What to watch on Day 14 of Sochi Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin
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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.

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South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun
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Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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