Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 5:29 AM

PyeongChang Olympics: Day 3 – The Grit of Cross Country and the Crash of Slopestyle

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Bad weather forced the postponement of more Alpine events. On Day 1, I hailed the grit Cross Country skiers display as a matter of course. Sure enough, they competed despite the weather.

Women’s Biathlon 10km Pursuit

Again, you really have to watch one of these Cross-Country events to fully appreciate the athleticism and skill these Olympians display. And none has been more impressive than Laura Dahlmeier.

She made history by becoming the first woman to win both the 7.5km Sprint and 10km Pursuit in one Olympics. This feat was all the more impressive given that she won the latter just two days after the former.

  • Laura Dahlmeier of Germany won gold; Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, silver; and Anais Bescond of France, bronze.

Men’s Biathlon 12.5km Pursuit

Yes, I watched the men’s event too.

  • Martin Fourcade of France won gold; Sebastian Samuelson of Sweden, silver; Benedikt Doll of Germany, bronze.

Women’s Slopestyle

Americans are dominating Olympic Slopestyle the way they dominate Olympic Basketball. In fairness to the men, though, watching women ski Slopestyle is rather like watching women play Basketball. Have you ever seen any woman “play like Mike”?

Granted, unprecedented wind gusts caused the women to ski the course like first timers on bunny slopes.

Even so, it did little for the quality of Olympic competition that, while performing basic tricks, virtually every skier crash-landed on her butt.

[F] our out of every five Olympians crash-landed thanks to 31 kilometre per hour gusts of wind.

Nick Pope, a commentator for BBC Sport, said on Twitter that the Pyeongchang slopestyle was like ‘the world’s most beautiful graveyard.’

(Business Insider, February 12, 2018)

This is why it only took landing on her feet for Jamie Anderson to defend her title.

  • Jamie Anderson of the United States won gold; Laurie Blouin of Canada, silver; and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, bronze.

Women’s Speedskating 1500

Perhaps the only noteworthy thing about this event is that it ended the prospect of the skating Dutchmen sweeping all major events.

But what I found most interesting was watching Marrit Leenstra, who finished just off the podium in fourth in Sochi, supplant teammate Lotte Van Beek, who finished third.

  • Irene Wust of the Netherlands won gold; Miho Takagi of Japan, silver; and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands, bronze.

MEDAL COUNT: Norway 9, Germany 7, Netherlands 7

NOTE: Figure Skating awarded its first medals yesterday in the Team Event. But I have no interest in watching any of the events in this sport. Which I suppose is rather like watching the Summer Olympics but tuning out Track and Field or Swimming events. I did say from the outset that I would be discriminating.

Related commentaries:
Day 1-2

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