SOCHI SCENE: Chasing Chara

SOCHI, Russia (AP) U.S. pairs champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir are from the Boston area. So naturally, they were eager to meet Bruins captain Zdeno Chara at the Sochi Olympics.

Chara is captain of the Slovakia team, and the figure skaters tracked him down to take a photo and chat with them.

Castelli stands 5-foot, so the 6-9 Chara, the NHL's tallest player, towered over her.

''He's pretty big,'' she said with a laugh Tuesday after the Americans finished ninth in the short program. ''He's a really sweet guy, but really tall.''

She should be used to tall. Shnapir is 6-4. He's also a big-time Bruins fan and has a shirt that has been signed ''by pretty much all of the Bruins here and the coaches who are here.''

''Getting Chara was huge for me,'' Shnapir added, sounding just like a kid meeting his idol.

- By Barry Wilner - Twitter http://twitter.com/wilner88

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Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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