Winter Games Athletes
It was a very busy - and memorable - month of January for Ustiugov, who won his first World Cup cross-country sprint. He finished the final of the 1,600-meter competition in 2 minutes, 54.59 seconds to beat Federico Pellegrino by 0.18 seconds. The emerging star also brought home three more medals at the U23 world championships, including gold in the sprint and 15-kilometer classic. Ustiugov, who is fourth in the FIS sprint rankings and 12th in the overall standings, is hoping to see his success carry over into his first Olympics. Despite his inexperience, Ustiugov was projected by The Associated Press to finish second in the individual sprint behind Norway’s Petter Northug. Though he may feel the pressure of competing in front of the home crowd, Ustiugov could break out in a big way in Sochi as he’s certainly someone to keep an eye on.