A mix bag today with another double podium finish but definitely some missed opportunities.
Rough day for Brad Jacobs as he fell 6-7 to Sweden’s Niklas Edin. This is certainly not the result that he’s looking for as he was also upset yesterday by the Swiss team 4-5. Edin is my pick to be in the final against Brad for the gold medal, but if his team doesn’t get it together quick I’m going to be seriously worried that we may not even get that far. Edin is the reigning men’s champion as he defeated Brad last April at the Ford World Curling Championship.
On the ladies’ side, Jennifer Jones was also playing Sweden but came up with a big 9-3 win over Margaretha Sigfridsson. This was a huge win for Jennifer as Sigfridsson is one of the strongest teams of the field and this is undoubtedly going to be a confidence booster for the Manitoba skip.
Canada’s luge forerunner Alex Gough came within striking distance of the podium today but ended up in 4th. Gough was Canada’s best chance at an individual luge medal and has been on and off the podium all season - this certainly a bitterly close finish for her. Canada has never won an Olympic luge medal but Gough has another chance at ending that drought during the team relay event on February 13th - where we are much stronger contenders for a medal. Kim McRae and Arianne Jones were 5th and 13th respectively.
Long Track Speed Skating
Canada’s top woman in the 500m today was Christine Nesbitt in 12th spot. This is not Nesbitt’s top race and Canada was not expected to medal here. Like I’ve said on previous days, Canada is not expected to reach the podium very many times for this discipline as the whole team is going through a restructuring phase with the loss of Kristina Groves and Clara Hughes who previously held up Canada’s medal count in this sport.
Pairs Figure Skating
Both teams of Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford as well as Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch skated very well in the short program and they currently sit 5th and 6th respectively. This event is on lock down by the Russians - they have dominated all season and are strongly expected to win gold. Silver is generally deemed to be locked down as well by the German pair. Canada has an outside chance of fighting for the bronze but the odds are certainly not in their favour. Saskatchewan’s young blood pair, Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers, also qualified to the long program in 13th position.
Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe
It was not expected Canada would contend here and we didn’t. None of the 3 Canadian men qualified to the finals and our highest placement was Derek Livingston in 19th.
What is notable about this event is superstar Shaun White’s 4th place finish, meaning that he was kept off of the podium in his marquee event.
Women’s Ski Jump
I’ve been following this sport quite closely since this is its first year at the Olympics. I was not expecting Canada to reach the podium here but I was also not expecting them to be so far back in the rankings with Atsuko Tanaka finishing in 12th and Taylor Henrich in 13th. I was expecting a 5th-10th place finish for at least one of the girls.
Freestyle Skiing - Women’s Slopestyle
And definitely the highlight of Canada’s Day 4, Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre went 1 and 3 early this morning to secure another double podium finish as well as a gold and bronze for Canada. This means that Canada has now won 6 of 9 possible freestyle skiing medals and has double podiumed (I’m making this a verb, deal with it) 3 times. Howell led from the very beginning and her run was more than 8 points higher than American Devin Logan.
Canada was stacked for this event with both Kaya Turski and Yuki Tsubota also participating. Turski was the heavy favourite to win gold but struggled in the preliminaries and failed to progress to the final round. Tsubota actually qualified in 4th for the final but took a heavy fall during her final run and had to be carried out on a stretcher. She finished in 6th.
We won two medals and didn’t win any others that we weren’t expected to win anyways.
Tomorrow will be slow for Canada and I am not expecting to see any Canadian highlights. One with potential is women’s snowboard halfpipe but I do not believe that we are favoured to reach the podium. The pairs free skate may also be interesting. Jennifer Jones is taking on Great Britain’s Eve Muirhead in curling. Muirhead is Jones’ biggest competition in the field and the winner of tomorrow will be a good indicator of what the final podium may look like.