Parallel Giant Slalom

BARDONECCHIA, Italy — As they so often do in this Swiss-dominated era of parallel giant slalom, clanging cowbells announced the winner.

This time, the clanging was pleasing to American ears as well, as the bronze went to Rosey Fletcher, the first U.S. woman to climb on the podium in the Olympics' final snowboarding event.

Three-time defending world cup champion Daniela Meuli of Switzerland gave her country and its red-clad, raucous, flag-waving Alpine fans a second gold in as many days. Philipp Schoch won the men's event Wednesday, with brother Simon winning silver.

Fletcher had a .24 lead over Meuli after the first semifinal run, but the American's board went out from under her when the pair switched courses, allowing Meuli to coast into the final round.

It was a similar story in the championship race, as German Amelie Kober crashed and slid into the safety fence just as it appeared she might overtake Meuli.

In the bronze-medal race, Fletcher took a 1.5-second lead in the first run after Austrian Doris Guenther went down. Fletcher still needed to make that lead stand up when she switched to the red course, which had been the slower and more treacherous course throughout the event.

Racing cautiously, Fletcher allowed Guenther to make up ground on the top of the course, but then the American put it in overdrive on the bottom and won easily.



4x6km Relay

CESANA, Italy — Russia upset two-time defending Olympic champion Germany in the women's 4x6km biathlon relay, and they did it without banished star Olga Pyleva.

Anna Bogaliy started in place of Pyleva, the only athlete caught so far in the tightest drug net in Winter Olympics history. Bogaliy gave her team a big lead at the first exchange and the Russians never trailed.

With target shooting so precise that the powerhouse Germans had no real chance to close the gap, Bogaliy, Svetlana Ishmouratova, Olga Zaitseva and Albina Akhatova covered the San Sicario course in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 12.5 seconds.

Germany's star-studded team of Martina Glagow, Andrea Henkel, Katrin Apel and Kati Wilhelm — but which didn't include Uschi Disl, second in the World Cup standings — finished 50.7 seconds behind for the silver, and France overtook Belarus for the bronze.

The Americans took 15th place, finishing more than 9 minutes off the pace in Rachel Steer's final Olympic race. America's best female biathlete, Steer is retiring at age 28 after the World Cup season concludes next month.



Gold Medal

Sweden 7, Switzerland 6, 11 ends

Bronze Medal

Canada 11, Norway 5, eight ends

PINEROLO, Italy — The Swedish women's curling team rock 'n' rolled its way to another heavy medal — this one Olympic gold.

Stars of a head-banging, leather-and-chains music video back home, the Swedes played a conservative game to beat Switzerland with a double-takeout on the last stone of an extra end. Earlier, Canada beat Norway in eight ends to take the bronze.

Switzerland rallied from a 6-4 deficit in the 10th and final end of regulation to force the extra end, or inning.

In the 11th, Switzerland put one stone in the middle and piled guards in front of it before Swedish second Cathrine Lindahl took out two stones with one shot to get the edge back. Mirjam Ott curled her first stone — Switzerland's second-to-last of the game — around a guard, but it didn't get inside the Swedish one that was sitting on the lip of the red 4-foot circle.

For their last chance, the Swiss talked over their options and Ott knocked Sweden out of the zone.

The Swiss called timeout. The crowd made some noise. And then it fell quiet again.

Swedish skip Anette Norberg let go of the hammer and knocked away both Swiss rocks for the victory.