Hula, a veteran pin collector and editor of aroundtherings.com, told NPR radio in 2012.

During the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Games, televised to millions around the world, Romney was constantly at the side of President George W Bush, sharing the limelight.

“He tried very hard to build an image of himself as a saviour, the great white hope,” Ken Bullock, who served on Salt Lake’s organising committee and often clashed with Romney, told the Globe. “He was very good at characterising and castigating people and putting himself on a pedestal.”


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Firstly, BBC journos picking up the story from Italian media now, or at least tweeting that Italian media are reporting it. Seems to be more than just twitter rumour.

Secondly, and far more importantly, Mitt Romney had pins made of himsef as chief of SLC2002?! Surely not?!

{runs to Google images}




Bugger me, it's true.... :lol::ph34r::blink:

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Wasn't sure where else to put this:

Olympic Games exist in an unrealistic ‘bubble’: Waterloo snowboarder Lambert says athletes have a responsibility to be aware of issues beyond sports

SOCHI, RUSSIA — Slalom snowboarder Michael Lambert isn't afraid to charge down a mountain at dangerous speeds. And he's not afraid to speak his mind either.

Even, if those opinions don't mesh with the utopian vision of the world that the Olympics can embrace.

The Waterloo resident sat on a panel with other Canadian snowboarders for a news conference at the Gorki Media Center in the mountain cluster at the Sochi Games Saturday.

Before leaving, the 27-year-old quipped: "Really? No controversial questions?"

Later, when asked to elaborate, the Toronto native opened up.

"I am all for the purest form of sport in which all other distractions are shed with no consideration given to anything but your own process," he explained to the Olympic News Service.

"At the same time, to act like there aren't a lot of other very controversial things at play here, it's ignorant.

"It's not real, it's not a reality. It's not my reality."

Lambert, who is competing in his second Olympics, added that athletes have a responsibility to be aware of all aspects of the Games — even the negative side. Issues such as Russia's anti-gay laws, alleged abuses of migrant workers, the treatment of locals and environmental impact of the Games haven't received much publicity.

"I'm a person just as anyone else reading a newspaper," he said. "Just because I am a part of it (the Games) doesn't mean I ignore it.

"It's relaxed here because someone very powerful has told everyone to stay relaxed. There is no danger of an attack because extremely powerful people have decided that they don't want an attack.

"These things are real and they still exist. We just don't see them because we are inside the bubble. Which is the goal — and that's fair.

"We are here to compete and they want to keep us completely detached from all of that. But that stuff is still real. That controversy is still real."

Lambert says we need to look to Sweden, Denmark and Norway as examples on how to run the Olympics.

"The only people on earth who are probably going to hold perfect Games are people from Scandinavia," he said.

"They are going to be green, sustainable, be under budget and all of the buildings and services are going to be used afterwards.

"A perfect Games isn't someone who blows the budget through the roof for no reason, has people suffer, shuts people up.

"How is that a perfect Games? Spend ungodly amounts of money and then we are all going to watch it rot over the next 10 years."

The cost of the Sochi Olympics is estimated at $51 billion, the most expensive Winter Games ever.

Lambert hits the hill Wednesday for the parallel giant slalom snowboard race and Saturday for the slalom event.

The Record

Firstly, BBC journos picking up the story from Italian media now, or at least tweeting that Italian media are reporting it. Seems to be more than just twitter rumour.

Ah, here we go:

Italian media: transgender ex-government official arrested in Sochi

SOCHI, RUSSIA — A transgender former member of Italy's parliament has been arrested in Sochi, according to Italian media reports.

Vladimir Luxuria, who was Italy's first openly transgender elected official, was allegedly arrested after he held a rainbow-colored banner that said "Gay is OK" in Russian.

Luxuria also tweeted a picture of himself outside the Olympics' Medal Park holding a rainbow-colored hand fan. The message under the picture said 'I'm in Sochi! Regards with the colors of the rainbow, in the face of Putin!'

Luxuria apparently was protesting a Russian anti-propaganda law approved last year that many perceive as anti-gay. President Barack Obama and several other world leaders skipped attending the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony because of the law.

Obama sent a low-level official delegation to the Winter Games that included two gay former Olympians.

Italian wire services reported that Luxuira telephoned an Italian group called the Gay Project and told them that she had been arrested by Russian authorities.

Imma Battaglia, honorary of the Gay Project, told Italy's LaPresse and AGI that Luxuria is 'alone in a room with neon lights on the face, allegedly in police custody.'

Luxuria was a member of Italy's Communist Refoundation Party.

McClatchy DC

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Dominica's debut didn't go well:

“Gary’s illness occurred when a pipe in our village broke and there was brown water coming out of the faucets. He was taking a shower and did not pay attention to the color of the water. He also brushed his teeth with the same water. The following day, he developed very strong abdominal cramps and went to the clinic, where he was diagnosed as having caught acute bacterial gastroenteritis.”


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Dominica's debut didn't go well:

“Gary’s illness occurred when a pipe in our village broke and there was brown water coming out of the faucets. He was taking a shower and did not pay attention to the color of the water. He also brushed his teeth with the same water. The following day, he developed very strong abdominal cramps and went to the clinic, where he was diagnosed as having caught acute bacterial gastroenteritis.”


Where do you think NBC's Bob Costas got the pink eye?

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Pfft...The buzz about figure skating here in Brazil is because TV splashes endless sessions of it every afternoon and mountain stuff is all hidden after midnight. We had almost zero coverage of alpine skiing and biathlon here. And curling is strangely popular because of weird pants and all quirkiness related.

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A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes

A worker threw salt to prepare the track during the men's 4x10-kilometer cross-country relay on Sunday.



February 16, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the worlds leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Alpine experts use salt to overcome soft snow conditions when a hard, icy surface is preferable. The salt melts the soft snow, and when the temperature drops usually overnight a layer of ice forms.


Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt tonight?

From there, a confidential international mission unspooled a mountaintop Oceans Eleven that just may have prevented a major Olympic embarrassment. This Sochi salt accord involved a Swiss salt salesman working late into the night; a rerouted airplane that may or may not have come from Bulgaria; an Olympian turned salt savant; and Russians powerful enough to clear months of customs bureaucracy overnight.

It began with Mr. Pieren, 52, a ruddy Swiss skier who works as a senior race director for F.I.S., the international ski federation. He discusses the merits of different salt grains with the precision of a jeweler and often carries plastic sandwich bags with grains of salt fine, medium and large.

Last September, Mr. Pieren made a final inspection of the Alpine skiing courses and told Sochi organizers that he needed 19 tons of salt for the Games: two tons of fine-grain salt, seven tons of medium and, most important, 10 tons of large-grain Himalayan-style salt. This was the heavy-duty salt that sinks deep into the snow, lasts longer and is most effective in warm weather.

A course marshal throws big-grained salt onto the snow before the women's super-G event on Saturday.


In emphatic but imperfect English, Mr. Pieren placed his order in a Sept. 29 email to Yves Dimier, the head of Alpine sports for Sochis organizing committee. If the conditions are incredible bad or wears than expected, we need maybe more salt and have to get more, Mr. Pieren wrote.

Mr. Pieren, who competed in Alpine skiing events at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics and now works with international competitions, was used to getting his way on matters of salt. Guided by intuition and experience, he combines different grains to find the right solution for every kind of snow. When we order something, it is not a wish, he said. It is a must.

But Sochi organizers did not listen. After spending more than $50 billion on the Games, they did not order the full amount of salt recommended, which would have cost perhaps a few thousand dollars.

Mr. Dimier and a spokesman declined to comment on his role in the decision, and the Sochi press office did not directly say why organizers did not heed Mr. Pierens advice. But they acknowledged the importance of the large-grained salt, and its scarcity in Russia.

Sochi had hardly any large salt crystals, less than a ton nowhere near enough to harden expanses of soft snow, according to Mr. Pieren. And temperatures on the mountain were rising.

Homeowners use salt to melt ice on the sidewalk, but Alpine experts cleverly use it to overcome soft snow conditions when a hard, icy surface is preferable. The salt melts the soft snow, and when the temperature drops usually overnight a layer of ice forms. Large-grain salt, about five millimeters in size, is best for soft, deep snow, because it drops farther into the snow and lasts for days, not hours.

By the time of the emergency meeting, the world was watching Olympic athletes who had spent their lives training for these competitions. But their efforts could all be undone because of five-millimeter grains of salt or, rather, the lack of them.

They didnt recognize the importance of the salt, Mr. Pieren said. They dont know anything about salt.

It was not just the Alpine skiing races that were in trouble. Mr. Pieren fielded frantic calls from colleagues across the mountain at cross-country, the halfpipe, Nordic combined. All were worried about the conditions. All were in need of salt. Prominent athletes began to complain about the conditions. The halfpipe is pretty hard to ride, said Shaun White, an American snowboarder and one of the Games biggest stars.

Once everyone gets in there, it just turns to mush, Mr. White said.

Sochi officials had to act swiftly. When Mr. Gayda asked about arranging an emergency infusion of salt, Mr. Pieren knew where to turn. He called Schweizer Rheinsalinen, a 160-year-old company near Basel, Switzerland, that sits on the banks of the river (the Rhine) for which it is named. On its website, the company declares salt a world unto itself.

Mr. Pieren reached Marcel Plattner, a sales accountant who works mostly in food-grade salt. Mr. Pieren told him he was in trouble. Not him personally in trouble, but he told me Sochi didnt have enough salt, Mr. Plattner said.

Mr. Pieren was relieved to hear that the Swiss company had plenty of big-grain salt in a nearby warehouse; he said Olympic officials would buy 24 tons if it could be shipped immediately. At roughly $150 a ton, the bill would be more than $3,500.

Mr. Plattner was on a sales call with a supermarket chain when Mr. Pieren called. He was thrilled to help he had been watching the Sochi Games and was a fan of winter sports, hockey and skiing especially. I felt bad for the athletes, he said. It wasnt their mistake.

Once Schweizer Rheinsalinen agreed to the sale, the international ski federation helped reroute a plane to Zurich, according to Jenny Wiedeke, a spokeswoman for the organization. The plane would leave Zurich at 11 a.m., with or without the salt.

If youre too late, the show is gone, Mr. Plattner said. It was the time which was working against us.

The ski federation and Sochi officials declined to describe how they secured a plane on such short notice. Mr. Plattner said he was told it had come from Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.

Mr. Plattner worked until 11 that night to make the arrangements. He said he did not even have time to tell his boss. It was very exciting, he said.

After sleeping for a few hours, he went to work early Friday. Because of a miscommunication, he missed the 11 a.m. plane but managed to get the salt on another plane that left the main Zurich airport about 3 p.m., he said.

It was one of the more unusual, and exhilarating, sales of his career. I was surprised to work for the Olympics, Mr. Plattner said. Thats the reason I got a bit emotional. Our whole company and our logistics department was lucky to do something for a good reason, for the Olympic Games.

When the plane landed in Sochi, Russian officials expedited the customs process, according to the Sochi organizing committee. The importation of the salt was done with full cooperation of all of the relevant authorities who treated this as a priority, the organization said in a statement.

After the salt passed a security check Friday, Olympic vehicles took the load straight to the mountain, and about 24 hours after the emergency salt meeting, workers stood on the mountain, sprinkling the soft snow with big-grained salt, fresh from Switzerland.

Even though problems with the course persisted Saturday, as several skiers in the womens super-G struggled, Mr. Pieren said he believed that the worst was behind them. Course managers were now armed if the temperature remained well above freezing, as expected.

It could have ended in disaster, he said. But it was good teamwork.


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Sochi Olympics Official: We Realized Hotel Problems 'Too Late'

The International Olympic Committee's chief coordinator for the Sochi Games said Monday the organization sounded a "red alert" in September because delays in hotel construction were posing a serious threat to the event.

In an interview, Jean-Claude Killy, the IOC's chief supervisor of the 2014 Olympics, offered the first public explanation for the rocky launch of these Games. Early arrivals here encountered unfinished hotels, unopened shops and myriad problems.

Killy, who won three Olympic gold medals skiing for France, said that despite making 40 trips to Sochi in the seven years leading up to the Games, he didn't understand the depth of the problem until last fall.

"We realized it too late," said Killy. Focused on getting the sports venues done, he added, private developers and oligarchs devoted less attention to hotel projects.

"All the alarms went up in September," Killy said. "I made a special trip. I said, 'What do we need to do?' There is no way to organize a Games if you cannot accommodate people."

Killy said he declared a "red alert," which required expanding a workforce that he said ultimately totaled 100,000 people working around the clock, seven days a week. The schedule, Killy said, cost organizers what was likely millions of dollars in additional pay.

Killy said a key to addressing problems was his access to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who IOC officials say provided unprecedented access for a head of state.

"We always had the capacity to go to the top man," said Killy, who met Putin over dinner in Guatemala City in 2007. "When you become friends with this guy and ask for something and you see it within two hours, that's very impressive."

Russia landed the Games after an appearance by Putin at the IOC meetings in Guatemala City. The decision represented the IOC's biggest gamble in modern times, according to Michael Payne, the former director of marketing for the IOC. The organization is making a similar bet on the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Killy said these risks are necessary because the IOC has an obligation to spread its values of fair play and friendship through sports to the developing world, and to create opportunities for sports participation through the construction of world-class venues. Russia, he said, was a winter-sports nation but had little sports infrastructure.

"That is sad," he said.

Going into the project, Killy—the IOC's chief coordinator for the 2006 Turin Games—knew little about this city where people can swim in the sea and ski the nearby mountains on the same day. He felt good about the project because Russia had good people working on it: "foreign-educated, people from Harvard, Stanford, KGB."

Two months after the vote, Killy packed warm clothes and a heavy coat for a trip to Sochi but wound up sweating heavily throughout a news conference. At the time, the area in Adler where the Olympic Park now stands was a swamp. There was no ski resort and little in the way of facilities in the Caucasus Mountains in Rosa Khutor.

Sochi needed to build 22,000 hotel rooms, a new highway 30 miles into the mountains and a train line that would run beside it. The bill would eventually rise to more than $50 billion, even though organizers altered plans as construction was under way and saved money, such as deciding against building a second train line to the mountains.

By last summer the sports facilities were nearly complete and organizers had held more than 70 test events. Then word spread that numerous hotel projects were way behind schedule. Ultimately, hundreds of hotel rooms weren't complete by the start of the Games earlier this month, though, as Killy pointed out, "nobody slept outside."

Some of the most severe problems were with hotels for media and staff near the Olympic Park that are to be converted into apartments after the Games. The project was run by the regional government and officials said it took nearly round-the-clock work in December and January to get them close to ready. Final work, such as installing bathroom fixtures, continued even after guests moved in.



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Pussy Riot members detained in Sochi by Russian police

(Reuters) - Two members of the protest group Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were detained by police on Tuesday while they were walking around Sochi, where Russia is staging the Winter Olympics, they said on Twitter.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the Winter Games, hoping they would show the world Russia's modern face more than two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Both women said police used force and threw them in a police van. Alyokhina said they had been detained on suspicion of committing a crime, but did not give details.

Tolokonnikova, 24, and Alyokhina, 25, had recently returned to Russia after a tour through Europe and the United States following their release from prison in December under an amnesty that Tolokonnikova said was a stunt by Putin to improve Russia's image before the Olympics.

They had been serving two-year jail terms for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing a profanity-laced protest song against Putin in Moscow's main cathedral in February 2012.

"At the time of our detention, we weren't engaged in any protests, we were walking around Sochi. WE WERE WALKING," Tolokonnikova said on Twitter.

The two women were in Sochi with other members of Pussy Riot to record a musical film called "Putin will teach you to love the motherland", Tolokonnikova's husband said on his Twitter microblog.


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Members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot are beaten with whips by Russian security forces after trying to perform an anti-Putin protest song at the Winter Olympics.

The Cossack militia pulled out what looked like horse whips and struck out at the six protesters as they attempted to stage a performance.

The five women and one man pulled on their signature balaclava masks in front of a Sochi sign. But were quickly interrupted by the government security personnels, who are helping patrol Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

The attack was filmed by a number of onlookers and Maria Alyokhina, who served a two-year prison sentence for staging an anti-Putin protest in a church, tweeted pictures of the injuries sustained by some of the protesters.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who was also in prison with Ms Alyokhina, was thrown to the ground and beaten with a whip. She tweeted: "Under the banner Sochi 2014, to the sound of "Putin will teach us to love the homeland", Cossacks attacked Pussy Riot, beat us with whips and sprayed a lot of pepper gas at us."

David Khakim, an activist who was briefly detained over a one-man protest in Sochi this week, said he had witnessed the attack.

"The Cossacks sprayed gas in my eyes. They started beating us with whips after which they started choking us in front of a police officer," he wrote on Twitter.

Both Ms Alyokhina and Ms Tolokonnikova were detained on suspicion of theft in Sochi on Tuesday but were later released, less than two months after their release from prison under an amnesty.

They had been serving two-year jail terms for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing a protest song against Putin in Moscow's main cathedral in February 2012.

Cossack security forces are being used to beef up the policing of the Olympic Games. The force is outside of the police and the military, and were historically used to patrol the Russian borderlands, but they are now used mainly to assist police with making arrests.


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Just seen this video on the news and I strongly condemn the actions of these Cossack's

The Cossack regiments pre 1917 have a dignified and proud history and reputation but this act reduces the reputation of these new Cossack's to a pitiful low

The next protest with Pussy Riot at the Olympic Rings with the mascot is more like it should be. If the protesters were causing damage or attacking people then ofcourse they should be apprehended but just dancing and being attacked is unwarranted and unfair.

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So we may have our first drug cheat at the games. An unconfirmed German athlete has had their A sample abnormal, B sample being tested. Will be interesting to see if this comes to anything or not.

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