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Recap: No new medals in Day 6 in Sochi

Canadian short-track skater Charles Hamelin elbows American Eduardo Alvarez during the men's 1000m heats. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Canadian short-track skater Charles Hamelin elbows American Eduardo Alvarez during the men’s 1000m heats. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Thursday was the first day Canada did not win a medal in Sochi. It was eight days into the 2010 Games in Vancouver before the nation’s Olympic squad failed to win a medal.

Today’s action: 

1. Men’s hockey, Canada v. Norway

The men’s tournament continued Thursday with Canada winning their debut game against Norway, 3-1  (story here).

  • Other results today: U.S. over Slovakia (7-2); Finland over Austria (8-4); Russia over Slovenia (5-2).

2. Women’s 1000m speedskating

Canadian Christine Nesbitt was the defending Olympic champion in this event – but finished 9th this time around.

3. 20km individual biathlon

Canadian Jean-Phlippe Le Guellec was leading in the 12.5 km event Wednesday event before falling on the so-called “calamity curve.” He gets another shot in the event Thursday in the 20km distance, but finished well out of medal contention.

4. New luge team relay

The luge team relay is another new event added to the Olympics and Canada is expected to perform well. The co-ed team includes Alex Gough, who finished just off the podium in women’s single luge. Canada sits second in the World Cup standings for the event, but came fourth today, just missing a medal.

Elsewhere

Women’s curling team, skipped by Jennifer Jones, play twice on Thursday. They continued their undefeated streak with a 8-5 win over Denmark. They also play against Switzerland at 10 a.m. ET. Canada is 4-0 so far.

The men’s curling team, skipped by Brad Jacobs, eked out a 7-6 win over Denmark. Canada has a 3-2 record with four games left in the round robin.

Patrick Chan, Kevin Reynolds and Liam Firus skated for Canada in the men’s short program in figure skating. Chan, who finished the day in second place, is a medal favourite in the event, which concludes Friday. Russian superstar Evgeni Plushenko withdrew from the event.

Sarah Reid is in 8th place midway through women’s skeleton. The final is tomorrow.

All three Canadians competing in the men’s 1,000m short-track speed skating event placed first in their qualifying heat. The final is Saturday. However, it was a disappointing day for the defending gold medal relay team, which faltered in the semifinal.

big momentsfreestyle skiinghockeylugespeed skating

My mittens include Quebec, or do they?

See anything strange about the two versions of this picture of Chloé and Justine Dufour-Lapointe?

Top: an altered version of the image supplied by the Hudson's Bay Company as part of its red mittens program

Top: an altered version of the image supplied by the Hudson’s Bay Company as part of its red mittens program

The image with the blue and white Quebec-flavoured mittens was shared by Pierre Duchesne, a Quebec cabinet minister in the Parti Québécois government of Pauline Marois. It caused a stir becuase, well, that never happened and those mittens aren’t real. The real image is the one below, taken as part of the marketing campaign for Hudson’s Bay company’s Canadian Olympic team gear partnership.

Mr. Duchesne, the Minister of Higher Education, said he was not aware that the photos showing the Olympic medalists wearing mittens displaying the fleur-de-lis instead of the maple leaf had been modified. Had he known, he said, he would not have retweeted them on his Twitter site

“We are proud of our Quebec athletes. All the rest, including the use of these photos does not meet the expectations inspired by the performances of our Quebec athletes,” Mr. Duchesne said.

On Twitter he blamed photoshop.

But, interestingly, he hasn’t deleted the faked photo, it’s still here:

If you want to see the Dufour-Lapointe sisters posing for the red mitten campaign, here’s the HBC promo video, the sisters appear at about the 52 second mark:

http://youtu.be/ss1WjFGOf-o?t=50s

freestyle skiing

Come again? Judge explains gold-medal slopestyle run

Men's ski slopestyle gold medalist Joss Christensen of the United States. (Andy Wong)

Men’s ski slopestyle gold medalist Joss Christensen of the United States. (Andy Wong)

New sports also means new (and often confusing) lingo. From our correspondent Paul Waldie:

This is how Simon Tjernstroem, a judge in the men’s ski slopestyle, described today’s winning run by American Joss Christensen:

Switch right-side gap 270 on, pretzel 270 out on the down-flat-down; switch on, 450 out of the up rail, to left side 270 on, pretzel 270 off on the down; to a butter, switch slide to corked 450 off on the cannon feature.

Then, left-side double-corked 1260 double Japan on the first booter, to switch right-side dub 1080 tail grab, and a switch right-side triple-corked 1260 Japan on the big booter.

Makes perfect sense, right?

freestyle skiing

Day 4 recap: What happened today in Sochi

Day 4: Canadian gold medallist Dara Howell, left, and Canadian bronze medallist Kim Lamarre pose during the victory ceremony for the women's freestyle skiing slopestyle competition. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

Day 4: Canadian gold medallist Dara Howell, left, and Canadian bronze medallist Kim Lamarre pose during the victory ceremony for the women’s freestyle skiing slopestyle competition. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

1. Gold and bronze in women’s ski slopestyle

Canada saw its third double-medal event on Tuesday.

  • Dara Howell took gold with a score of 94.20 on her first run, nine points ahead of her nearest competitor
  • Kim Lamarre scored 85.00 on her second run, good enough for bronze
  • Yuki Tsubota scored 71.64 on her first run, and took fifth
  • Favourite Kaya Turski crashed out in the qualifying round and finished 19th

Read the full story.

2. So close! Canada falls just short of a medal in luge

Alex Gough placed fourth and teammate Kimberley McRae finished fifth in women’s single luge. Gough was considered a medal contender for the women’s luge. On the World Cup circuit this year, Gough had three second-place results and a trio of third-place finishes. Read more.

3. A strong performance in women’s ski jumping

Canadian women’s ski jumper Atsuko Tanaka finished 12th and fellow Canadian Taylor Henrich finished 13th in the debut of women’s ski jumping in Sochi.

Tanaka was considered a possible medal contender, having recently earned a career-best fourth-place result at a World Cup event in January. Taylor Henrich finished fifth at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Elsewhere

Three Canadian teams advanced to the finals in pairs figure skating. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are the ones to watch after finishing in fifth place after the short program.

American snowboarder Shaun White did not reach the podium in the halfpipe event, failing to earn his third consecutive Olympic gold medal. More on that here.

Two-time gold medalist Christine Nesbitt placed 12th in women’s 500m speed skating, 2.44 seconds back. Nesbitt will also be competing in the 1000m and 1500m events.

The men’s curling team lost 6-7 to Sweden.

The women’s curling team bested Sweden 9-3.

freestyle skiingluge

Canadian coach comes to the rescue of fallen Russian athlete

In a truly Canadian Olympic moment, a coach from the Canadian team came to the rescue of a Russian cross-country skier, who fell and broke his ski during a race. Read the full story and an interview with the coach.

The athlete, Anton Gafarov, crashed early in the race but tried to continue, falling several times. From the sidelines emerged Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth, ski in hand. He quickly swapped Gafarov’s broken ski for a fresh one and the athlete pushed on. He would finish the race in a distant last place, but in front of cheering fans from his home country. Catch the full video on Deadspin.

 Sochi Olympics Cross Country Sprint

Sochi Olympics Cross Country Sprint

Sochi Olympics Cross Country Sprint

Sochi Olympics Cross Country Sprint

ku-xlarge (1)

ku-xlarge

The Globe’s Allan Maki spoke with the coach after the event. Read the full story here.

“I was on the course with spare skis and poles for Alex [Harvey, a member of the Canadian team that didn’t qualify for the sprint final],” said Wadsworth. “I just went to watch. The Russian fell on the big downhill before the finish area and broke a ski. I was surprised no one else on the course gave him anything.”

“I went over and gave him one of Alex’s spare skis. It was about giving Gafarov some dignity so he didn’t have to walk to the finish area.”

This was not the first time a coach had helped a cross-country skier from another country. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Sara Renner and Beckie Scott were racing in the team sprint final when Renner broke a pole.

Watching from the sidelines, Norwegian coach Bjornar Hakensmoen gave Renner a new pole which allowed her not only to finish the race but to win a silver medal with Scott. The Norwegians came in fourth, meaning that Hakensmoen’s heroics may have cost his own team a medal.

Photos 1-4: Matthias Schrader/AP
Photos 5-6: NBC screengrabs via Deadspin

freestyle skiingphoto

Canada places 12th in debut of women’s ski jumping

Canada's Atsuko Tanaka lands after an attempt during a women's normal hill ski jumping training. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP Photo)

Canada’s Atsuko Tanaka lands after an attempt during a women’s normal hill ski jumping training. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP Photo)

Canadian women’s ski jumper Atsuko Tanaka finished 12th and fellow Canadian Taylor Henrich finished 13th in the debut of women’s ski jumping in Sochi.

Tanaka was considered a possible medal contender, having recently earned a career-best fourth-place result at a World Cup event in January. Taylor Henrich finished fifth at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Seventeen-year-old Sara Takanashi of Japan was a favourite to win the sport’s first Olympic gold but finished off the podium in fourth. Carina Vogt of Germany took gold, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver while Coline Mattel of France took bronze.

freestyle skiing

Canadians Dara Howell, Kim Lamarre take gold and bronze in women’s ski slopestyle

Canadain freestyle skier Dara Howell celebrates her slopestyle win. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Canadian freestyle skier Dara Howell celebrates her slopestyle win. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., wins gold for Canada in women’s ski slopestyle.

  • Howell scored 94.20 on her first run, and finished nine points ahead of her nearest competitor
  • Kim Lamarre took bronze with a score of 85.00 on her second run
  • Yuki Tsubota scored 71.64 on her first run, and took fifth. She suffered a major crash on her second run
  • Medal hope Kaya Turski failed to make it through to the final, but tweeted congratulations to her teammate
  • Read the full story.

Howell describes her love of big air:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4y8Qsv8gt0

Canada’s freestyle supremacy

This win gives Canada six medals in freestyle skiing, after double-medal wins in both men’s and women’s moguls.

The reaction

big momentsfreestyle skiingmedal

Day 3 recap: Canada takes three medals after a stunning day in Sochi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oFHj1uQqB0

1. Gold and silver: Freestyle Ski, Men’s Moguls

Canada had its second double-medal event today with Canadian Alexandre Bilodeau earning gold and Mikael Kingsbury earning silver in the men’s moguls. Bilodeau became the first athlete in Olympic history to win back-to-back golds in moguls. Read more here.

2. Gold medal: Short Track Speed Skating, Men’s 1500m

Charles Hamelin took gold Monday in the 1,500-metre short track race, with a time of 2:14.985. That was enough to edge out China’s Tianu Han (2:15.055) who won silver, and Russia’s Victor An (2:15.062), who took bronze. Read the full story.

Earlier: Women’s Super Combined

Marie-Michele Gagnon was considered a medal candidate in the Super Combined, but was injured in the slalom portion of the race. Going into the games, Gagnon won a Super Combined event in Austria, becoming the first Canadian to do so.

Elsewhere

In a mild upset, the men’s curling team lost to Switzerland 4-5. The loss might not affect their chances at a gold, however, with several games remaining in the tournament.  The women defeated China 9.2.

Canada has advanced to the final in women’s 3000m relay short-track speed skating. The finals are on Feb. 18.

The women’s hockey team defeated Finland 3-0.

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