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Top 3 Sports Stories of the Day

Jason Collins is very close to making his return to the basketball court. ESPN that the Brooklyn Nets will sign the free-agent center on Sunday. When Collins officially joins the NBA team, he will make history as the first active openly gay player in American professional sports. The 35-year-old, whoNEWS: Jason Collins considered to join the Brooklyn Nets Collins has been a part of six different teams over a 12-year professional career, but spent the majority of his time with the Nets when they played in New Jersey. Sochi's $50 billion Olympics, closely interwoven with President Vladimir Putin's image and plagued by controversy in the build-up, closed Sunday with bold praise and Russia supreme on top of the medals table. In a glitzy closing ceremony, aimed at conveying a confident state at ease with its past as well as present, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said "Russia delivered all what it had promised". Bach added "What took decades in other parts of the world was achieved here in just seven years. I would like to thank the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin, for his personal commitment to the extraordinary success of these Olympic Winter Games." Russia's post-Soviet athletic decline hit bottom at the Vancouver Olympics, where the once dominant winter sporting nation left with only three gold medals and the daunting task of rebuilding its team in time to host the Sochi Games. Four years later, the Russians are back on top of the winter world. After a stunning podium sweep Sunday in the men's 50-kilometer cross-country race and another gold in the four-man bobsled, Russia finished the Winter Games with more total medals and more gold medals than anyone else. It was a worst-to-first rise that surprised even the most devoted Russian fans.

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