Day eight of the Olympic Games in Vancouver had its share of upsets and defeats, but it was hard to top Manitoba native Jon Montgomery’s gold medal in the men’s skeleton finals on Friday.
Canada’s Melissa Hollingsworth came into the finals of the women’s skeleton event at the Whistler Sliding Centre sitting in second place, poised to take home a medal. Unfortunately, a few bumps along the way dropped her back to a disappointing fifth place finish.
Also in the women’s skeleton event, Great Britain’s Amy Williams took home the first individual gold medal for her country in the past 30 years of Winter Olympics competition.
Plenty of curling filled the schedule, and here is how the rest of the day unfolded:
Skeleton: men’s finals
Montgomery came into the event in second place, but ran a sparkling time of 52.36 in the finals to give him the gold.
Latvian Martins Dukurs won the silver while Alexander Tretyakov of Russia won the bronze.
Micheal Douglas of Canada was disqualified from the event due to time issues regarding a mandatory sled-measuring, and fellow countryman Jeff Pain wound up in ninth spot in his final Olympic Games.
Skeleton: women’s finals
Germany reaffirmed its sliding superiority in the finals of the women’s skeleton event on Friday, with Kerstin Szymkowiak and Anja Huber taking the silver and bronze medals respectively. Williams took home the gold.
Hollingsworth led the Canadian charge in an unfortunate fifth place, while female countrymen Amy Gough and Michelle Kelly finished in seventh and 13th place respectively.
Alpine skiing: men’s super-G
Canadian veteran downhill skier Erik Guay missed the podium by a mere three-tenths of a second on Friday, finishing in fifth place at Whistler Creekside.
The United States padded their medal totals in this event, as Americans Bode Miller and Andrew Weibrecht took home the silver and bronze respectively. It was Miller’s second medal of the Games, the other a bronze in men’s downhill.
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal won the second gold medal of the day for the Norwegians and followed up his silver medal performance in the downhill competition.
Jan Hudec finished in 23rd for Canada, while Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Robbie Dixon had tough days and did not finish.
Daniel Alfredsson scored two goals for Sweden, and Henrik and Daniel Sedin both had two point nights as the defending gold medallists from Turin 2006 defeated Belarus 4-2 on Friday, at Canada Hockey Place.
Marek Zidlicky had three assists and Jaromir Jagr scored what turned out to be the game winner as the Czech Republic beat Belarus 5-2. It was the first time that these two countries faced each other in Olympic competition.
Niklas Backstrom recorded his first career Olympic shutout as Finland walked over Germany 5-0 on Friday. Kimmo Timonen recorded two goals in the win.
Figure skating: ice dance-compulsory dance
The Canadian tandem of Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue skated brilliantly at the Pacific Coliseum on Friday night and sit in second place with a personal-best score of 42.74 heading into the finals on Monday night.
Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina, the dominant duo from Russia, sit atop the standings, and Americans Charlie White and Meryl Davis are in third place.
Curling: women’s round robin session 5
Eve Muirhead’s Great Britain rink squeaked out a victory against the underdog German team led by Andrea Schoepp, scoring three points in the ninth end for a 7-4 win.
The American rink led by Debbie McCormick recorded its first victory of the Vancouver Games on a last rock take out, downing Russian skip Anna Sidorova and her rink 6-4.
Team China skip Wang Bingyu and her rink scored five points in the sixth end, forcing Denmark to concede with the score 11-1.
Curling: women’s round robin session 6
Canada skip Cheryl Bernard needed an extra end to narrowly escape with a 5-4 victory over Denmark. With the victory, Bernard’s rink remains perfect in round robin play with a 4-0 record.
Other scores included Sweden defeating China 6-4, Japan routing Great Britain 11-4 and Switzerland downing Russia 8-5.
Curling: men’s round robin session 6
Canada’s Kevin Martin and his rink forced Denmark to concede after the sixth end and remained undefeated, breezing by their counterparts 10-3. Team Canada sits alone atop the standings at 5-0 and Denmark is 1-4.
Skip Thomas Ulsrud’s Norwegian rink defeated their Chinese counterparts by scoring two points in the 10th end to win 7-5. Norway now sits in second place at 4-1.
Andy Kapp’s German rink used a three-point ninth end to upset Ralph Stoeckli and his Swiss teammates 7-6. Switzerland dropped to 3-2 and Germany improved to 2-3.
Jason Smith’s rink from the United States got its first win of the Games, downing Thomas Dufour’s rink from France 4-3.
Cross-country skiing: ladies’ 15km pursuit (7.5 classic +7.5 free)
Marit Bjoergen of Norway won her second gold medal of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in dominating fashion, finishing with a time of 39:58.1.
The silver medal went to Sweden’s Anna Haag, who was 8.9 seconds behind the mark set by Bjoergen. Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland took the bronze medal.
Canadian Sara Renner of Canmore, Alta., led the way for the home country and finished in 10th place. The 33-year-old made up for not qualifying in the ladies’ individual sprint classic on Feb. 17, due in part to a fellow competitor blocking her on the course near the finish line.
Madeleine Williams, Daria Gaiazova and Perianne Jones rounded up the Canadian contingent, finishing in 41st, 47th, and 57th respectively.
Ski jumping: men’s large hill individual qualification round
Japan took the top two spots in qualification at Whistler Olympic Park, with first place going to Noriaki Kasai who landed the farthest jump of the day at 142.5 metres and fellow countryman Daiki Ito coming in second place. Matti Hautamaeki of Finland qualified in third place.
Three of the four Canadian competitors involved failed to advance to the semifinals; Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes, Trevor Morrice and Eric Mitchell.
Calgary’s Stefan Read was the lone Canuck to advance, qualifying in 36th place.
How Canadian. Being proud of Melissa Hollingsworth for failing. Fifth is failure and she did let down a nation. Can we please find someone who will not crumble under pressure to throw our support and funds behind.
Melissa it tore at me that you were so upset that you were crying after a fantastic effort for your country. Canada is proud of you, listen to the people not the commentators, we are the important ones are you are great in our books. Be happy with what you accomplished, we are.
I am so proud of our Canadian athletes!! Melissa, you are amazing, you didn’t let us down! You are an Olympian, you are fifth in the WORLD — what a huge accomplishment. CONGRATULATIONS!
Melissa, we are proud of your effort, as we sit in our comfortable chairs and watch our athelets compete we hope for medals, but mostly hope you will be happy and well in your endeavour,being fifth in the world,,,big place,,,is nothing to be sad about,,we loved watching you, and still love your passion for the sliding,,thank you for being at the Olympics your Aunt Helen’s friend..Linda
Note to editor: Her first name is spelled Mellisa, not Melissa, as you’d traditionally think.
Melissa – be proud. Canada is proud of you. Don’t listen to the sports experts or media. We know you tried your best. Thank-you.
Congratualtions to all Canadian athletes, their coached, their support staff, and families. You all have done well. I am envious of your dedication, your talents, your skills, and your desire. You don’t need a medal around your neck to be a role model. It is not the colour around your neck that matters it is the colour in your heart. You won our hearts with your dedication to Canada, your sport, and your grace.
Melissa….you are an absolute winner to be at the Olympics!! Don’t sell yourself short…you trained hard, and 5th place is amazing at this elite competition. Be proud…we are!
Awesome Melissa Hollingsworth. Thorougly enjoyed watching your race. You should be very proud, nothing wrong with fifth place. Here is one Canadian that is very proud of you. Regards