Media Courtesy of kare11.com
Add TJ Oshie to the long and growing list of individual performances by American athletes in Sochi. On the second Saturday of the Sochi Winter Games, American Hockey was the story of the day, but plenty of other interesting developments have emerged, which should set up an exciting final eight days in Russia. Team USA has inched its way near the top of the medal count, trailing only host country Russia. We will have all the athletes that reached the podium, an update on Bob Costas’s eye,
as well as continuing coverage of Canada’s second-favorite winter pastime.
After ending his streak of 157 consecutive Olympic broadcasts, Costas still has no end in sight (forgive the pun) to when he will return to the captain’s chair. After Matt Lauer ran out of gas after filling in for three straight nights, NBC sought another anchor to fill in for the primetime slot. The network went against the grain, and turned to Meredith Vieira on Saturday night. Vieira becomes the first female anchor to host the Olympics.
Team USA only took one medal down, thanks to Skeleton racer Matthew Antoine’s bronze medal showing. Other medals handed out on Saturday included Austria’s Anna Fenninger besting Maria Hoefl-Riesch in the Women’s Super G. Poland topped the podium twice thanks to Men’s 1500 Meter speedskater Zbigniew Brodka as well as Kamil Stoch in the Men’s Large Hill Ski Jump. Brodka was atop a tightly packed field, and finished nearly a full second ahead of Shani Davis, who is continuing his disappointing Sochi campaign, failing again to find the podium. Sweden won the women’s cross country skiing relay. Russian Short Track legend Victor An continued his excellent showing in Sochi, joining fellow Russian Alexander Tretiakov, who won gold in the Skeleton. The final gold was awarded to China’s Zhou Yang who took the crown in the women’s short track 1500 meter.
Men’s Curling favorite Canada topped Great Britain in a pivotal result, and improved their chances to take the gold. The Canadian ladies remain undefeated in Round Robin play, defeating both Japan and Russia. The United States men were idle on Saturday, but the women followed up their recent victory with a defeat at the hands of Sweden. The ladies could use a 1980 “Do you believe in miracles!!” type of miracle to find the podium in Curling. The men and women both have tough matchups against Curling stalwarts, Team Canada.
It might not have the political significance of the famed 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” but Saturday’s hockey game between Team USA and Russia may equal it for the gripping, edge of the seat drama that played out on the ice in the Bolshoy Ice Dome. After a controversial call against the Russians, 3 full periods, and an overtime session, the game went to a record-setting eight-round shootout. Russian onlookers, including Vladimir Putin, left disappointed. Oshie, a member of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, skated for 6 of the eight “game winning shots” and netted four of them. That included the final shot against Russian goal tender Sergei Bobrovsky. The victory puts the Americans atop their group, and with a win against Slovenia on Sunday will clinch a bye in the elimination round.
On Sunday Bode Miller and Ted Ligety look to get their collective acts together in the Men’s Downhill Super G. Lindsey Jacobellis chases the gold after a track record of disappointing Olympic performances in Women’s Snowboard Cross. Potential medalists Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe take the ice to race in the women’s 1500 meter. The field is loaded, and includes previous Dutch gold medalist Ireen Wust. American sweethearts Meryl Davis and Charlie White dance in the Mixed Ice Dance portion of the Figure Skating. Rounding out the action from Sochi, is the 2-Man Bobsled. And Ya, mon,
the Jamaican bobsled team is in Russia, fully clothed, and ready to compete against 250-to-1 odds of taking home the gold.
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