Americans lead medal count after day two

Canada’s hopes for its first gold medal on home soil were put on hold on day two, delayed by poor weather and a strong American performance.

The first disappointment occurred early in the day when the men’s downhill race was postponed because of rainy conditions.  The race was to feature Manuel Osborne-Paradis, who has skied on the Whistler mountain since childhood and is a favourite to medal, with hopes to capture that elusive first Canadian gold.  The event has been rescheduled for Monday morning, but it is quite possible that the race may need to be pushed back farther if the weather doesn’t improve.

Later in the day, gold medal favourite Jennifer Heil won silver in the women’s moguls after an outstanding performance by American Hannah Kearney, who took the gold.  American Shannon Bahrke won bronze.

Heil finished strongly in the final performance with a score of 25.69, but Kearney’s performance was that much better.

Weather almost delayed the moguls event, but high winds prevented fog, and the event continued in the heavy rain.

The U.S. performed well in day two, finishing atop the medal standings with a total of four medals on the backs of the gold and bronze won in the moguls.  Americans Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski won the silver and bronze respectively in the 1,500-metre short track speed skating.

South Korea was the only other country to win multiple medals on the first full day of competition, after Lee Jung-Su won gold in the 1,500-metre short track and Lee Seung-Hoon won silver in the 5,000-metre long track speed skating event.

In the 5,000-metre race, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands set an Olympic record with a time of 6:14.60, and Russia’s Ivan Skobrev won bronze.

In ski-jumping, Switzerland’s Simon Ammann claimed gold, Poland’s Adam Malysz took silver, and Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria won bronze.

In the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint biathlon, Anastazia Kuzmina of Slovakia won gold, German Magdalena Neuner took the silver, and Marie Dorin grabbed the bronze.

In total, 11 different countries earned a medal on Saturday, with a total of 15 medals awarded.

The women’s hockey tournament also got under way in the second day, as Canada defeated Slovakia 18-0, and earlier in the day Sweden won 3-0 over Switzerland.