medal projections

Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 17

Where, exactly, did Canada get the impression we’re out to get them?

I’ll admit my bias up front — my life has been immeasurably enriched by many Canadians. I grew up listening to Rush. Now, I also listen to semi-Canadian band Metric. I love hockey and curling. I watched Kids in the Hall, and my beloved Saturday Night Live owes an immense debt to the comic sensibilities of those north of the border.

I’m probably not alone. Many people in the USA joke that they’ll move to Canada one day, either through the ravages of electoral politics or climate change. Some aren’t joking.

Then we get things like this:

Wow. What did Lindsey Jacobellis do to you? Or Canada?

And then we have the ice dancing controversy, already addressed in detail. The whole thing is just so puzzling. First of all, it’s rather difficult to pull off a stunt like that no that we no longer have Cold War voting blocs.

Second of all, if the USA were to fix an event, wouldn’t it be women’s hockey? I know no one who dislikes Tessa Virtue or Scott Moir. I know plenty of people who can’t mention Gillian Apps without some rather pointed profanity.

It’s starting to sound like this:

So we’re moving on. And we at SportsMyriad are pleased to welcome Canada’s own Justin Fairbanks to our Sochi coverage team. Check out his terrific debut on men’s aerials, where we’re sorry to see Canada didn’t medal.

On to the rest of the day …

CURRENT PACE

Based on results and projections yet to come: Russia 29, USA 28, Canada 27, Norway 27, Netherlands 24, Austria 21, Germany 20, Sweden 16, France 13, Switzerland 13, South Korea 9, Japan 9

DOWN

No one, really.

UP

Belarus (+1 today, +3 overall): The powerhouse of biathlon and aerials (see Will Graves tweets below) roars again.

USA (+1 today, -7 overall): Steven Holcomb was a contender but not a projected medalist in the two-man bobsled. And the U.S. hockey women rolled into the gold medal game. Let’s not talk about curling.

FULL TABLE

[gview file=”https://duresport.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2014-medal-projections-feb17.pdf”%5D

HIGHLIGHTS

Best analogy: “(Fixing ice dancing) would have been akin to someone trying to fix the Olympic swimming competition so Michael Phelps would win.” – Christine Brennan

Best tough-guy quote: 

Best teammate: Canadian speedskater Gilmore Junio gave up his spot in the 1,000 meters to Denny Morrison, who crashed in the Olympic trials. Morrison won silver. “I view it like a line change (in hockey),” Junio said. “That big faceoff, when you want your best faceoff man at the circle. That’s the simplest way I can put it.”

Best argument: From Slate’s @BenBlattWhy bother with four runs in the sliding sports when the leaderboard rarely changes?

Biggest “duh!” moment:

Best press conference we won’t see: AP’s Will Graves sums up in several tweets: “OK, so the nitty gritty of Anton Kushnir _ who won gold in aerials tonight _ will likely only be told at length back home in Belarus … But it includes 2 major knee surgeries, being denied insurance by the skiing federation, relying on his wife to get the insurance … and spending 5 years _ yes, 5 years _ waiting to throw a jump he landed just once in competition. Then doing it on the night he talked about and posting one of the highest scores (134.50) since the sport adjusted it’s scoring system in the last quadrennium. And he was so thoughtful and respectful of the moment, it just kind of took you away. There were 5 English-speaking journos in the presser and the bright lights of NBC were long gone. But damn, that might have been the highlight of the Games for me. And I’m serious.”

Best perspective on Meryl White and Charlie Davis:

Biggest streak-busting: Germany displacing Austria atop team ski jumping.

Best consolation prize: If you finish fourth through eighth at the Olympics, you get something to hang alongside your college diplomas.

Best U.S. breakthrough: Biathlete Susan Dunklee has been fast throughout the Games. Knock down a couple more targets, and she’s a medal contender. Maybe 2018?

Most impressive sport switch: Germany’s Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle had a long and distinguished career in cross-country skiing. She has had a short career so far in biathlon but came within a second of a medal today.

Most detailed analysis of how the USA’s speedskaters defied expectations: I defer to you and your mountain of data factoring altitude and other elements into the equation, Daniel Yeow. (HT: @alanabrahamson)

Worst time for a skirt to get snagged: Maia Shibutani and brother Alex had a fun free dance routine set to Michael Jackson tunes. Not realized at the time — he had to free her from his shoulder during a lift in which her skirt caught on his jacket.

Worst aftereffect of a late building spree? Norwegian skiing great Aksel Lund Svindal has stopped his frustrating quest to build on past Olympic success, declining his last opportunity to race due to allergies he thinks are from “concrete that’s in the air.”

Worst time to get sick: Nordic combined gold medalist Eric Frenzel isn’t likely to go for the double tomorrow.

Worst time for multiple calamities: A couple of 40something skiers qualified to represent Dominica in the Olympics. One showered in brown water and got sick. Another shattered her nose in training. What are the odds? Mark Zeigler has the story.

Worst weather: Though, as Bill Mallon reminds us, this sort of thing happens in the Winter Olympics.

TOMORROW’S PROJECTIONS

Alpine skiing, women’s giant slalom: Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (Sweden), Anna Fenninger (Austria), Lara Gut (Switzerland). Also considered: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Tina Maze (Slovenia), Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), Kathrin Zettel (Austria).

We have yet to see Shiffrin. This isn’t her best event, but she’s got a shot.

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.

Freestyle skiing, men’s halfpipe: David Wise (USA), Torin Yater-Wallace (USA), Mike Riddle (Canada). Also considered: Justin Dorey (Canada), Thomas Krief (France), Kevin Rolland (France)

Not quite sure how healthy Yater-Wallace is.

Nordic combined, large hill: Eric Frenzel (Germany), Wilhelm Dinifl (Austria), Jason Lamy-Chappuis (France). Also considered: Bernhard Gruber (Austria), Mikko Kokslien (Norway), Akito Watabe (Japan)

Frenzel is ailing.

Short-track, women’s relay: China, South Korea, Canada. Also considered: Italy, Netherlands, Russia

The actual finalists are China, South Korea, Canada and Italy. So the projections can’t be too far off.

Snowboarding, men’s snowboardcross (rescheduled from Monday): Alex Pullin (Australia), Markus Schairer (Austria), Pierre Vaultier (France). Also considered: Tony Ramoin (France), Omar Visintin (Italy)

Just don’t let anyone get hurt.

Speedskating, men’s 10,000 meters: Sven Kramer (Netherlands), Jorrit Bergsma (Netherlands), Bob de Jong (Netherlands). Also considered: Seung-Hoon Lee (South Korea)

We can safely say the Netherlands will not exceed medal projections in this one.

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3 replies »

  1. I wouldn’t use one tweet to prove that Canadians hate Americans, especially since it’s about Jacobellis (she doesn’t have the greatest rep, but is proving that rep wrong in her recent interviews).

    As for the ice dance, even the guy who invented the Finn step, where Moir and Virtue were deducted points, said that they performed it better and that White and Davis were off time and should have been marked lower. This isn’t Canadian conspiracy theories, this is international (it was a French paper that reported the fix, the same paper that broke Armstrong’s story). The thing is, everyone knew this was going to happen, it happens every Olympics. The medals were decided years ago.

    As the figure skater commentators said last night, “Tune in tonight to see the medals get handed out!” Other guy, “And to see the skates!” First lady, “Oh, yeah.”

  2. Ice dancing is always corrupted. Nothing new, just that now the North Americans aren’t in the short end of the stick anymore. Nothing has changed.

    And the nice people in Canada can’t have that much time to give a crap about this so called scandal. And the American media shouldn’t really bother with it to feed the fire.

    At the end of the day exactly 5 people will care about any of this in 2 weeks’ time.

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