VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir brought the house down at the Pacific Coliseum.

They knocked the Russians right off their traditional spot atop the ice dance podium, too.

Virtue and Moir won the Olympic gold medal Monday night, a first for North America skaters. For only the third time since ice dance became an Olympic sport in 1976, a Russian or Soviet couple did not win the gold.

The Russians couldn’t even win the silver, either. That went to two-time U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, giving the United States back-to-back dance medals for the first time. Davis and White’s silver was the 25th medal won by the U.S., matching its record set in 2006 for medals at a non-domestic Olympics.

The Americans are guaranteed of passing that, because the women’s hockey team can do no worse than a silver medal.

Reigning world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia were third. Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto of the U.S, silver medalists at the 2006 Olympics, were fourth.


MEN’S NORDIC SKIING: Petter Northug finally got to show off his closing ability, and it was enough to give Norway the gold in the team sprint.

Northug blew past Germany’s Axel Teichmann shortly before the finish, parading down the final straight for his first Olympic gold medal. Northug partnered with Oeystein Pettersen to finish in 19 minutes, 1 second.

The German duo of Teichmann and Tim Tscharnke won silver, with the Russian team of Nikolay Morilov and Alexey Petukhov taking the bronze.


WOMEN’S NORDIC SKIING: Claudia Nystad pulled away from Sweden’s Anna Haag shortly before the finish to give Germany the gold medal in the team sprint. Nystad went past Haag as they entered the ski stadium for the final time and pulled away on the final sprint.

The German team of Nystad and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle finished in 18 minutes, 3.7 seconds. Sweden’s Haag and Charlotte Kalla were 0.6 seconds behind, and Russians Irina Khazova and Natalia Korosteleva won bronze after coming in 4 seconds back.


MEN’S CURLING: Skip Kevin Martin’s Canadians overcame an early deficit to defeat the U.S. and remain unbeaten in eight matches. The favored Canadian team eliminated John Shuster’s American team from contention with a shortened 7-2 victory in nine ends.


BIATHLON: Magdalena Neuner of Germany won’t go for a third gold medal, pulling out of the today’s relay event because of exhaustion.

Neuner said she is ”happy and satisfied” with having won gold in the pursuit and mass start races and silver in the sprint.


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