Day 4: Canadian snowboarder wins silver, Sweden’s first medal is gold

Day four of the Winter Olympics was full of firsts in Vancouver.

Sweden won its first medal, a gold. As did Estonia.

A Chinese duo won gold for the first time in pairs figure skating, while Canadian Mike Robertson won an Olympic medal at his first Games competition.

To top it off, Canadian fans got to cheer for a Canadian athlete at the top of the podium on home soil for the first time as Alexandre Bilodeau received his gold medal for men’s freestyle moguls.

Here’s a breakdown of the day:

Men’s alpine downhill:

Just nine one hundredths of a second separated the three athletes on the podium for the men’s alpine downhill race.

Switzerland’s Didier Defago edged the competition for the gold medal, Aksel Lund Svindel of Norway crossed the finish line just 0.07 seconds back for the silver and the American Bode Miller finished just 0.02 seconds back of Svindel for the bronze medal.

Canada’s best performance came from Erik Guay of Montreal, Quebec who nabbed fifth place.

Women’s 10km cross-country

Sweden claimed its first medal of the Olympics and it was the best colour of all — gold.

Charlotte Kalla finished the 10km course in 24:58.4 to finish atop the podium.

Estonia too got into the medal count with a silver medal performance from Kristina Smigun-Vaehi. Norwegian Marit Bjoergen finished the race 15.9 seconds behind Kalla.

Men’s 15km cross-country

The Swiss skier Darlo Cologna blew his competition away crossing the finish line over 24 seconds ahead of silver medallist Pietro Piller Cottrer from Italy. 

So far all three of Switzerland’s medals have been gold. The Czech Republic’s Lukas Bauer came in third.

Canadian Ivan Babikov finished less than 20 seconds off the podium in 8th place. A Canadian man has never medaled in a cross-country skiing event at the Olympics.

Pairs figure skating:

China won its first ever gold medal in figure skating when Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo edged out the other Chinese pair Pang Qing and Tong Jian. The German pair of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy finished third behind the gold and silver Chinese pairs.

Women’s hockey:

Hayley Wickenheiser became the highest scoring female hockey player in Olympic history as she scored three points in a 10-1 win against Switzerland. Canada outshot the Swiss team 55-11.

Pernilla Winberg’s hat trick helped Sweden beat Slovakia 6-2. Slovakian goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova faced a lot of shots again, a day after their game against Canada, and stopped 42 of 48 of them.

Sweden and Canada face off on Wednesday at 5:30ET.

Women’s luge:

After the first run, Austrian Nina Reithmayer was in first place followed by two Germans. Natalie Geisenberger was in second and Tatjana Hufner sat in third.  Canadian Alex Gough sat in 17th place about a half a second back.

The second run made no changes to the sliders in the top three though their positions altered.

Hufner now sits first going into run three tomorrow with a total time of 1:23.241. Reithmayer moved down to second place; her overall time is 1:23.291.

And sitting third with a time of 1:23.40 is Geisenberger. Gough now sits 22nd while Regan Lauscher of Canada moved up to 20th position.

Men’s snowboard cross

The United States’ medal total increased by one gold when Seth Wescott, the defending Olympic champion in this event, came from behind and crossed the line just a half board length ahead of the Canadian Mike Robertson. 

Tony Ramoin of France crossed the line third and the other American, Nate Holland, fell during the race and finished fourth. Robert Fagan, another Canadian, missed out on the final race but won the small final to come in fifth.

Men’s 500m speed skating

Tae-Bum Moe of Korea won the gold with a total time of 69.82 seconds. Japan’s Keiichiro Nagashima improved his time in his second race to claim the silver medal while his teammate from Japan, Joji Kato, kicked his foot out to cross the line just 0.03 out of second place and will take home the bronze.

Jamie Gregg of Canada made an impressive Olympic debut finishing eighth.