Day 8 of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has wrapped up with more stories of success and heartbreak. The last five days haven’t had the same magic that we saw in the first three days of competition for Canada, but there is still much to be proud of.
It isn’t just Canada that experiences the ups and downs of Olympic competition though, as we saw with American gold medal favourite Shaun White finishing fourth and missing a chance at another Olympic medal in the snow boarding half pipe, the two-time gold medalist Shani Davis of the US leaving the speed skating track without a Sochi medal, as well as the disappointment of the Slovakian men’s hockey team losing to Slovenia, and the heartbreak of the United Kingdom’s Elise Christie being disqualified twice in Olympic Short track. Sow when the Canadian Luge team misses out on a bronze medal by one-tenth of a second, or Charles Hamelin falls in the Men’s 1000, Canadians should know that every country is seeing some of their athletes have to deal with the pain of an unexpected loss. Some of the athletes that didn’t get the result they were looking for will have a chance at redemption like Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais who have other Olympic events to come, but others are not as lucky. As in any Olympics there are many triumphs and many defeats, but there are also great stories that make you happy.
Stories such as the little legend in the making Julia Lipnitskaya, who won a gold medal in the team figure skating competition and placed first in both events she skated in, at age 15 she is the youngest gold medalist, six days younger than Tara Lipinski who won in the 1998 Winter Olympics. There was Canadian cross-country coach Justin Wadsworth who ran onto the course to help Russian athlete Anton Gafarov who had crashed during his run and broke his left ski. Wadsworth replaced the broken ski with a new one to help Gafarov finish the race. There is also my favorite story of the Olympics so far as Canadian Gilmore Junio gave up his spot in the 1000-meter speed skating event to Denny Morrison who didn’t qualify due to a fall at the Canadian trials in Calgary. Junio felt that Morrison had been skating better and was the best chance at winning a medal and he was right, as Morrison would win silver in that race. These are the kinds of stories that make the Olympics what they are and that is exciting for all of us. I agree with the movement that is trying to get Junio to carry the flag in the closing ceremonies, he really deserves it.
So let’s run down our Canadian Athletes and the success they have had since I last wrote about them.
On February 11th Dara Howell won a gold medal and Kim Lamarre the bronze in Freestyle Skiing Women’s Ski Slopestyle. This was the inaugural year where Slopestyle skiing became an Olympic sport and both women made Canada proud.
Denny Morrison mentioned above would win two medals. The first was silver in Long Track Speed Skating, in the Men’s 1000 meters on the 12th of February and a Bronze medal in the Men’s 1500 meters on February 15th .
Last, but not least Patrick Chan won silver in Men’s singles Figure skating, although he and many others expected a gold medal from Chan, he still managed to medal and for me that’s a fantastic achievement and makes us just as happy for him had he won a gold.
Those were the medals that we have won, but there are many events left where we could win more in both singles and team events. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir start the ice dancing competition tomorrow, as do our bobsled teams. We also have seen strong results in Curling, and of course Hockey.
The Men’s Curling team lead by Brad Jacobs sits third in the standings with Sweden and China ahead of them, they have two more games remaining and the top four teams will make the playoffs. As for our women’s team Jennifer Jones and her team sit a top the standings in first place and an undefeated record of 7-0 and with two games left she is looking to stay perfect going into the playoffs.
The Men’s Hockey has only really just begun, but the top two teams in the groups are as follows:
- In Group A Team USA is first with Russia in Second, after the Americans beat the Russians in a shootout earlier today. The Americans look to solidify first with a win over Solvenia.
- In-group B we have team Canada and Finland tied for first with the tie breaker coming up Sunday where the two teams will face each other. The Fins are looking for some good luck as another center has caught the injury bug while Canada continues to figure out what will be the best combination of players when the knock out games begin, personally I think they should take Kunitz out of the lineup, but that’s just me.
- As for Group C all the games have been played for them and Sweden holds first while Switzerland is second, the biggest surprise in this group is the Czech Republic who only won one game out of three.
As for the women who I left last on this list, because so far they have been very exciting to watch especially the game between the States and Canada. We have our semi finalist’s ready for the 17th first group is Canada vs. Switzerland and the second pair is USA vs. Sweden and although everyone is expecting Canada vs. United States for the Gold medal game you have to play the semi finals first and the beauty of sports is the we will never know the actual winner until the game is played.
To reiterate what I said in my last article our Canadian athletes always make us feel very proud no matter how they finish, they are the reason why we watch and why we will always turn our attention to them, I’m looking forward to what the second half of the Olympics has in store, so to our Canadian athletes keep it up, you’re doing a great job so far, Go Canada Go!
What’s your favorite Olympic story so far, or what sport are you excited to watch? Please feel free to share it with us below, I look forward to reading them!
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