The USA and Norway made up for missteps elsewhere with Alpine skiing medals, the biathlon was postponed, and the Netherlands have produced a lot of really good speedskaters.
Original projections: Norway 39, USA 35, Canada 30, Russia 26, Germany 23, Austria 22, South Korea 15, Netherlands 14, France 12, Switzerland 11, Sweden 10
If the rest of the projections were to come true, I will ride down the snowboardcross course on a trash can lid. But the medal count would be Russia 29, Canada 28, Norway 27, USA 27, Netherlands 24, Germany 21, Austria 21, Sweden 16, France 13, Switzerland 13, South Korea 9. And China, projected for 6, would have 9 as well.
France (+2 today, +1 overall): Only four medal events were completed today, and France picked up bronze in two. Snowboardcross wasn’t a big surprise. The cross-country relay medal looked like it even shocked the team.
Netherlands (+1 today, +10 overall): Projected for gold and silver in speedskating. They took gold, silver, bronze and whatever you get for fourth. And they lead the medal count with 17. That’s 16 in speedskating and one in … well, short-track speedskating. We’re now just tallying the historical comparisons.
Just Austria and Switzerland, who didn’t get projected Alpine skiing medals. Sure, Norway inexplicably missed out in the cross-country relay, but we would be piling on at this point. Besides, they got the projected Alpine medal (albeit with a different skier).
Best photo gallery: The Guardian captured several events at sunset.
Best perspective: “There are worse things in life than not winning. A lot worse.” – Lindsey Jacobellis, who has won every conceivable title except the Olympics.
Best NBC recruitment tool: They have a secret Starbucks shop.
Best phrase written by a Duke grad: Sarah Kwak, covering speedskating at SI, wins with the “Great Polyurethane Panic.”
Best reason not to be in Sochi: Lolo Jones passes along a video food review.
Most deserving of a spinoff TV show: Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.
Best reason to postpone an event: Can you see what you’re shooting?
Most haunting photos: Vladimir Putin visited injured Russian skicross skier Maria Komissarova in the hospital. Komissarova looks alert but in sad shape.
Worst day: Lindsey Jacobellis was once known as “Lucky Lindsey.” But first, she saw her friend and teammates knocked unconscious in qualifying. Then she failed to qualify for the final. World Championships, X Games and World Cup gold medals galore, but just one silver to show for her three Olympic appearances.
Strangest Games-ending injury: Arielle Gold missed the halfpipe competition because of this accident in training, which doesn’t occur when you’d expect. Did a gopher pop up out of the halfpipe?
Worst timing: Maybe they’re prepping the rest of the hotel for the Paralympics?
Most ominous delay of a response: “I will share everything I had in mind after Sochi is over.” – short-track speedskating gold medalist Viktor (nee Hyun-Soo) Ahn on his switch from South Korea to Russia.
Most esoteric ice dancing commentary:
Biathlon, men’s mass start (rescheduled from Sunday): Martin Fourcade (France), Tarjei Boe (Norway), Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway). Also considered: Andreas Birnbacher (Germany), Tim Burke (USA), Jakov Fak (Slovenia), Dominik Landertinger (Austria), Ondrej Moravec (Czech Republic), Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia).
Fourcade has delivered so far, while Norway is really overdue.
Biathlon, women’s mass start: Darya Domracheva (Belarus), Tora Berger (Norway), Vita Semerenko (Ukraine). Also considered: Kaisa Makarainen (Finland)
Maybe Berger can sneak into another country’s camp and borrow some wax.
Bobsled, two-man: Beat Hefti (Switzerland), Francesco Friedrich (Germany), Alexander Zubkov (Russia). Also considered: Thomas Florschütz (Germany), Steven Holcomb (USA), Oskars Melbardis (Latvia), Lyndon Rush (Canada)
After the first two heats, Zubkov has a big lead over Hefti, who’s slightly ahead of Holcomb. Then it’s the third Canadian sled with Justin Kripps, Russia-2 and Latvia.
Figure skating, ice dancing: Davis/White (USA), Virtue/Moir (Canada), Bobrova/Soloviev (Russia). Also considered: Cappellini/Lanotte (Italy), Ilinykh/Katsalapov (Russia), Pechalat/Bourzat (France), Weaver/Poje (Canada)
As ordained, er, expected, Davis and White have the lead with a world record in the short program. Virtue and Moir are second but apparently first in the hearts of a lot of Canadians and English folks on Twitter. A Russian duo is indeed in third, but it’s Ilinykh/Katsalapov slightly ahead of Pechalat/Bourzat.
Freestyle skiing, men’s aerials: Qi Guangpu (China), Jia Zongyang (China), Travis Gerrits (Canada). Also considered: Alexei Grishin (Belarus), Anton Kushnir (Belarus)
Ski jumping, men’s team: Austria, Germany, Slovenia. Also considered: Norway, Poland.
Average finish on the large hill: Japan 8.5, Poland 15.5, Germany 19, Slovenia 19.25, Norway 20.8, Austria 21.8.
Average finish in both events: Japan 13.1, Poland 14.4, Austria 15.1, Germany 17.9, Norway 18.8, Slovenia 20.5.
Maybe Japan should be considered.
Snowboarding, men’s snowboardcross: Alex Pullin (Australia), Markus Schairer (Austria), Pierre Vaultier (France). Also considered: Tony Ramoin (France), Omar Visintin (Italy)
Just don’t let anyone get hurt.