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    Sochi dispatches: US bobsledder keeps getting stuck

    Macarena Simari Birkner of Argentina was easy to spot, so to speak, during the women’s super combined. ‘‘I just love my suit,’’ she said.
    alexander hassenstein/getty images
    Macarena Simari Birkner of Argentina was easy to spot, so to speak, during the women’s super combined. ‘‘I just love my suit,’’ she said.

    First a bathroom. Now an elevator.

    US bobsledder Johnny Quinn keeps getting stuck.

    Quinn, who famously busted his way out of a locked bathroom at the athletes village earlier at the Sochi Games, has apparently gotten himself into another jam, this time in an elevator.


    Quinn posted a photo on his Twitter account showing him, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and USA baseball cap, trying to pry open the elevator doors. He wrote, ‘‘No one is going to believe this but we just got stuck in an elevator.’’

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    A team spokesperson verified that Quinn did indeed get stuck in an elevator before dinner, but got out without having to destroy anything.

    He’s looking for better luck getting in and out of USA-3 next week when he competes in the four-man competition.

    Kramer to skip 1,500?

    Dutch speedskating star Sven Kramer says he’ll likely skip the 1,500 meters to focus on a 10,000-meter race he lost in embarrassing fashion four years ago when he moved into a wrong lane.

    Kramer, who already won the 5,000 during the opening weekend of the Olympics, says the shorter distance would ‘‘likely’’ be too much of a distraction during his preparation for the longer race on Feb. 18.

    Stepping out


    All it took for Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands to go from medal contender to out at the men’s 500-meter speedskating final: three steps.

    Groothuis jammed the toe of his left skate into the ice at the start of his second run Monday night, sending ice flying into the air and giving Canada’s Muncef Ouardi a free rink for his 1¼ laps around the track.

    After stumbling, Groothuis took his time getting around the track, leisurely putting his glasses on his forehead, then skating at an easy pace that didn’t look like it took much exertion.

    His final time in a race that usually takes around 35 seconds: 56.81 seconds — still an average of 19.6 miles per hour, including the fall.

    Doing the polka

    Super-combined skier Macarena Simari Birkner of Argentina was certainly easy to spot on the race hill Monday — she was the one decked out in lots and lots of polka dots.


    Simari Birkner helped design the speedsuit she wore for the downhill portion of the race. It certainly stood out.

    She’s always worn eye-catching suits, like when she donned an outfit that featured an animal print.

    This one, though, she couldn’t help but rave about after her run.

    ‘‘I just love my suit,’’ Simari Birkner said.

    Simari Birkner comes from a family of ski racers and all of them had an input into the design. Her brother, Cristian Simari Birkner, was set to race in the men’s downhill on Sunday, but sat out because of a knee injury. He’s hoping to be ready for the super combined in a few days. He also was the flag bearer for their nation.

    Anna Fenninger of Austria was quite fashionable, too, going with a leopard print on her helmet.

    Heightened awareness

    For those with a fear of heights, it’s the Olympic job from hell: clambering up the giant cauldron to carry out maintenance work on the blazing centerpiece of the Sochi Games.

    But suspended by ropes high above the coastal cluster of spectacular stadiums here, they must have a great view of all the fans milling about — and taking selfies — down below.

    And if they ever make abseiling an Olympic sport, maybe these guys will one day be medal contenders.

    Norway reprimanded

    The International Olympic Committee is reprimanding athletes for wearing items commemorating the dead.

    Spokesman Mark Adams says the IOC sent a letter to the Norwegian Olympic Committee after its women’s cross-country skiers wore black armbands on Saturday in honor of a teammate’s brother, who died on the eve of the Sochi Games. Adams says athletes should find ‘‘a better place’’ to express their grief.

    White ‘antsy’

    Shaun White says he’s antsy about his upcoming chance to make history on the snowboard halfpipe and, in a shoutout to his fans, thanks them for supporting his decisions.

    In a pair of videos shot Monday, White addresses his fans directly in one and speaks about his experience in Russia in the other.

    ‘‘I go up and down,’’ White says. ‘‘I’m excited, then I’m not excited because I’m, not nervous, but just kind of antsy. It’s the day before the big day.’’

    The halfpipe contest is Tuesday.