Olympic Report: Pyeongchang 2018 Part 2

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DAY 9

Day 9 saw the great Marcel Hirscher win his second gold medal of the Games in the Giant Slalom, while at Alpensia, the finish of the men’s Biathlon Mass Start ended in a photo finish. There was nothing in it really, millimetres I would say, but in the end it was Martin Fourcade who took the gold with Germany’s Simon Schempp rather unluckily receiving the silver medal

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In the men’s ski slopestyle final, Team GB’s James Wood’s was pipped for the bronze medal by Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand.

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HOCKEY

WOMEN’S (5-8th Semifinals)

Switzerland 2-0 Korea

Japan 2-1 Sweden (OT)

MEN’S

Czech Republic 4-1 Switzerland

Canada 4-0 South Korea

Germany 2-1 Norway (SO)

Sweden 3-1 Finland

COMPLETED EVENTS

Men’s Giant Slalom: G- Marcel Hirscher (AUT), S- Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), B- Alexis Pinturault (FRA)

Men’s Mass Start (Biathlon): G- Martin Fourcade (FRA), S- Simon Schempp (GER), B- Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR)

Men’s 4x10K Relay (X-Country): G- Norway, S- OAR, B- France

Men’s Slopestyle (Skiing): G- Oystein Braten (NOR), S- Nick Goepper (USA), B- Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN)

Men’s Aerials: G- Oleksandr Abramenko (BLR), S- Jia Zongyang (CHN), B- Ilya Burov (OAR)

Women’s 500m (Long-track): G- Nao Kodaira (JPN), S- Lee Sang-hwa (KOR), B- Karolina Erbanova (CZE)

DAY 10

The 2-man bobsleigh final was dramatic to say the least. It’s not often you see a tie for the gold medal (in fact, the last time it happened was 20 years ago at the ’98 Games in Nagano when Canada and Germany tied for first). Fast forward, and it was the same result as Canada’s Justin Kripps and German Francesco Friedrich both took home the gold medal. The reaction from the German team was top-notch, as they were the first ones on the track to congratulate Kripps and Kopacz. This says a lot about the bobsledding community, and the sliding community as a whole really, because its not often you see that kind of camaraderie in sport, it was just a really nice moment.

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Image result for 2 man's bobsled winners pyeongchang

But more importantly: ICE DANCE! In my last post I may have said that if Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir didn’t win gold it would be a travesty. Well, they only went and set a new world record after their short dance. Which, if you haven’t seen it, you missed out.

It’s quite breathtaking, and they are quite simply the best at what they do. After 2 years away from the sport, they decided to come out of retirement in search of another individual gold medal after their double silver in Sochi. They’ve won every competition apart from December’s Grand Prix Final since their return and it would stand to reason that they were the favourites headed in to the free dance.

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Also, how perfect are they together?? The chemistry they have just oozes out of them. Shame they’ve said they’re not an item………………don’t believe me? Watch it. You’ll thank me later.

https://www.eurosport.co.uk/figure-skating/pyeongchang/2018/canadian-duo-tessa-virtue-and-scott-moir-break-world-record-in-short-dance_vid1064721/video.shtml

HOCKEY

WOMEN’S (Semifinals)

Canada 5-0 OAR

USA 5-0 Finland

COMPLETED EVENTS

Men’s Bobsleigh (2-man): G- Justin Kripps/Alex Kopacz (CAN) & Francesco Friedrich/Thorsten Margis (GER), B- Oskars Melbardis/Janis Strenga (LAT)

Men’s Large Hill (Team): G- Norway, S- Germany, B- Poland

Men’s 500m (Long-track): G- Havard Lorentzen (NOR), S- Cha Min-kyu (KOR), B- Gao Tingyu (CHN)

DAY 11

I don’t really need to write anything about the free dance, all you need to know is in the video. If you’re not a blubbering wreck at the end, you have no soul.

https://www.eurosport.co.uk/figure-skating/pyeongchang/2018/watch-canada-s-tessa-virtue-and-scott-moir-seal-gold-with-stunning-free-dance_vid1065687/video.shtml

ITS SO BEAUTIFUL. Scott and Tessa are now officially the world’s best ‘love story.’ Those aren’t my words, they’re the BBC’s. #legends #icons #prettysuretheicejustmelted

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried. If anything, I wanted them to win this gold medal more than I wanted the hockey golds. There. I said it. (I’m also not tearing up as I’m writing this……………….)

Also on this day, another Canadian, Cassie Sharpe, took gold in the women’s ski halfpipe final. It was so good, Ryan Reynolds tweeted about it.

Image result for cassie sharpe pyeongchang

HOCKEY

WOMEN’S

Switzerland 1-0 Japan (5th place game)

Sweden 6-1 Korea (7th place game)

MEN’S

USA 5-1 Slovakia

Norway 2-1 Slovenia

Finland 5-2 South Korea

Germany 2-1 Switzerland (OT)

COMPLETED EVENTS

Mixed Relay (Biathlon): G- France, S- Norway, B- Italy

Ice Dance: G- Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN), S- Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), B- Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA)

Women’s Halfpipe (Skiing): G- Cassie Sharpe (CAN), S- Marie Martinod (FRA), B- Brita Sigourney (USA)

Nordic Combined Large Hill/10K (Ind.): G- Johannes Rydzek (GER) S- Fabian Reißle (GER), B- Eric Frenzel (GER)

Women’s 3000m relay (Short-track): G- South Korea, S- Italy, B- Netherlands

DAY 12

It was supposed to be Lindsey Vonn’s swansong, her last triumph at her last Olympics…..but it wasn’t to be as she could only manage a bronze in the women’s downhill. In an emotional interview afterwards, she dedicated her medal to her late grandfather, who had served in the Korean War. Before her run, she had scattered his ashes on a rock at the top of the downhill run.

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Image result for lindsey vonn downhill pyeongchang

In the 2-woman bob, 2-time defending champion Kaillie Humphries and new partner Phylicia George could only manage a bronze behind the Germans and the Americans. For George, who has represented Canada in athletics at 2 summer Games, it was her first Olympic medal. Considering she only took up the sport in November, I’d say she’s proud of that.

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In a ‘Cool Runnings’ moment, the coach of the Jamaican women’s team (yes, the Jamaicans sent the women this year) quit the team taking the sled with her………..so beer brand Red Stripe stepped up and bought them a sled so they could still compete. GO JAMAICA.

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The men’s ski-cross saw Team Canada veteran Brady Leman take home the gold medal in a pretty crazy race…………but what ski-cross race is ever not crazy? Whoever invented it must have thought, ‘sure, let’s mix downhill skiing, but with smaller skis and poles, and add loads of crazy jumps and twists and turns and speed, and call it ski-cross and make it a thing.’ Well, it is a thing, and it is popular. Aside: I sat my mother down and made her watch it, but she spent most of the race covering her eyes.

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On another note: I was really digging the lunberjack check the Canadian freestylers were sporting in Pyeongchang. And the toques………….sorry, bobble hats! Lemme just hit up the Hudson’s Bay Company site real quick. Apparently, I can get one for $30 on eBay…………..

HOCKEY

WOMEN’S

Finland 3-2 OAR (Bronze Medal match)

MEN’S (Quarterfinals)

Czech Republic 3-2 USA (SO)

OAR 6-1 Norway

Canada 1-0 Finland

Germany 4-3 Sweden (OT)

COMPLETED EVENTS

Women’s Downhill: G- Sofia Goggia (ITA), S- Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), B- Lindsey Vonn (USA)

Bobsleigh (2 woman): G- Mariama Jamanka/Lisa Buckwitz (GER), S- Elana Meyers-Taylor/Lauren Gibbs (USA), B- Kaillie Humphries/Phylicia George (CAN)

Men’s Team Sprint (X-country): G- Norway, S- OAR, B- France

Women’s Team Sprint (X-country): G- USA, S- Sweden, B- Norway

Men’s Ski-cross: G- Brady Leman (CAN), S- Mark Bischofberger (SUI), B- Sergey Ridzik (OAR)

Men’s Team Pursuit (Long-track): G- Norway, S- South Korea B- Netherlands

Women’s Team Pursuit (Long-track): G- Japan, S- Netherlands, B- USA

DAY 13

To be honest, I’ve tried to forget that this day ever happened. I’ll just be bitter about it for the next 4 years. I SHOULD be happy that Canada won a medal. But seriously, if I have to talk about it, here’s the thing: THERE GOES A 16 YEAR, 4 GOLD MEDAL WINNING STREAK!!! Down the drain. And to lose in a shootout is just…………………heartbreaking. let’s face it, the IOC should probably consider changing its rules and policy for gold medal games. So, yes, I’m a bitter, disappointed Canadian. But it was a truly great game though, just like every other time Canada and the US play.

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And then, to add insult to injury, the Americans beat us again. At curling. Yes, curling. 2018 would mark the first time that a Canadian team wouldn’t win a medal in either men’s or women’s curling. But hey, at least there was the mixed doubles, right?

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it was a day of double disappointment for Team Canada, however, the only good thing(s) to come out of the day were two bronze medals in short track and the gem that is Scott Moir: that’s right, he turned up at the game, in full Team Canada colours, beer in one hand, screaming at the refs. I mean, he’s a GOAT, he can do that. That is peak Canadian-ness right there. But, alas, his presence didn’t help the ladies win. Guy’s a national treasure.

Scott Moir leads the cheering section

So good, he’s apparently a Canadian Heritage Moment! (As a side note: he skipped a ‘mandatory’ gala practice, which I’m sure his partner was not too pleased with………….)

HOCKEY

WOMEN’S

USA 3-2 Canada (SO) (Gold Medal Match)

COMPLETED EVENTS

Men’s Slalom: G- Andre Myhrer (SWE), S- Ramon Zenhausern (SUI), B- Michael Matt (AUT)

Women’s Combined: G- Michelle Gisin (SUI), S- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), B- Wendy Holdener (SUI)

Women’s Relay (Biathlon): G- Belarus, S- Sweden, B- France

Men’s Halfpipe (Skiing): G- David Wise (USA), S- Alex Ferreira (USA), B- Nico Porteous (NZL)

Women’s Hockey: G- USA S- Canada,B- Finland

Nordic Combined Team (Large Hill/4x5K): G- Germany, S- Norway, B- Austria

Women’s 1000m (Short-track): G- Suzanne Schulting (NED), S- Kim Boutin (CAN), B- Arianna Fontana (ITA)

Men’s 500m (Short-track): G- Wu Dajing (CHN), S- Hwang Dae-heon (KOR),B- Lim Hyo-jun (KOR)

Men’s 5000m Relay (Short-track): G- Hungary, S- China, B- Canada

Women’s Big Air: G- Anna Gasser (AUT), S- Jamie Anderson (USA), B- Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL)

DAY 14

And just when Canada thought it couldn’t get any worse…………………..IT BLOODY WELL DID! A scant 24 hours after the women’s team lost to the US, the men’s team lost in the semis. To Germany. Yes, Germany. Believe me, I’m just as confused and irate as you are. So Canada will leave Pyeongchang without a gold medal in the sport we love best and the one we hold most dear. It’s safe to say, that there will be a lot of bitterness over the next 4 years. Thanks a lot, Bettman. And Scott didn’t turn up either……………

It wasn’t all bad, however, as Kaetlyn Osmond took home the bronze medal in the women’s figure skating, taking our total medal count to 27 – a new national record. And a national record without any curling medals, or golds in hockey. Apparently, the figure skating team were on a mission this year! It also put us third in the medal table behind Norway and Germany and ahead of the US. (It’s the small things that count!)

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In the women’s ski cross, Team Canada took home 2 more medals as Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan finished 1-2.

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HOCKEY

MEN’S (Semifinals)

OAR 3-0 Czech Republic

Germany 4-3 Canada

COMPLETED EVENTS

Men’s Relay (Biathlon): G- Sweden, S- Norway, B- Germany

Women’s Figure Skating: G- Alina Zagitova (OAR), S- Evgenia Medvedeva (OAR), B- Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)

Women’s Ski Cross: G- Kelsey Serwa (CAN), S- Brittany Phelan (CAN), B- Fanny Smith (SUI)

Men’s 1000m (Long-track): G- Kjeld Nuis (NED), S- Havard Lorentzen (NOR), B- Kim Tae-yun (KOR)

DAY 15

HOCKEY

Look, it may not be gold, but a podium finish is still a positive. After losing in a shootout to the Czechs in the round robin, Canada found some redemption in beating them 6-4 to bring home bronze

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The men’s big air competition was won by Sebastien Toutant, making his gold Canada’s 29th medal overall. Team GB’s Billy Morgan took home a very well-deserved bronze. Not bad for a guy from Portsmouth!

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The women’s parallel giant slalom was held today and the gold medal went to Ester Ledecka. Remember her? Yeah, the one who won an alpine gold medal on borrowed skis. She only went and won her actual event. She was the hot favourite going into the final and she didn’t disappoint. She becomes the first woman to win a gold medal in two different sports at the same Games. Good on you, Ester.

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MEN’S (Bronze Medal Match)

Canada 6-4 Czech Republic

COMPLETED EVENTS

Team Alpine Skiing: G- Switzerland, S- Austria, B- Norway

Men’s 50K Classical (X-country): G- Iivo Niskanen (FIN), S- Aleksandr Bolshunov (OAR), B- Andrey Larkov (OAR)

Men’s Curling: G- USA, S- Sweden, B- Switzerland

Men’s Big Air: G- Sebastien Toutant (CAN), S- Kyle Mack (USA), B- Billy Morgan (GBR)

Men’s Parallel G.S.: G- Nevin Galmarini (SUI), S- Lee Sang-ho (KOR), B- Zan Kosir (SLO)

Women’s Parallel G.S.: G- Ester Ledecka (CZE), S- Selina Jorg (GER), B- Ramona Theresa Hofmeister (GER)

Men’s Mass Start (Long-track): G- Lee Seung-hoon (KOR), S- Bart Swings (BEL), B- Koen Verweij (NED)

Women’s Mass Start (Long-track): G- Nana Takagi (JPN), S- Kim Bo-reum (KOR), B- Irene Schouten (NED)

DAY 16

The last day of the 23rd Winter Games saw a tie for silver in the 4 man bobsled, saw the Russians take home the gold in men’s hockey and saw the ‘Iron Lady’, Marit Bjoergen take home gold in her last Olympic games.

Canada finished an agonizing 5th in the 4 man bob, while the gold went to Germany (the Germans……………again.)

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HOCKEY

MEN’S (Gold Medal Match)

OAR 4-3 Germany

COMPLETED EVENTS

4-Man Bobsleigh: G- Germany, S- Germany & South Korea

Women’s 30K Classical (X-country): G- Marit Bjorgen (NOR), S- Krista Parmakoski (FIN), B- Stina Nilsson (SWE)

Women’s Curling: G- Sweden, S- South Korea, B- Japan

Men’s Hockey: G- OAR, S- Germany, B- Canada

CLOSING CEREMONIES

I’m not saying the Closing Ceremonies make me sad…………………………but they make me sad. And yes, another one will come around in 4 years, its the waiting that’s the worst part. And yes, the Summer Games will tide me over (as will the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games) but it isn’t the same. The next 4 years will, most likely, be filled with bitterness and frustration after the ‘hockey debacle’ and the ‘curling conundrum’ Indeed, Team GB also have a curling conundrum after neither the men’s or women’s rink won a medal.

This year’s edition included: a Korean teenager playing Vivaldi on an electric guitar, some rapping and in an unprecedented move, the competing nations walked in in their respective teams rather than in a mingle. And the unified Korean team marched together again, to applause and celebration. Maybe this was the first sign of improving relations?

A last minute event saw the IOC reinstate the Russian Olympic Committee as there were only three cases of doping at theses games. The Russian athletes were still not allowed to march under the Russian flag for the closing ceremony however. Their reinstatement will prove very interesting in two years time in Tokyo, though. It should also be noted that this didn’t extend to their Paralympic team, who will still compete under the OAR flag.

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The highlight was Beijing’s presentation for 2022. Anyone who watched the Opening Ceremonies of the ’08 Games will know that the Chinese know how to do ceremonies and spectacle. This was no different.

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Image result for beijing presentation closing ceremonies pyeongchang

THEY HAD A SKATING PANDA. #mindblown

And then the flame was extinguished and it was all over. And life will go on. Until Beijing. And then I will spend two weeks in front of the TV, feasting on all the wintry chills and thrills. And occasional spills.

At the time of writing, I’ve had a week (almost) to reflect on the events of Pyeongchang 2018, and after letting the rage simmer, I can say (not enitrely honestly) that I’m not disappointed with how things turned out. In the grand scheme of things, winning a medal at all, should be good enough. And Canada still got two medals in hockey. And while us Canadians desire nothing less than gold, its a testament to the talent and depth of women’s hockey in Canada that enabled us to have a 16 year, 4 gold medal winning streak happen in the first place. I should have probably also considered the historical implications: on the same day in 1980, the ‘Miracle on Ice’ happened.

Canada finished with a national record 29 medals, and a total of 500 total Winter Olympic medals dating back to Chamonix. Team GB finished with a best ever tally of 5 medals, one more than they had expected to get. Carrying the flag for Team Canada in the Closing Ceremonies was Kim Boutin and her 3 Olympic medals. She’ll be back in Beijing. For Team GB it was none other than Billy Morgan, who, at one point balanced the Union Jack on his chin! It will, in all likelihood, be the last time we see him compete in an Olympics.

For a number of famous names, Pyeongchang was their swansong; Lindsey Vonn, Marit Bjorgen, Aksel Lund Svindal, Ireen Wust, Sven Kramer, Charles Hamelin and (possibly, maybe) Scott and Tessa, (But whyyy?)

For others, Pyeongchang was merely the beginning: Ester Ledecka, Mikaela Shiffrin (who will hunt down those 5 medals ruthlessly in Beijing), Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova (who will be 22 and 19 respectively) and Johannes Klaebo

What will these young talents bring to the slopes and rinks of Beijing in 2022. Well, let’s just wait and find out shall we?

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Note: An edit to my previous article. After being found guilty of doping, the Russian mixed doubles curling team were stripped of their bronze medals, which were awarded to Norway. (Doping in curling? Really?)

As always, thank you for choosing SplitFocusSport for all your sport blogging needs. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and for podcasts we can be found on SoundCloud and iTunes.

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