Olympic Roundup -- Feb. 11
Published on February 12 2014 6:24 am
Last Updated on February 12 2014 6:24 am
Written by Millie Lange
For the first time in Olympic history, an alpine skiing race ended in a tie for gold. Switzerland's Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze of Slovenia will share gold after posting identical times in the women's downhill Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics. Gisin was the eighth competitor down the course at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center and she set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. Maze went off in the 21st spot and matched Gisin's run. Both Gisin and Maze finished just a tenth of a second ahead of Switzerland's Lara Gut, who claimed the bronze for her first Olympic medal. Maze earned her third Olympic medal and became the first Slovenian to win gold at the Winter Games. She previously won silver in both the super-G and giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Julia Mancuso of the United States failed to pick up her second medal in Sochi, placing eighth in Wednesday's competition. Mancuso, who won bronze Monday in the super combined, was attempting to claim her fifth Olympic medal to match Bode Miller for the most by any U.S. alpine skier.
U.S. speedskater Shani Davis will try to become the first American man to win the same event in three straight Winter Olympics when he goes in the men's 1,000 meters. American snowboarder Shaun White had the same chance Tuesday, but finished fourth in the halfpipe. Korean Mo Tae Bum finished second to Davis four years ago in the 1,000 and will skate against him again. Americans Brian Hansen, Jonathan Garcia and Joey Mantia are also in the field. Denny Morrison, William Dutton, Muncef Ouardi and Vincent de Haitre will go for Canada.
The figure skating pairs competition continues with medals being handed out following the free program. Heavily favored Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov easily won the short program on Tuesday and earned a score of 84.17 -- 4.53 points higher than Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who were second. Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were ninth and teammates Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay also qualified for Wednesday's free program in 14th place. Canadian pairs Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch were fifth and sixth. Teammates Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers also qualified in 13th.
Qualifications for the women's event halfpipe event are underway and medals will be awarded later on Wednesday. The U.S. team includes former Olympic champions Hannah Teter (2006) and Kelly Clark (2002), who finished 2-3 behind Australian Torah Bright in 2010. All three are in the field again.
Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger have won the last two Olympic luge doubles titles and will go for a three-peat. Canadians Tristan Walker and Justin Snith and Americans Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall are in the field.
The men's hockey tournament will get underway Wednesday with a pair of preliminary round games. Sweden will take on the Czech Republic and Switzerland will open against Latvia.
One of the more anticipated hockey matchups of the games will take place on the women's side when Canada and the U.S. face off in a matchup of Group A unbeatens. While the U.S. has won four of the last five world championships, Canada has won three straight gold medals and topped the Americans in the final game in Vancouver. The U.S. will be trying to follow up a dominant 9-0 win over Switzerland on Monday. Canada, meanwhile, has yet to allow a goal in its two wins over the Swiss and Finland. In earlier action, Finland topped the Swiss 4-3 in overtime.
Nordic combined action kicked off Wednesday with the normal hill competition. Germany's Eric Frenzel posted the top score in the ski jump portion of the Nordic combined normal hill on Wednesday morning at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center and will begin the cross-country portion of the event with a six-second lead over Japan's Akito Watabe. Reigning Olympic champion Jason Lamy Chappuis of France finished eighth in the jumping segment and will start 31 seconds after the leader. American Bill Demong, who won gold in the Nordic combined large hill at the Vancouver Games, posted a score of 108.2 in the ski jump and will start 1 minute, 33 seconds behind Frenzel. Fellow American Todd Lodwick, the opening ceremony flag bearer who won silver in the team event four years ago, will start the cross-country portion one second behind Demong.
Curling continues with a number of men's matchups as well as a session by the women. The U.S. men got off the schneid with a 9-5 win Wednesday morning against Denmark. The Americans are now 1-2 in the round robin stage of the tournament. Meanwhile, the American women are currently in action against China and also hope to get their first win of the tournament. Canada's men's team, which has won two straight Olympic gold medals, was defeated by Sweden on Tuesday to fall to 1-2 and will meet Russia on Wednesday. The Canadian women are currently playing Great Britain after rolling past Sweden on Tuesday.