Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics – day nine as it happened


Close of play

That’s that then for today’s action and indeed from us for today. A quick summary then of today’s main headlines:

  • Jansrud took gold, Weibrecht took silver and Miller shared bronze with Hudec in the men’s Super G.
  • Samkova took gold by some distance in the snowboard cross. Maltais won silver and Trespeuch took bronze. Team GB’s Zoe Gillings made the semi-final but missed out on a place in the big one in a photo finish. She came a respectable ninth overall.
  • And finally, there was gold and glory for Sweden in the men’s relay and there was silver and drama for Russia who overcame a French fightback.
  • There was a Dutch 1-2-3-4 in the women’s 1500m speed skating
  • Russia lead at the halfway point in bobsleigh, with Team GB in 22nd
  • Wins for Canada, the USA and Russia in men’s ice hockey
  • Season four or eight might also be the best for The Simpsons

Join us again tomorrow for all the action. Thanks for reading and for your emails. Bye!

So a quick update on the figure skating. World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White scored 78.89, which is a personal best and puts them in a good position for the gold medal after the free dance tomorrow. Great Britain’s Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes, who are targeting a top-ten-finish, are in 11th at the moment.

Heartbreak for Finland then, who did brilliantly to contain Canada for over an hour, but they were hugely outnumbered when it came to net shots and in the end it felt a little like the levee breaking.


Goal! Canada win 2-1!

Doughty scores the winner and Canada top the group! Low shot on the forehand after a drive through from Carter, beats the keeper on the glove side!

End of third period. So again we have OT, four v four.

Ignore me

Sweden are in group C. Both Canada and Finland will go through.

This is the last event of the day. The biathlon was postponed earlier until tomorrow morning on account of fog.

The bobsleigh is done for the day. Jamaica sit last after two wobbly runs. Great Britain are 23rd but can realistically still make the top 20. Russia’s lead is 0.37 seconds.

This is a match of few chances. As the oddly-named Reading Task Force notes, “This would be like, say, Brazil-Holland in football... it’s not really a mark of terrible form for Canada to be level with Finland.”

No, but with Sweden in the group too, the World Champions, Canada would feel uncomfortable with, say, a shoot-out loss here. Plus they’re the Olympic Champions and favourites I believe, whereas Finland probably have a good shot at bronze at best.

Apologies, some confusion a few minutes ago. There are of course two more heats in the bobsleigh tomorrow, but the overnight leaders are likely to be those in the medal positions now. Cool? Great.

Here’s the latest on Team GB’s Rowan Cheshire:

British halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire was reportedly knocked unconscious in a training accident at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Sunday. According to the Olympic News Service, Cheshire fell heavily on her face and, after remaining unconscious for several minutes, she was taken on a stretcher to a nearby medical tent.

The 18-year-old is due to compete on Thursday and is considered a medal prospect after winning her first World Cup title in Calgary last month.

A Team GB spokesman said: “Team GB halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire was injured this evening during halfpipe training. She was immediately taken from the course and is currently at the polyclinic in the Mountain Village, where she is being evaluated by Team GB medical personnel.”

Cheshire’s injury came at the end of a day in which crashes littered the women’s snowboard cross competition, with Norway’s Helene Olafsen and American Jacqueline Hernandez stretchered off the course after accidents in qualification. Swiss aerials skier Christopher Lambert was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected dislocated elbow in a heavy fall during training.

On Saturday, Russian ski cross athlete Maria Komissarova sustained a broken and dislocated spine after a training accident. She underwent a six and a half hour operation at a hospital in nearby Krasnaya Polyana.

Some clarification

A bit off-topic. The Guardian medal standings show Switzerland in 4th place. I can't come up with any rational points system that would give this result. I even have to give an absurd weighting to gold medals to place Norway ahead of Russia. Could there be a calculation error(s)?

I believe the standard Olympic form is that it’s number of golds, then total medals. It’s an automated feed rather than us sitting here and working it out.

Back underway in the ice hockey. That’s 1-1 remember. In the bobsleigh the USA couldn’t match the pace-setters Switzerland, before Russia – who led after the first heat – made a combined time of 1:52.82 to put themselves in the gold medal position.

Russia will almost certainly take the overnight lead, with Switzerland likely to go in second and the USA in bronze, as we’re into the ten slower teams now. That includes Team GB who were poor; 1.24 seconds off the pace in a disappointing 22nd, with nine runners to go.


Canada lead in shots-on-net, but it’s an intense and tightly-fought game. We’re at the second intermission now.

Huge goal! With two minutes to go in the second period Finland have equalised and Canada, for all their dominance so far, are going to be mighty frustrated.

Britain has an Olympic medalist ice skating!

Beth Tweddle is in the show on ITV.

In Sochi it’s 59.33 for Coomes and Buckland, so disappointment for them as they enter in eigth place with three couples still to come.

Penny and Nick’s coach is clapping, so that bodes well for their score.

TV comedy gold

Hilariously, Dancing on Ice is on ITV concurrently with the figure skating.

In about 5 minutes Team GB’s Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland will do their thing in the figure skating. They’re not a real medal hope, but we’ll see how they go.

The bobsleigh is going again. Confusingly the top 20-ranked teams reverse order before the remaining ten go. This means Monaco start and they’ve registered a middling 57.01. It also means Jamaica, who are currently ranked 30th out of 30, will go last. Team GB 21st this time, straight after the first-heat-leaders Russia 1.

This match will be filling the US with confidence as they’re by some distance the form team at these games so far. The quality of shooting in this match has been poor, with very few shots on net by the looks of things. Even Crosby is struggling to find space here against a very fast, tight Finnish defence. 1-0 Canada it remains.

We’re back underway in the second period of the ice hockey. This is a big match, so I’ll bring you regular updates from that, keep an eye on the bobsleigh and let you know the outcome of the figure skating. Also stay tuned for news on the injury to Great Britain’s Rowan Cheshire, who was knocked unconscious earlier.


Sport. Photograph: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

Norway’s men have beaten Switzerland 5-3 in the curling this evening. That means that three of GB, China, Norway and Canada will qualify along with Sweden.

First intermission: Canada 1-0 Finland. Speaking of Canada, here’s Anna Soper:

“I enjoyed following the game yesterday -- great fun seeing your colleagues getting excited about hockey! Canada invented hockey, so I wonder why all the US games have been live blogged and not ours? It would be lovely to see live blogs of our next games at Sochi (whether the US team is involved or not).”

There are only so many of us here I’m afraid, Anna.

It’s not been great so far in the hockey, a tight game low on scoring chances but very intense. Finland have a powerplay at the moment.

Back to the speed skating and Peter van Balen is feeling smug happy. “Sorry to win two-thirds of all the long-track speed-skating medals, but today was rather special: the first ever 1-2-3-4 and, with 16 medals so far, the most medals in a single Winter Olympics discipline (previous record: Austria getting 14 medals in alpine skiing in 2006). Expect to add 4-6 medals to that between now and the end of the Games.”

No need to apologise, Peter. And don’t do your team a disservice; it’s 17 medals now.

I’ve had a few emails from Canada today, and those correspondents will be pleased to know that their men’s hockey team has taken the lead over Finland.

First heat is done and dusted in the two-man bobsleigh. Russia 1 leads from USA 1 and USA 2.

Moratorium on that film being reference now declared.
Moratorium on that film being reference now declared. Photograph: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Finland v Canada got underway in the ice hockey a little under ten minutes ago. I don’t think there’s a full minute-by-minute anywhere, I’m afraid, but I’ll keep an eye on it for you.

Not a good start from Jamaica. A bump through five and it’s a nervy-looking run from Winston Watt. Now this is more like it... oh no I say that and there’s a few bumps. It’s a bit of a disaster in the end and they come in in last place.

I wanna fly and run ‘til it hurts, sleep for a while and speak no words. As Australia’s sled nearly tips up. And now it’s Jamaica.

Here we go with Team GB. 4.94 is a good start, 17th fastest. Nearly hit the roof on seventh corner, 0.69 behind the Russians at the second split. In they come 1.29 behind, which is a solid 21st place. Anything in the top 20 would be a success for Britain.

Standings so far

1. Russia 1
2. USA 1
3. USA 2

Got that? Good. Expect it to stay that way for a while. Team GB are up next.

Another key point: the bobsledders go in more-or-less world-ranking order. What this means is that no one is likely to get near USA1 or Russia in this heat now.

You’ll be interested to know* that this is the same slope that’s used for the skeleton and the luge. Obviously the lighter stuff happens earlier so that the ice doesn’t get cut to shreds by those great big bobsleds.

*Not a guarantee


Season 4 of The Simpsons all the way.

I’m told that Team GB is number 25 to run. Jamaica is 28. That’s in 10 minutes or so.

Some sad news coming in from our man in Sochi, Owen Gibson.

Owen Gibson (@owen_g)

Rowan Cheshire, 18-year-old GB ski halfpipe hope, has been knocked unconscious in training. Too soon to say if she can compete on Thursday.

Hilariously Canada Three, which sounds the name of a character in a Philip K. Dick novel, have just finished ahead of Canada One. Russia One still lead though.

Daft Punk?
Daft Punk? Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning
The force of love beginning

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ‘til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ‘til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

The present has no ribbon
Your gift keeps on giving,
What is this I’m feeling?
If you wanna leave I’m ready

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ‘til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ‘til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

USA team three are about to go. Yes several countries have several teams. US 1 pilot Steven Holcomb attempted suicide about seven years ago after developing a degenerative eye condition and his recovery is a lovely tale. He is, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular Americans in Russia at the moment.

Russia take the lead on heat one. Meanwhile if football is etc., .

The USA set a good time first up but Switzerland are running them close. It’s neck and neck up to corner 11 but the Swiss go wide and finish a tenth of a second behind. “They’re in second place as you’d expect,” says the commentator. There have been two teams so far.

Lamin Deen and John Baines – the latter in for the injured Craig Pickering – are Great Britain’s medal hopes here. And I’m playing as fast and loose as Arsenal’s defence with the word “hopes”.

Fog is descending towards the bobsleigh slope but shouldn’t be a problem, we think. On telly, Matthew Pinsent says Cool Runnings was “poking fun at [Jamaica].” I don’t think Matthew Pinsent has seen Cool Runnings.

While you wait for this to start, why not read by, er, me?

This isn’t a bad shout at all.

Mr. Plow
That’s my name
That name again is Mr. Plow

Still, I’ll raise you “It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!”

Glenn Easton writes:

“Slovakia needed a T.J. Oshie. That was heartbreaking. As a Canadian I really wanted Russia stopped. But a tie does help. But Canada will be worrying themselves sick heading into the game against Finland. Only Gold in ice hockey will suffice. And Finland is our first real test. As usual it will be concerns about our talented but flaky goalies at the centre of our anxiety. An entire nation on Ativan.”

Canada do need to avoid what would be a pretty massive upset against Finland, yes, writes your ice hockey expert. With World Champions Sweden also in the same prelim pool it could be a very tight one, although I expect Canada to take gold again this time.

Cool Runnings is on soon

Jamaica Bobsled Team (@Jambobsled)

Captain and driver Winston Watts having brunch with on race day

Robin Cousins is talking figure skating. “It’s like when you were living at home and your mum made you switch off that Jurassic Park re-run so she could watch Strictly Come Dancing, only it’s on ice and there’s no one you vaguely recognise,” he doesn’t say.

More breaking news

No biathlon today. It’s been postponed until 6.30am GMT on Monday, when I shall be fast asleep.


“Hi Dan!” Writes Raymond Starke. “17 medals already for the Dutch! We know what to do with water, especially frozen water! Oranje boven!”

They’re certainly dominant so far.

Lotte van Beek then. It’s a fast start but she starts to slip behind after lap two. Further behind on lap three – 0.72 seconds – I don’t think she’ll reel that in... she doesn’t but gets a bronze medal! I believe it’s a Dutch 1-2-3-4, with the USA’s Heather Richardson in 5th.

We have a Dutch 1-2-3 at the moment, which Lobyscheva is looking to break up. She can’t though, coming in in seventh.

Now it’s time for favourite Irene Wust to skate. If she’s to take gold (her fourth of the games) it will have to be a record-breaking run. 1:52.08 is her personal best and she’s 0.03 seconds ahead at the first split. She’s falling back though, 0.18 off at the next split and falling behind as she completes the penultimate lap. 0.36 in the red. She comes in in 1:54.09 and Irene Wust is only second!


For the record

Anyone who doesn’t say ‘And Maggie Makes Three’ is the best episode is just plain wrong.

Some F-grade trolling now.

Travis Giblin (@travisgiblin)

the only acceptable arguments would have been Lisa the Vegetarian or Homer vs the 18th amendment.

It’s a Dutch 1-2 as Leenstra moves into second place in the speed skating. Don’t be surprised to see them dominating the top of the leaderboard at the end of this.

Travis Giblin (@travisgiblin)

season 2?! No, no, no. The show was still growing. Seasons 4 through 8 were epic with the apex being Homer the Great in 6...

No way, man. ‘Brush With Greatness’, ‘The Way We Was’ and ‘Lisa’s Substitute’ are three of the greatest things ever to appear on TV.

OK the biathlon course does look quite bad. See?

Fog (again)
Fog (again) Photograph: ROLAND SCHLAGER/EPA

Biathlon update

The start has been delayed on account of cloud and fog. Presumably that’s reducing visibility, so they’re going to be starting later at night. Those ker-azee Russians.

Incidentally, Slovenia scored a consolation against the USA right at the death, so that finished 5-1.

Round 2 - Russia wins!

Tatar for Slovakia goes slow, shimmies, shakes, dances, twerks and moonwalks right up to the net, before missing. Kovalchuk scores with ease and Russia take the shoot out 2-0!

Round one

Slovakia miss, Radulov scores, so Russia lead 1-0

Glenn Easton has written to remind me to point out that in OT they go four-on-four, sacrificing an outfield player each. It doesn’t matter now though as we go to a shoot out, or “game winning shots” as they’ve been pointlessly renamed for these games.

You know who’s good at speed skating? The Dutch, it turns out. Jorien Ter Mors has set a new Olympic record of 1:53.51, giving her a massive lead of around four seconds or so. That’s an absurdly quick time, needless to say (yes I said it anyway).

Right this isn’t like football. As this has gone to OT, it’s not simply three points for a win. Both sides have already secured one point – this is Slovakia’s first of the tournament, by the way – and whoever wins now will get the second.

Biathlon news

The start has been delayed for an hour or so because of bad weather.

Meanwhile at the Bolshoi we’ll have overtime.