Fans take selfies before the start of Japan's hockey game with Switzerland. Photo: Reuters / Grigory Dukor
Fans take selfies before the start of Japan's hockey game with Switzerland. Photo: Reuters / Grigory Dukor

They were simply awesome. Canada produced a dominant performance to win the gold medal in the figure skating team event at the Winter Olympics.

Finishing seven points clear at the top of the standings, the team of Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman hardly put a skate wrong during the entire program.   

Canada, in fact, won three of the four disciplines in the final at the Gangneung Ice Arena to beat the Olympic Athletes of Russia and the United States.

“We placed a lot of emphasis on our performance today because we needed to deliver a message and I think we needed to verify that our training plan was on track,” Virtue told the media after her performance with Moir in the ice dance leg of the event.

Moir won silver for Canada in the team event and in the ice dance at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi four years ago.

“Every opportunity you have to skate on Olympic ice is special,” he said. “That’s what it came down to today. It’s interesting taking the ice and having no impact really on what is going to happen in the team event. You just can’t blow one of those chances.”

Anderson slides into history

Jamie Anderson snowboarded into a row after winning the gold medal in the women’s slopestyle final. The American coped best with high-winds which turned the event into a lottery at the Phoenix Snow Park.

Anderson won the event four years ago and retained her Olympics title with a score of 83.00 points after Austrian favorite Anna Gasser failed to complete the course.

“Yes it should have been postponed,“ Gasser told the media. “We tried to speak to officials but they put us under pressure to do it today. “They said we had to do it but we have three weeks (to run the event).”

In a controversial statement later, Gasser said Anderson was the only athlete who wanted the competition to go ahead because she had the “safest run.”

Norway’s Silje Norendal also wanted the event to be put back after approaching the event director. “Before my first run, I was just up there crying. It is crazy that we did it today,” she said.

Shiffrin blown off course

Skiing sensation Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to be one of the stars of the show in Pyeongchang. But she was left kicking her heels after the women’s giant slalom was postponed because of strong winds.

The 22-year-old American became the youngest Olympics slalom champion when she won gold in Sochi at the tender age of 18 and is tipped to win multiple medals in South Korea.

But her bid for gold had to wait after the giant slalom event, originally scheduled for Monday at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre, was pushed back to Thursday.

Battle of the robots

Rudolph the robot glided into the record books on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics. He might have lacked the grace and guile of the world’s top downhill racers but still caught the eye at the aptly-named robot ski tournament.

The event was organized by Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Institute for Robot Industry Advancement. Fortunately for Rudolph, he finished with all his moving parts intact, despite the freezing conditions.

– with Reuters and AFP