Sochi 2014

Winter Olympic Village: Day Four

Seamus O’Connor, the sorry state of Shaun White and much more (non-snowboarding) news from the Games today.

Pic of the Day

imageCheng Peng and Hao Zhang in the Pairs Short Program. EMPICS Sport

Talking points

Sang Hwa Lee is faster than ever: The defending 500m Speedskating champion took another gold in the sprint distance in an Olympic record time of 74.70 seconds. Her time silenced the crowd as it pushed home favourite Olga Fatkulina into the silver medal spot.

White out of medals: The favourite, an icon, one of the faces of the games; but Shaun White left himself with too much to do in his second run in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe this evening.

Instead, the big tricks were brought by Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov with silver and bronze going to the precocious talents of Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka of Japan.

Norway are all over Cross Country: Four of the nine medals available in Biathlon and Cross-Country skiing today will find soon find a home in Norway.

The men’s and women’s sprint distance was claimed by the Scandinavians with Norwegian women sealing a one-two thanks to Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg. The men’s event brought gold for Ola Vigen Hattestad. The women’s Biathlon pursuit was won by Belarussian Darya Domracheva, ahead of Norway’s Tora Berger and Swede Teja Gregorin.

Vogt of confidence: Carina Vogt made history as the first ever Olympic Champion in women’s Ski-Jumping. The German was awarded 47.4 points with jumps of 103 and 97.5 metres.

Austrian favourite and 2011 world champion Daniela Iraschko-Stolz was second with 246.2 points, ahead of France’s Coline Mattel at 245.2 points.

imageDmitry Lovetsky/AP/Press Association Images

Geisenberger is the one who knocks: Natalie Geisenberger’s stunning women’s Luge runs on Monday ensured the German took an unassailable .76 second lead into today’s final round. Not satisfied with that, she went on to set a new course record.

Tatjana Huefner, who came to Sochi as reigning champion, finished second, 1.139 seconds behind the winner, while Erin Hamlin finished in third place winning the US team’s first singles medal after 50 years of trying.

This is Howell you do it: Canada took gold in the women’s Slopestyle freestyle skiing. Dara Howell’s thrilling run gave her gold ahead of USA’s Devin Logan with another Canadian, Kim Lamarre, in bronze.

Irish Eye

imageDavid Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Snowboarder Seamus O’Connor brought his Olympic debut to a close as he fell short of a place in the halfpipe finals. With six advancing from his semi-final, O’Connor’s two runs were only good enough for ninth, leaving the 16-year-old in 15th place overall.

You gotta see this

If you think the Luge is terrifying, you’re right. Here’s a first-person view filmed on the Sochi course in November.

YouTube credit:  Matthew Mortensen

Hero of the day

Our hats off to Russian Cross-Country skier Anton Gafarov and his knight in shining armour, Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth.

image Matthias Schrader/AP/Press Association Images

Gafarov fell twice during today’s sprint; damaging his ski the first time and breaking it in two shortly after.

Did he quit? Did the rival teams leave him lying in the cold unforgiving snow? Not a chance. This is the Olympics.

Wadsworth came along and helped the stricken Russian put on a spare ski he presumably had in his back pocket so that Gafarov could complete the course just under three minutes after the winners.

imageThere’s just something in our eye. Image credit: NBC Olympics.

Moment that took our breath away

This is something called a double-cork 1440 which helped Podladtchikov become the best at the world in halfpipe.

imageGIF by Business Insider.

They said what?

“All I can ask to each of you who saw this is to stop spreading it, it will really help me focus on what is really important now: my training and race.”

Lebanese skier Jackie Charmoun apologises and pleads for discretion after she took part in – shall we say – a revealing photoshoot before the Games. The leaked risque images have sparked ministerial demands for a full investigation in her native country.

Medal table

Norway storm into the lead.


Tomorrow’s highlights

The elite of women’s Downhill skiing will be back in action just after first light tomorrow with Maria Hoefl-Riesch hoping to add to her Super-Combined gold from 7am.

We’ll also see more from the halfpipe when the women show off their snowboarding skills from 10am.

In men’s Speedskating we’ll be treated to the 1000 metre dash from 2pm and there will be more medals handed out in Luge doubles, Nordic Combined and pairs Figure Skating.

If you’re after something based on teams and good old fashioned goals, then you’ll be keen on seeing one of the greatest rivalries in sports – USA v Canada – played out in women’s Ice Hockey at 12.30pm.

The highlight of the day in men’s hockey is Czech Republic v Sweden from 5pm.

American luger Kate Hansen warms up by dancing to Beyonce

This disgusted American figure skater is the meme you never knew you needed

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