Men’s hockey, curling set to begin on Day 5

There will be a total of six medal events on Tuesday, but most Canadians will be looking forward to Canada’s first men’s hockey action of the Olympics.

Canada will begin the preliminary round against Norway and the pressure will be on the home country to get off to a quick start against an inferior opponent. 

Canadians have eagerly awaited the beginning of the tournament since the team was announced by executive director Steve Yzerman on Dec. 30, 2009.

It was revealed that Canadian centre Ryan Getzlaf will be able to play through an ankle injury he sustained with his NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks.  Getzlaf returned to NHL action Sunday, scoring two goals and adding two assists against the Edmonton Oilers.

Both the men and women’s curling preliminary rounds will begin on Tuesday, as the Canadian men, led by skip Kevin Martin, will face Norway and Germany in the opening day.  Cheryl Bernard and the Canadian women’s team will open the tournament against Switzerland.

In figure skating, the men’s short program will go Tuesday, and Patrick Chan will try and position himself well to finish on the podium after the free skate that will be held on Thursday.

Canada’s best chance for a medal in day five may be in long track speed skating, where Christine Nesbitt will highlight the Canadians skating in the women’s 500m.

Other medal event for day five include:

  • Men’s super combined:  The training sessions were cancelled for this event due to poor weather, and it will be interesting to see what effect this may have on the skiers.  Canadian skiers will hope to improve on a disappointing downhill race on Monday, after medal contender Manuel Osborne-Paradis finished 17th.  Erik Guay was the top Canadian in the downhill, finishing fifth.
  • Women’s biathlon – 10 km pursuit: Canada had a disastrous performance in the sprint biathlon on Saturday, and Megan Tandy was the lone Canadian to qualify for the pursuit.  Tandy finished 46th after the sprint, with only the top 60 competitors qualifying for the pursuit.
  • Men’s biathlon – 12.5 km pursuit: Jean Philippe Leguellec is the only Canadian in the men’s biathlon pursuit, and is coming off a strong sixth place finish in the sprint event Sunday.  It was the strongest finish for a Canadian in the men’s biathlon, and Leguellec will look to build off that performance on Tuesday.
  • Women’s snowboard cross:  Dominique Maltais is Canada’s top contender in the snowboard cross, having won bronze in Torino in 2006.  The qualification and medal rounds will both run on Tuesday.
  • Women’s luge:  Canada’s Alex Gough will hope to challenge for a medal in the women’s single luge on Tuesday, when the third and fourth runs are held.  Gough is ranked seventh in World Cup standings.