Belarus flipped to gold in aerials while Canada couldn’t find podium


In his third Olympic appearance, Alexei Grishin of Belarus finally captured a gold medal on Thursday on Cypress Mountain, while the Canadian men were shutout of a medal finish.  

Grishin, who was the bronze medallist in Salt Lake City and took fourth place in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, claimed the gold medal this time around in the dare-devil competition with a total score of 248.41.

Veteran and favourite in this competition, Steve Omischl, couldn’t flip or twist to the podium on Thursday evening – nor could the other Canadian competitors – as the host nation failed to put any red and white on the podium.

Omischl, Warren Shouldice and Kyle Nissen, all qualified for the finals but not one could find the proper combination of twists, turns and landings to create a gold medal performance.

Earning 126.92, Nissen put himself in first place and flirted with a medal going into the finals. But with bent knees during his landing, he earned only a mere 112.39 that placed him fifth overall.

Shouldice, who won the World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Jan. 22, had a devastating first jump as he fell onto his back and could only manage a combined total of 223.30 for a 10th place finish.

Omischl, who was making his final Olympic appearance, was hoping to end his career with a medal.

After winning numerous World Cup events since 2003, the 31-year-old, Kelowna, B.C. resident missed the podium with an 11th place finish in Salt Lake City after qualifying in the fourth spot. In the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, he received a concussion when he attempted and failed at a quadruple twisting triple, a jump he had never landed prior to the Games, and placed 20th.  

Thursday evening held much of the same fate for Omischl, as he earned a total 233.66, putting him in a disappointing eighth place.

Claiming silver was American Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, who came from with a score of 247.21, and China’s Liu Zhongqing claimed bronze by earning a score of 242.53.