Recapping the Winter Olympics: Day 12
Today in Hockey Turning to the rest of the quarterfinals outside of Russia's meltdown, the story was Latvia, specifically goalie Kristers Gudlevskis. He stopped a whopping 55 Canadian shots. Unfortunately, Canada was able to get the game winning goal from Shea Weber with 6:54 to go. Thus, the Maple Leaf survives 2-1, but what an effort from Latvia. Canada will face Team USA, who beat the Czech Republic 5-2. Sweden easily beat Slovenia 5-0, and will play Russian conquerors Finland in the other semifinal.
Remember Him? In American men's alpine skiing, Bode Miller gets most of the attention, to the determent of Ted Ligety. Well, Ligety will get the attention now, as he won gold in the Giant Slalom. Ligety was almost a second faster than everyone else in run 1, giving him plenty of cushion for run 2. Two Frenchmen, Steve Missillier and Alex Pinturault rounded out the podium. As for Miller, he tweaked a knee injury during the competition and finished 20th. He then withdrew from the slalom, and thus his Olympic career has likely come to a close.
A New Medal Champion There's a new all-time record holder for most Winter Olympics medals and it's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. His Norway team won gold in the first ever mixed relay (two women and two men on each team). That gives Bjoerndalen 13 career medals (8 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze), one more than the previous record holder, Norwegian cross country skiier Bjorn Daehlie.
An Odd Situation Vic Wild of Russia won gold in the snowboarding Parallel Giant Slalom. However, Wild is originally from White Salmon, Washington and doesn't speak Russian. Wild switched his citizenship because he felt USA Snowboarding didn't care about the slalom events. Worked out for him I guess. Adding to the craziness, his wife, native Russian Alena Zavarzina, won bronze in the women's PGS (gold went to Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland).
Repeat Looking Good Yuna Kim of South Korea came into the women's figure skating competition as the favorite to repeat her gold from Vancouver. So far, so good, as she leads after the short program. A Russian teenager is close, but it's not Yulia Lipnitskaya, but 17 year old Adelina Sotnikova. In third place is Carolina Kostner of Italy. All three Americans have a sporting chance at a medal, with Gracie Gold in 4th, Ashley Wagner in 6th, and Polina Edmunds in 7th. Lipnitskaya is also still in it in 5th place. One contender has out though is Vancouver silver medalists Mao Asada. She had a terrible short program and is stuck in 16th.
Too Many Skids Anyone who watch the first two runs of women's bobsled yesterday saw that while Elena Meyers and Lauryn Williams were fast, they certainly skidded a lot. That came back to haunt them today, as they lost their lead in the final run and had to settle for silver. The Canadian sled of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse came from behind to win gold by a tenth of a second. The USA2 sled of Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel took bronze. The USA3 sled of Jazmine Fenlator and the ever controversial Lolo Jones finished 11th.
Today in Curling It was semifinal day at the curling center, and Canada can be happy, as both teams will play for gold. The men defeated China 10-6, and will face Great Britain, who beat Sweden 6-5. The women defeated Great Britain 6-4, and will face Sweden, who defeated Switzerland 7-5.
They Also Won Gold medals also went to Norway and Finland in the women's and men's cross country team sprint respectively, as well as Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic in the speed skating women's 5000 meters. The Dutch of course took the other spots on the podium.
Medal Count There's a new #1, and it's the United States. Wooo! That's total medals though, a metric that only we really care about. In gold medals, the new leader is Norway.
1. United States 23 (7 G, 5 S, 11 B)
2. Russia 22 (6 G, 9 S, 7 B)
3. Netherlands 22 (6 G, 7 S, 9 B)
4. Norway 20 (9 G, 4 S, 7 B)
5. Canada 18 (5 G, 9 S, 4 B)
6. Germany 15 (8 G, 3 S, 4 B)
On Tap You see how today was so active. Tomorrow is the opposite, as they clearly have to drag the rest of the events out to get through the weekend. Thus, all of primetime is going to be the women's long program in figure skating. I basically guarantee it. The big real sporting event tomorrow is the women's hockey showdown: Canada vs. United States for gold. The game is at noon eastern on NBC. Tomorrow is also the gold medal game in women's curling: Canada vs. Sweden. That won't be on TV until 5 eastern on CNBC. The bronze medal game between Great Britain and Switzerland will be live at 3:30 am. Go figure. There's also men's ski cross, women's ski halfpipe, and the team Nordic Combined event.