Dara Howell continued Canada's dominance at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, soaring to Olympic gold in women's slopestyle skiing on Tuesday.

Howell posted a score of 94.20 during her first run of the finals, trouncing the rest of the field on a warm and sometimes frightening day down the slushy slopestyle course.

Nearly half of the 44 qualifying runs over the series of rails, jumps -- and one oversized Russian nesting doll -- ended with a skier face down in the snow or pulling out of self-preservation.

Devin Logan of the U.S. took silver. Canadian Kim Lamarre earned bronze.

Canada has claimed seven medals in four days of snowboarding and freestyle skiing, including three events in which they took two of the three spots on the podium.

Howell's triumph was tempered by a series of scary crashes, including one by teammate Yuki Tsubota that ended with Tsubota being carried off the mountain on a stretcher with a possible fractured jaw.

It was one of the few setbacks Canada has suffered during a blissful start to the games. Mark McMorris earned bronze in men's slopestyle snowboarding on Saturday and Canada went one-two in both men's and women's moguls.

Howell, a 19-year-old former figure skater, pulled off the run of the meet, ending with a 540-degree spin while grabbing the front of her skis. She shook her head in disbelief as she cruised into the scoring area and her mouth dropped when her score was revealed.

Figure skating: Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took the lead in the pairs competition after the short program, putting them in position to win another figure skating gold medal for host Russia.

The reigning world champions scored 84.17 points, 4.53 ahead of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany. Fellow Russians Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov were third.

Four years after the U.S. had its worst showing ever in pairs, with a 10th- and 13th-place finish, both American teams were sharp in their first Olympics. Two-time national champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were in ninth place. Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay also skated cleanly to take 14th.

Women's 500-meter speedskating: South Korean Lee Sang-hwa lived up to the hype as the overwhelming favorite, zipping around the big oval with the two fastest runs to win her second straight Olympic gold.

Lee dominated the World Cup circuit this season, winning every event she entered, and kept up that form at Adler Arena.

Lee led after the opening heat and went even faster the second time, an Olympic-record time of 37.28 seconds to beat the mark of 37.30 set by Catriona Le May Doan at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Lee's combined time of 1 minute, 14.70 seconds was also an Olympic mark, beating Le May Doan's record of 1:14.75 at the high-altitude Utah Olympic Oval.

Heather Richardson of the U.S., who came into the Olympics ranked second in the World Cup standings, finished eighth.

Cross-country skiing: Kikkan Randall's attempt at becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic cross-country skiing medal fell well short when she was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the individual freestyle sprint.

  • Ola Vigen Hattestad captured the men's sprint title in a race marred by a three-skier collision. Emil Joensson of Sweden, who had all but given up earlier in the race, grabbed the bronze after Sergey Ustiugov of Russia, Marcus Hellner of Sweden and Anders Gloeersen of Norway were involved in a crash that left them sprawled across the course. Soft snow caused a number of spills throughout the day.

    Luge: Leaving no doubt that she absolutely rules her sport, Natalie Geisenberger won the women's luge gold medal -- posting the second-largest victory margin in Olympic history. Her final time was 3 minutes, 19.768 seconds, 1.139 seconds better than German teammate Tatjana Huefner, the 2010 gold medalist.

    Erin Hamlin finished third, grabbing the first medal for any American singles luge athlete at the Olympics, 50 years after luge first appeared at the games. So in the sport's golden anniversary as part of the Olympics, Hamlin came up with bronze, a feat that will surely go down as perhaps the greatest moment in USA Luge history.

    U.S. individual sliders had been fourth on three occasions at the Olympics, but never any better.

    "It's amazing," Hamlin said. "It's surreal, really."

    Biathlon: Darya Domracheva of Belarus led for most of the women's 10-kilometer pursuit race, missing only the last target before finishing in 29 minutes, 30.7 seconds. Tora Berger of Norway took silver, and Teja Gregorin of Slovenia claimed the bronze.