The IOC might be feeling the wrath of the world’s top snowboarders if they don’t change the halfpipe in time for Tuesday’s event. The Russians are giving Norway a run for their money with new curling pants, and U.S. skier Julia Mancuso ended up with a bronze in combined. Here is what you missed while you were sleeping.
Snowboarders upset by condition of Olympic halfpipe
Interesting story from Yahoo Sports: Snowboarders are calling the Olympic halfpipe “garbage” and “unsalvageable” ahead of the men’s qualification on Tuesday. These riders chose to stay anonymous, but Danny Davis of the United States did not waste any time letting the world know how he feels, calling it a “lame showcase” of the sport. The IOC had to postpone their practice, according to Yahoo, because of the halfpipe issues after temperatures in Sochi began to climb.
“The IOC probably didn’t want to pay the right guys to do it,” Davis said to Yahoo. “I’m pretty sure what they’re focused on is keeping as much money in their hands as possible. That’s the shame of it all. All these kids, myself included, worked very hard to get here. And then the pipe is just no fun and boring and [expletive]. Halfpipe is super fun. But riding a crappy pipe and having to perform in it is the worst.”
Gold-medal favorite Shaun White also weighed in, albeit with less intense words.
“Today, they made the walls better so everybody lands [correctly],” he said, USA Today. ”But in the flat bottom, where they cut it, it’s like a bump, so everyone is riding along and then hits the bump, and that’s really not very good.”
Canadian men start Olympic curling defense on a winning note
Germany was initially giving the Canadian rink led by Brad Jacobs a run for their money, but the defending Olympic champions (who were led by Kevin Martin in 2010) ended up with the 11-8 win. At least we were all introduced to Germany fourth Felix Schulze who looks like Ben Affleck/Matt Damon/Seth McFarlane depending on who you ask.
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 10, 2014
Which is great, and everything, but let’s talk pants. Specifically Russia’s pants. Even though they did not win, they are winning the pants war. At least until Norway shows up to play the U.S. at 10 a.m. ET.
Jennifer Jones and the Canadians also won their first game of the Olympics, defeating China 9-2, while the United States was not so lucky and fell to Switzerland.
Mancuso settles for bronze in combined
After an impressive downhill portion of the super combined, it looked like Julia Mancuso was going to get a shot at gold, if all went well in the slalom. But defending world and Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who was sitting in fifth in the downhill, ended up posting a 50.90 run in the second half to take gold. Mancuso was awarded the bronze after posting a 52.47 run, 2.37 seconds behind the best slalom time.
Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon fell during her run after hitting a gate left for a clinic, her arm in a sling, with an apparent shoulder injury.
For the rest of the day, here are events you don’t want to miss:
SPEED SKATING: MEN’S 500M
9 a.m. ET (NBCSN, TSN2)
The three medalists from 2010 are all back in the race: South Korea’s Mo Tae-bum (who won gold last time), Japan’s Keiichiro Nagashima (silver) and teammate Joji Kato (bronze).
American Shani Davis is a pro at 1,000m and already has two gold medals from 2010 and 2006, but the 500m could be a challenge for him. He only ended up with a spot in the event because Jonathan Garcia was disqualified at the trials for forgetting to put on his timing transponders. And in Vancouver, he decided not to race in the 500.
WOMEN’S HOCKEY: CANADA vs. FINLAND
10 a.m. ET (CBC)
Finland was expected to put up more of a fight against the United States in their opener on Saturday, but then the Americans scored 53 seconds in and never looked back en route to a 3-1 victory. Considering Finland came into the tournament as the underdog, their game against Canada on Monday will be very telling when it comes to their Olympic future.
FREESTYLE SKIING: MEN’S MOGULS
1 p.m. ET (CBC)
Canada could see another gold and silver run at the podium in the men’s moguls on Monday. Defending champion Alex Bilodeau is facing some stiff competition from teammate Mikael Kingsbury, who won the world championship last year.