Making its Olympic bow, the men’s ski slopestyle is sure to serve up plenty of thrills and spills at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Next on the day’s menu is cross-country skiing and the women’s 10km classic, followed by a double bill of women’s speed skating with the short track 500m taking place at the Iceberg Skating Palace and the 1,000m event at the Adler Arena. Next it’s biathlon and the men’s 20km individual at the Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Centre, with the all-new mixed luge team relay bringing the day to an exciting close at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Flashback to Vancouver 2010:
Kalla ends a Swedish cross-country drought, as Norway’s Svendsen opens his biathlon account.
Cross-country skiing, women’s 10km classic: Posting a rapid time of 24:58.4 in the 10km free, Charlotte Kalla won Sweden’s first cross-country gold since Grenoble 1968, beating Estonia’s defending Olympic champion Kristina Smigun-Vähi by a full six seconds. Norway’s Marit Björgen came in third to add another medal to her Vancouver 2010 tally. Björgen and Kalla will again lock horns in Sochi in the race for gold.
Biathlon, men’s 20km individual: The IBU World Cup frontrunner going into the Games, Emil Hegle Svendsen maintained his superb form to win his maiden Olympic title with a dominant display. The Norwegian crossed the finish line 9.5 seconds clear of compatriot Ole Einar Björndalen (a medal winner for the third time running at this distance) and Belarusian Sergey Novikov, who were both credited with the same time and awarded silver medals. Back in action at Sochi 2014, Svendsen is strongly fancied to add at least one more medal to his tally.
Short track speed skating, women’s 500m: Showing herself to be a cut above the rest of the field, China’s Wang Meng led from start to finish to retain the title she won at Turin 2006. With the cheers of the Pacific Coliseum crowd ringing in her ears, home skater Marianne Saint-Gelais beat Italy’s Arianna Fontana into second place. With Wang Meng absent from Sochi, Saint-Gelais and Fontana will again be among the favourites to make the podium.
Speed skating, women’s 1,000m: The reigning world champion at the distance, Canada’s Christine Nesbitt lived up to all expectations by landing the one and only gold medal the host nation would win at the Richmond Olympic Oval. It was a close-run thing, however, with Nesbitt taking the line by a mere 0.02 seconds from the Netherlands’ Annette Gerritsen, with another Dutch skater, Laurine Van Riessen, a further 0.14 seconds back. Nesbitt is defending her title at Sochi 2014.
Freestyle skiing, men’s slopestyle/Luge, mixed team relay: These two events are both making their Olympic debuts at Sochi 2014.