Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: Day 15 Recap

Above: Team Canada edged by Poland in the men's Team Pursuit, finish 4th after Final B
Above: Team Canada edged by Poland in the men's Team Pursuit, finish 4th after Final B

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

Sarah Burke Honoured In Spite of IOC

The IOC said no to Sarah Burke’s friends wearing stickers to honour the fallen Canadian skier during competition, so those friends, with help from a few volunteers, went even bigger. Burke paved the way for halfpipe skiers to compete in the Olympics, so it was fitting that the halfpipe in Sochi was surreptitiously covered with Burke’s ashes ahead of Thursday’s competition. Volunteers had already planned a tribute, skiing slowly down the halfpipe in a heart-shaped formation, but even they likely didn’t know Burke was underneath them at the time. Even in her absence Burke has been a huge part of these Games, so it’s only appropriate that her friends wouldn’t let the IOC spoil the moment she so deserved.

US Hockey Hopes Finnish-ed in Bronze Game

A visibly deflated Team USA didn’t stand a chance against Finland, who cruised to a 5-0 win for the bronze medal in men’s hockey. The win likely marked the finale of a most remarkable Olympic career, as 43-year-old Teemu Selanne—a six-time Olympian and four-time medallist—scored a pair of goals for the Finnish team he’s represented since 1992. The Americans had two penalty shots, both taken by Patrick Kane, but were stopped by Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask and his goalpost, respectively. Team USA had high hopes through the tournament’s opening stage and looked destined for a podium finish, but losing their showdown with Canada on Friday sapped their will to win.

Ukrainian Athletes Make News as Homeland in Turmoil

The Olympics are meant to be apolitical, but when an athlete’s country is burning and their fellow citizens are dying, it’s all but impossible to focus on sports. Somehow, though, Ukraine’s women’s 4x6km biathlon relay team let their homeland’s troubles propel them to a gold medal—Ukraine’s first in 20 years.  Slalom skier Bogdana Matsotska couldn’t put her country’s troubles out of her mind, however, refusing to ski in her final event Friday and insisting on leaving Sochi as soon as she could to join protesters. While its athletes are divided in their attention and protesters are being shot and killed, Ukraine is actually bidding for the 2022 Olympics—if Russia can host the Games while stepping all over its citizens’ rights, could Ukraine actually have the inside track in its Olympic aspirations?

Click here for all of our Sochi coverage.

Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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