Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 3 of the Sochi Olympics

Day 3 of the Sochi Olympics, 10 Feb 2014 Mon:

Day 3 of the Sochi Olympics proved to be outstanding for several athletes.  It is certainly a golden day for Canada.  Two of Canada's Vancouver 2010 champions successfully defend their titles.

Canadian Charles Hamelin wins the gold medal in 1500m short track speed skating race.  In the thrilling and spilling chaotic sport of short track, Hamelin was able to hold off the powerhouse South Korean and Chinese men in a strategic move that catapulted him from 3rd to 1st in the race.

My tights were inspired by Infomaniac!
He managed to hold off the formidable Victor An, the Korean who now represents Russia after a falling out with the South Korean Federation.  An won 3 golds in Torino 2006, but an injury kept him from Vancouver.  Because the Korean Federation has such a powerful bench full of talent, An and the Korean Federation didn't see eye to eye and the Federation thought An was not good enough to compete.  So An moved to Russia, got citizenship there and changed his name to Victor An, and now with his bronze, gives Russia its first ever short track medal.  China's Tianyu Han barely scraped by An to take the silver.

And once again, Alex Bilodeau delivers Canada its first gold medal of the Olympics!

His Sochi 2014 gold along with Hamelin's granted Canada 2 golds for the day.  In a tough field of full of talent, the Canadian Bilodeau outscored his competitors in the moguls by putting in an incredible performance that earned him the gold medal and allowed him to successfully defend his Vancouver 2010 champion title!  Fellow Canadian Mikael Kingsbury takes the silver, adding to the Canadian medal haul.  While another Canadian, Marc-Antoine Gagnon. was edged off the podium by Russian Alexandr Smyshlyaev who took the bronze.

And the Orange Crush rolls on!  For the first time ever, Netherlands wins gold in the 500m speed skating sprint.  Moreover, it was a clean sweep for the Dutch!  Wonder twins:  Michel Mulder takes gold while brother Ronald takes bronze, and fellow teammate Jan Smeekens takes silver.

Smeekens was originally declared the winner, but a photo finish and jury decision leading to a 100th of a second adjustment that bumped him to second place.  It is a hard experience for the skater to realize in the space of 3 minutes that he went from 1st to second, but he gets props for giving such an amazing performance.  Hey, a silver is a great medal; hell, any medal is a great medal!  Just ask defending  Vancouver 2010 champion South Korea’s Tae Bum Mo who came in fourth.  A fantastic performance for the incredible Dutch team.

Meanwhile, in the fast and furious world of the Ladies Super Combined, Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, world champion, successfully defends her Vancouver 2010 champion title, by taking gold at Sochi.

In a race that combines a downhill race in the morning and a afternoon slalom, the fastest combined time wins.  And Maria Hoefl-Riesch put in an incredible slalom performance, making up for a whole second behind after the morning's downhill portion, knocking American Julie Mancuso from the top spot.  Mancuso, although thought by many to have little chance at medaling due to injuries and unsteady performance recently, proved her skills by taking bronze here at Sochi.  Nicole Hosp of Austria puts in a stellar run to get the silver.

And it's a great day for France!  In the Men's Biathlon 12.5km pursuit, Martin Fourcade, silver medalist at Vancouver 2010, out skis and out shoots his opponents to claim gold to put France on the medal board!  Fellow Frenchman Jean Guillaume Beatrix delivers Frances second medal with a bronze.  And Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic takes the silver.

Veteran and legend Veteran Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who all ready won gold earlier in the games, was 4th.  Still, he put in an impressive performance as the 40 year old battles against a much younger competition. 

What an amazing day for the athletes and what an amazing display of heart and skill from all the athletes who gave it their all.


  1. My pulse rate escalates when I watch any of the short track skating events. Jeez. That's exciting stuff!

    I was really pleased for Mancuso's results. Throwing one's self down an ice slope is pretty exciting too!

  2. LX, I feel the same way about short track! It's all that chaos and speed and danger!

    And I was happy for Mancuso, too! That bronze went very well with her tiara. I'm going to be cheering for her in her next event.