There will be so many things about Russia that I will probably never forget, and I have never even been there before. Part of it was the nine hour time difference between our country (Canada) and theirs.
Trying to keep tabs on every single event I had interest in was not easy. Given the time difference between the EST and Russia, any TV broadcast that you want to watch live came on TV before 1pm I was told. So many CBC broadcast were taped so I watched most of it taped (which is okay).
Once the Games started to wind down (Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in the ice dancing/Team Canada Hockey m&w vs the USA, you can’t beat that so you may as well get your ass out of bed to see it as it happens. The good part of the replays is that anything cool that happens during the live airing, you can watch it again sometime between 8pm-12 midnight.
The opening ceremonies were unreal too, the closing ceremonies were hard to watch, just because you knew it was all over. The Russian culture is pretty fascinating.
Any of you soccer fans out there and going to get a bit of a flashback of Sochi when the World Cup of Soccer comes to 8 different cities in Russia, including Sochi, in 2018.
Anyways, here are the day-by-day highlights that come to mind from the Sochi Olympics. I hope you enjoy. I also hope that someone will let me know of anything Canadian that I leave out, unintentionally of course.
Never mind the $51 billion spent, lost, and abused to bring Vladimir Putin’s Games to life. It’s not our money. Nobody left Montreal in 1976 talking about the cost overrun of the Olympic Stadium. They talked about their experience.
LIST OF BESTS
The best event: the women’s hockey final between Canada and the U.S.
Very close second: Russia vs USA in the men’s round robin 8 rounds of shootout
TJ Oshie stole the show in the shootout, scoring four times in six tries. Also , this was the only hockey game in the entire 15-day event that actually lived up to every expectation from the fans’ point of view. I don’t usually wake up by 7-8am on a Saturday but this was one of the few things I would wake up too!
The best result: Team Canada’s demolition of Team Sweden in the Gold medal game. You can all sit back in amazement of the way Team Canada dismantled each of their opponents in this tournament.
Carey Price, six games played, three goals allowed. Unreal.
The best Canadian moment: When speed skater Gilmore Junio gave way to Denny Morrison, allowing him to race the 1,000 metres and enabling Canada to win a silver medal. That story, told well, could be a movie of the week. Junio walked in to the closing ceremony Sunday night on Morrison’s shoulders.
DAY ONE Friday Feb 7:
Nobody outside of western Canada knew much about this Mark McMorris kid. Less than a full day into the Sochi Games, we all know exactly who he is. Mark McMorris of Regina, Sask, was our country’s first bronze-medal winner thanks to what he can do with a snowboard.
DAY TWO Saturday Feb. 8th:
-Two of three medals in women’s moguls go to Canadian beauties, who also happen to be sisters, the Dufour-Lapointe sisters. Justine, the youngest of the three and pictured below hands high in the air, placed first and her sister Chloe came in second. American Hannah Kearney came third.
-Canada’s women’s hockey team gets off to a good start in their round-robin action, taking care of Switzerland 5-0. Not sure how many people were actually watching this lol.
DAY THREE Sunday Feb 9:
-silver medal for the Canadian team in Team Ice Dance Free Dance. Russians finished first and USA came third.
DAY FOUR Monday Feb 10 (plenty of curling on this day):
-men’s curling team over Germany 11-8 in the round robin Session 1
The women’s team beat up on China 9-2
The men’s team lost to Switzerland, 5-4 in Session 2
In freestyle skiing, men’s moguls Final 3,
Alex Bilodeau and teammate Mikael Kingsbury win Gold and Silver medals respectively for Canada. Alexandr Smyshlyaev rounded off the top 3 representing the Host nation.
In women’s preliminary hockey action, Canada shutout Finland 3-0.
Charles Hamelin added to the Canadian accomplishments on Day 4, beating the Chinesse and the Russians for Gold in the Short Track Men’s 1500m Finals.
DAY FIVE Tuesday Feb 11:
-Canada’s ladies curling beats Sweden in their first draw of Session 2, winning by a score of 9-3.
The men’s curling team falls to the Swedes in Session 3 by a 7-6 final.
Canada sandwiches the United States in Ladies’ Ski Slopestyle Finals as Huntsville, Ont’s Dara Howell wins the Gold medal and her teammate Kim LaMarre take bronze in the event. USA’s Devin Logan gets the silver medal.
DAY SIX Wednesday Feb 12:
-Ladies curling continues its tear at Sochi, winning their Session 4 draw with Great Britain by a score of 9-6 and the men’s team pounds the Hosts 7-4 in Session 5.
-things get even more interesting as Canada takes on their bitter rivals, the USA in women’s hockey, this one requires two beautiful goals by Meghan Agosta-Marciano as Canada gives it to the USA for the first of three times in the Olympic Games (mens and ladies); one of her efforts comes on a breakaway where she made absolutely no mistake. Canada wins 3-2 and leads Group A.
-in men’s speedskating, Denny Morrison is sandwiched by a pair of Netherlands (Dutch) in the Men’s 1000m competition.
DAY SEVEN Thursday Feb 13 (the start of men’s hockey):
-start of the men’s hockey competition for Team Canada vs Norway or Austria.
-Denmark is no match for Canada in both men’s and women’s curling. Men win 7-6 and women cruise 8-5. Women’s game is Session 5 and men’s is Session 6.
-the ladies also play the Swiss in Session 6 and take it 8-5.
-the men’s hockey tournament starts for Canada with a 3-1 victory over Norway. Some may view this result as a huge disappointment. Shea Weber, Jamie Benn and Drew Doughty do the damage for Canada. Patrick Thorosen breaks the Carey Price shutout attempt.
DAY EIGHT Friday, Feb 14 (Valentine’s Day):
-Canada tops Norway in the men’s curling tournament, Session 7.
-in men’s free skating figure skating, Patrick Chan turns in a silver-medal performance, as Japan wins the gold and Kazakhstan wins the bronze.
-in men’s hockey, Canada registers what would be their largest margin of victory of the tourney, a 6-0 win over Austria; considering all of the talent our team was loaded with, this is still considered a disappointment. I was expecting 10+ goals for them in this one but that’s probably just me.
DAY NINE Sat Feb 15
-women’s curling Session 8 Canada over Japan 8-6.
-men’s curling Session 9 Canada over Great Britain 7-5, in what would be the first of two draws between the Canucks and the Great Brits.
-also on Day 9, the ladies get right back at it and take it to the Host Russians in Session 9, winning 5-3.
-in the one non-Canadian event that really got my attention, the US vs Russia in hockey, that wound up going to 8 rounds of shootout (most NHL shootouts don’t go that long and in the NHL no one player is permitted to shoot twice. In Sochi that morning, at least 2 players shot more than once, TJ Oshie and Pavel Datsyuk basically went head-to-head and Oshie scored the winning goal. In total Oshie scored four shootout goals. In the NHL that would be unheard of. Oshie was a genius, I bet he could have kept at it. The St. Louis Blues have a real gem in this kid. He had six shots in that shootout.
-concluding Day 9 was Canadian speed skater Denny Morrison who finished in third in the men’s 1500m. Coming in behind Poland and the Netherlands.
DAY 10 (Monday February 16)
-in what should be the first draw of the Games at least from what I see, Canada’s Jan Hudec tied American Bode Miller for bronze in the men’s Super-G Alpine Skiing event. Norway won the Gold in the event and USA also took silver.
-in curling, the men’s team finished Session 10 with an 8-6 decision over the USA (one of the many times when Canada beat the Americans in head-to-head competition)
-then it was the ladies’ turn to get in on the fun, as they squared off against USA in Session 10 and beat the Yanks by a 7-6 final.
-the men’s team then started off Session 11 with a 9-8 victory over the Chinesse.
-staying with the on-ice sports, the Canada’s men’s hockey team got by Team Finland in one of the many games that could have gone either way. Defenceman Drew Doughty somewhat became a national hero when he beat Fins goalie Tuukka Rask with a squeaker of a wrist shot in overtime. Yes, that is correct, Canada needed OT to beat Finland.
-onto more Day 10 fun, Dominique Maltais, the 33-year-old snowboard athlete from Montreal made her way to the podium, taking the silver medal in ladies snowboard cross, which is one of the coolest sports that I had never heard of until Sochi!
She beat Chloe Trespeuch of France.
DAY 11 (Tuesday, Feb 17)
-women’s curling beats Korea 9-4 in Session 12.
-figure skating team Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue skate to a second place finish in the Ice Dance Free Dance. They totaled 190.99 points.
-women’s hockey begins their playoff run that morning with a 3-1 victory over the Swiss. If there are any fans out there that viewed this result as a complete disappointment, you would not be alone on that. I would have thought Canada would have piled on at least 13!
DAY 12 (Wednesday, Feb 18)
-Day 12 was highlighted my Mike Riddle who placed in second in the Men’s Ski Halfpipe Final. The 27-year-old native of Edmonton claimed silver over Kevin Rolland of France. Riddle scored 90.60. Rolland finished with 88.60.
-rare day off for Team Canada men and women.
-In ladies’ short track speedskating, Canada placed in second in the ladies’ 3000m relay finals, beating the Italians by nearly four seconds!
-the Netherlands, who wound up finishing atop of Canada in the final medal standings by the Closing Ceremonies, actually cleaned up completely in the men’s 10000m speedskating event!
Day 13 (Thursday, Feb. 19):
-a couple of really good things happened to Canadians on Day 13:
-Team Canada women’s team put on quite the display, just when everyone here at home thought they would have to settle for the silver medal, Brianne Jenner came out of nowhere and roofed the puck over USA goaltender Jessie Vetter to make the score 2-1 USA with less than four minutes remaining. Then Marie-Philip Poulin put herself on the map (if she wasn’t on it already), and made herself a national hockey hero when she pulled a Jordan Eberle by scoring to tie up the biggest game with under a minute to go on a beautiful goal, then scored the winner in overtime to win it 3-2 and send the country into craziness.
-the bobsledding team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won the women’s Heat 4. Even sweeter was that they beat up the two American teams too, not by much but they still beat ‘em!
-in the semi final of women’s curling, Canada continued its unreal streak, beating the Great Brits, 6-4.
-the men’s team also got semifinal action underway and they took care of business against the Chinesse. Canada won 10-6.
Day 14 (Friday, Feb 20):
-I think that Day 14 was the only day when we had a real scare in an on-ice sport (hockey, curling, speedskating) in the Olympics:
-This was the first time in a million years that we all left work early in the day so we could get our asses home to watch one of the biggest hockey/sports events that only comes around once every four years, if you are a hockey fan…Canada vs the USA in men’s hockey. Only one goal was scored, it was by Canada’s Jamie Benn. Canada won 1-0. A late attempt by the USA nearly tied the game
-Sharing the spotlight with the hockey ladies was the curling guys, playing Great Britain for the gold medal and the only difference was the girls’ game was exciting, both teams played hard and well, the same cannot be said about the curling lol. Brad Jacobs did his thing and he did it early, he never trailed at any point during the match, and won by a final score of 9-3. Apparently the Brits threw in the towel early.
Canada had a 2-1 lead going into the third end and simply took charge of the match by scoring three points in the fourth. The Canadians continued to add to their lead and were never seriously challenged by the disappointing British team.
Canadian skip Brad Jacobs had a sensational game, while British skip David Murdoch struggled.
-and the ladies’ curling team gave it to Sweden in the gold medal game. Canada wins 6-3. On-ice perfection!
It gets even better (how is that even possible, you may ask?
-one of the tightest hockey games of the entire time in Sochi saw the Canadian girls play the American girls in a match we all knew was coming, the Gold medal game. Two goals by French cutie Marie-Philip Poulin and Canada takes ANOTHER Gold medal and their second Gold on the same day.
Day 15 (Saturday, Feb 21):
-Team USA men’s hockey team blown apart in the bronze medal game against a Finland team that got its shit together in good timing. After falling to Sweden in the semis by one goal, they blew away USA, by scoring five goals. American goaltender Jonathan Quick was not himself in this game but then again neither were any of his teammates, so much so that he ripped them all after the game!
FINAL DAY Day 16 (Sunday, Feb. 22):
-Men’s Team Canada hockey gives us really good reason to get up real early on a Sunday morning…to watch a gold-medal hockey game, and the bonus, they won it! 3-0 over a defenseless, helpless and goal-less Team Sweden. Jonathan Toews scored first, in the first period off a sweet pass from Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby did end up saving his best for last, beating Henrik Lundqvist on a breakaway, and the final nail was Chris Kunitz scoring off a snap shot that in all truthfulness, Lundqvist should have had.
THE ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT I HAD PERSONALLY WAS THAT CANADA DID NOT GET TO PLAY RUSSIA IN THE TOURNAMENT, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME
The whole Olympic thing still makes me want to head over to Russia one day
It was also very nice to see that there were no tragedies associated with the game in terms of terrorist activity.
It was also really cool to work a 9-5pm type job during 5 of the biggest Olympic events for Canadians (women’s hockey finals, men’s and women’s curling finals, and the Canada vs Latvia game, as well as getting done early the day of the Canada vs USA in men’s hockey!)
The Sochi Olympics are the first Winter Olympics to feature its web site in its logo (see pic at the top).
FINAL MEDAL STANDINGS:
DO TOP 3-5 medal count
Russia 13-11-9 33
Norway 11-6-10 26
Canada 10-10-5 25
United States 9-7-12 28
Netherlands 8-7-9 24
Germany 8-6-5 19
Switzerland 6-3-2 11
Team Czech Republic will have two of the oldest hockey players on their roster when the 214 Sochi Olympic Games kick off next week in Russia.
Fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, and now, the New Jersey Devils, will continue to have reason to hope the Czechs have some success in Sochi.
Jaromir Jagr didn’t score many (or any) points during the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup run last spring, but he did stick it out the entire playoff and stayed healthy enough to play and did not get hurt.
“He’s a machine,” says Philadelphia winger Jakub Voracek, who will be joining Jagr in Sochi. “He is 41-years-old , he’s going to be 42 in February. He’s got a point per game.”
Jagr has had a solid season thus far with New Jersey, scoring 13 goals and 21 assists through 43 games.
And even at age 41, Jagr is not the oldest player on the Czech Republic roster. That distinction will be held by former Vancouver Canuck, Petr Nedved.
Nedved actually helped Team Canada to asilver medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, he had been a surprise selection to the team. He is currently 42 years old and plays for the provincial team White Tigers Liberec in the Czech League.
There will be a handful of other players who are usually up and down at the best of times with their NHL teams.
Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadians will be the captain, while Jagr’s teammate Patrik Elias, and David Krejci of the Boston Bruins are other top Czech forwards.
Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec also nained down a roster spot.
DIDN’T MAKE IT
Calgary veteran Jiri Hudler, who has 33 points this year with the Flames, was left off the roster. Phoenix left-wing Radim Vrbata is another surprising omission.
The Czechs open the tournament Feb. 12 against Sweden and also face Latvia and Switzerland in Group C.
The official 25-man roster is as follows:
Goaltenders: Jakub Kovar, Ondrej Pavelec, Alexander Salak.
Defencemen: Michal Barinka, Radko Gudas, Tomas Kaberle,Lukas Krajicek, Zbynek Michalek, Michal Rozsival, Ladislav Smid,Marek Zidlicky.
Forwards: Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Michael Frolik,Martin Hanzal, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci,Milan Michalek, Petr Nedved, Jiri Novotny, Ondrej Palat,Tomas Plekanec, Vladimir Sobotka, Jakub Voracek.
2010 finish: lost 2-0 to Finland in the quarter finals.
2014 predictions: second place in Group C.
Opening Day Opponent: The Czechs will open up against Latvia, on Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, and if you live in North America and want to watch this game, you will find a way to be awake at 3am!