Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 8

0 Comments

It took 60 minutes of regulation, five minutes of overtime, and an eight-round shootout, but the U.S. men’s hockey team got the win over Russia in a classic that will be remembered for some time to come.

With international hockey allowing the same shooters to be used multiple times in a shootout, the U.S. chose T.J. Oshie to go six times. He scored four goals in the SO, including the game-winner, to lift the Americans over the Russians, 3-2.

Russia appeared to have taken their own 3-2 lead late in the third period, as a shot from Fedor Tyutin got past U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick. But the net was ruled to have been off of its pegs and the goal was disallowed. In overtime, Patrick Kane’s breakaway attempt was denied by Russia goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to set up the shootout…

VIDEO: Team USA’s highlights from Day 8

Here are recaps of the other men’s hockey contests today:

In women’s hockey quarterfinal action, Sweden beat Finland, 4-2, and Switzerland blanked Russia, 2-0. The Swedes get the U.S. in the semifinals, while the Swiss now prepare for Canada in the same round…

Meanwhile, the U.S. speedskaters continued to struggle. The team gained permission to swap their new racing suits for old ones but still finished out of the medals in the men’s 1500m. Afterwards, star skater Shani Davis wondered if a medal-less Sochi Olympics was the ultimate fate for himself and his comrades…

Their short track brethren didn’t have things any better. None of the three Americans in the men’s 1000m made it out of the quarterfinals, with two of them – J.R. Celski and Eddy Alvarez – crashing out (Russia’s Victor An got the gold). In the women’s 1500m, Emily Scott was able to advance into the final but she was also collected in a crash (she was credited with fifth)…

On the slopes, Team USA’s Julia Mancuso was unable to claim her fifth Olympic medal in the women’s super-G, finishing eighth in the event that was won by Austria’s Anna Fenninger…

Over at Sanki Sliding Center, Matt Antoine became the first American men’s skeleton racer to claim a medal since Jim Shea won in 2002 at Salt Lake City, earning the bronze after teammate John Daly was unable to recover from an ill-fated start. Russia’s Aleksandr Tretiyakov gave the host nation its fourth gold so far in Sochi…

In other medal events, Charlotte Kalla’s blazing final leg gave Sweden the win in the women’s cross country 4x5km relay, while Kamil Stoch became the third man to win both individual ski jumping events in a single Winter Olympics by claiming the large hill title

Out of competition, Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova suffered a fractured vertebrae in her back in a training crash this morning at Rosa Khutor. Russian officials later reported that she had undergone successful surgery that lasted for six and a half hours…

Today’s Olympic medalists did not receive a piece of the Russian meteorite that exploded over the Chelyabinsk region one year ago…

U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace received her silver medal after last night’s emotional run at Sanki

The top U.S. women’s bobsled sustained front-end damage in an incident that took place after it had set the fastest training time…

After being unable to attend the Opening Ceremony, Billie Jean King will be part of the American delegation for the Closing Ceremony next weekend…

Thanks to a fellow traveler, snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg was able to go home and see his parents

And one of the Sochi mascots, the Polar Bear, had his own Olympic competition today – trying to fit his head into a minivan

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 15
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

1. Germany – 7/3/2 – 12
2. Switzerland – 5/1/1 – 7
3. Russia – 4/6/5 – 15
4. Canada – 4/5/3 – 12
5. Netherlands – 4/4/6 – 14
6. United States – 4/3/7 – 14
7. Norway – 4/3/6 – 13
8. Poland – 4/0/0 – 4
9. China – 3/2/0 – 5
10. Belarus – 3/0/1 – 4
11. Austria – 2/4/1 – 7
12. France – 2/0/2 – 4
13. Sweden – 1/5/2 – 8
14. Japan – 1/3/1 – 5
15. Slovenia – 1/1/3 – 5
16. Korea – 1/1/1 – 3
17. Great Britain – 1/0/1 – 2
18. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
19. Italy – 0/2/3 – 5
20. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
21. Finland – 0/2/0 – 2
22. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
23. Australia – 0/1/1 – 2
24. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-25. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1
T-25. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Japanese pair edges Americans for historic Grand Prix Final figure skating title

Riku Miura, Ryuichi Kihara
Getty
0 Comments

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won the biggest title ever for a Japanese figure skating pair, taking the Grand Prix Final and consolidating their status as the world’s top active team.

Miura and Kihara, last season’s world silver medalists, barely outscored world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier in Turin, Italy, in both Thursday’s short program and Friday’s free skate to win the six-pair event that is a preview of March’s worlds.

The Japanese totaled 214.58 points, distancing the Americans by a mere 1.3 points after Frazier erred on both of their side-by-side jumping passes in the free skate. Italians Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii took bronze.

“We had a very late start to our season than initially planned, so as we have been performing at each event, I see us getting stronger, improving things,” said Frazier, who with Knierim had their best short program and free skate scores of the autumn.

Knierim and Frazier didn’t decide to continue competing together this season until July.

“I feel a little personally disappointed tonight just for myself for my jumps,” Frazier continued. “I was a little all over the place and, normally, I can execute better, so I feel a little bad, but I’m very proud of us overall. We’ve done a great job of improving each competition and looking forward to the second half of the season where we can start tapping into our best skating.”

GRAND PRIX FINAL: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Miura and Kihara, who partnered in June 2019 and train in Ontario, both waited with trepidation for their final score to be posted, worried that each’s separate mistake on jumps might cost them the title. When they learned they won, both burst into tears.

“This was the first time in eight years that I made a mistake with a Salchow, so I thought we might not get a good score, and it would be my fault,” Kihara said.

Miura and Kihara entered the competition ranked No. 1 in the world by best scores this season ahead of Knierim and Frazier, who in March became the first U.S. pair to win a world title since 1979.

Last season, Miura and Kihara became the second Japanese pair to make a Grand Prix podium and to earn a world championships medal. Their ascension helped Japan win its first Olympic figure skating team event medal in February (a bronze that could be upgraded to gold pending the Kamila Valiyeva case).

In Grand Prix Final history, Japan had won 11 gold medals and 40 total medals, all in singles, before this breakthrough.

Knierim and Frazier, already the first U.S. pair to compete in the Grand Prix Final since 2015, became the first U.S. pair to win a Grand Prix Final medal. The Final has been held annually since 1996, though it was canceled the last two seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Miura and Kihara and Knierim and Frazier ascended to the top of the sport while the top five teams from the Olympics from Russia and China have not competed internationally since the Winter Games.

All Russian skaters are ineligible for international competition due to the war in Ukraine. China’s pairs, including Olympic champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, didn’t enter last March’s worlds and did not compete in the fall Grand Prix Series.

Later Friday, world champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan led the women’s short program with 75.86 points, 1.28 ahead of countrywoman Mai Mihara. American Isabeau Levito, the 15-year-old world junior champion, was fifth of six skaters in her Grand Prix Final debut.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier topped the rhythm dance with 85.93 points, edging Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates by .44. Both couples are bidding for the biggest international title of their careers. None of the Olympic medalists competed internationally this fall.

The Grand Prix Final ends Saturday with the men’s and women’s free skates and free dance, all live on Peacock.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

A Winter Olympic medal still being decided, 10 months later

Fanny Smith, Daniela Maier
It's still unknown whether Fanny Smith (green) or Daniela Maier (blue) is the Olympic ski cross bronze medalist. (Getty)
0 Comments

There is a second Winter Olympic medal result still in question, 10 months after the Games.

While the figure skating team event results are still unknown due to the Kamila Valiyeva case, the bronze medal in women’s ski cross is also in dispute.

Originally, Swiss Fanny Smith crossed the finish line in third place in the four-woman final at the Winter Games in February. Upon review by the International Ski Federation (FIS) jury, she was minutes later demoted to fourth place after making contact with German Daniela Maier near the end of the course. Maier, who originally was fourth, was upgraded to bronze.

“I tried to be OK with the fourth place. I was very disappointed, I have to say, [then] the jury was like this,” Maier said then. “I am really sorry for Fanny that it’s like this right now. … The jury decided like this, so accept it and be happy with the medal.”

Smith and the Swiss ski federation appealed. FIS reinstated Smith as the bronze medalist nine days after the race and six days after the Closing Ceremony. A FIS appeals commission met four times and reviewed video and written documentation for several hours before deciding that “the close proximity of the racers at that moment resulted in action that was neither intentional or avoidable.”

But that wasn’t the end. The case ended up reportedly going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), whose rulings are usually accepted as final. The CAS process is ongoing, European media reported this week.

CAS has not responded to a request for comment. A FIS contact said Friday, “There is currently no update to provide in regards to the bronze medal in ski cross. Should there be any update, we will inform you.”

Smith said there should be news soon regarding the case, according to Blick.

Maier still has the bronze medal at her home and enjoys looking at it, according to German media, which also reported that the German ski federation expects Maier to win the case and keep the medal. Smith and Maier spoke extensively about it in recent training sessions and cleared things up. Maier said the best outcome would be bronze medals for both of them, according to the report.

For now, FIS lists Smith as the bronze medalist. The IOC lists Maier as the bronze medalist.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!