Posted on 13 February 2006.
20Km W’s Cross-country Skiiing
Estonia’s Kristina Smigun opened the medal count for the former-Soviet, Baltic countries with a Gold in 15km pursuit Cross-Country (the race in which Canada’s Beckie Scott finished 6th). Katerina Neumannova from Czech Republic took Silver finishing about a second behind while Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva-Abruzova scored the Bronze medal. Beside Beckie’s 6th, Canada’s Sara Renner of Canmore, AB., finished 16th in a discipline which saw numerous competetitors already suspended for 5 days for high blood hempglobin levels or something.
Men’s Single Luge
Latvia answered their Estonian neighbors with Martins Rubenis winning a Bronze in Men’s single Luge, an event won by Italy’s Armin Zoeggeler to the thrill of the local crowd, while Albert Demtschenko of Russia took the Silver. Jeff Christie finished a respectable 14th while teammates Sam Edney finished 19th and the third Ian Cockerline Canadian DNF’ed.
Also notable on the luge track, the legendary luger, Georg Hackl of Germany did not reach the podium for the first time in his Olympic career denying him his amazing sixth Olympic medal – he’ll likely retire after this event.
The Games’ opening event, the 20km Biatholon was won by Germany’s Michael Greis over the Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway who has basically owned the event for in recent history (he swept all 4 gold medals in 2002). Another Norweigian, Halvard Hanevold finished hard to beat Russian Sergei Tchepikov for the bronze.
Normal Ski Jump
Norwegian Lars Bystoel’s second jump of 103.5 metres vaulted him from 6th to Gold in the “Normal” Ski Jump. Finnish jumper Matti Hautamaeki won the silver another Norweigian Roar Ljoekelsoey won Bronze..
Canadian Stefan Read didn’t make the 2nd round of the Top 30 jumps joining defending Gold-medalist, the affable, Harry Potter-lookalike, Simon Ammann of Switzerland on the sidelines. Finnish Ski Jumping stars Janne Ahonen of Finland and Jakub Janda of the Czech Republic also failed to medal.
M’s Half-pipe Snowboard
In Bardonecchia, Italy, American Shaun White won the gold Sunday, in Men’s Snowboarding Half-pipe. Another American Danny Kass took the silver, and Finland’s Markku Koski won bronze. The only Canadian, Crispin Lipscomb of Whistler, BC, finished 11th. The red-headed White, only 19 years old, boarded to AC/DC’s Back in Black and had sealed the deal before his second run so treated the crowd to some hi-jinks before a jublilant celebration.
Already partially mentioned in a previous post … Frenchman Antoine Deneriaz shocked and thrilled the crowd by winning the Men’s downhill ski event at warp speed. Reigning World Cup downhill champ Michael Walchhofer of Austria took home the silver after likely thinking he had the gold in hand before Deneriaz beat his time by 0.72. Bruno Kernen of Switzerland took the Bronze and both the hot-shot Americans (Bode Miller 5th and Daron Rahlves 10th) and venerable veterans (Hermann Meier -AUT 6th, Marco Buechel -LEI 7th, and Kjetil-Andre Aamodt – NOR 4th) missed out on medals. Defending 2002 gold winner, Fritz Strobl of Austria settled with 8th skiing with a broken hand. Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., Canada’s top downhiller, didn’t compete due to a leg injury but he may go in the Super-G on Feb. 18th, but his teammates all finished in the top 30 boding well for 2010 results.
Short Track Skating
I am watching this right now so not much to tell except both USA’s Apollo Anton Ohno and CAN’s Darren Tucotte did not advance and the Koreans are on a mission. Women’s relay coming up next.
Besides the shellacing the Canadian Women handed to the Italians and Russians, USA Women beat Germany 5-0. Remember the tie-breaker is goal-differential to determine “home” team advantage meaning second line changes and second stick in on face-offs as well as choice of jersey. Canada plays Sweden next in round-robin play.