Sochi 2014 Olympic Update (Day 2)

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When trying to win a bid for the Olympic Games countries look to pull out all the stops to impress the IOC and earn the chance to host the games. Many times countries use this process to try to improve a city or to create a centre for sports in the country. That has happened many times as many cities have taken the Olympics and translated it to becoming the centre for those season Olympics in their countries. In Canada this would happen with Calgary, Alberta that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and is now the centre for many Winter sports. Most Canadians in the sledding sports will train in Calgary because the facilities are there and they are not in any other place in Canada. When Russia put in their bid for the 2014 Olympics this is exactly what they were looking to do and were also trying to take it a step further. They were looking to create a centre for Winter sports in Russia but would also try to build a town essentially from scratch. Sochi was not known of too much before the Olympics but it was not much more than a warm place in the south of Russia. When Russia looked to the Winter Olympics they saw Sochi as a city that could become something great. They would look to make Sochi a Resort town with an interesting combination of beautiful temperatures and a winter sports wonderland. They would completely remake the city of Sochi to help create a vacation destination for Russians and the world while also showing what Russia is in the 21st century. As big as the transformation of the city has been there was a group of people who were also heavily affected by the successful bid for the Olympics. The Russian athletes would immediately be given a lot of pressure to try to perform at home in front of their home crowd. It is a tremendous amount of pressure for any athlete at the Olympics when they put their country on their backs to try to make everyone back home proud. Then add the fact that you are at home in front of all of your fans and if they do come up short of expectations the disappointment is immediate. There is a lot of pressure on the Russian team this year and they are trying to have a performance much like the Canadians did in 2010 when they would earn 14 gold medals, most of any country, at home. The Russians are looking to do just that this year as they hope that their team can bring home more medals than ever as they take perform in front of a Russian crowd. The Russians would not see a gold medal in the first day of the Olympics although they would come close. There were a number of athletes coming close to providing the home country with their first medal but the day would end with Russia sitting outside of the medal count. Day 2 would be a different story as Russia would finally get on the board in the Olympics and would settle the home fans for the time being. The first medal for Russia would come in the Speed Skating Oval as Olga Graf would finish the Women’s 3,000m with a bronze medal. It is always a relief to see your country earn their first medal as it seems after that some of the pressure is taken away. That is even truer of the home country when everyone begins to ask about when the first medal will finally come. There are a number of athletes that would make headlines for not performing up to their potential but once the first medal comes the stories turn to the athlete that won the first medal and the athletes that can win the next. They would continue a successful day when Olga Vilukhina would take home a silver medal in the Women’s 7.5km Sprint Biathlon. Another silver would be added to the total for Russia when Albert Demchenko would take home the silver in the Men’s Individual Luge event. In what will likely go down as the second most popular sport in Russia behind hockey the Russians would earn another medal in the team figure skating competition the Russian team would win their first gold medal of the games. It is a very Russian sport and a favorite of the home crowds that have made the figure skating rink one of the loudest buildings in the Olympics. The crowd would go crazy for their Russians skaters and the skaters would make it worthwhile as they would have great skate after great skate and lead Russia to the gold medal before the last event in the team competition. It was a successful day for the Russians as they would earn 3 total medals after day 2 and would begin their march in trying to lead the medal table at home.

 

Canadian Story:

The Streak Continues
In 1994 Canada would see its last ever Alpine Skiing medal and since then they have had plenty of potential but no medals and in 2014 it seems to be continuing as the first Alpine medals were handed out and Canada’s top downhill skier Erik Guay would finish in 5th place

The Canadian Way
Canadians are known for being extremely nice and very cooperative which is shown in the Olympics as Canadians excel at team events including the newest team event in Team Figure Skating where they would earn a silver medal

Canadian Sled Comes up Short
The Canadians were not considered favorites in the luge this year but Sam Edney looked like he could be a surprise after finishing 5th after two runs but in Day 2 it wasn’t to be as Edney would fall to 11th place finishing out of the medals

Another Disappointment on the Slopes
The Olympics would start off for the Canadians with a gold medal favorite ending with a bronze medal in Men’s Slopestyle and in day 2 there would be another favorite falling short as world champion Spencer O’Brien would come up short of medalling in the Women’s Slopestyle

 

Day 2 Medal Results:

Alpine Skiing
Men’s Downhill
1. Matthias Mayer (Austria)
2. Christof Innerhofer (Italy)
3. Kjetil Jansrud (Norway)

Biathlon
Women’s 7.5km Sprint
1. Anastasiya Kuzmina (Slovakia)
2. Olga Vilukhina (Russia)
3. Vita Semerenko (Ukraine)

Cross-Country Skiing
Men’s Skiathlon
1. Dario Cologna (Switzerland)
2. Marcus Hellner (Sweden)
3. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Norway)

Figure Skating
Team Competition
1. Russia
2. Canada
3. USA

Luge
Men’s Individual Luge
1. Felix Loch (Germany)
2. Albert Demchenko (Russia)
3. Armin Zoeggeler (Italy)

Ski Jumping
Men’s Individual Normal Hill
1. Kamil Stoch (Poland)
2. Peter Prevc (Slovakia)
3. Anders Bardal (Norway)

Snowboarding
Women’s Slopestyle
1. Jamie Anderson (USA)
2. Enni Rukajarvi (Finland)
3. Jenny Jones (Great Britain)

Speed Skating
Women’s 3,000m
1. Irene Wust (Netherlands)
2. Martina Sablikova (Czech Republic)
3. Olga Graf (Russia)

 

Day 3 Medal Events:

Alpine Skiing
Women’s Super-Combined

Biathlon
Men’s 12.5km Pursuit

Freestyle Skiing
Men’s Moguls

Short Track
Men’s 1,500m Final Race

Speed Skating
Men’s 500m

 

medal_table_d2

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