Sochi Olympics Open Thread - February 18

Charle Cournoyer is fighting hard to do well. - Matthew Stockman

The fog will hopefully clear for several good Canadian events, while a medal in short-track is already 75% guaranteed.

Hey, remember when Vancouver didn't have enough snow for the 2010 Olympics? Well, stop laughing at Sochi then, at least they HAVE snow! The fog over there has been interfering with several of these 2014 Olympic events, so stuff keeps getting postponed and moved around. This played a major role in why a few events didn't see Canadian medallists yesterday. We had to settle for one medal, the silver in ice dancing for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Today, lots of the postponed events should finally get going if the weather co-operates, and a medal in short-track speed skating is 75% guaranteed.

Alpine Skiing

One event moved around by the weather is the women's giant slalom runs, which involves gates that are spread a big further apart than the regular slalom. Marie-Michele Gagnon, Marie-Pier Prefontaine, and Erin Mielzynski are in the mix for Canada. Run 1 starts at 9:30, followed by Run 2 at 13:00, with the sum time of the two courses deciding the winner.

Biathlon

Will this event catch a break today? The men's 15km Mass Start is still waiting for a chance to happen. As I said yesterday, the three Canadians are Jean-Phillipe Le Guellec, Nathan Smith and Brendan Green. The race, providing it's not postponed again, starts at 14:30.

Bobsleigh

The women get their first 2 heats underway today. Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse are back to defend their gold for Canada, while Jennifer Ciochetti and Chelsea Valois join the mix as Canada 2. Heat 1 starts at 19:15, followed by Heat 2 at 20:20.

Curling

Jennifer Jones and her ladies broke an Olympic record yesterday, by being the first team to ever go undefeated in the round robin. The perfection will have to continue, as losses in the semis or finals would result in something other than gold. Brad Jacobs and his men finished 2nd in the men's round robin.

Today has the one game, a tie-breaker between Norway and Great Britain for 4th in the men's tournament. The winner will face Sweden tomorrow in the semifinals. The tie-breaker starts at 9:00.

Freestyle Skiing

The men take on the ski halfpipe today. Canada has 4 men participating in the event: Matt Margretts, Noah Bowman, Justin Dorey and Mike Riddle. Qualification starts at 17:45, followed by the finals at 21:30, with 2 runs per session.

Ice Hockey

On with the playoffs!!! On the men's side, the byes to the quarterfinals were earned by Canada, Sweden, USA and Finland. All the other 8 teams have to play an extra game to make it to the quarterfinals. At 12:00, Slovenia battles Austria for the chance to play Sweden tomorrow. Following that, Russia faces Norway at 16:30 with hopes of taking on Finland tomorrow. The two games at 21:00 will have the Czech Republic against Slovakia, and Switzerland versus Latvia. USA will take on the winner of the CZE-SVK game in the quarterfinals, while Canada will face the SUI-LAT winner.

On the women's side, yesterday's games locked up a USA-CAN gold medal rematch, along with a Sweden-Switzerland bronze medal match. Today's games will determine the rankings for the bottom 4 teams. The 12:00 game has Japan and Germany battling for 7th, and the 16:30 game has Russia and Finland playing for 5th.

Nordic Combined

The individual Gundersen LH / 10km will happen today, with points earned on the large hill jump determining head starts in the cross-country portion. There are no Canadians participating in this event, so you can just watch it for the entertainment. Jumping starts at 13:30, followed by the cross-country race at 16:00.

Short Track

The short-track takes over the small ice rink today, with multiple events in progress. The ladies will take on the 1000m heats at 13:30, with Canada represented by Valerie Maltais, Marie-Eve Drolet and Marianne St-Gelais. After that, the men will have their 500m heats at 14:15, starring Canadians Charle Cournoyer, Olivier Jean and Charles Hamelin. Finally, the ladies will have their 3000m relay finals at 14:54, with Jessica Gregg and Jessica Hewitt joining Valerie, Marie-Eve and Marianne for the Canadian team to finish no lower than 4th.

Snowboard

After yesterday's fog, the men's snowboard cross had the seeding round completely cancelled, and the rest of the event got postponed. Christopher Robanske, Kevin Hill, Robert Fagan and Jake Holden all represent Canada here. The 1/8 finals at 10:30 will have the snowboarders ranked on the current World Cup rankings. The quarterfinals will follow the 1/8 finals at 10:56, followed by the semis at 11:10 and finals at 11:18.

Speed Skating

The men will take on the 10,000m race today. There are no Canadians participating in this lengthy event, so watch for the 3 Dutch guys to sweep the podium. The races start at 17:00.

Be sure to check out the official Sochi Olympics, CBC Olympics, and Team Canada Olympics websites for lots of coverage and updates.

Canada go!

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