GIBSON AND FEAR'S DEBUT SEALED WITH A KISS

Ice dancers Lewis Gibson and Lilah Fear admitted shock after being contacted by American glam rock band Kiss on social media.
The pair, who finished tenth on their Olympic debut, used 'I Was Made For Loving You' in a medley of tunes for their short programme.
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"Our music choice is about us, it's about being uplifting and being us and choosing music that shows the joy we feel on the ice. We are drawn to up tempo and exciting pieces of music, we search for them," said Fear.
"It was a real pinch me moment they got in touch. We were hoping they were going to see our performance because we are such huge fans.
"They've inspired us as performers, their performance quality, talk about going all out and attacking what you are doing, that's what any athlete wants to do."

LUCY IN THE SKY

At the Winter Olympics it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Just ask French snowboarder Lucile Lefevre, whose Olympic curtain call must have been one of the most audacious and surreal of all time.
The 26-year-old decided a year ago to retire after this Games and having picked up an injury in slopestyle, knew she wouldn’t be competitive in the big air competition.
Lefevere decided to borrow a tiger onesie from Swiss Nicolas Huber and don it for her final run down the slope.
She didn’t really attempt a legal jump in qualification, choosing simply to soak up the moment and finished 29th.
“It's more fun like this,” said Lefevre. “I asked Nicholas if he would give it to me for a day. It's for tiger (Chinese) new year, so everyone wants a picture with me. It was super fun."
"I feel good about it, because the world should be fun. There are a lot of problems in the world.
“If everyone was peaceful and easy, the world would be better for sure, that's the message I want to share."
Lefevre even stopped mid-air on one jump to wave, later explaining: “I decided to just say hi to the judge."

‘She is now dressed as a tiger!’ – Lefevre follows up ‘wave-air’ with fancy dress

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

What on earth to make of Alexander Bolshunov - Vladimir Putin’s favourite skier.
The 25-year-old has dominated cross-country skiing in Beijing, winning two golds and a silver.
There are further relay and long-distance events to come but Bolshunov has already been promoted to the rank of captain in the Putin-founded and operated Russian National Guard.
General Viktor Zolotov says that Bolshunov "serves as a role model for officials and employees of the National Guard".
Bolshunov comes from a village right on the Ukrainian border, where Russia has now gathered large forces.
Depending on the source, he's been referred to as a machine, a deranged hooligan, the most hated man in cross-country skiing, a virtuous hero, a quiet, hard-working, humble, and serious, patriotic poster boy with a discipline compared to that of a monk.
For his own part, he describes himself as a soft simpleton.

'Testing it's strong enough!' - Funny moment Bolshunov breaks podium at Beijing 2022

PUTTING A VOICE TO A PANDA

Even more popular than Eileen Gu in China is panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen.
But there was outrage when the cuddly ailuropoda melanoleuca, we looked that up by the way, was interviewed on Chinese state television.
It’s fair to say the deep male voice was not what fans were expecting, a Chinese equivalent of a drunk Santa in your local shopping centre.
“It’s a shock comparing the cuddly image of Bing Dwen Dwen to that voice,” fumed one Weibo user. “I’m not sure I can face buying it anymore.”
Good luck with that. Queues at souvenir shops start hours before they open and the toy sells out within minutes, going for ten times face value on various websites.

OLYMPIANS DON'T LOSE THAT LOVIN' FEELING

'Closed loop' Olympians celebrated an unusual Valentine's Day.
Tim Koleto, an American-born Japanese ice dancer who competed at the Olympics with his wife Misato Komatsubara, brought flowers with him.
Spanish ice dancer Adrian Diaz competing against his fiancee, American Madison Hubbell, also tucked a gift in his suitcase.
British speed skaters Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten, who started a coffee business to fund their Olympic dreams, were slightly less romantic.
“We’ll have to do a KFC date... it’s the only thing we could really do at the village,” said Smeding.

BY THE NUMBERS

Fun fact, Czech Republic skier Katerina Neumannova is the only athlete to have won an individual cross country medal on her birthday, the day she turned 29 she celebrated with a silver in 2002.
Norway have won consecutive medals at 23 games, indeed before the Games their tally of 121 medals beat nearest rivals Finland and Sweden (both with 80) comfortably.
Belarus's Siarhei Dalidovich took part in seven Olympics while Bjorn Daehlie and Marit Bjorgen, both Norwegian, have won eight Olympic golds - to sit level with biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I don't know. I came to the Olympic Games and I felt once again that the Olympics are so special. I would love to skate at the Olympic Games once again.
Double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu on whether this would be his last Games after just missing the podium.

‘Destroyed’ – Hanyu goes for broke but finishes ‘skating for pride’

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