Sochi 2014 Olympic Update (Day 12)

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The Olympics are sadly winding down with only a few days left to the closing ceremonies and the final medals are close to being handed out. There are 4 days left in the Olympics and teams are hoping to sprint to the finish as they hope to earn as many medals as they can. Many athletes are also waiting to get their shot at earning a medal at these Olympics with more sports still to finish. Many more athletes are just trying to take in the experience of the Olympics as they are finished their competitions and are now hoping that the rest of the Olympics can be more about being at the Olympics than competing. As the Olympics begin to wind down the focus on Russia begins to leave and a new focus takes over. For Winter Olympic fans, athletes, coaches, and nations the focus begins to shift to four years from now. Athletes begin to think about whether or not they have another four years of training in them while coaches begin preparing their athletes for another Olympic cycle. Meanwhile fans are getting their last fix of these sports and this display of winter sports before they see another four years without hearing much about many of these athletes and sports. For one country the end of the Olympics are a much bigger deal as it means the beginning of a countdown for them. This year it is the Republic of Korea that is looking towards the end of the Sochi games as the beginning of their own countdown. In 2018 the world will look to Pyoengchang, South Korea as they host the 23rd Winter Olympics. When Sochi finishes the winter sports world will look ahead to the games in Pyeongchang where the next chance to stand on top of their sport at the Olympics. For Korea the end of the Sochi Olympics marks a chance to take stock of where their country is in the sports world. When a country hosts the Olympics they are under a lot of pressure to perform and have a great games in front of their home crowd. Every host country looks to have their best Olympic performance ever when they host to make sure that the fans are not disappointed and that the fans buy tickets to see their country perform. The only way to make sure that the athletes are ready for this type of pressure and ready to perform is to give them experience. To get this experience these countries look to the Olympics preceding their time to host and they send one of their biggest teams to those Olympics with plenty of young talent. This strategy would be used in 2010 when the Russians sent a big team to Vancouver in the hopes that they would get experience that they could bring to Sochi. It would prove to be a good strategy as they have risen to the top of the rankings this year with many unexpected athletes earning medals. South Korea is looking to follow the same strategy this year as they have sent a big team to Sochi in hopes that they will get the experience they need for 2018. The Koreans have not done great in the medal standings as they have only four medals so far this year. Three of those medals have come on the short track course while speed skating would supply the other medal. Still the Korean athletes have not been terrible as they have shown some promise. Many of the Korean athletes have entered their first Olympics this year and have now gone through their first time in one of the most watched events in the world. That will help many of them when it comes time for them to take on the added pressure of performing at home. These Korean athletes are the ones to watch for the rest of the Olympics as many of them are not going to medal this year but hope to use this to begin a four-year march towards their home Olympics. As the Olympics wind down the Koreans continue to be athletes to watch as they begin their preparations for the next four years to produce on the biggest stage that many of them will see in their entire careers. So as the Olympics get closer to the end the Korean team, officials, and organizing committee will continue to look forward to 2018 when the Olympics go to Pyoengchang, South Korea.

 

Canadian Story:

Making History
Kaillie Humphries went into the Olympics as one of the faces of the Canadian team as she was looking to repeat as a gold medalist in Women’s Bobsleigh and she would do just that becoming the first woman to ever repeat as Olympic Champion in Bobsleigh

Close Call
The Men’s Team took much of the focus on Day 12 as they would face their first elimination game taking on Latvia and thanks to an amazing performance by Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, who saved 55 shots, they would struggle to earn a 2-1 win and move into the semi-finals

Guaranteed Medals
Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones would continue to play great as they would both win their semi-finals matchups in Day 12 to earn spots in the Gold medal match as both skips are guaranteed a medal but are looking to make it gold

Some Bad News
It was a big day for Canada despite earning only one medal but it was not all great news as after the Canadian eked out a win against Latvia in Men’s Hockey it was announced that John Tavares would miss the rest of the Olympics with a leg injury taking one of Canada’s best players off the ice

 

Day 12 Medal Results:

Alpine Skiing
Men’s Giant Slalom
1. Ted Ligety (USA)
2. Steve Missillier (France)
3. Alexis Pinturault (France)

Biathlon
Mixed Relay
1. Norway
2. Czech Republic
3. Italy

Bobsleigh
Women’s Bobsleigh
1. Kaillie Humphries/Heather Moyse (Canada)
2. Elana Meyers/Lauren Williams (USA)
3. Aja Evans/Jamie Gruebel (USA)

Cross-Country
Women’s Team Sprint Classic
1. Norway
2. Finland
3. Sweden

Men’s Team Sprint Classic
1. Finland
2. Russia
3. Sweden

Snowboard
Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom
1. Patrizia Kumer (Switzerland)
2. Tomoka Takeuchi (Japan)
3. Alena Zavarzina (Russia)

Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom
1. Vic Wild (Russia)
2. Nevin Galmarini (Switzerland)
3. Zan Kosir (Slovenia)

Speed Skating
Women’s 5,000m
1. Martina Sablikova (Russia)
2. Ireen Wust (Netherlands)
3. Carien Kleibeuker (Netherlands)

 

Day 13 Medal Events:

Curling
Women’s Bronze Medal Game (Great Britain vs. Switzerland)
Women’s Gold Medal Game (Canada vs. Sweden)

Figure Skating
Ladies Free Skate (Final Event)

Freestyle Skiing
Women’s Ski Halfpipe

Hockey
Women’s Bronze Medal Game (Switzerland vs. Sweden)
Women’s Gold Medal Game (Canada vs. USA)

Nordic Combined
Team Large Hill

medal_table_d12

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