Canada added one medal on Friday at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, in an event that has long tortured them. Sorry, us.
Patrick Chan – from Toronto, Ontario – took silver in the men’s figure skating competition, scoring a 178.10 in his free skate program, just .54 off eventual gold medal winner, Yuzuru Hanyu from Japan.
Hanyu had put himself in the driver’s seat with his short program performance two days ago, when he posted 101.45, ahead of only Chan at 97.52.
Chan then stumbled a couple times in his final skate on Friday. No Canadian male has ever won gold in the Olympics’ figure skating competition.
“Of course not,” Chan said, when asked if that performance was what he had hoped for. “I wanted to skate better than that. It’s not the worst I’ve ever done. That’s a positive, is that I went into it, I don’t know if I could have handled the pressure and skating this way, even last year.
“I just made one too many errors but stayed on my feet… I’m disappointed, of course, this close to grasping the gold medal.”
Both Chan and Hanryu finished far, far ahead of the rest of the field. Chan’s total score of 275.62 was fewer than five points back of Hanyu’s 280.09 total, but was a full 20 points ahead of bronze medallist Denis Ten (from Kazakhstan).
Ten finished with 255.10.
Other medal favourite, Javier Fernandez of Spain, finished fourth with 253.92 points.
“All Canadians say, Sorry, but I’m sorry,” said Chan. “Even for myself. I’m disappointed for myself… At the end of the day, I can wear two medals around my neck from the Olympics.”
The closest Canadian behind Chan was Coquitlam, B.C.’s Kevin Reynolds, who finished 15th with 222.23 points. Reynolds fell twice during his short program – when he skated to AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Thunderstruck’ – and also fell out of contention, finishing that bit with a score of 68.76.
Gold Rush, The Sequel
Men’s hockey resumed on Friday, as Canada skated around all of Vienna and routed Austria 6-0.
Jeff Carter scored a hat trick, Roberto Luongo made 23 saves for the shutout, and Canada fired 46 shots Austria’s way.
Neither of Austria’s high-flying NHLers, Michael Grabner and Thomas Vanek, scored in the game. Grabner was coming off a hat-trick performance against Finland the day before, when Austria lost 8-4.
Finland beat Norway 6-1 on Friday. Canada beat Norway 3-1 in its first Olympic game, the day before.
Canada will now face Finland in the team’s final round robin game on Sunday. Both teams are 2-0 and Finland leads Canada in the Olympics’ goal differential tiebreaker, with a +9 total. Canada has a +8 goal differential through two games.
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis will draw into Canada’s game against Finland, although head coach Mike Babcock has not said which defenceman will come out. The eighth (and therefore sitting defenceman) will likely be either P.K. Subban or San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
No word yet on who will be Canada’s starting goaltender. Both Luongo and Carey Price had strong game, although Vancouver’s starter Luongo was the only one who didn’t surrender a goal.
Canadian third Mike Smith will likely not suit up at all in the Sochi Olympics.