Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Update (Day 11)

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Pressure and the Olympics go hand-in-hand as there are no athletes that walk into the Olympic Games without feeling the pressure of the event.

They have prepared for so long to get to this point and the last thing they want is to end their Olympic experience without a medal or without putting their best foot forward.

These athletes put in four years of work to get to the biggest stage and all of that work comes down to a few minutes of action where they try to achieve their dream.

The days leading up to the competition can be testing for the nerves of all of the competitors as they look to put on their best performance.

Not everyone can do it and sometimes it can really have an effect on the performance as stars that were supposed to be great crumble under the pressure.

It takes a certain make-up for an athlete to try to get that best performance on the biggest stage and to leave everything else behind.

It is no regular competition but the key to performing at the top level is to try to make it like every other competition.

Putting all of the pageantry out of the equation is the only way that an athlete can compete at the top level.

That is obviously easier said than done and the history of the Olympics is full of athletes who have fallen short of their expectations.

It is also full of those athletes that for whatever reason find that extra gear in the Olympics using the games as a motivation factor.

These are the athletes heading in with little expectations but find a way to compete against the best of the best and take a medal.

It is never an easy thing and for some athletes, the pressure is only magnified heading into the games.

That is true of the many athletes who head into the Olympics as the face of their teams and their countries.

Every country has those people as they have made a name for themselves through past Olympics.

They enter another Olympic Games hoping to find their way back to the podium except this time that has become the expected.

It is a part of the stress that many of these athletes face as they are the ones that every sits and watches from their country.

They are expected to bring home a medal and more often than not they are expected to bring home gold.

The Canadians had two such faces of the games as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were some of the biggest names in figure skating for Canada.wolympic-sidebarolympics-sidebar

They have been for a long time as the ice dance pair had brought a new focus on the competition that had never been there before.

The two skaters had been together forever and grew up in the sport together as best friends while continuing to climb up the rankings.

In 2010 they broke onto the scene when they won gold in front of the home crowd in Vancouver and immediately they became superstars.

Everyone was watching them in every Olympics and the way they won or lost, like when they came second in Sochi, they expressed themselves in the best possible way.

Canadians loved them and throughout the world of skating, they continued to be some of the biggest names.

Heading into Pyeongchang there was more pressure than ever before as they were officially the faces of Team Canada.

It was the first time that the Canadian Olympic Committee announced a dual flag bearer as Virtue and Moir carried the flag in for the country.

That put a big spotlight on the two who headed into the games with the expectation of winning a gold medal.

Adding to that pressure was the fact that for Virtue and Moir this was likely going to be their last Olympic games and possibly the last competition.

With all of that and their history of success, Canadian fans had some high expectations for both to finish at the top of the heap in a tight group of ice dancers.

The pair made good on those expectations earning a world record in the short program and a personal best in the free program to win the gold.

They are far from the only people to feel that pressure but every person handles it differently with some exceeding expectations and others falling short.

That is the reality of the Olympics as it is the biggest show for these athletes and their chances to get a medal come with only a few minutes of competition.

 

The Canadian Story:

Golden Performance

Just before Virtue and Moir won their gold medal another Canadian added to the gold medal total. Cassie Sharpe put up massive runs in the women’s ski halfpipe to the point where anyone competing would have to be perfect to beat her. After her second run, she earned a score of 95.80 putting the gold out of reach for everyone else and taking home her first Olympic medal.

Humphries Struggling

A day after the Canadian men were able to squeak out a gold by tying the Germans I the two-man bobsled one of Canada’s best took to the track. Kailie Humphries had already taken two Olympic titles and she was hoping to leave Pyeongchang with her third title becoming the first woman to do so. It is going to be a fight after her first two runs landed her in fifth with her medal hopes in serious trouble.

Curling Saga Continues

The Canadian Curling teams have had some of the most drama-filled tournaments this year as they have struggled and looked brilliant at times. Both the men and the women were expected to at least medal but now are just hanging on. Team Koe seemed to be ready for the playoffs until dropping three in a row and now they are tied for the final playoff spot with one game to go. Team Homan struggled to start and with a loss on Day 11, their playoff hopes are down to two must=win games.

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