Winter Olympics 2018: day 10 from Pyeongchang – live!


Powered by article titled “Winter Olympics 2018: day 10 from Pyeongchang – live!” was written by Kate O’Halloran (earlier), Jonathan Howcroft (now) and Niall McVeigh (later), for on Monday 19th February 2018 13.43 Asia/Kolkata

“HARD! HARD! HARD!” bellows John Shuster to his sweepers who go full glitch-in-the-Matrix to prevent the final stone hitting Canada’s guard. It slides past with millimetres to spare, securing the winning point. A thrilling end to a nip-and-tuck contest that keeps the US in the semi-final mix and leaves Canada looking over their shoulder in third after losing three in a row.

Shadows of players during the Men’s Curling Round Robin sessions at the Gangneung Curling Centre.
Shadows of players during the Men’s Curling Round Robin sessions at the Gangneung Curling Centre. Photograph: Javier Etxezarreta/EPA

Down to the final couple of stones in this extra end and it’s still anyone’s but a superb rock from John Shuster has the US in the box seat.

That all-North American affair is the last action on the ice because Korea have completed their victory over Italy. The final scoreline read 8-6 with the hosts holding off a late Italian fightback.

It’s a consolation point for the Koreans really as they remain bottom of the group, but now level on points with the vanquished Italians.

Drama in the ding-dong between the USA and Canada. The US held a two point lead into the final end but that has been erased and we’re heading to an extra end!

The US need to win this match to stay in the hunt for the knockout phase. Canada currently sit in a handy third place in the group.

Great Britain began the tenth end 5-6 down to Denmark but Kyle Smith delivered the two winning points with the last stone to secure a gritty victory.

The win moves GB into fourth in the group, for now, and on track for a spot in the semi-finals. With just two wins from their seven matches Denmark remain in South Korea to make up the numbers.

Kyle Smith of Great Britain in action during the Men’s Curling Round Robin session between Great Britain and Denmark at the Gangneung Curling Centre, in Gangneung.
Kyle Smith of Great Britain in action during the Men’s Curling Round Robin session between Great Britain and Denmark at the Gangneung Curling Centre, in Gangneung. Photograph: Javier Etxezarreta/EPA

Heading towards the end of this session of men’s round robin curling, the first result is in, and it’s a massive upset. Previously unbeaten Sweden have fallen to Switzerland a whopping 10-3.

Sweden retain top spot in the group but the Swiss will move into second place in the race for the semi-finals.

Swiss curler Peter De Cruz, two-time World Curling Championship bronze medalist, part-time member of the Funky Bunch (maybe).
Peter De Cruz, two-time World Curling Championship bronze medalist, part-time member of the Funky Bunch (maybe). Photograph: Javier Etxezarreta/EPA


This Alexander Krushelnitsky story is moving as speedily as Lizzy Yarnold down a slippery slope. The B sample has now been analysed with reports Meldonium is the offending substance.

If you find Meldonium a somewhat recognisable four syllable word it’s because Maria Sharapova sat out 15 months of tennis for being found guilty of using it.

On the subject of curling, the spectre of Russian doping has once again materialised, although in perhaps the unlikeliest of disciplines.

Thanks very much Kate.

Be gentle with me dear reader, I am not at home in the snow and ice, so an incorrect assertion or twelve may stud the next couple of hours of live-bloggery. It may be to everyone’s benefit that there isn’t a massive amount of action in PyeongChang at the moment.

Curling is where it’s at for the time being. Scores as they stand in the Men’s Round Robin Session Nine are: Republic of Korea 7-4 Italy; Switzerland 5-3 Sweden; USA 5-3 Canada; Denmark 4-4 Great Britain.

The curling practice range was busy ahead of a packed session of action.
The curling practice range was busy ahead of a packed session of action. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

OK, my colleague Jonathan is here to take over, so I’m going to jump out of the blog and leave you with my last post about curling trousers.

However, some key points so far include:

Still to come later today are:


Speed-skating: men’s 500m (AEDT 22:53)
Bobsleigh: two-man competition (AEDT 0:00)
Ski-jumping: men’s team competition (AEDT 0:36)

Other sports:

Curling: men’s round robin, session nine (AEDT 16:05 onward) and women’s round robin, session nine (AEDT 22:05 onward)
Biathlon: 2x6km women + 2×7.5km men mixed relay official training (AEDT 21:45)
Ice-hockey: women’s semifinals play-offs: Canada v OAR (AEDT 23:10)


While we’re on the topic of curling, I do wholeheartedly recommend checking out this fine article on Norway’s curlers and their incredible Winter Olympic trousers (ranked). How they came about is not the most exciting story in the world (it’s just a sponsor thing) but I think #11 are my faves. Or maybe #10? Too difficult to decide.

Norway curling trousers
This year’s Norweigan curling trousers offering. Photograph: Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters

Read more: Norway’s curlers and their incredible Winter Olympic trousers – ranked

Plenty of curling in action today, with some of our afternoon men’s round robin (session nine) games happening currently. Scores as they stand are: Republic of Korea 5-3 Italy; Switzerland 4-2 Sweden; USA 3-3 Canada; Denmark 4-2 Great Britain.

Kim Chang-min
Skip Kim Chang-min of South Korea delivers a stone in the men’s curling round robin match against Italy. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

It’s going to be a tense showdown between Canada and France’s top figure skating teams. They even share the same coaches and practice at the same rink in Canada. Here’s what the Canadians had to say about the rivalry after breaking their own world record:

“We’ve marked them as our rivals for a long time, from the start of this comeback. We watched their worlds when we weren’t there and we have nothing but respect for these two,” said Moir.

Meanwhile Papadakis and Cizeron said the rivalry with the Canadian pair was at times exhausting. “Yeah, it has been something that has been really hard to work with but really inspiring at the same time,” Cizeron said. “It really pushes us to go over our limits and it has been an interesting journey. It brings out our competitive energy but that’s what we look for in sport I think. Every athlete wouldn’t be as good if [they] didn’t have someone to push against.”

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France compete during the figure skating ice dance short dance. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It’s all over in the women’s ice-hockey semi-final, with USA triumphing 5-0 over Finland.

Amanda Kessel
Amanda Kessel #28 of the United States plays the puck against Finland during the ice hockey play-off semi-finals. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

As we mentioned earlier, Great Britain’s Aimee Fuller missed out on qualifying for the big air snowboarding final after falling twice. Looks like she sustained some pretty nasty bruises to the face!

There’s two new Japanese Olympic heroes in figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu and speed-skater Nao Kodaira. Hanyu was personally congratulated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his win in the men’s singles on Saturday (which incidentally set Japanese social media alight with 1.1 million tweets of £Hanyu-kun within 90 minutes). Japanese speed-skater Nao Kodaira then won gold by setting an Olympic record of 36.94 seconds in the women’s 500m on Sunday. She is the first female speed skater from Japan to win an Olympic title in an individual event.

Yuzuru Hanyu
Figure Skating Men’s Single Gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan poses for photographs during a press conference on day nine. Photograph: The Asahi Shimbun/(Credit too long, see caption)
Nao Kodaira
Gold medalist and new Olympic record holder Japan’s Nao Kodaira celebrates after the women’s 500 meters speedskating race. Photograph: John Locher/AP

Things aren’t getting any better for Finland in the ice-hockey, with USA now up 5-0.

You might have heard the story by now, but downhill skier Vonn caused some controversy on social media earlier in the Games for saying she was representing “the people of the United States, not the President”. The 33-year-old had previously said she would not visit the White House if she won Olympic gold, and faced plenty of criticism from supporters of Donald Trump.

But the American says abuse on social media will not silence her from voicing her own personal political opinions or stop her from engaging with her fans online.

Vonn’s failure to medal in her opening event, the Super-G on Saturday, prompted some social media users to mock her performance, celebrate her failure and express hopes of her injuring herself. “That is what bullies want you to do. They want to defeat you and I am not defeated, I am the same,” she told reporters after training for Wednesday’s downhill. “I stand by my values and I am not going to back down. I may not be as vocal right now with my opinions but that doesn’t mean they have won. I haven’t changed my mind.”

Vonn said some of the comments had affected her, but she had decided not to monitor social media before her races. “It is hard. Definitely before the race I don’t go on social media, I may post something but I don’t look at anything,” she said. “I always try to remember that is people talking behind a computer and they are going to say anything and the most important thing is that I am having a good time, I am enjoying being at the Olympics, my family is here, they love me.

“There are of course going to be people who hate me and hope I ski off a cliff and die. That’s fine. I’m not going to do that. I just take it for what it is, at some point you just have to laugh and say it is completely ridiculous.” – Reuters

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. laughs in the finish area at the women’s downhill skiing second training. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

We’ve also had some women’s downhill action today, with Stephanie Venier of Austria setting the fastest time in second training. Venier is ranked ninth in World Cup downhill rankings. Behind her were two favourites in Sofia Goggia of Italy, just 0.08 slower, followed by Lindsey Vonn of the USA with 1:40.10 (+0.35).

Austria’s Stephanie Venier
Austria’s Stephanie Venier has set the fastest time in the second training for the women’s downhill event. Photograph: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

The women’s ice-hockey semi-finals playoffs are happening today, with the USA building a strong lead over Finland. It’s currently 4-0 to the USA.

Team Finland
Team Finland are trailing 0-4 against the USA in their ice-hockey semi-final. Photograph: Larry W. Smith/EPA

In fourth spot in the short programme figure skating qualification are American siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, just 0.02 points shy of their compatriots. They won bronze in December’s Grand Prix final, and had this to say afterwards:

“We’ve been on the same podiums with them at the major competitions leading up to the Games and we’ve taken some places away from Gabriella and Guillaume on occasion,” said Alex. “We’re out there trying to be the very best team that we can be and that’s pretty damn good. They are great teams but I don’t feel intimidated by anyone and I know Maia doesn’t either.”

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani
Ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States perform their short dance during the figure skating competition. Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/TASS


Meanwhile, for all our figure skating lovers out there, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have reached further heights by breaking their own short programme world record. This will purportedly be their last Olympics, and they scored 83.67 for their Latin routine (which broke their previous record of 82.68). Don’t forget that they’ve already won four medals, and have been beaten only once since they came out of retirement in 2016.

France’s Gabriella Papdakis and Guillaume Cizeron finished less than two points behind the Canadian pair, with a score of 81.93 (to the soundtrack of Ed Sheeran). They’re the pair who managed to beat Virtue and Moir between 2016 and now (which incidentally caused Virtue and Moir to change up their programme).

In third place are Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue from America (with 77.75).

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have broken their own short programme figure skating record. Photograph: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Here are the other results to come out of the women’s ski halfpipe qualifying from earlier today. Cassie Sharpe of Canada leads all comers after she laid down the two highest-scoring runs, with 93.00 on her first and 93.40 on her second attempts. Sharpe is said to be feeling confident after landing both runs. She was followed by Marie Martinod of France (92.00) and Brita Sigourney of the USA (90.60).

Cassie Sharpe of Canada
Cassie Sharpe of Canada has qualified first in the women’s ski halfpipe. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

You may have noticed that I include a photo with every one of my blog posts (with rare exceptions). This is partly because I love visuals, but also because the photos of these Olympics are spectacular – and really capture some of the amazing feats we’re lucky enough to witness. If you enjoy them, like me, here’s a round-up of some of the best to emerge from day nine:

Read more: Winter Olympics day nine – in pictures

The top qualifiers for the women’s big air were as follows: Anna Gasser of Austria with 98.00, Yuka Fujimori of Japan with 94.25 and Reira Iwabuchi of Japan with 92.75. From a more local perspective, New Zealander Zoi Sadowski Synnott also qualified in fourth with 92.00.

Zoi Sadowski Synnott
Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand warms up before the women’s snowboard big air competition. Photograph: Christian Bruna/EPA

In case you hadn’t heard of it already, today marks big air snowboarding’s debut on the Olympic stage. The sport is known for big tricks and hits, as well as being a crowd-favourite. Australian Jess Rich competed in the event, aiming for a top 12 finish to qualify for the final (to be held on Friday). Sadly for Jess, she finished just out of finals contention in 13th. Still, it was an incredible result, given she has had a broken back, collar bone and a ruptured ACL in the past 18 months!

This was what she had to say after she managed two clean runs on her Olympic debut:

“It was a surreal experience,” she said. “Definitely wasn’t what I planned and so having to deal with a lot of things in the lead up definitely made it challenging. I didn’t know if I was actually going to make it so the fact that I was able to just drop into the jump today is a huge thing for me.

“I had to play with the cards I was dealt and I had to choose the tricks that work for me and my injury and the fact that I put them down is the one thing I wanted. I did better than I thought. To be up against all those women that are riding their best, to come 13th … I’m stoked.”

Jess Rich
Jess Rich of Australia looks on after failing to qualify in the Women’s Snowboard Big Air qualifiers. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Meanwhile in the big air snowboarding, Team GB’s Aimee Fuller missed out on a medal after falling twice. Her best score of 25.00 left her in 25th with the top 12 progressing. “It’s a shame my luck was in the practice and not when it counted,” she admitted.

Aimee Fuller
Aimee Fuller fell twice attempting to qualify for the women’s snowboarding big air final. Photograph: David Davies/PA

The good news from Britain’s perspective on day 10 in Pyeongchang is that Rowan Cheshire has qualified in ninth place for the final of the women’s ski halfpipe. What makes Cheshire’s story particularly heartening is that four years ago she suffered horrible crash in training at Sochi that led to anxiety attacks, depression, and a worry that she might die if she risked the tricks that had made her a medal contender.

She’s just been speaking and she thinks she can do even better in tomorrow’s final. For now, though, she plans to relax. “I’m going to pamper myself tonight, have an early night. Maybe watch a bit of Netflix and do some yoga and just relax,” she said.

Meanwhile GB’s other athlete in the ski halfpipe, Molly Summerhayes, who is not funded and works in McDonald’s to finance her career, came a creditable 17th but misses out on the final.

Rowan Cheshire
Rowan Cheshire has qualified in ninth place for the final of the women’s ski halfpipe. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP


Welcome to day 10

Hello everyone, and welcome to day 10 of competition.

We’ve got three different medal events today, unfortunately all much later in the day (which will suit international but not Australian audiences). These include:

Speed-skating: men’s 500m (AEDT 22:53)
Bobsleigh: two-man competition (AEDT 0:00)
Ski-jumping: men’s team competition (AEDT 0:36)

Other sports to feature from AEDT 16:00 (now) onward are:

Curling: men’s round robin, session nine (AEDT 16:05 onward) and women’s round robin, session nine (AEDT 22:05 onward)
Biathlon: 2x6km women + 2×7.5km men mixed relay official training (AEDT 21:45)
Ice-hockey: women’s semifinals play-offs: Canada v OAR (AEDT 23:10)

Previously today, we had some big air snowboarding action (the sport’s Olympic debut), figure skating (ice dance short dance dance) and freestyle skiing, so I’ll bring you some updates on those as we go.

Marie Martinod
Marie Martinod of France competes during the freestyle skiing ladies’ ski halfpipe qualification on day 10. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Updated © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Winter Olympics 2018: day 10 from Pyeongchang – live! | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).