Home > olympics, sports > The Den Mother’s Olympic Recap: Days 8-10

The Den Mother’s Olympic Recap: Days 8-10

Monday, February 22, 2010, 18:22 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

Wow, what a weekend. The United States continues to haul in the medals, leading all countries with 24 overall, seven of which are gold. But other non-medal news occurred as well. Starting with…

Curling

The American teams finally won! On Friday, the women broke a tie with Russia in the tenth end to win 6-4. Later that day, our men pulled off a similar down-to-the-wire victory against France, 4-3. Saturday brought two more wins, the men against Sweden 8-7, and the women over Great Britain 6-5. My father is now watching curling every day, and the Den Brother wants me to join a nearby curling club with him. Good times on the horizon.

Not so much on Sunday, when we reverted to our losing ways. The women conceded to Canada when they were down 9-2 after the seventh end; they now share last place in the standings with two other teams. The men lost a closer one, 4-2, to Great Britain and are tied for eighth place out of ten teams. Easy come, easy go.

Alpine Skiing

Men's Super-G MedalistsI associate the Scandinavian countries with Nordic skiing, but I was shown the error of my ways when Norway’s Aksel Svindal beat out Americans Bode Miller and Andrew Weibrecht for gold in the men’s super giant slalom. Yes, I know everyone calls it “super-G” now and that may even ben the official name, but when it was grand new, it was known by its long name. Hell, when I was racing, they didn’t even have super-G. And we used bamboo poles for the slalom gates. And runaway straps were the preferred way to keep our skis nearby in case we popped a binding. Not that I’m old or anything.

The women also had their super-G over the weekend, on Saturday. Austrian Andrea Fischbacher beat out Slovakia’s Tina Maze and American Lindsey Vonn for that title. And Sunday brought the super combined (one run modified downhill, one run slalom) in which Bode Miller finally got his gold after a phenomenal slalom run that lifted him from 7th place after the downhill. Apparently, Bode has been keeping his nose clean and has found new motivation in his two-year-old daughter. Sometimes parenthood is what makes you grow up. But I digress.

Nordic Skiing

Norway, this time in the person of Marit Bjoergen, also took gold in women’s 15km cross country pursuit. Silver went to Sweden’s Anna Haag, with my my ancestors’ countrywoman Justyna Kowalczyk taking bronze. Kowalczyk has Poland’s only two medals of the Vancouver games.

Skeleton

I have decided that this sport is so named because that’s all that’s left of you after only three runs a day. It turns out that a professor at my alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has done some groundbreaking research into the aerodynamics of the sport. Anyway, Canada won the men’s event, Great Britain the women’s, both on Friday.

Hockey

U...S...A!!!  U...S...A!!!This was the big event of the weekend for me. In addition to games between rivals Russia vs. the Czech Republic (Russia won 4-2) and Sweden vs. Finland (Sweden won 3-0), the marquee matchup for the hosts was Canada vs. United States. Alas, for Canadians, “Super Sunday” turned into Black Sunday. Here in the USA, the 5-3 upset win over Canada is being compared to the 1980 Olympic semi-final defeat of the Soviet Union. It’s neither of those things. But it is significant. For one thing, with the win, the United States is one of four countries to go directly to the quarterfinals of the medal round, whereas Canada must win an extra game, qualification game against Germany, to advance to the quarters to face Russia. But more importantly, the Americans how have the confidence that Canada carried though the preliminary round.

Last night’s result was all the more remarkable considering that Canada outshot the U.S. nearly 2-1. Canada played aggressively, but U.S. goalie Ryan Miller was like the proverbial immovable object, making 40 saves. Team Canada’s decision to play Martin Brodeur in goal is being second-guessed on several fronts.
The United States and Sweden are now the only undefeated teams and finish the preliminary round atop their respective groups with nine points each. (In case you’re wondering, Olympic hockey differs from the NHL in that a regulation win earns three points instead of two, and an overtime win earns two points instead of one. Like the NHL, the Olympics award a point for an overtime loss. There are also some rules differences.)

Meanwhile, the two countries are on a course to meet in the women’s gold medal game, which will almost certainly happen unless one or both teams are abducted or die. Still, I’m taking nothing for gratned. In today’s semi-finals, the U.S. faces Sweden at 3:00 EST, while Canada faces Finland at 8:00 EST. The gold medal game is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 EST. Be there or B².

Other Stuff

I do realize there were many other events over the weekend. I didn’t cover speed skating, freestyle skiing, bobsleigh, other Nordic skiing event besides the brief mention of women’s cross country. One can only write so much over lunch. Let this be a lesson to me that if I don’t blog daily, it’s impossible to write about everything.

The Vancouver 2010 web site has more details about results, medals, and schedules.

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