Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: Day 10 Recap

Above: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win silver for ice dance at Sochi on Monday

Every afternoon, Olympic enthusiast Drew Berner tracks the talking points from the the day’s competitions. Here’s our recap of day ten at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Virtue and Moir Settle for Second; Conspiracy Theories Abound

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir set a world record score with their ice dancing free skate, but that record only stood for minutes before it was smashed by the unstoppable American pair of Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Conspiracy theories have flown since French paper L’Equipe reported an alleged agreement between Russian and American judges to ensure their teams won top marks in team figure skating and ice dance, respectively. Those theories have seemed to carry water so far, as pundits had difficulty explaining Virtue and Moir’s second-place standing after Sunday’s short program, while even a world-record score wasn’t enough to lift the Canadians to gold. We’ll probably never know for sure whether the result was truly predetermined, but our skaters had even the most pedestrian fans pulling hard for them, and pushing hockey out of the Canadian collective consciousness for even a few minutes is almost as big a victory as any medal.

Hockey Hysteria Takes Heat at Olympics

Speaking of hockey’s oppressive presence at the Winter Olympics, some athletes and media are finally starting to point out just how ridiculous Canada’s hockey obsession has become. The Stanley Cup stopped by Canada House in Sochi for a visit Monday, prompting even successful, respected athletes to lose their minds for pro hockey’s biggest prize. For others, though, this was the breaking point—four-time Canadian Olympian Brian Stemmle tweeted his displeasure at the perceived show of disrespect. Even Team Canada head Steve Yzerman said the fixation on hockey was “unfair to the rest of the Canadian Olympic team.”

When a near-meaningless round robin game against hopelessly overmatched Norway gets as much attention as a gold medal performance in women’s ski slopestyle or our country’s first men’s alpine skiing medal in two decades, it’s easy to see why frustrated Toronto Star columnist Cathal Kelly would write, “The Winter Olympics is a multi-disciplinary sports event that lasts two-and-a-half weeks for the rest of the world, and 12 days in Canada.”

Canada, USA Set for Gold Medal Showdown

And now, more hockey news: The final score of the women’s hockey semifinal was 3-1 in favour of Canada, but the Swiss squad gave them all they could handle. Canada outshot the Swiss 48-22, but after giving up a trio of goals in the first period, goalkeeper Florence Schelling turned away a ceaseless barrage of pucks. The one knock against women’s hockey has been a lack of parity, with Canada, U.S. and occasionally Sweden and Finland sitting head-and-shoulders above the rest, so Canada should welcome another competitive team into the fold. That being said, Canada and Team USA will face off for the gold medal for the fourth time in five Games on Thursday.

Jennifer Jones Sets Record With Flawless Round

Canada has long been the dominant nation in Olympic curling, but never has there been a women’s team so overwhelmingly superior that they’d gone 9-0 in the Olympics’ round robin. Throw that piece of trivia in the garbage, ‘cause Jennifer Jones and co. are taking out the trash. Canada’s women head to the semifinals, facing some of their stiffest competition in Great Britain, with a chance to equal Canadian skip Kevin Martin’s perfect 2010 Olympic run.

Biathlon, Snowboard Cross Lost in the Fog

The balmy Sochi weather finally caught up with the athletes, forcing Olympic organizers to postpone the men’s 15km mass start biathlon twice and cancel seeding runs for men’s snowboard cross. A thick blanket of fog fell over the mountains Monday, making it near-impossible for biathlon competitors to see targets and turning snowboarders into floating apparitions on the course. So, about that plan to hold the Winter Olympics in a resort town populated with palm trees…

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Tags: Sochi 2014 Olympics

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