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    Olympic dispatches: For India, flag day finally here

    India’s flag was finally hoisted at the Sochi Olympics, five days after the IOC lifted a 14-month ban and more than a week after the Games began.

    The ceremonial raising of the tricolor Sunday symbolically marked the end of the suspension, exactly a week after a new Indian Olympic Association board was elected to replace corruption-tainted officials. The IOC suspended India in December 2012 after electing members to the executive board who had been convicted for corruption.

    ‘‘I am absolutely thrilled and delighted,’’ new IOA president Narayna Ramachandran said. ‘‘It’s a tremendous boost for Indian sports.


    ‘‘The national sport bodies were suffering because you didn’t get the grants from the IOC or the Indian government. To have the ban lifted in two days was truly amazing.’’

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    India has three athletes competing in Sochi — luger Shiva Keshavan, cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal, and Alpine skier Thakur Himanshu. They carried the IOC flag during the Opening Ceremony and started the games as independent athletes. They will now be able to march behind their national flag when the Games are closed next Sunday. ‘‘We are very excited,’’ Keshavan said.

    On the Bright side

    Torah Bright, Australia’s most famous snowboarder, completed her history-making Winter Olympics trifecta — the first rider to compete in three disciplines.

    Slopestyle. Halfpipe. And on Sunday, she finished 18th in snowboardcross in Krasnaya Polyana. Every bit as important, she walked off the course unscathed. ‘‘So scary,’’ she said. ‘‘Snowboardcross is my toughest one. It’s absolutely brutal.’’

    Bright won’t walk away from the Sochi Games empty-handed. She won the silver medal in the event she calls ‘‘her pet’’ — the halfpipe, where she won the gold medal in 2010. She also finished seventh in slopestyle.


    She said the mission wasn’t so much about the medals as giving all the events a try — a way to prove something to herself. ‘‘It is absolutely brutal, but would I go through it again?’’ she said. ‘‘Why not? It’s good fun.’’

    Lip service

    Eva Samkova dominated the snowboardcross final in Krasnaya Polyana to win the gold medal Sunday, doing so with a lined mustache on her upper lip. It begged the question: Hipster or political statement?

    Turns out the thin lines in red, white, and blue — the colors of the Czech flag — were about superstition and patriotism.

    ‘‘It’s a lucky mustache,’’ she said. ‘‘Today, it’s in national colors.’’

    Samkova started wearing the mustache at the 2011 world championships.

    Lessons to be learned


    Polina Edmunds did her geometry homework on the flight from Austria to Sochi. The 15-year-old figure skater is a sophomore at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, Calif., and her teachers gave her three weeks’ worth of assignments for the class time she’ll miss because of the Olympics.

    Before she left to train in Germany and Austria to get used to the time difference at the Sochi Games, the school held a sendoff rally complete with speeches from two gold medal-winning alums: soccer’s Brandi Chastain and beach volleyball’s Kerri Walsh Jennings.

    Edmunds, the runner-up at last month’s US Championships, was the last American figure skater to arrive in Sochi because she didn’t compete in the team event. Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold handled those responsibilities, then headed to Austria to join Edmunds for a few days. The women’s short program is Wednesday.