The Tampa Tribune
Vladimir Putin

Putin's Games end under a Crimean cloud

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Triumphant in the midst of global condemnation, Vladimir Putin clinked his champagne flute with leading sports officials, toasting the success of his pet project in Sochi.

Under chandeliers in ornate surroundings, the wine was flowing over lunch during the Paralympics this week as the Russian president saluted the transformational effect of his nation's six-week sporting extravaganza. For Putin, the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics were a validation of modern Russia's place on the world stage and "our invariably kind attitude toward friends."

VIDEO: A Look at the Paralympic Winter Games

Overshadowed by the international crisis over Ukraine, Russia is welcoming the sporting world back to Sochi this week for Winter Paralympics that will be snubbed by some politicians and will struggle to match the successful Winter Olympics that ended less than two weeks ago in the Black Sea resort.

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Last Updated: Nov 23 9:39 PM EST

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Olympic speed skating rink underway in Pyeongchang

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Olympic organizers in Pyeongchang have broken ground on the speed skating rink for the 2018 Winter Games and say all six new competition venues are now on track to stage test events on schedule.

Pyeongchang organizing committee president Cho Yang-ho visited the site Wednesday in the Gangneung Coastal Cluster, where construction of the 8,000-seat venue is starting.

"With today's groundbreaking, all our competition venue preparations are in full swing and I am confident that there is good momentum in our progress," Cho said.