What to watch on Day 14 of Sochi Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin
0 Comments

Here’s a look at the compelling events, athletes and storylines of the Sochi Olympics on Friday, Feb. 21. A complete list of every Friday event can be found here.

WHAT TO WAKE UP EARLY FOR …

Men’s hockey semifinals, Sweden-Finland, 7 a.m. ETCLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

This is a rematch of the 2006 Olympic gold-medal game, won 3-2 by Sweden, which has taken the last two Olympic men’s hockey golds on European ice.

The Swedes will lean on the same goalie as in Torino, Henrik Lundqvist, against the Finns’ Tuukka Rask. They were both stellar in quarterfinal victories over Slovenia and Russia, respectively.

Sweden is looking to make its third gold-medal game. Finland has won five Olympic hockey medals, all in the last seven Winter Games, but no golds.

Alpine skiing, women’s slalom, 7:15 a.m. ET/11:15 a.m. ETCLICK HERE TO WATCH FIRST RUN | SECOND RUN

Mikaela Shiffrin is the gold-medal favorite here, the reigning world champion and World Cup champion and current World Cup leader. Shiffrin, 18, would be the fifth different U.S. Alpine skier to win a medal at these Games, matching the American record set in 1984.

Her biggest competition could come from one her idols, Austrian Marlies Schild. Schild, 32, was the world’s best slalom skier before tearing knee ligaments in December 2012 and watching Shiffrin take her crown.

Also watch out for all-around stars Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Tina Maze.

Men’s curling final, Canada-Great Britain, 8:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Canada will go for its third straight men’s curling gold with a third different rink. Canada could also become the first nation to sweep Olympic curling golds, after Jennifer Jones completed her undefeated run Thursday.

Upstart Great Britain knocked off 2010 Olympic silver medalist Norway in a tiebreaker playoff and world champion Sweden in the semifinals, both by one point.

Great Britain has not won an Olympic men’s curling medal since taking gold at the first Winter Games in 1924 before curling was taken out of the program for seven decades.

Speed skating, men’s and women’s team pursuit, 8:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Can US Speedskating salvage a long track medal? The final two events of the Olympic program get started Friday. The U.S. has won at least one speed skating medal at every Olympics since 1984.

The U.S. women are longshots for a medal given they are matched up against the Netherlands in their quarterfinal at 9:40 a.m. ET.

The men have a realistic shot, drawing Canada in an 8:30 a.m. quarterfinal. Canada beat the U.S. for gold in 2010 but is not as strong here and, obviously, not on home ice.

The U.S. will field three skaters out of a group of four each round, choosing from Shani Davis, Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck and Joey Mantia.

The U.S.-Canada winner will face the South Korea-Russia winner in the semifinals at 10:13 a.m. The winner of the semifinal will be guaranteed a gold or silver medal (the final is Saturday). The loser will vie for bronze Saturday.

The Netherlands, a heavy gold-medal favorite despite winning bronze in 2006 and 2010, is on the other side of the bracket.

WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS DURING THE DAY …

Men’s hockey semifinal, U.S.-Canada, 12 p.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

This is a rematch of the 2010 Olympic gold-medal game, won by Canada on Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal. This game could be just as tight.

The U.S. won its first four games by a combined 14 goals. Canada has been less dominant, taking its last two games 2-1 (including one over minnow Latvia in the quarterfinals). The goalie matchup will be Jonathan Quick against Carey Price.

The winner of this game is guaranteed a medal. Canada has not won a men’s hockey medal at a non-North American Winter Olympics since 1994. The U.S. hasn’t done it since 1972.

Short track speed skating, men’s 500m, women’s 1000m, men’s 5000m relay, 12:43 p.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

US Speedskating is also looking for it first short track medal of these Olympics, after winning six in 2010. U.S. short track skaters have been shut out of the medals once (1998) since the sport was added to the Olympics in 1992.

The U.S. is more likely than not to win a short track medal Friday.

J.R. Celski is the world-record holder in the 500m, the only event he didn’t skate at the 2010 Olympics, and won’t have to deal with 2010 Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada.

The 5000m relay medal final is missing 2010 gold and silver medalists Canada and South Korea.

The U.S. won bronze in 2010 and is in a final field Friday that includes strong nations Russia and China and two nations, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan, that own a combined one Olympic short track medal ever.

Follow @NZaccardi

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
Getty
0 Comments

At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
Getty
0 Comments

A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!