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France claims its first winter medal sweep

Meghan Agosta-Marciano of Canada (2) shoots against Kelli Stack of the United States (16) during the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympicstoday in Sochi, Russia. Look for outcome online at www.thedalleschron
icle.com.

Meghan Agosta-Marciano of Canada (2) shoots against Kelli Stack of the United States (16) during the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympicstoday in Sochi, Russia. Look for outcome online at www.thedalleschron icle.com. AP photo/Matt Slocum

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — For the first time in Olympic history, France has swept the medals at a Winter Games event.

Jean Frederic Chapuis won the gold medal in skicross Thursday to lead the French 1-2-3 finish at the Sochi Olympics. Arnaud Bovolenta won silver and Jonathan Midol captured bronze.

Perennial Winter Games power Norway won the Nordic combined team competition — and its games-leading 10th gold medal. The Norwegians finished third in the ski jump but cross-country specialist Magnus Moan made up the difference in the first leg of the 20-kilometer pursuit race.

Germany, which had the lead after the ski jump, took silver and Austria got the bronze.

Politics continued to intrude on the sports. Bogdana Matsotska, an Alpine skier from Ukraine, withdrew from the games to express her displeasure over President Viktor Yanukovych’s handling of the deadly anti-government protests back home.

On Day 14 at the Sochi Olympics, three other sports were awarding medals: women’s ice hockey, women’s curling and figure skating.

FREESTYLE: Midol lost his balance after the final jump, tumbled and then skidded across the line for bronze. The three Frenchmen posed together on the medals podium: Chapuis in his Olympic-issue green bib, Bovalenta in blue, Midol in yellow. They all put hands on their own tricolor — the French flag — and held it aloft.

NORDIC COMBINED: Joergen Graabak, who won gold Tuesday in the individual large hill event, skied the final leg for Norway and outsprinted German rival Fabian Riessle over the final 100 meters to give Norway the victory by 0.3 seconds. Two-time defending champion Austria took the bronze, 3.4 seconds behind.

CURLING: Britain won the bronze medal in women’s curling by beating Switzerland 6-5.

HOCKEY: SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The way the Switzerland women's hockey team was euphorically celebrating their victory, and the way the Swedes were crestfallen in defeat, you would have thought that the two teams were playing in the Olympic gold medal game.

In a way, they were.

The Canadians and Americans are so dominant in the sport that the bronze medal, which Switzerland earned with the 4-3 victory on Thursday, is pretty much considered the championship of the rest of the world. There has been a lot of talk in Sochi about the lack of parity in women's hockey. The two North American powers have played for the gold medal in four of the five Winter Olympics, leading some to opine that it was time for the sport to be dropped from the games.

But the IOC has been firmly in the sport's corner, and Switzerland's wild celebration of the bronze showed that the rest of the field can still have a great time, even if they're only playing for third place.

As the final horn sounded, the red-shirted Swiss stormed the ice and piled onto one another like a baseball team winning the World Series. Some mimicked making snow angels on the ice, goalie Florence Schelling leaped into her teammates' arms and they all gathered for a big group photo.

On the other side, the Swedes were devastated. Anna Borgqvist was frozen on the bench while he hanged her head and Valentina Wallner was shedding tears as she skated off the ice.

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