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    dispatches from sochi

    Wild celebration minus suds

    Vic Wild (gold) and wife Alena Zavarzina (bronze) couldn’t celebrate in style. ‘‘They won’t let us have beer,’’ Wild said of Russia, his adopted country.
    dylan martinez/reuters
    Vic Wild (gold) and wife Alena Zavarzina (bronze) couldn’t celebrate in style. ‘‘They won’t let us have beer,’’ Wild said of Russia, his adopted country.

    Vic Wild might compete under the Russian flag, but the roots for the White Salmon, Wash., native run deep.

    After the snowboarder completed a career revival with a gold medal for his new home country in men’s parallel giant slalom on Wednesday — just minutes after wife Alena Zavarzina won bronze in the women’s event — Wild wanted to celebrate in the most American way possible.

    ‘‘It would be nice to have a beer,’’ Wild said. ‘‘They won’t let us have beer.’’


    At least, not yet. With the parallel slalom coming up later in the week, it will be back to training for Wild and his wife on Thursday.

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    When jokingly asked if vodka would suffice until a beer could be had, the 27-year-old provided a very un-Russian answer.

    ‘‘I don’t like vodka,’’ he said. ‘‘I just want a beer.’’

    Some Russian customs take a while to get used to, apparently.


    The patriot

    American figure skater Ashley Wagner describes teammate Jason Brown as ‘‘the most patriotic man I have ever met.’’

    He showed why at the women’s short program Wednesday night.

    The 19-year-old from Chicago sat in the athletes’ section of the stands wearing the following ensemble:

     A US hockey jersey

     Red, blue, and star-shaped Mardi Gras beads

     Blue, oversized, star-shaped glasses


     A stars and stripes baseball cap with a metallic red, white, and blue pompom on top and two mini American flags sticking out of it.

    He waved another flag and pompom.

    Brown, who finished ninth in the men’s competition in his Olympic debut, was cheering on the US trio of Wagner, Polina Edmunds, and Gracie Gold.


    Cash cow

    Capitalism is alive and well at USA House in the Olympic Park.

    The gathering place for American athletes, their families, sponsors, and fans at the Sochi Games includes a pop-up shop selling clothing by Ralph Lauren and USA Hockey gear for eye-popping prices. The designer conceived the clothing worn by US athletes in the Opening Ceremony, including navy cardigan sweaters covered by stars, stripes, and patches available at the shop for $595.

    A navy and red wool coat costs $795; a bear dressed in Lauren’s Polo clothing is $350; and a navy sweater with the American flag on the front goes for $295. A red, white and blue 2014 wool scarf is $146, and fingerless wool gloves sell for $98.

    The other half of the store inside the low-slung wooden USA House sells hockey sweaters and scarves, along with a selection of T-shirts.

    The place was jammed on Wednesday, with multiple cash registers ringing up sales in US dollars. Some customers slipped on hockey jerseys, while others fretted about the sizing of the T-shirts. Children’s clothing was also for sale, along with a selection of high-end sunglasses.


    Thailand’s other Olympian

    Thailand only has two Olympians — and one’s getting most of the attention because she’s also a pop star at home.

    The country’s other Olympian is Kanes Sucharitakul, an Alpine skier who was Thailand’s flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony and finished 65th in the giant slalom.

    His teammate, Vanessa-Mae, is a platinum-selling pop violinist who lives in England and was born to a Thai father. She’s sold 10 million records worldwide.

    Sucharitakul’s focus at the Olympics has been skiing. When asked about anti-government protests in his home country that have turned deadly, he said: ‘‘I get the news mostly from my family but I would really rather not comment on that.’’


    Seeing is believing

    The Olympics are big business for television, and the Sochi Games are feeding a voracious appetite from networks around the world for live sports programming. Some numbers from IOC managing director of television and marketing services:

     464: Channels globally that broadcast Sochi Olympics coverage, nearly double the 240 that broadcast the Vancouver Games.

     102,000: Number of hours that will broadcast, more than any previous Winter Games.

     75: Percentage of Russians who have watched at least 15 minutes of Sochi Games coverage.

     190 million: Number of Chinese that have tuned in for at least 15 minutes.

     500 million: Estimated global audience for the Opening Ceremony.