of Phil Noble
Sunday was pretty quiet by Sochi’s standards. Actually, the day was pretty much old hat in American terms. Some themes have emerged from the Winter Games in the last week, and it can be boiled down to a few key points. America: good at hockey, bad at curling, underachieving on the slopes, and downright embarrassing on the speedskates. Netherlands: otherworldly on the speedskates. Canada: otherworldly at curling. That pretty much sums up the Olympics so far, but allow me to fill in some of the details.
Courtesy of CBC
Team USA skated to its third victory in men’s hockey, with a resounding defeat over Slovenia, 5-1. This sets the squad up nicely, placing them as the 2-seed as well as achieving a bye until the quarterfinals. Phil Kessel got the scoring started early with two goals in the first, and completed the hat trick at the 11:05 mark in the 2nd
period. Ryan Miller filled in adequately for Jonathan Quick allowing one goal on 18 shots. The competition tightens in the coming days, with possible matches against Switzerland, Russia, and prohibitive favorite, Canada.
Let’s switch gears to another sport that Canada should comfortably reach the podium for, curling. The men were busy on the ice, handling China in an early match, and putting Team USA out of its misery with 8-6 win. The Americans followed that effort with a loss at the hands of Switzerland. The ladies joined the men in their misery, losing to the juggernaut Canadians, 7-6.
Via Kjetil Jansrud's Twitter
The US added two more medals to the ledger on Sunday, thanks to a bounce-back effort from a couple Americans. The men’s Super G has long been dominated by Norway, and this year was no different, with Kjetil Jansrud taking the gold with a blazing fast time of 1:18:14. American Andrew Weibrecht came in three tenths of a second behind to claim the silver. Bode Miller has had a disappointing run in Sochi, but came back to claim his 6th
Alpine medal. He is also the oldest skier to hit the podium at age 36.
American snowboard cross racer Lindsey Jacobellis has blazed a trail in her sport, and has reached professional heights seldom seen. She has dominated the X Games, the world circuit and every stop in between, just not the Olympics. She has failed to medal in the past two Games, and she stared a third opportunity in the face in Sochi. The disappointment continues for Jacobellis in Russia, posting a 7th
place and continuing her search for the elusive gold.
As we look forward to Monday’s action, the long national nightmare will come to an end, as Bob Costas returns to hosting duties after a bout of conjunctivitis. There should be some compelling action with the Americans right in the middle of it. Meryl Davis and Charlie White set out to keep pace with Sunday’s performance in the Mixed Ice Dance. They wowed the judges with a highly technical display of grace and rhythm on Sunday, and with a similar performance, should take down the gold. The two American Steves are in good shape in the two-man bobsled. Holcomb and Langton trail the Russian leaders by 36/100ths, and with one more day of track familiarity, could reach the podium as well. Curling continues, and amazingly, America still fields a team, for some reason. The women return to the ice rink, as Team USA skates against Sweden in the semifinals of women’s hockey. America could have a busy day on the podium if the team shows up prepared for Men’s Snowboard Cross. If they can avoid the fate of Shaun White and Lindsey Jacobellis, America could take a big jump in the medal count on Monday.
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