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Beefyfife
Jamaican Bobsled team!! GO GO GO!!
This starts in a few hours!
Syphin
Yeah sorry about the non-existence of updates, haven't been watching as much of the Winter Olympics as I wanted.

Medal standings at the end of the 13th day:

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One of the interesting aspects of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is how dominant the Dutch have been at the Speed Skating events. Out of a total of 29 medals on offer, Netherlands have claimed 21! (And Netherlands have a total of 22 medals lol). It is no joke how dominant Netherlands are in the events of Speed Skating these Winter Olympics. Watching the Dutch out skate almost everyone was quite amusing and quite sad when you notice that other countries don't have much of a chance against those speed demons.

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The Silver and Bronze medal winners of the 10,000m event looks so glum...guess second place really is the first loser to them =/

Whatever Netherlands is drinking, other countries serious about competing in the Speed Skating events needs to get with the program O.o. Either way the upsets that did happen in the Speed Skating events were entertaining i.e the ladies 5,000m. Martina Sáblíková of Czech Republic put on quite the show in the ladies 5,000m event to keep the hungry Dutch athletes at second and third place. Martina Sáblíková also won the silver in the ladies 3,000m event (9th Feb).

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The Men's Hockey....Russia are in tears after their teams shock quarterfinal defeat to Finland (3-1):

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The semi-final match-ups are: Sweden vs Finland and USA vs Canada
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Another of the events I was looking forward to the was the Women's Figure Skating and seeing whether the defending champion, Kim Yu-Na of South Korea would be able to successfully defend her title. Sadly though, Russia had a "miracle" in the works in the form of 17 year old Adelina Sotnikova. She put on a performance in her free skate that managed her to claim gold with her score of 224.59 points. Sotnikova outscored Kim by 5.48 points, Kim having scored 219.11 points. What gave Sotnikova the advantage in her free skate performance was the fact that she attempted seven triple loop jumps as opposed to Kim who attempted six. The seventh jump of Sotnikova scored her 6.7 points.

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There is some controversy to the judging that went on during the events. Some are arguing that someone who fails to complete a clean run should score above someone who does. Sotnikova was the only one of the the medalist who failed to produce a perfect skate:

American Ashley Wanger, who finished a disappointing seventh, was more critical of the judging.

"People don't want to watch a sport where you watch people fall down and somehow score above someone who goes clean," she said.

"It's confusing and we need to make it clear for people.

"People need to be held accountable. They need to get rid of anonymous judging. There are many changes that need to come to this sport if we want a fan base."

[Source: ABC News]

The International Skating Union has created a scoring system so mathematically complex, it is incomprehensible. On top of that, it allows judging and technical panels to have massive conflicts of interest (one judge on Thursday’s panel, Alla Shekhovtseva, is married to the former Russian Skating Federation president) and include cheaters (another judge, Yuri Balkov of Ukraine, had been suspended for his role in prejudging an event).

“That’s figure skating at its finest,” Wylie said.

That all the judges’ scores are anonymous only adds to such cynicism.

“The sport needs to be more accountable,” Wagner said.

Joannie Rochette of Canada, the 2010 women’s bronze medalist, found Thursday’s result “weird” but would not comment on the judges because she was, like many fans, simply confused.

“I don’t know how this works,” she said. “I thought I did.”

[Source: Chicago Tribune]

Witt, who won gold in 1988 and 1994, could not comprehend the scoring.

"I am stunned by this result, I don't understand the scoring," she said on German TV from her commentators' booth at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

[Source: ABC News]

I wonder if there was some "politics" going on with the judging in this Russian Winter Olympics. I suppose it is also possible that since Kim won the Vancouver Olympics Women's Figure Skating by 23 points ahead of the next athlete, the judges may have sought to avoid what happened last Olympics where the winner became clear before the free skate and subsequently decided to score Kim less points in the short program =/. Anyway Sotnikova became the first Russian to win the Olympic women's figure skating title.

With the end of the women's figure skating event in the Sochi 2014 Olympics, Yuna Kim now retires from figure skating. Sad she couldn't end her figure skating career with a gold =(.

Anyway good day gentleman and gentleladies. I will try to provide some more updates in the final days of these Winter Olympics.
Spoon
Thanks for the update Syphin, some interesting stories there!

I really hope USA doesn't come in first. If Norway and Germany can both beat them I will be quite happy.
Hunterbob
Speed skating is huge in the Netherlands. When the canals freeze, lots of people take to them with their skates and they can skate for miles!

I think the judging in all sports needs reassessing and to be done by experts in the respective fields. The slope style had some really dubious judging and you could see it in the competitors faces. Lots of runs being judged too highly because of where they're from and awesome runs not doing so well.

I guess that will be a problem with "performance" sports though.
Syphin
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Women's Ice Hockey FINAL - Canada vs USA:

Apparently the greatest game of Women's Ice Hockey ever played. I don't watch much Ice Hockey so I don't if that is true or not, but what I do know is that this was a FANTASTIC match. Canada trailed 2-0 after 56 minutes (each game is 60 minutes excluding overtime) in the match and didn't looked like they would be that nights champion, yet fortune had a few surprises in store for them. Things changed when Canada’s Brianne Jenner’s shot caught a piece of American defenceman Kacey Bellamy and ricocheted past the American goalie, Jessie Vetter, to make the score 2-1 (at 56:34).

"With Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados pulled for an extra attacker, Canadian defenceman Catherine Ward became entangled with American forward Kelli Stack and the linesman, all of which conspired to send the puck toward the Canadian goal. The disc eventually settled at the base of the post and, miraculously, stayed out of the Canadian net."

"With the Canadian goalie, Szabados still out of the net, Vetter made her first mistake of the game, bobbling a centring pass/shot by Canada’s Rebecca Johnston which Poulin pounced on like a cobra and snapped in for the tying goal (at 59:05). Canada, which hadn’t scored a goal in almost 57 minutes, now had two in two and a half minutes."

This took the game to the ten minute overtime.

It started when British referee Joy Tottman, who’d been far too visible in the game from the start, whistled for a penalty in a scrum around Szabados. The Americans, whose second goal by Alex Carpenter had come on a third period power play, enjoyed exactly six seconds with the player advantage before Jocelyne Lamoureux was sent off for digging at a puck in Szabados’s pad. With the two teams now playing three-on-three, American’s Hilary Knight, who might have been the best player in the tournament, misfired in the Canadian end and suddenly, Wickenheiser had a breakaway.

Or so it seemed. Knight was closing in on the great veteran at the American blueline when Wickenheiser, depending on your point of view, was either pulled down or went down. Either way, Trottman’s arm went up for what was presumably a penalty shot which, after some deliberation, became a minor to Knight.

“I didn’t touch her,” said Knight. “She fell. It was a bogus call. But we had plenty of opportunities to put the puck in the net. It’s not necessarily on the refs.”

“She hauled me down,” said Wickenheiser. “I think it was a penalty shot in any other league. I had a pretty clear lane to the net.”

No matter. Just 39 seconds after Knight was sent off, Poulin teed up a rolling puck from Laura Fortino which sat flat at exactly the minute she shot. Vetter was beaten cleanly as the Canadians performed the dogpile of joy in the corner of the rink while the Americans looked on, stunned.

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“Our heads were up,” Bellamy said of the American mindset going into overtime. “We said we’ve got this. We’re great four-on-four. We’ll use our speed. It was all positive thoughts.”

“You train your whole life for this game and we just couldn’t hold on again,” said American defenceman Megan Bozek.

Again, like Salt Lake in ’02, like Vancouver in 2010 and, now Sochi. The Americans it seems, would like to be more than foil for Canada’s greatness somewhere along the line.

[Source: Canada.com]

Hayley Wickenheiser of Canada wins her fourth Ice Hockey gold medal, that is quite the feat and how amazing it is that Canada beat USA in the Women's Ice Hockey these Winter Olympics =D. Incredibly thrilling game.

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“It’s not easy,” said the Team Canada institution. “I think people look at it like you just show up. It’s the time and the effort and the hell you go through to get here.

“But it makes it really rewarding. This feels great.”

There was a lot going around at the Bolshoi Ice Palace on Thursday night. Tears of joy. Tears of sorrow. Tears of happiness. Tears of despair. In the end, Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin scored the golden goal in overtime after she tied this epic affair with just under a minute left in regulation in the greatest game of women’s hockey ever played. And that left every player like Wickenheiser trying to understand what they’d just been a part of and trying to understand why a hockey game could touch the deepest part of their being; and trying to understand why this felt so great or it felt so freaking bad.

“I’m crying more because I look around at my teammates and I know how hard we worked every step of this journey,” said American forward Lyndsey Fry. “I think that’s the most heart-felt we’ve ever played and we played for each other. We really love each other.”

[Source: Canada.com]

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Men's Ice Hockey Semi-Final - Canada vs USA:

That was the Women's Ice Hockey, the Men's Ice Hockey saw Canada take on USA in the semi-final. The USA Men's team did intend to avoid the same fate that the women's team met the night before, but unfortunately for them, the one break-through in the game went Canada's way and just like the women's team, the USA men's team also suffered a lose to Canada and lost any chance of winning the gold medal at these Olympic games (game ended 1-0 in Canada's favour).

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In the other semi-final match Sweden and Finland faced off against each other. Unfortunately for the Russian dream crushers, Finland, they were unable to repeat the same feat they displayed in the quarter-final and ultimately lost to Sweden (2-1).

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Tonight/tomorrow early morning the Men's Ice Hockey bronze medal match is being played - USA vs Finland.

Tomorrow/the day after early morning, the Men's final is being played and Sweden take on the Ice Hockey beast, Canada (5 wins 0 losses these Olympics so far). Ah, it's going to be an exciting final, I wonder if Canada can repeat what they did last Olympics in Vancouver, that is win the gold, I would enjoy it if they did =).
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