Plans to give today’s Olympic medalists a piece of the meteorite that exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk region one year ago have been nixed by the International Olympic Committee.
Sochi Olympics executive director Gilbert Felli said that the IOC would not mind the meteorite pieces being awarded as long as they were in a separate ceremony after the Games.
“We know the local people of the region there wanted to give an extra gift to the athletes who will get the medals [on Saturday],” Felli said yesterday.
“We have said there is no point to do it during the Games. If they want to give something to the athletes after the Games, they can do it.
“But athletes get the gold medals awarded by the organising committee and there is no extra gift from this region of Russia during the medal presentation.”
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Officials from Chelyabinsk had been behind the plans to give the meteorite pieces to today’s medalists.
Said plans were intended to mark the one-year anniversary of the incident, which saw over 1,200 people injured and over 7,000 structures damaged in the meteorite’s shock wave.
Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won ice dance gold on Monday, making them the most decorated Olympic figure skaters in history. They won two golds in PyeongChang, including the team event, two silvers in Sochi four years ago, plus ice dance gold on home ice in Vancouver.
Virtue and Moir set a short dance record score on Sunday, and set another high score in free dance and overall points to earn back their Olympic crown. Their character-driven, passionate performance to “Moulin Rouge!” even has an endorsement from the film’s director, Baz Luhrmann.
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In their Olympic debut, two-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France came away with a silver medal. (They actually won the free skate and set a new record score at 123.35 points.) Papadakis and Cizeron fought through a wardrobe malfunction in the short dance to hold onto their silver medal position. It’s the first Olympic ice dance medal for France since 2002. The French duo skated to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” to showcase their lyrical, flowing and contemporary style.
Canadian freeskier Cassie Sharpe dominated the women’s freeski halfpipe competition to win her first Olympic gold medal.
Sharpe’s first run of the final — which included cork 900s in both directions — didn’t even contain her biggest trick, but it still put her atop the leaderboard with a 94.4.
On her second run, Sharpe stepped it up with back-to-back 900s at the top of the halfpipe and a cork 1080 spun to her left on her last hit. Those progressive tricks, combined with Sharpe’s great amplitude, upped her score to a 95.8.
No one was able to match that, and Sharpe became the new Olympic champion.
Sharpe wasn’t the only skier to land a 1080 though. France’s Marie Martinod landed a left 1080 on her second run to help her score a 92.6. That gave Martinod her second straight Olympic silver medal in what will be the final contest of her career.
At 33, Martinod was the oldest skier in the field. She previously retired for five years (from 2006-2011) before reemerging to make a run at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics, but will now head back into retirement.
U.S. skier Brita Sigourney took the bronze medal after scoring a 91.6 on her final run and bumping teammate Annalisa Drew down to fourth place.
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