2014 Winter Olympics Recap: Day 3
The Quiet One Strikes Again Julia Mancuso is never the most talked about member of the US ski team, but she has a knack for coming through on the big stage. In today's Super Combined, Mancuso threw down a fantastic downhill run to take the lead. That allowed her to survive the slalom, her weaker discipline, to take the bronze, her fourth career Olympic medal. The gold went to Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, considered to the best women's skier in the world outside of possible Lindsay Vonn.
Moguls First Repeat Champion Freestyle skiing had never seen someone win more than one gold medal. Ever. Hannah Kearney had her chance in women's moguls but couldn't do it. Today though in men's moguls Alexandre Bilodeau of Canada became that first multiple gold medalist, defending his title from Vancouver (when he became the first Canadian to win gold on home soil). Countryman Mikael Kingsbury won silver, and Alexandr Smyshlyeav of Russia won bronze. The top American was Patrick Deneen in 6th place.
Just Paint the Ice Orange The men's 500 meters was just about the only speed skating event the Dutch hadn't conquered. Never mind, as the boys in orange went ahead and swept this event today, making them 3-for-3 in speed skating golds and 2-for-3 in podium sweeps. The winner was Michel Mulder, beneficiary of a review of the time of silver medalists Jan Smeekens (the times in 500m are so precise that photo finishes are often needed to verify times). Smeekens cruelly thought he won the gold for a few seconds before the timing correction. Michel's twin brother Ronald won the bronze, continuing a fantastic Olympics for siblings.
Near Miss of History Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came into today's 12.5 km Biathlon Pursuit needing one more medal to become the most decorated Winter Olympian ever. He fell 1.7 seconds short, and thus history will have to wait another day. The winner was Martin Fourcade of France, considered the best in the world at the moment.
A Good Start Germany dominates luge, so it's no surprise that they are 1-2 after the first two runs in women's singles. Natalie Geisenberger leads defending Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner by a commanding seven tenths of a second (yes, that's a commanding lead in luge). In third though is Erin Hamlin of the United States. She has a two tenths cushion for the medal, which would be a very good result, as there is no shame in losing to the Germans.
Oh, Short Track I haven't had the chance to watch the races yet, but the results in print don't indicate the usual short track chaos. Charles Hamelin of Canada won gold in the men's 1500m, Hamelin's third career gold and Canada's second of the day. Tianyu Han of China took silver, and Victor Ahn of now Russia (formally South Korea) bronze. JR Celski of the United States ended up in the heartbreaker 4th place.
The IOC is Awful, Take 957228 Today they banned athletes from wearing memorial stickers to Sarah Burke, a freestyle skier who died in a training accident in 2012. Burke played a pivotal role in getting the halfpipe event for skiing in the Olympics. Not really much else to say about that.
Today in Curling The sport we all love got underway today, but it was not a good day for the United States. Both teams lost their opening match, the men to Norway (aka Team Pants) and the women to Switzerland. The big upset of the day came when the Russia women defeated Denmark.
Today in Hockey The US women's team absolutely crushed Switzerland 9-0. Canada defeated Finland 3-0. Both teams have already clinched byes into the semifinals.
Medal Count For the first time ever, Canada is in first place (in terms of total medals, they won the most golds in Vancouver).
1. Canada 7 (3 G, 3 S, 1 B)
2. Netherlands 7 (3 G, 2 S, 2 B)
3. Norway 7 (2 G, 1 S, 4 B)
4. Russia 6 (1 G, 2 S, 3 B)
5. United States 5 (2 G, 0 S, 3 B)
On Tap In the eyes of television, the marquee event of the day is the figure skating pairs short program. It's either that or the men's snowboarding halfpipe, as Shaun White goes for his 3rd consecutive gold. Medals will also be awarded in biathlon (women's 10km pursuit), cross-country skiing (women's and men's sprint), freestyle skiing (women's slopestyle), luge (women's singles), and speed skating (women's 500m). Women's ski jumping also makes its Olympics debut tomorrow as well. In curling, the US women play Russia and Great Britain, while the US men face off against China. Finally, Pool B of women's hockey continues.