The middle Sunday was supposed to be Super Sunday for Canada at the Winter Olympic Games.
Kristina Groves of Ottawa did come away with a silver medal in the women’s 1500m speed skating. But more was expected. Much, much more.
In the men’s skicross, Chris Delbosco of Colorado (participating for Canada because his father is Canadian) finished fourth after just falling right before the finish line. He was in third place at the time of his collapse. Michael Schmid of Switzerland won gold, Andreas Matt of Austria won silver and Audun Groenvold of Norway won bronze. Davey Barr of Vancouver finished sixth and Stanley Hayer of Edmonton was tenth.
Problems are continuing for Canadian alpine skiers. Ryan Semple of Montreal was the top Canadian in the men’s combined in 15th place on Sunday. All four Americans– led by gold medallist Bode Miller skied significantly better than Semple. Ivica Kostelic of Croatia won silver and Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland won bronze.
In the men’s 15km mass start biathlon, Jean Philippe Leguellec of Quebec City was trying to improve on excellent results earlier in the week when he finished sixth in the 10km sprint. But the 24 year-old missed seven targets in total, and finished dead last in 30th place. Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia won gold, Martin Fourcade of France won silver and Pavol Hurajt of Slovakia won bronze. In the women’s 12.5km mass start, no Canadians qualified for the competition. Germans went first and third thanks to Magdalena Neuner and Simone Hauswald. Russian Olga Zaitseva won bronze.
I haven’t even got to men’s hockey yet, where Martin Brodeur was significantly weaker in net this evening compared to his American counterpart Ryan Miller. Miller made all the big saves at the key times Sunday night en route to a 5-3 win. Brian Rafalski led the Americans with two goals and an assist. In other action, Alexander Ovechkin’s hit against Jaromir Jagr could now be considered one of the greatest hits of all time. It immediately led to an Evgeni Malkin goal and secured a 4-2 Russian victory over the Czech Republic. In the late night cap, Sweden shutout Finland 3-0. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for the shutout and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists.
Here is the hockey picture now:
United States, Sweden, Russia, and Finland are the top four seeds in that order.
The next seven seeds are: 5) Czech Republic 6) Canada 7) Slovakia 8) Switzerland 9) Belarus 10) Norway 11) Germany 12) Latvia.
Czechs will play Latvia, Canada plays Germany, Slovakia plays Norway and Switzerland plays Belarus Tuesday. USA will play the Switzerland-Belarus winner, Sweden will play the Slovakia-Norway winner. Russia will play the Canada/Germany winner and Finland will play the Czech Republic/Latvia winner Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
In bobsled, Pierre Lueders and Jesse Lumsden moved up a spot from sixth to fifth. Germany took first and second with the Russians third.
In the women’s 1500m speed skating, Groves posted a solid time 1:57.14 for the silver. Ireen Wust of Holland posted a winning time of 1:56.89 and Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won bronze. Nesbitt was sixth, Klassen was 21st and Winnipeg’s Brittany Schussler was a disappointing 35th.
The positive news for Canada continues to come in men’s curling where Kevin Martin improved to 7-0 with a 6-4 win over Switzerland. On the women’s side, Canada beat the USA earlier in the day 9-2 but lost to China 6-5 in the evening session. Canada is now tied with Sweden for first at 5-1. The two teams play against each other today at 2pm. Also London’s Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue skated brilliantly and put themselves in great position heading into Monday’s long program. They are currently in first place.