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PyeongChang late night roundup

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Curling: Switzerland win bronze

It’s an historic loss for Canada, who just completely slid off the tail end in the latter stages of this tournament. For the first time since curling was reestablished in 1998, no Canadian team has reached the podium.

Switzerland defeated Canada 7-5, after they knocked out two of Canada’s stones in the final end to ensure that Canada could not make up that two point gap.

Men’s Tournament

SUI def. CAN 7-5

Hockey: OAR advance to gold medal match

Czech Republic looked liked the only team that could slow the Athletes from Russia down as they head into the first intermission at 0-0.

It was Nikita Gusev who put OAR up front eight minutes into the second period, assisted by Pavel Datsyuk, before Vladislav Gavrikov doubled their lead a minute later.

OAR now await to play the winner of Canada and Germany in the final.

Men’s Tournament

OAR def. CZE 3-0

Speed Skating: Mantia just misses out on medal 

The American men had another rough day in speed skating, failing to medal in the 1000m.

Joey Mantia briefly held the top spot with a time of 1:08.64, but then the next two races saw Kim Tae-yun and Havard Lorentzen pass him. Mantia continued to hold onto that bronze medal spot until the inevitable happened: a Dutch skater won gold.

This time it was Kjeld Nuis who won the gold, setting a time of 1:07.96.

Shani Davis, who set the world record for the 1000m back in 2009, came in seventh. Mitchell Whitmore finished in 10th.

Full speed skating recap available here 

Biathlon: Sweden win gold in men’s relay

Sweden shot the best on a very windy evening in PyeongChang and were rewarded for it, winning the men’s 4×7.5km relay. Sebastien Samuelsson put Sweden in the lead alongside Norway in the final leg. Fredrik Lindstroem and Emile Svendsen were tasked with anchoring their teams, but it was Lindstroem who shot the best, taking a near one minute lead in the final few kilometers of the race to secure the gold for Sweden.

Full biathlon recap available here 

Swim meet canceled after FINA’s threat to ban athletes

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GENEVA (AP) — Amid growing conflict between swimmers and their world governing body, an international swimming meet was canceled on Thursday after threats to ban athletes who took part seeking better prize money.

The Italian swim federation called off the Dec. 20-21 competition it was organizing in Turin, saying it acted to protect athletes from FINA.

The Turin meet was linked to a proposed International Swimming League, a privately run operation which aims to operate outside FINA’s control and pay higher prize money.

“FINA declared the event ‘non-approved,’ threatening sanctions against the participating athletes,” Italian officials said in a statement.

FINA, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some Olympic champions have long criticized FINA, believing swimmers should be better rewarded, have more say in decisions, and could create their own union.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Britain wrote on Thursday on Twitter he was “incredibly disappointed” by the cancellation.

The politics involved will “galvanize swimmers, not break them,” wrote Peaty, who holds 50m and 100m breaststroke world records.

Peaty has previously supported Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu in her public criticism of FINA, and calls to create a swimmers’ union.

Italian organizers said Peaty, Hosszu and other Olympic champions including Chad le Clos of South Africa and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden were due to take part in their 25-meter pool event. It was scheduled days after the short-course world championships being staged in Hangzhou, China.

The clash of events seemed to provoke FINA into finding more prize money for its worlds event in the smaller pool.

On Nov. 6, FINA added to its promised prize fund for China by almost doubling the total to $2.07 million.

FINA wrote to member federations on Oct. 30 warning of bans of up to two years for taking part in Turin.

However, a European Commission decision last year suggests swimmers could successfully challenge any attempt to limit their right to race and earn money.

The European Union’s executive arm ruled the International Staking Union in breach of anti-trust laws by threatening severe bans for speed skaters who wanted to compete in a South Korean-organized event in Dubai.

The ISU’s threats “also serve to protect its own commercial interests,” the European officials said.

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Simon Ammann believes ski jumping career end is near

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Simon Ammann, the most decorated active ski jumper with four Olympic gold medals, said it is hard to imagine competing beyond this season, according to Swiss newspaper Blick.

Ammann, 37, swept the individual Olympic titles in 2002 and 2010 to join retired Finn Matti Nykänen as the only four-time Olympic ski jumping champs.

In PyeongChang, his sixth Olympics, Ammann placed 11th and 13th, one month after making his first World Cup podium in nearly three years. He decided after those Winter Games that he would continue at least one more season, but has no plan to go all the way to a seventh Olympics in 2022, according to Blick.

Ammann has teased retirement since at least 2011 and even said going into the 2014 Sochi Olympics that he was “99 percent sure” they would be his final Games.

The now-father of two first gained crossover celebrity with his surprise Salt Lake City 2002 gold medals, his first wins in top-level international competition. The bespectacled Ammann’s victory screams and resemblance to Harry Potter helped land him on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and one of Europe’s biggest shows, sitting next to Shakira.

Fellow ski jumper Noriaki Kasai of Japan holds the Winter Olympic record of eight appearances. Kasai, 46, has said he plans to go for a ninth participation at Beijing 2022.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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