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IOC's Rogge asks for slower sliding track in 2014

IOC president Jacques Rogge said Thursday he has urged Russian organizers to build the sliding track for the 2014 Winter Olympics "absolutely for safety first." Rogge said he had written to organizers of the Sochi Games to make sure there is no repeat of the crash that killed Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili at the Whistler Sliding Center.

"The IOC has been very clear in saying to the Russians: Please deliver us a track that will not be hazardous," Rogge said.

Organizers say that the track in Sochi is designed to be 6 to 9 mph slower than the track in Whistler.

"We never asked for more speed in the IOC, never," Rogge told reporters. "There's never been any requests to say you have to go faster. This is something that clearly emanated from the international federation which approved the design. That's not the philosophy of the IOC."

Rogge said the IOC accepted a "moral responsibility" for the tragedy but not any legal responsibility.

Canada curlers gain finals

The Canadian women and men have advanced to the finals of curling with victories Thursday. Led by skip Cheryl Bernard, the women moved into today's gold-medal game against defending gold medalist Sweden with a 6-5 victory over Switzerland. Sweden defeated China, 9-4. The unbeaten men has earned a spot against Norway Saturday with a 6-3 victory over Sweden. Norway, with its popular, gaudy, diamond-print trousers, beat Switzerland, 7-5.

Cops talk to bobsledder

A person with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that American bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer has been questioned by Canadian police after an argument with his fiancee. Schuffenhauer's fiancee, Ruthann Savage, arrived at the Vancouver Games this week. The person said they began arguing for unspecified reasons Wednesday night, and police released Schuffenhauer after finding no evidence of a crime.

Bjoergen gets third gold

Marit Bjoergen doesn't mind being called the queen of the Vancouver Olympics. Bjoergen became the first triple-gold medal winner of the games Thursday after leading Norway to a dominating victory in the women's cross-country relay, deciding the race on the final leg by quickly pulling away from her last remaining rival. That's three golds and one bronze for Bjoergen. The Norwegian team of Vibeke Skofterud, Therese Johaug, Kristin Stoermer Steira and Bjoergen finished the 4 x 5-kilometer race in 55:19.5 as Norway won its first women's relay gold since 1984. Germany took the silver and Finland the bronze.- AP

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