Olympics, Winter

Recapping the Winter Olympics: Day 4

2/11/14 in Olympics, Winter   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Recapping the Winter Olympics: Day 4The more I think about how these Games will be perceived as a competition (separate from the other issues), the more I think back to 2006 in Torino. Those Games were perceived as having no buzz, and the primary reason was because Team USA "disappointed," despite winning more medals than they ever had to date in a Winter Games we didn't host. I suspect this narrative will take hold soon, even though the US remains on track to win a lot of medals. Even though it's Day 4, I think that narrative congealed after one specific result today.

As always, a warning that this article will contain spoilers of NBC's primetime telecast.

Shocker on the Halfpipe The Shaun White Reign is over on the halfpipe. On a day filled with crashes, White could only manage 4th place. The winner was Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland, whose nickname is "I-Pod" and had a trick with YOLO in the title. Luckily Bob Costas's eye disease is keeping him from anchoring tonight, or the get off my lawn-ness would be off the charts.

Another Barrier Broken It took way too long to happen, and there are still issues, but women's ski jumping finally made its Olympic debut. The first ever jumper was American Sarah Hendrickson. The winner was Carina Vogt of Germany. The shocker was that heavy favorite Sara Takanashi finished 4th.

Mission Completed Erin Hamlin finished the first day of women's luge in 3rd place, and she held on through the second day to win the US's first ever singles luge medal. German Natalie Geisenberger beat fellow German Tatjana Huefner by over a second (which is practically Secretariat at Belmont territory in luge) for gold.

Russia Loves The Most Corrupt Sport The pair of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov are the heavy favorites in pairs figure skating, and they back it up today, leading the short program with the highest score ever. I'll be nice and assume it was legitimate.

Oh Canada The Maple Leaf's hot start to these Games continued in the first ever women's freestyle skiing slopestyle competition. The gold went to Dara Howell, with Kim Lamarre adding a bronze for Canada. Devin Logan of the United States took silver. Canada has won all three freestyle skiing events so far.

They Also Won Today's other gold medal winners were Darya Domracheva of Belarus in the women's 10km biathlon pursuit, Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ola Vigen Hattestad of Norway in the women's and men's cross country sprint respectively, and Sang Hwa Lee of South Korea in women's 500 meter speed skating (in Olympic record time).

Today in Curling Team USA, men and women, continue to struggle. The men lost 9-4 to China, while the women dropped two matches and are currently in last place. Worst of all, the women gave up 7 points in one end in their loss to Great Britain. The maximum number of points a team can earn is 8, and anything more than 3 or 4 is very, very rare, especially at this level. The other big shock so far is that the Canadian men have started 1-2.

Today in Hockey It was Group B action in the women's tournament, where Sweden beat Germany 4-0 and Russia beat Japan 2-1. Both Sweden and Russia have advanced to the knockout round.

Medal Count Norway is hitting the podium just about everywhere, and have thus taken the lead over Canada and the Netherlands (who have earned all their medals so far in speed skating). The US is still in the mix, so don't fret flag wavers.

1. Norway 11 (4 G, 3 S, 4 B)
2. Canada 9 (4 G, 3 S, 2 B)
3. Netherlands 8 (3 G, 2 S, 3 B)
4. United States 7 (2 G, 1 S, 4 B)
5. Russia 7 (1 G, 3 S, 3 B)
6. Germany 5 (4 G, 1 S, 0 B)

On Tap Tomorrow is a big day for hockey fans. First, the Canadian and US women's teams play their preliminary round game. There's not much directly on the line, but it's the best two teams by far in a preview of the likely gold medal game. The men's tournament also finally gets started tomorrow. The two games scheduled are Czech Republic-Sweden and Latvia-Switzerland. Shani Davis gets his turn at trying to win the same event 3 straight Olympics in the men's 1000m speed skate. The other events likely to see primetime coverage are the free skate in pairs figure skating and the women's snowboarding halfpipe, as well as the women's downhill. Medals will also be awarded in doubles luge and Nordic combined, and of course it's another full day of curling. On paper, tomorrow promises to be a great day of action.
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