In the summer of 1976 at Montreal and again in the winter of 1988 at Calgary Canada held the Olympics. But as hosts one thing was missing. Home gold.

Day 2 of the Vancouver Olympics was the one that Canada hoped that duck would be beaten. However, the conditions of the snow being too soft meant that local Whistler resident Manuel Osborne-Paradis would not get his chance in the men’s downhill event. Therefore all Canadian eyes fell to the Pacific Colesium where Oliver Jean or Charles Hamelin went in the short track speed skating or Cypress Mountain where Jennifer Heil was defending her title in the moguls.

Short Track Speed Skating

Both the men did make the semi-finals of the 1500m but only Jean progressed to the final. World number two Hamelin having to content himself with victory only in the B final. However, the final was dominated by the Koreans Jung-Su Lee, Ho-Suk Lee, Si-Bak Sung and American Apolo Anton Ohno. With all four swapping and changing position through the closing laps, a crash in the last corner took Ho-Suk Lee and Si-Bak Sung out of medal contention, but Jung-Su Lee crossed the line safely for gold, with Ohno winning silver for his sixth Olympic medal.

Moguls

In the rain and slosh conditions on Cypress Mountain, Heil and compatriot Kirsti Richards qualified 2nd and 4th from the qualifying round. The main competition coming from Americans Hannah Kearney, Heather McPhie, Shannon Bahrke and Michelle Roark or Japanese competitor Aiko Uemura. In the final Bahrke led, Uemura was second and Canadian Chloe Dufour-Lapointe third before the top four went down their runs.

However, both Richards and McPhie had poor runs and dropped to the bottom of the table. Leaving the local girl Heil to take the penultimate run, she went off the first kicker with a 360, the second with a back flip with iron cross to go into the lead. Leaving just one person who could spoil the Canadian mood. Hannah Kearney came down t back flip off the first then a 360 off the second enough to take the top ariel and turn scores therefore with it the gold.

Heil said:

“I felt like I was standing on the shoulders of so many Canadians. I felt like I had their wings on my back. This is Canada’s medal.

“Canadians can be assured that the gold medal is coming on home soil. Canada have such a strong team.”

Elsewhere

You don’t win anything for the first game of the team events but Canada’s women did hand out a highest ever Olympic thrashing over Slovakia with an 18-0 win in the Ice Hockey. This is a Hockey nation after all but if they have to wait until the hockey finals to seek gold the Canadians will be under performing.

The first gold went to Simon Ammann of Switzerland in the normal hill ski jumping competition. In the women’s biathlon sprint there was a surprise winner in Slovakia’s Anastazia Kuzmina. In the men’s 5000m Speed Skating Dutch world number one Sven Kummar went one better than in Turin picking up a gold in an Olympic record, his girlfriend had scored the winning goal for the Netherland’s in the Hockey final in Beijing.

The Luge got underway without Nodar Kumaritashvili’s Georgian compatriot Levan Gureshidze taking to the start gate. After the first two runs the German’s Felix Loch and David Muller lead. Top Canadian before Sunday’s final two runs is Samuel Edney in 10th 0.977 secs back.

Brits

In the luge Adam Rosen currently lies 16th 1.331 seconds down on the leader.

Youngsters Ellie Koyander finished 24th in the Women’s Moguls failing to qualify for the top 20 who made the final, while Jack Whelbourne made the semis of the short track 1500m. Douglas Anthony had come 4th in his heat in the 1500m short track failing to progress. Sarah Lindsay and Elise Christie have both qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 500m short track on Sunday.

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