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WOMEN’S CURLING

Swedes beat Garlic Girls

The Swedish women won the gold medal in the final match of a marathon curling festival today, beating South Korea 8-3 in nine ends to leave the “Garlic Girls” with a silver that is the hosts’ first-ever Olympic medal in the sport. Sweden took control of the match by stealing a point in back-to-back ends — the fourth and the fifth — even though Korea had the last-rock advantage known as the hammer. After Korea mustered just one point in the sixth, Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg delivered a takeout on her final rock of the seventh to score three points and open a 7-2 lead. The Koreans picked up one point in the eighth, but when they couldn’t keep the Swedes from scoring in the ninth, they conceded.

MEN’S HOCKEY

Canada takes bronze

The Canadians hugged each other and happily celebrated an Olympic hockey medal that wasn’t the color they prefer. At a tournament where the NHL stars stayed away, the Canadians who played at the Pyeongchang Games were just ecstatic not to be going home empty-handed. Andrew Ebbett, Chris Kelly and Derek Roy each scored in the first period, and Canada took the bronze medal by beating the Czech Republic 6-4 on Saturday. This was the third bronze for Canada to go along with nine gold medals for the country that created hockey and won the last two men’s Olympic titles. Ebbett and Kelly added a goal apiece in the third, and Wojtek Wolski also scored for Canada, which finished with bronze in 1968 and 1956. Kevin Poulin made 30 saves in his second consecutive start in place of the injured Ben Scrivens.

FIGURE SKATING

Fans get big finale

Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedev gave figure skating fans one more show in South Korea. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir gave them one more on Olympic ice. The Russian teenagers, who dueled so memorably in the women’s event during the Pyeongchang Games, and the Canadian ice dance couple that became figure skating’s most decorated Olympians highlighted the traditional curtain-closing exhibition gala today. After years spent grinding toward competition, the gala is an opportunity for skaters to finally let down their hair, have a little fun and do what they enjoy most: entertain. So you had Zagitova, the 15-year-old jumping jack who edged Medvedev for gold, performing to the jazz standard “Afro Blue” by American singer Jazzmeia Horn. And her close friend Medvedev, whose graciousness in settling for silver struck a chord for the Olympic movement, performed to a song from Battle of Sevastopol, the biographical war film set during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. “I wanted to project the feelings inside of me when I am anxious,” Medvedev explained. South Korean pairs skaters Yura Min and Alex Gamelin opened the gala with a flashy, colorful hip-hop program to “Lollipop” — and tossed candy into the crowd. There also was a performance by the North Korean pair of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, who had the crowd clapping along. Just about every medalist from the Pyeongchang Games performed, including men’s gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who finished off the gala to “Notte Stellata” by Il Volo.

MEN’S BOBSLED

Germany wins 4-man gold

Shut out in Sochi, the German bobsled program swept every other nation away in Pyeongchang. Francesco Friedrich drove to the four-man bobsledding gold medal today, capping an absolutely dominant showing by the Germans on the sliding track at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Friedrich and his team of Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis left no doubt, finishing their four runs in 3 minutes, 15.85 seconds to win by more than a half-second. The Korean sled driven by Won Yunjong and the German sled driven by Nico Walther shared the silver, the second sliding medal tie in these games after they finished in 3:16.38. Codie Bascue and his team of Evan Weinstock, Steve Langton and Sam McGuffie led the U.S. with a ninth-place finish. In Pyeongchang, not only did Germany win gold in all three bobsled events — matching its feat from Turin 2006 — but also became the first country to win six sliding gold medals at a single Olympics. The rest of the bobsled, skeleton and luge world won four golds in Pyeongchang combined; Canada, Austria, South Korea and Britain each got one.

MISCELLANEOUS

Athlete, coach take car

Canadian skicross competitor Dave Duncan has apologized for “poor judgment” for his role in the theft of a vehicle after a night out at a bar and using it for a ride home to the Olympic athletes village. The pink Hummer, which belonged to a tourist, was stopped by police shortly after midnight Saturday near the village. Inside the vehicle were Duncan, 35, from London, Ontario, his wife Maja, 32, and coach William Raine, 48. Raine, who was driving the vehicle, was fined the equivalent of $4,600 for driving under the influence and theft. Duncan and his wife were each fined the equivalent of $930, according to a police officer at the Gangwon Provincial Police Agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press. The three are not allowed to leave South Korea until the fines are paid. Raine allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .162, well above the local legal driving limit of .05. One of the people in the vehicle was passed out when arrested, Detective Lee Hee-jun told The Canadian Press. Drunk driving in South Korea can result in imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to $9,300. Duncan completed his competition Wednesday and placed eighth.

MISCELLANEOUS

IOC upholds Russian ban

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The International Olympic Committee on Sunday upheld the ban of Russia from the Pyeongchang Winter Games because of doping, denying the 168 athletes competing here as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” the right to march in the closing ceremony today under their country’s flag.

The IOC’s full membership unanimously approved the recommendation of the executive board just hours before the final competition of the Olympics. Fifty-two of the IOC’s 100 members were present for the vote.

IOC President Thomas Bach said a condition for Russia’s reinstatement was no further positive drug tests at these Olympics. Two of the four athletes who tested positive in Pyeongchang were Russian, including a curler who had to return his bronze medal.

“The IOC executive board decided first not to lift the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee for the closing ceremony,” Bach said, “therefore, no delegation of the Russian Olympic Committee will have taken part in these Olympic Winter Games.”

Russia was banned from the Olympics on Dec. 5 because of a massive doping scandal at the 2014 Sochi Games. The IOC left open the possibility of reinstatement ahead of the closing ceremony if the Russians met a series of criteria, and Russian athletes were allowed to participate under the Olympic flag.

IOC member Nicole Hoevertsz from Aruba and head of the Russia implementation group said the Russian delegation met many of the criteria required for reinstatement during the Olympics.

The two failed drug tests, however, were too much.

“Despite a good collaboration from the OAR delegation to respond to these [doping] cases in a prompt and transparent way, the implementation group was convinced that these cases caused significant concern,” Hoevertsz said.

USOC

Poorest showing since '98

With the U.S. team facing its worst medal haul in 20 years at a Winter Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee's sports chief said he'll take a hard look at what occurred to try to avoid a repeat. The U.S. had 23 medals heading into the final day of action today, with an outside chance to win one more. It will be the poorest showing since 1998, four years before a home Olympics in Salt Lake City sparked a renaissance for the country's winter sports program. At a news conference early today, chief of sport performance Alan Ashley acknowledged the numbers were disappointing. A USOC internal document, obtained by The Associated Press, set the target at 37 medals and pegged a minimum of 25. Ashley said he took hope because 35 U.S. athletes finished fourth, fifth or sixth in Pyeongchang.

Sports on 02/25/2018

Print Headline: Olympic roundup

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