Olympics 2014

HELLO OLYMPICS!!

I’m back, and with my return, I bring coverage of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. 

My game plan for this huge sports event, is to make short daily videos discussing -mainly the Canadian- aspects to the games, and then coming here to fill in some of the blanks. Then, on Monday or Tuesday (I haven’t decided yet) I’ll be making a longer, and better produced video. 

Todays video can be viewed here, and if it seems like I was talking through a migraine, I was. There is definitely going to be a bit of an adjustment period to get things the way I want them, but I plan to have it under control by the time all the main events start on Saturday.

The official Olympics haven’t actually started yet (as the Opening Ceremony is tomorrow night in Sochi (or 10am EST/8am MST/7am PST)) but today we still got to watch the qualifying rounds for Men and Women’s Snowboard Slope Style, Women’s Moguls and the first competition rounds for the Team Figure Skating event.  It’s all pretty exciting because already, Canada has some pretty good chances of securing early medals!!

SO without further ado, let’s get to it…

Slopestyle

It was a good day for Canadian Slope Style. In the men’s event, Maxence Parrot of Quebec placed first in his heat; securing a place for himself in Saturday’s (3:45am EST/1:45 MST/00:45 PST) finals. Sebastien Toutant-also from Quebec- snagged third, also qualifying for the final. However, medal favourite Mark McMorris from Saskatchewan (the guy everyone thought would float into the final) was unable to qualify after the judges disappointingly placed him at 7th. The result was confusing for any one watching (there has been talk that there are some discrepancies with the judging, so we will see how this unfolds). His rib injury did not appear to be a factor as he completed an overwhelmingly smooth run (the triple he threw on the last jump was sick, just btw). People quickly took to the comments of the CBC website to claim he had been robbed; however, all hope is not lost for Mark, as he looks good to qualify in the Saturday semi final. I for one am wishing him luck.

Another surprise of the men’s event is that the American, Shaun White-perhaps one of the most prolific snowboarders ever- decided to withdraw from the Slope Style event. He reportedly fell on one of the jumps, jamming his wrist and claims that he withdrew in order to protect himself and to focus on his Super Pipe event. It seems like he may be scared, as he knows that Super Pipe is the event the the United States depends upon him most to win, and can’t afford to mess that up. It’s funny how the world we live in hypes people up so much, that we feel that they owe us the win (i.e. see some of the comments regarding Mark McMorris not qualifying this morning). As if these athletes weren’t already putting enough pressure on themselves.

Our women also did not disappoint. Spencer O’Brien of British Columbia will be moving straight into Sundays final, after placing third in her heat. Unfortunately her teammate, Jenna Blasman also from British Columbia did not qualify today after placing sixth. But as with the case of McMorris, I have faith that she will be able to make something happen in the semi final on Sunday (1:30am EST/11:30pm Sat. MST/10:30pm PST). Watch the Womens final on Sunday at 4:15am EST/2:15am MST/1:15am PST)

Complete List of Qualifiers: Mens- Staale Sandbech (Norway), Peetu Piiroinen (Finland), Sebastien Toutant, Jamie Nicholls (Great Britain), Maxence Parrot, Roope Tonteri (Finland), Sven Thorgren (Sweden) and Gjermund Braaten (Norway)

Womens- Isabel Derungs (Switzerland), Torah Bright (Australia), Spencer O’Brien, Enni Rukajarvi (Finland), Anna Gasser (Austria), Jamie Andersen (United States), Elena Koenz (Switzerland), Karly Shorr (United States).

Moguls

We’ve yet to see the Men’s moguls event, but today things were off to a good start for our Canadian Women’s Mogul team. Four ladies have automatically advanced to Saturdays final (1:00pm EST/11:00 am MST/10:00am PST). The three Dufour-Lapointe sisters-Chloe, Justine and Maxine- all qualified after finishing in second, third, and eighth respectively. Audrey Robichard, an Olympic veteran, also qualified after placing ninth. (the way moguls works is that there is the first qualifying round, where ten people qualify, and then on Saturday there will be a second qualifier where ten more women will qualify. These twenty women will be whittled down to a super final of six, and these six will go on for the chance to qualify).  

It’s pretty exciting knowing that out of our main competition of the American ladies, only two out of the four have qualified so far. Admittedly though, these two ladies will definitely give our women a run for their money. Hannah Kearney (Vancouver’s gold medalist) again place first in the qualifier, and Eliza Ourttim finished fourth looking equally as strong(if not moreso) as some of our ladies. 

Team Figure Skating

And finally, there was the beginnings of the brand new Team Figure Skating event. It all started off with the Men’s short and Pair’s short program. 

Can I take a time out to just say that before this event goes too far, someone needs to clarify what exactly is going on. I’ve deciphered that the overall position is determined by an average of each of the individual events combined, but from there I know nothing. CBC, I’m looking at you. We were watching this event on TV even, and still weren’t entirely sure what was happening. Like what are are the points for?? Ok, end rant.

Few of you probably know this, but Figure Skating is my favourite event. I used to skate while I was in High School, so it’s one of the few sports that I know what everyone is doing, and when they are doing it wrong. It just has all the emotiveness and athleticism of ballet, but on ice (and ice under skates sounds awesome). But now on to the results.

Russia is in first overall after Evgeny Plyushcenko placed second, and Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov placed first. A well deserved first btw. The Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford skated great, but technically no one can stand up to the Russians. Their jumps are just THAT good.

Speaking of the Canadians, they stand at second place overall with Duhamel and Radford placing in second, and Patrick Chan placing third. And finally, in third place overall is China. Their status was cemented by Han Yan placing fourth and Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang placing third. 

All in all it has been an exhilarating Day -1 (as CBC calls is). I had forgotten how stoked you get watching the athletes from your country compete (it definitely helps that the Canadians have been slaying it so far). So here’s to a great month of sports ahead!! Don’t forget to tune in to your local Olympic network tomorrow for the Opening Ceremonies (I hope they have some Russian Ballet ;))

PEACE

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