Saturday, February 22, 2014

XXII Olympic Winter Games, Sochi 2014 (Day 15)

Medals table at the start of today's competition in Sochi:

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

Spoilers (maybe) are coming in the comments.

Previous reports:

55 comments:

  1. On the next-to-last day of its Olympic Winter Games, Russia has come out today and surged to the top of the medals table as Vic Wild(ev) won men's parallel slalom snowboard.

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  2. (Well, actually, in real time, Norway might've actually maintained its lead. I'm watching the video replay of today's women's 30-kilometer mass start cross-country skiing race on NBCOlympics.com. And it was going on at the same time as the snowboarding, which I already watched then end of on NBC Sports Network.)

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  3. In any event, it has been a very, very good last 24 or 30 hours or so for the Russian Federation's offseason free-agent signees.

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  4. Russia had started to sag back to the field in the medals-table race. But they got things rolling Thursday by Yuna Kim's gold medal for women's figure skating to a Moscow teen-ager. To be fair, the South Korean already had one gold medal, from Vancouver 2010, and it should be noted that Adelina Sotnikova stumbled only once during her performance.

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  5. But at least in this case the folks in Seoul could take comfort that they had lost only Yuna Kim's medal to the Russians. They had already lost the whole Ahn Hyun-Soo.

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  6. But "Victor An" (as he is now known) is a long way from being put out to the stud of coaching. Right now, he is pretty clearly still the best short-track skater in the world--and, per even Apollo Ohno on NBC's prime-time show last night, probably the best of all time. On Friday, Ochocinco won his third and fourth medals of the Sochi Games, and both were gold--in the 500-meter sprint and then as part of the 5,000-meter relay (in which he impressively pulled away from American J.R. Celski, a three-time Olympic medalist himself, after the final handoff).

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  7. So then today started (for me, anyway, on NBCSN) with snowboarding.

    I said the other day the other day that I was going to quit "expecting" Americans to win anything and only "hope." (Besides being not very smart, given that I don't actually know anything about any of these Olympic Winter Games sports, and ungrateful, letting yourself expect medals in an event really sucks the fun out of watching and rooting.)

    But I'll admit that I was a little more than hopeful when I saw that the women's and men's parallel slalom snowboard events were on today's docket. Three of Team USA's golds and five medals overall in Sochi had come in the snowboard events.

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  8. After today, though, those numbers are the same. I see that an American was disqualified in the men's competition; I can't even find that Team USA had an entry in the women's race.

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  9. Women's medals: Austria gold, Germany silver, Germany bronze.

    Men's medals: Russia gold, Slovenia silver, Austria bronze.

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  10. "You're watching snowboard-turning perfection," said the NBCSN commentator as Wild weaved down the hill toward his gold. "... The American snowboard team is kicking themselves."

    Can't we get back Vic Wild and deport that guy?

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  11. So, for now, anyway ...

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

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  12. But not for long ...

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

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  13. Norway sweeps the women's cross-country marathon. Marit Bjoergen wins her sixth Olympic gold and 10th medal of her Olympic career.

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  14. Finland has whipped Team USA, 5-0, for the bronze medal in men's hockey.

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  15. I guess it's because the NHL has spread throughout the United States and it's on TV a good bit more than when I was a kid that I'd decided that U.S. hockey was on the upswing. At least in terms of Olympic Winter Games performance, the opposite is inescapably true.

    In the first nine Olympic men's hockey tournaments, the United States won seven medals--culminating with gold in 1960. Then there's a two-Olympics break on medals; then, a silver in 1972 and the Miracle gold in 1980.

    Then, though, Team USA won no hockey medals in the next five. There came silver medals at Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010. But this tournament made it seven of the last nine Olympic Winter Games in which the Americans failed to medal in men's hockey.

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  16. OK, you know how we're all supposed to forget that Team USA's 4-3, do-you-believe-in-miracles? win over the Soviets was not for the gold medal in 1980 (but, in fact, we all, of course, remember that)?

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  17. So it was Finland that the United States ended up beating, 4-2, for the gold in Lake Placid.

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  18. Now I'm not blaming Al Michaels, Ken Dryden and Jim McKay--I'm sure ABC correctly characterized the matchup--but I was way, way off about the historical context of that gold-medal game. Finland, to me, seemed like another giant, iced-over hockey giant; in fact, 11-year-old me was scared to death that, after such an emotional, exhausting win over the Soviets, my plucky squad of U.S. collegians would have nothing left for the big, bad Finns.

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  19. Not so. As mentioned earlier, Team USA had a decorated history of Olympic hockey. Finland, though, never even qualified a team until 1952, and its fourth-place finish at Innsbruck 1976 had been the best the Finns had ever done. And once they lost to the Americans, Finland didn't get the silver or even a bronze. It repeated at fourth in the convoluted format that apparently a bunch of future curling officials were watching and thought was really, really clever.

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  20. But starting with a silver at Calgary 1988, Finland has been on a roll: six medals in the last eight Winter Olympic Games, including another silver at 2006 Torino and today's bronze.

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

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  22. Tomorrow's gold-medal game pits two of the undisputed big boys of Olympic men's hockey: Canada and Finland. Both have fielded teams in all 22 Olympic Winter Games. Canada won the first four gold medals in the sport and six of the first seven, and, after a long period of middling finishes, it has now won two of the last three golds. Sweden has won medals in nine of the 21 Olympic hockey tournaments so far, including gold at Lillehammer 1994 and Torino 2006.

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  23. Wow. The NBCOlympics.com headline on the replay for the Team USA-Finland bronze-medal game is "No Mettle."

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  24. OK, back to the Laura Biathlon Stadium for the (tape-delay) men's 4x7.5-kilometer relay ...

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  25. Sochi might have the most beautiful sunsets I've seen other than those over Lake Peewee in Madisonville, Ky.

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  26. One of the NBCOlympics.com commentators, about 13 minutes into the replay: "It is the United States--yes, the USA--leading this biathlon, albeit in the early stages."

    The other: "The expected pace leader would not have been the United States, but we haven't hit the range yet."

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  27. Austria and another couple of skiers overtake the American leadoff dude as they head to the first shot ...

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  28. The XXIII Olympic Winter Games are scheduled for Feb. 9-25, 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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  29. Germany is the big dog of Olympic biathlon history. Including the old East and West Germany totals, Germany has 59 total medals. You have to total all of the old Soviet Union medals with those of all the former Soviet states to get anywhere close. Then it's Norway, with 29 medals. The United States has never medaled in biathlon.

    Norway, Austria and Russia won the medals in this men's relay event at Vancouver 2010.

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  30. At Exchange 1, Team USA is back to fourth.

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  31. But after the second U.S. competitor gets through the first, prone shot, Team USA slides to 17th among 19 teams in the event.

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  32. We Support The US ‏@WeSupportTheUS
    Ouch. Rough shooting from @RussellCurrier. Had to reload all three rounds and still missed three targets. US now 17th, 1:51 off top.
    8:56 AM - 22 Feb 2014

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  33. So we're now into the third of four competitors, and, surprisingly (to the NBCOlympics.com commentators, anyway), that's Ole Einar Bjørndalen for Norway.

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  34. They expected the most medaled athlete in the history of the Olympic Winter Games to assume the final leg of Norway's relay team, but, instead, he's handing off his bid for a 14th career medal to teammate Emile Hegle Svendsen. Right now, it's Norway in first, Germany in second, Russia in third and Austria in fourth ...

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  35. Very, very close ... Russia, Germany, Norway and Austria--in that order--slide in a virtual dead heat for the last, standing shoot ...

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  36. "Bjørndalen's dream is disappearing," says the NBCOlympics.com commentator, as Svendsen is forced to take a penalty lap.

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  37. Down to Russia and Germany in a full sprint for the gold ...

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  38. Russia gold, Germany silver and Austria bronze ... Norway fourth ... Team USA 16th ...

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

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  39. No medals for Team USA today--first time that's happened the whole Sochi Games.

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  40. At least we're getting to close the prime-time show with the National Anthem for Mikaela Shiffrin's slalom gold from yesterday.

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  41. Other medals today:

    -- Austria gold and silver and Norway bronze in men's slalom alpine skiing;

    -- Netherlands gold, South Korea silver and Poland bronze in men's team pursuit speed skating, and

    -- Netherlands gold, Poland silver and Russia bronze in women's team pursuit speed skating.

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