Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 4

Leave a comment

Shaun White was aiming to become the first American man to win three Winter Olympic golds in an individual event.

Instead, he got a Sochi Shock.

After a tough first run in today’s snowboard halfpipe final, White rebounded with a solid second run. But it wasn’t enough to put him on the podium, and the gold medal went to Switzerland’s Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov.

The stunning result was one of eight medal events that went down today on Day 4 of these Games. Here were the others:

Individual figure skating competition also got underway today with the pairs’ short program. Russia’s duo of Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov posted a world-record score, while the U.S. pairing of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir notched a personal-best score. However, Castelli/Shnapir were bumped down to ninth by the end of the night; the second American pairing, Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, finished 14th…

A big contender in the women’s downhill, Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather, has confirmed that she is out of the Olympics following a training crash on Sunday that left her with bone bruises at her shin and knee. That may increase the medal chances in this event for Team USA’s Julia Mancuso, who topped the downhill portion of Monday’s super-combined before finishing with the bronze. The final training day before Wednesday’s medal event was scratched due to warm temperatures causing deep ruts to form on the course…

Finally, viewers of tonight’s NBC Olympics primetime coverage won’t be seeing familiar host Bob Costas, who’s handed over the reins temporarily to TODAY’S Matt Lauer while he tries to recover from an infection that has now spread to both of his eyes. Naturally, we wish Bob (and Matt) the best.

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 11
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Norway – 4/3/4 – 11
2. Canada – 4/3/2 – 9
3. Germany – 4/1/0 – 5
4. Netherlands – 3/2/3 – 8
5. United States – 2/1/4 – 7
6. Switzerland – 2/0/0 – 2
7. Russia – 1/3/3 – 7
8. Austria – 1/3/0 – 4
9. France – 1/0/2 – 3
T-10. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Korea – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Poland – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
14. Sweden – 0/3/1 – 4
15. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
16. Slovenia – 0/1/2 – 3
T-17. Italy – 0/1/1 – 2
T-17. Japan – 0/1/1 – 2
T-19. China – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
T-21. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-21. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Alex Ferreira wins Olympic qualifier, crowds U.S. ski halfpipe standings

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — U.S. Olympic qualifying is more than halfway done for the men’s freeski halfpipe team, and the picture remains crowded.

On Friday, Alex Ferreira boosted his chances of making his first Olympic team after winning Dew Tour Breckenridge, which served as the third U.S. selection event for ski halfpipe.

Ferreira’s winning run was full of amplitude and featured four doubles, including double cork 1260s spun in both directions.

One of the more demonstrative skiers in the field, an exuberant Ferreira whipped his ski poles around his head in celebration is he rode into the corral. “Oh my god, that was glorious!” he exclaimed after one of his runs.

“I’ve been working on that run since two years ago,” Ferreira said afterwards. “I just wanted to land the run, I didn’t care about the results. To be able to do that — hands down, best day of my life. It was my best halfpipe run ever.”

Finishing behind him was 2014 Olympian Aaron Blunck, who made his mark by showcasing a diverse array of technical tricks.

The final podium spot was claimed by France’s Kevin Rolland. The Sochi Olympic bronze medalist put his signature amplitude on display and was the only rider to land a double cork 1440.

It’s the first podium finish of the U.S. Olympic qualifying season for both Blunck and Ferreira. Skiers need a minimum of two top-three results in order to be eligible for automatic selection to the team, so they’re halfway there with two qualifiers left.

Up to three skiers can earn automatic spots on the team. Should more than three skiers get two podium finishes, then the team will be determined by a ranking list that factors in each skier’s two best results.

So far, six U.S. men have a top-three result at one of the selection events. No one has hit the two-podium minimum yet though.

Ferreira and 2014 Olympians David Wise and Torin Yater-Wallace have each won one of the selection events, putting them one victory away from confirming their nominations to the Olympic team. (Yater-Wallace was fourth in Breckenridge, Wise was 10th.)

However, accomplishing that feat is easier said than done.

“Sometimes I almost think it would be harder to make the Olympic team than do well in the Olympics,” Ferreira said. “It’s not easy stuff.”

The skiers will now have to wait until January for the final two Olympic qualifiers.

“These next couple months are definitely going to be pretty stressful,” Blunck said. “But I think Alex and I are both going at it with a grain of salt. We’re trying not to think about it as Olympic qualifiers, because at the end of the day, it’s still skiing for us and we’re enjoying our time out there.”

Breckenridge also hosted the third Olympic qualifier for the women’s halfpipe team.

Although U.S. women made up five of the eight skiers in the final, Maddie Bowman was the only one who finished on the podium. It’s a huge boon to the Olympic hopes of the reigning gold medalist, as she has now fulfilled the minimum criteria of two top-three finishes.

Bowman showed her technicality be spinning 900s in both directions during her run, but she ended up in third behind Canada’s Cassie Sharpe and France’s Marie Martinod, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist.

Sharpe and Martinod are both considered gold medal contenders for PyeongChang.

“I’m really excited because I feel like I’m really starting to break through on my grabbing,” a confident Bowman said. “I’m excited to go to the camp and work on that for the next events coming up.”

While she hasn’t mathematically confirmed her spot yet, a lot would have to happen for Bowman not to make the Olympic team.

Aside from Bowman, Devin Logan remains the only other U.S. woman with a top-three finish at a selection event.

Another podium at either of the final two contests could ultimately lock her into a spot. For the rest of the hopefuls, they will need to get on the podium at both of those events. Otherwise, the final spots will be awarded at the discretion of the coaching staff.

Breckenridge will also host selection events for ski slopestyle and snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle this weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Olympic team

Olympic Qualifying Standings
Ski Halfpipe 
(through three of five events)
1. Torin Yater-Wallace — 150*
2. David Wise — 132*
3. Aaron Blunck — 130*
4. Alex Ferreira — 122*
5. Gus Kenworthy — 104*

1. Maddie Bowman — 140**
2. Devin Logan — 130*
3. Annalisa Drew — 95
4. Brita Sigourney — 90
5. Carly Margulies — 72
**Has automatic qualifying minimum of two top-three results.
*Has one top-three result.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic logo unveiled

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The logos for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were unveiled at one of Beijing’s iconic Olympic venues — the Water Cube, where Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in 2008.

Beijing will become the first city to host a Summer and a Winter Olympics in February 2022.

The logos unveiled Friday — which replace the Candidate City logo used when Beijing beat Almaty, Kazakhstan, in a 2015 IOC members vote for the 2022 Games — are named “Winter Dream” (Olympics) and “Flying High” (Paralympics), according to Xinhua News Agency.

The designs were chosen from 4,506 worldwide submissions, according to Chinese media.

“The Olympic emblem was initially drawn on the idea of the Chinese character ‘dong’ (winter) in the bid emblem, with the character rendered in Chinese calligraphy representing Chinese culture,” designer Lin Cunzhen said, according to the Xinhua. “Meanwhile, a pattern combining ice sports and snow sports was used to represent the Olympic Games.”

More from Beijing 2022:

The upper part of the emblem resembles a skater and its lower part a skier. The ribbon-like motif in between, full of rhythm, stands for the host country’s rolling mountains, Games venues, ski courses and skating tracks. The ribbons, as artistically expressed in the emblem, give a touch of festivity and are an indication that the Games coincide with the celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

The Water Cube will become the Ice Cube for the 2022 Olympics, hosting curling. The Bird’s Nest will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as it did for the 2008 Olympics.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic promo video

The emblem for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games is shown after being unveiled at a ceremony at the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, in Beijing, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
The emblem for the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games is shown after being unveiled at a ceremony at the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, in Beijing, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
The 2008 Beijing Olympic logo. (Getty Images)