Sasha Cohen

Column: Russians strike gold, US left to ponder future

By the time the final group of figure skaters took the ice at Gangneung Ice Arena, things had been pretty much decided. Russia would win its first gold of the games, and the only question was whether Alina Zagitova or Evgenia Medvedeva would stand on the top level of the podium.

The Russian national anthem would not be played at the medal ceremony later, though that didn't seem to matter to the boisterous fans who helped pack the arena, waving Russian flags and signs as the two top teenagers squared off. They, like most, understood that the whole "Olympic Athletes from Russia" label was always a face-saving charade by the International Olympic Committee.

On this...