President Dmitry Medvedev demanded that Russian sports officials step down over the country's dismal performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Russia, a traditional winter sports powerhouse, won just 15 medals -- with only three golds -- in one of its worst performances. Officials said before the games that 30 medals and a top-three finish in the medal standings was the target.
Medvedev said if those responsible for preparing the athletes don't resign then the decision will be made for them.
"Those who bear the responsibility for Olympic preparations should carry that responsibility. It's totally clear," he said. "I think that the individuals responsible, or several of them, who answer for these preparations, should take the courageous decision to hand in their notice. If we don't see such decisiveness, we will help them."
Hockey game most watched in 30 years
The United States' 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the Olympic gold medal game Sunday was the most watched hockey game in 30 years in the United States, drawing an average viewership of 27.6 million on NBC.
That made it the most watched hockey telecast of any kind since the U.S. beat Finland in the 1980 gold medal game in Lake Placid.
The Twin Cities ranked fourth among the 50-plus metered-markets in the country, firing a 26.4 rating and 53 share on NBC affiliate KARE. Buffalo was the top-rated market with a 32.6 rating and 51 share. Pittsburgh (31.9/50) and Detroit (26.9/47) were ranked second and third.
Overall, 190 million Americans watched the Vancouver Olympics on NBC's various networks, making them the second-most watched Winter Olympics ever. These Games surpassed Salt Lake City (187 million) and ranked behind only the 1994 Lillehammer Games.
The Twin Cities finished fifth among metered markets with a 19.1 rating and 32 share for prime-time coverage of the Games. The top four-rated markets were Salt Lake City (21.9/36); Denver (21.3/35); Milwaukee (21.0/33); and Seattle (19.6/36).
AROUND THE HORN
Auto racing: NASCAR is finally about to lose its wings. "We're hoping within the next two of three races that we'll be able to be at a point where we say it's time to take the wings off and put the spoiler on," NASCAR president Mike Helton said Monday. While Helton didn't provide a specific date for the expected removal of the wings from the cars, that timeline coincides with the March 28 race at Martinsville that most teams have expected to be the first with the more traditional-looking rear spoilers.
Soccer: Second-half substitute Lauren Cheney scored twice to lead the United States over Sweden 2-0 and advance the Americans to an Algarve Cup final against Germany.
Tennis: Doubles specialists Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde, Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. ... Venus Williams defeated Kim Clijsters 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to win the Billie Jean King Cup in the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.