Author Topic: Winter Olympics 2014  (Read 8792 times)

Offline Alan

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Winter Olympics 2014
« on: January 04, 2014, 11:42:48 AM »
The Winter Olympics begin soon in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.  Except in the most northerly countries the Winter Olympics take second place to the Summer games, and the two events take place two years apart.

Plenty of women will be competing in ski and snowboard events.  The first-ever women's snowboard cross competition was held at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, and the Final remains a memorable race full of thrills and spills, with US star Lindsey Jacobellis losing a gold medal in the last 100 yards, Maelle Ricker crashing through the fence and Switzerland's Tanja Frieden staying on her feet to grab gold.

After failing to finish with concussion Maelle Ricker of Canada came back four years later to take the gold medal in the same event, while Jacobellis went out in the semifinal.

"If you're sat on your sofa, put your seat belt on!" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPCOin3l8OY

At Sochi Lindsey Jacobellis and the bronze winner in 2006, Dominique Maltais, will be racing while Maelle Ricker will also lead the Canadian snowboard team, so there is unfinished business remaining for 2014.

In the snowboard half-pipe the women's competition from 2010 is on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6UMXD7rxEg with the winning run by Torah Bright 36 minutes into the video.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 09:05:10 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Norway's team for Sochi
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 10:11:14 AM »
Norway's team for the Olympics is taking shape, and Vibeke Skofterud, who won gold last time in the sprint relay, is out.  "That's how it looks.  Skofterud would have pull out an extraordinary performance to be selected", said Jann Post.  

Competition for places is tough for the relay and the team sprint.  "Marit Bjørgen will do the anchor leg if she is in form, but who will race with her is very open", said Post.  The cross-country team is allowed 18, which is 10 men and 8 women.

The likely composition of the different races is:

Freestyle sprint:
Definite: Marit Bjørgen, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Maiken Caspersen Falla,
Plus: Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen or Celine Brun-Lie.  

10 km classic:
Definite: Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen,
Probable: Heidi Weng,
Challengers: Kristin Størmer Steira, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg.

15 km with change of skis:
Definite: Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug,
Probable: Heidi Weng, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen,
Challenger: Kristin Størmer Steira.

30 km free style:
Definite: Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug,
Probable: Kristin Størmer Steira, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen,
Top challenger: Heidi Weng.

Team sprint (2 runners):
Definite: Marit Bjørgen,
Challengers: Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Maiken Caspersen Falla.

Relay:
Present team: Heidi Weng, Therese Johaug, Kristin Størmer Steira, Marit Bjørgen,
Challenger: Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen.

Likely Norway team, 8 allowed: Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Heidi Weng, Kristin Størmer Steira, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Maiken Caspersen Falla, Celine Brun-Lie.

Anders Skjerdingstad http://www.nrk.no/sport/her-er-ol-kabalen-i-langrenn-1.11456444
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 10:13:19 PM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Østberg with high hopes
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 08:41:36 PM »
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg has high hopes of a medal at Sochi after her third-place finish today at Novi Mesto.

"The podium place says a lot for the Olympics.  I haven't been on the podium as frequently before, so this is good for the confidence", the 23-year-old division-1 footballer from Gjøvik told NRK.

A strong performance at Novi Mesto has brought the Olympics next month into her thoughts.  "Now it's a bit more definite in my mind.  There's some time to go but it will be a hard fight in Russia.  Before the season my target was to go to the Olympics, but now I have qualified a medal is what I dream of", said Østberg.  "It would be really great to bring a medal back".

In Italy she had no chance against the American Kickin' Randall, who went into the lead and held it.  "It wasn't looking good and I just went for the finish.  It feels fantastic to be back, it was difficult watching the Tour de Ski on TV", said Randall after the race.  She won 1.69 seconds ahead of the Swiss Laurien van der Graf, while Flugstad Østberg was 1.95 seconds back.

The other two Norwegians who entered the free-style sprint were Kathrine Rolsted Harsem and Celine Brun-Lie, and both were eliminated in the semifinal.        

Hans-Olav Rise, Jann Post
article/photo: http://www.nrk.no/sport/tredjeplass-for-flugstad-ostberg-1.11463928
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 08:43:12 PM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Steira challenging
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 09:27:32 AM »
Kristin Størmer Steira is more likely to go to Sochi after Sunday's win in Lillehammer.  Steira won the 15-km event in the Norwegian championships.

In the first half of the race, in classic skiing style, Steira hung in with Astrid Jacobsen, but after the change of skis midway she dominated the free-style half of the race and took an early lead which only expanded with distance.  "Kristin was only a reserve for the Olympics at this distance, but now she is challenging Heidi Weng and Astrid Jacobsen", said NRK expert Torgeir Bjørn.

Steira was pleased with her run.  "This was definitely my best this year, at any rate it feels like it", she told NRK.  "I have had one goal all year,
which is what happens in February.  Things are starting to fall into place, which suits me very well".

Magnus Joki Arild http://www.nordlys.no/nyheter/article7111611.ece
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Offline Alan

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Gold for Marit Bjørgen
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 11:02:15 AM »
Marit Bjørgen fought off a late challenge by Sweden's Charlotte Kalla to win today's 15-kilometre cross country race.  The first half was run in classic style and the rest in freestyle.  In freestyle the technique allows a skating motion with the skis for extra speed especially on uphill sections.

Kalla sat in third place for most of the race before a burst of speed took her to the front only minutes from the end.  Bjørgen was the only one of the leaders able to answer this surprise manoeuvre and she managed to battle back into the lead at the finishing line.

Norway took bronze as well as gold, with Heidi Weng in third place making her Olympic debut.  Fourth was Therese Johaug of Norway, fifth Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland, sixth Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk and seventh Niskanen from Finland.

One of the Norwegian team, Astrid Jacobsen, lost her brother and training partner yesterday, and the Norwegians took part today wearing black armbands.  

The Norwegians know each other well and know each other's strengths and weanesses.  They are all very close but they are basically in competition and they do not discuss individual tactics among themselves.  Full results of the 15-km: http://www.nrk.no/sport/har-hemmeligheter-for-hverandre-1.11525372
Photo from the medal ceremony today: http://www.nrk.no/sport/1.11528024


TV coverage: In the UK the winter Olympics are being covered by BBC2 and not Eurosport.  In Norway coverage is being provided by TV2 which is normally a subscription channel but it is free for the period of the Olympics.  But a Norwegian IP address is needed to watch it.  NRK will be giving news-style coverage of the Olympics but can not circulate video clips outside Norway on the internet, and can not even circulate video clips from previous Olympics outside Norway.    
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 06:23:30 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2014, 01:11:12 PM »
That's great!  Three of four, congratulations to them all and especially Bjørgen.  Tough day for Johaug but she at least came in front of the Pole.  Amazed Koawalczyk could even place in the top 10 if this truly was her foot a week ago:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t31/p180x540/1500873_726550267389332_1069598819_o.jpg

Another great trio story is the Dufour-Lapointe sisters.  All three placed in the top 10 to go to the medal round tonight in women's moguls.

http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/dufour-lapointe-sisters-audrey-robichaud-strong-moguls-qualifier.html

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2014, 05:24:38 PM »
Norway took first, third and fourth places in today's 15-km cross-country ski race after the news came that one of their teammates has lost her brother.  "Astrid is extremely tough to take this situation so well.  She and her brother were best friends so obviously it has been difficult", said Therese Johaug after finishing in fourth place.

The Norwegians learned about the tragedy on Friday.  Astrid Jacobsen was not due to race on Saturday but she trained on Saturday morning.  The cross country team had a meeting on Friday night. "Many thoughts were going round in our heads.  You discover that a ski race is not the most important thing in the world.  We talked a lot with Astrid who said we must race for her and her brother.  That is what we did", said Therese Johaug.  For all the Norwegians the tears rolled at the end of the race.

"Today's race was special and full of emotion", said gold medal winner Marit Bjørgen.  "Today sport meant nothing.  We have got some perspective on things.  But Astrid and her family wanted us to race for her.  We stood together as a team and did that.  I am very glad about the gold medal but I also have mixed feelings".

Charlotte Kalla has trained a lot with the Norwegians and knows them better than most other competitors.  "I knew nothing about what happened before I turned up at the start today.  There were many feelings at the start.  If the Norwegian girls need someone to talk to, I will be here for them", said the Swedish silver medal winner.

http://www.nrk.no/sport/her-tar-langrennsjentene-til-tarene-1.11529025
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2014, 07:27:45 PM »
The youngest two Dufour-Lapointe girls just went gold/silver.

New Zealand's freestyle team also has the Wells brothers - Jossi, Byron and Beau James.

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2014, 08:08:18 PM »
A picture of the Canadian sisters: http://direkte.vg.no/studio/vinter-ol-2014-3
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2014, 08:20:19 PM »
Thank you!  And another great one here, taken moments before stepping up to the medal podium:

http://images.lpcdn.ca/924x615/201402/08/810037-chloe-justine-dufour-lapointe.jpg

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2014, 09:08:31 AM »
Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (27) is ready to race in Norway's sprint team.  "The decision was taken with Astrid", said the sprint team trainer Roar Hjelmset.

The team was picked last Sunday but there has been some uncertainty around Jacobsen since the sudden death of her brother on Friday.  "What has happened has affected everyone.  We are very together as a group.  Now we will try to focus on the sports side", said Ingvild Flugstad Østberg.  On Saturday she watched her teammates take gold and bronze in the 15 kilometre skiathlon. 

The team sprint lineup will be announced at 13.00 on Monday, with Celine Brun-Lie ready to step in if necessary.  "It's even between Celine and Astrid, and Astrid knows that 99.9 per cent is not good enough.  She must be 100 per cent to go.  Celine is preparing to go as well", said Hjelmset.  "Astrid trained as planned yesterday and did a hard session that went well.  There was no problem".   

http://www.nrk.no/sport/jacobsen-gar-ol-sprinten-1.11529900
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Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 10:20:10 PM »
Bronze medal for GB's snowboarder Jenny Jones today, the first ever Olympic medal for GB in any sport on snow.  So look out Marit Bjørgen . . . :).  Video clip: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/winter-olympics/26056289

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 10:43:23 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 11:49:05 PM »
How great is that.  Tragic I can barely find it on BBC.co.uk/sport
In a "winter" country it would be half the page...

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 08:49:27 AM »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2014, 05:22:37 AM »
Better late than never...

Petter Northug and Marit Bjoergen go in the sprints today, and oddly no Norwegians in the Ladies Long-Track 500m, Men's Half-Pipe, or Ladies Slopestyle.

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2014, 09:06:42 AM »
Sprint event today for the cross-country skiers, with qualification rounds starting at 10.00.  For Norway #5 will be Maiken Caspersen Falla, #10 Astrid Urenholdt Jacobsen, #21 Marit Bjørgen and #22 Ingvild Flugstad Østberg the former division-1 footballer.  For GBNI #44 is Rosamund Musgrave.

All four Norwegians qualified in the prologue by finishing in the top 30:
1st Maiken Caspersen Falla
3rd Marit Bjørgen
6th Ingvild Flugstad Østberg
7th Astrid Urenholdt Jacobsen

Britain's Rosamund Musgrave finished in 42nd place.  The four Norwegians will race in separate quarter-finals later today (12.00) and will not meet until an eventual semifinal.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 11:42:59 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2014, 12:11:08 PM »
Falla won the first quarter final, Jacobsen won the second, in the third Østberg in a photo finish for first place with Swedish Ingemarsdottir, took second place.  The 5th and last quarter final won by Herrmann of Germany with Marit Bjørgen second and Kickin' Randall beaten into 4th place.  The other American Jess Diggins is also out.  Four Norwegians through to the semis.

Falla won the first semifinal, Østberg the second on a photo finish.  Marit Bjørgen fell and was eliminated in the second semi.  So Norway's chances in the Final will ride on Astrid Jacobsen and the young sprinters Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 01:40:50 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2014, 01:37:49 PM »
Fingers crossed for Jacobsen to medal.

So close, looks like the other two went 1-2!

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2014, 01:39:11 PM »
1-2-4 for Norway: gold medal to Falla, silver to Østberg on her second photo finish of the day, bronze Vesna Fabjan of Slovenia, Jacobsen in fourth place broke a pole on the way round.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 01:48:45 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2014, 03:01:59 PM »
I read an op ed piece from an American yesterday lamenting how they can never catch the Norwegians in the Winter Olympics because of the number of cross country and biathlon medals.  I just checked and don't buy it.

Alpine (10)
Freestyle (10)
Snowboard (10)
Ski Jumping (4)

Nordic Combined (3)
Cross Country (12)
Biathlon (10)

Figure Skating (5)
Short Track [8]
Long Track (12)

Skeleton (2)
Luge (4)
Bobsled (3)

Ice Hockey (2)
Curling (2)

There are more downhill and as many skating events as cross country.  And if you have 330 million people and that much money, do what you do in every other sport and create an uber program to dominate.  The real problem is, they can't.  No one can, for all the money and technology they throw at them.

I read a book a month or two back called "We Die Alone" which was a fascinating tale of the human spirit that takes place in Northern Norway in the second World War.  The main saboteur a few times mentions as long as they got on skis they had no fear of the Nazis whatsoever.