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SOCHI SCENE: Sotnikova flies to gold

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Photo - Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Adelina Sotnikova of Russia competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a gold medal winner.

Russia's Adelina Sotnikova came out of nowhere to win gold in figure skating on Thursday night. Most Russians figured Julia Lipnitskaia would be the one to challenge defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea.

But Sotnikova helped lift her home country's spirits after the men's hockey team flamed out and Lipnitskaia fell on Wednesday night.

It took a super effort, as depicted in this picture by Associated Press photographer Vadim Ghirda.

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Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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