Sochi Olympics Open Thread - February 13

Alex Gough will go for gold in the new team competition. - Alex Livesey

The Canadian men's hockey starts today, as does skeleton and the inaugural edition of men's ski slopestyle.

You know, if there was a medal for 4th place, Canada would have a lot more medals. Denny Morrison got our only medal yesterday, earning silver in the men's longtrack 1000m. Tristan Walker and Justin Snith finished 4th in the doubles luge, and Canada's figure skating pairs finished 5th and 7th. Today has quite a few beginnings: the inaugural edition of men's ski slopestyle, the start of skeleton, and Canada's first game for men's hockey.

Biathlon

The men run their individual 20km today. This is very much like the Pursuit and Sprint: the men ski around a 4km track for 5 laps, with rounds of shooting at the end of each of the first 4 laps. Unlike the other events, though, there is no penalty loop to skate: each missed target adds an extra minute to the skier’s final time. Among the 89 skiers are Canadians Scott Perras, Brendan Green, Jean-Phillipe Le-Guellec and Nathan Smith. The fastest skier across the finish line, with penalties accounted for, wins the gold. The race begins at 18:00.

Cross-Country

The ladies get to ski their 10km Classic today. This format is very simple: they leave at 30-second intervals, skate the classic style for 10km, and the fastest time wins. Canada is well represented by Amanda Ammar, Daria Gaiazova, Heidi Widmer and Brittany Webster. The racing begins at 14:00.

Curling

Brad Jacobs and his men found a way to shut up the Russian home crowd yesterday, by beating Russia 7-4. They only have the one game today, an afternoon session match against Denmark. Jennifer Jones and her team was strong yesterday as well, beating Great Britain by a score of 9-6. The ladies have 2 games today: the morning game against Denmark, and the evening game against Switzerland.

9:00 (Women’s Session 5): China faces Great Britain, Canada plays Denmark, and Switzerland battles Sweden.

14:00 (Men’s Session 6): Canada faces Denmark, Great Britain plays USA, Switzerland battles Russia, and Norway meets Sweden.

19:00 (Women’s Session 6): Switzerland faces Canada, Japan plays USA, Russia battles Korea, and Sweden meets Denmark.

Figure Skating

The men start their individual competition today with the short program. Patrick Chan is the obvious Canadian to pay attention to, and will be joined by Liam Firus and Kevin Reynolds. Watch for Russian superstar Evgeny Plyushenko to dominate in front of the home crowd. The shorts start at 19:00.

Freestyle Skiing

The men now get to tackle the new ski slopestyle event. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand is the only Canadian, and will hope to represent us as well as everyone else has in the new events. Qualifications start at 10:15, followed by the finals at 13:30.

Ice Hockey

There are a total of 6 hockey games today, between the men’s and women’s tournaments. The Canadian men will make their Olympic debut today, facing Norway at 21:00. Also in the men’s tournament, Russia will face Slovenia at 16:30, while Slovakia faces USA at the same time. On the women’s side, the two games at 12:00 will feature Japan against Germany and Finland facing Austria, followed by a Sweden-Russia matchup at 21:00.

Luge

Another new competition in these Olympics is the team luge relay competition. The runs will be divided into 3 parts: a woman luger, a male luger, and a doubles team. At the end of each of their runs, a special touch-pad they have to hit will allow their next teammate to start their run. The fastest total time is the winner, and each team only goes once. Canada's team will feature Alex Gough as our female single, Sam Edney as our male single, and the duo of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith as our double. The event starts at 20:15.

Short Track

The big news on the short-track today will be the ladies 500m races. Marianne St-Gelais finished 2nd in this event in 2010, and is joined this time by Valerie Maltais and Jessica Hewitt. The quarterfinals start at 14:00, followed by the semifinals at 15:10 and the finals at 16:05. Dispersed in between the ladies races, the men will race their 1000m heats and 5000m relay semifinals. Charles Hamelin finished 4th in the 1000m in Vancouver, and is joined by Olivier Jean and Charle Cournoyer in this event. Charles, Oliver and Charle are joined by Francois Hamelin and Michael Gilday to defend their title as the incumbent gold-winner from 2010's relay. The men’s heats start at 14:25, followed by the relays at 15:31.

Skeleton

It’s the first day for the skeleton, and the ladies kick it off with their first 2 runs. Melissa Hollingsworth is back after finishing 5th in Vancouver, and she'll want to get back on the podium. Joining her is fellow Canadian Sara Reid. The 1st heat starts at 11:30, followed by the 2nd at 12:40.

Speed Skating

The ladies will race the 1000m today. Christine Nesbitt is the incumbent Olympic champion, and will look to defend her title. Joining her are fellow Canadian Kali Christ, Brittany Schussler and Kaylin Irvine. Racing starts at 18:00.

Be sure to visit the Sochi Olympics, CBC Olympics, and Team Canada websites for lots of coverage. This thread will double as our gamethread for the Canada-Norway game, so just hang out here for that.

Canada go!

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