This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily electronic newsletter. Stay up to date with what’s happening at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 by subscribing here.
It was a roller coaster day 8 for Canada. Things got off to a good start last night when Meryeta O’Dine rose from a fall in the mixed snowboard cross final to claim bronze for herself and teammate Eliot Grondin (the second medal of the Games for the of them). But then things went south. The Canadian men’s hockey team lost to the United States, and both curlers fell to Sweden to lead their combined losing streak to four games. The real punch, however, came this morning when speed skater Laurent Dubreuil missed the podium in the men’s 500 metres. It was the first time in nine races this season that Dubreuil did not win a medal.
In eight days of full competition, Canada won 13 medals – one gold, four silver, eight bronze. It’s tied for the third-highest total, but Canada only ranks 14th in the official rankings, where gold medals are the most weighted.
Canada has a few chances to add to its tally on Day 9 in short track speed skating. Today’s viewing guide will cover these and provide insight into an interesting new bobsled event. Additionally, the Canadian men’s hockey team is looking to secure an easier path to the playoffs, the Canadian curlers are trying to break their losing streak and the latest on the big beef of snowboarding.
Here’s what to watch on Saturday night and Sunday morning:
Canadian favorite to win new bobsled event – for USA
Bobsledding slips into the spotlight tonight with the first two runs of the women’s monobob at 8:30 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. This is a new Olympic event in which, as the name suggests, only one person occupies each sled instead of the usual two or four. It should also be the most exciting bobsleigh competition of the Games, as there are no clear favorites. In fact, probably half a dozen women could win gold.
The two races for Canada are both in contention. Cynthia Appiah has just finished third in the World Cup standings in her rookie season in monobob after reaching the podium four times (two silver, two bronze). Christine de Bruin was not as consistent but showed a higher ceiling, winning gold in two races en route to finishing fourth in the season pursuit.
Then there’s Kaillie Humphries. Canada’s most successful bobsledder of all time won back-to-back Olympic titles in 2010 and 2014 and bronze in 2018 for Canada. But she is now competing for the United States after a poor split with the Canadian program. Humphries won the world monobob title last year for the United States and placed second in the World Cup pursuit this season, behind her good friend and American teammate Elana Meyers Taylor.
Humphries, however, is the (very slight) favorite to win Olympic gold after Meyers Taylor tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in Beijing and was forced to self-isolate for a week. She was cleared in time to participate in the official practice races, but missed the informal sessions. That would be a concern even on a familiar track. This one is new and is considered technically difficult, which makes these trials very important.
It wouldn’t be a bobsleigh event without a German top contender, and Laura Nolte fits the bill here. She hasn’t won a race this season but, in German fashion, has been a model of consistency, achieving four podiums in seven races and never placing lower than fifth. Australia’s Breeana Walker (one gold, three silver and one bronze this season) is also threatening to win.
The final two runs of the monobob are on Sunday evening, and many of the women involved will also be competing in the two-man event, which begins on Friday. For more on Canada’s chances in these competitions and the two men’s events, click here.
WATCH | Cynthia Appiah’s Beijing 2022 dream after Pyeongchang disappointment:
Canadian medal chances tonight and tomorrow morning
There are several possibilities, both in the same sport:
Short Track Speed Skating: Women’s 3000m Relay Final at 6:44 a.m. ET
The Canadian team is one of only four to make the final, so there’s obviously a good chance of winning a medal here, despite being the fourth seed in the betting odds.
Canadian Kim Boutin is chasing her second medal of the Games and her fifth Olympic medal of her career. That would put her tied with fellow Canadian Charles Hamelin, and a distance away from long track skater Cindy Klassen’s all-time record for the most medals by a Canadian at the Winter Olympics. Boutin is only 27 years old.
Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 500m
Neither Steven Dubois nor Jordan Pierre-Gilles are favorites to reach the final, but Dubois surprised us with a silver medal in the 1,500m earlier this week. He is ranked seventh in the world in the 500m. Pierre-Gilles is 11th.
The Canadians will face off in the same leg in the quarter-finals, which begin at 6 a.m. ET. The top two in each heat and the third fastest two will advance to the semifinals at 6:27 a.m. ET. the the final is at 7:14 a.m. ET.
A few other interesting things you should know
The Canadian men’s hockey team can ease their way into the playoffs. Last night’s 4-2 loss to the United States raised all sorts of questions about faltering keeper Eddie Pasquale and gave the Americans an inside track to win the group. This is important because, while every team in the tournament advances to the knockout stage, only the winners of the three groups and the best second-placed team get a bye to the quarter-finals. The others must survive a playoff game. Canada (1-1) shouldn’t have much trouble beating China in their group stage final Sunday at 8:10 a.m. ET. The host team are only there because they were handed an automatic berth (although, to be fair, the Chinese suffered a respectable 3-2 loss to Germany after being knocked out 8-0 by the States -United). But, the Canadians will be pressured to increase the score to improve their goal differential, which could be the deciding factor for a place in the quarter-finals. The game could also be an opportunity to audition young Devon Levi in goal. Read the case for stepping up to collegiate stardom here.
Canada’s curling teams will be looking to snap their combined four-game losing streak. Brad Gushue’s men’s team lost their second in a row this morning, losing to Sweden’s reigning world champion rink managed by Nik Edin. The Swedes are alone at the top of the standings at 4-0. Canada (2-2) will try to bounce back tonight at 8:05 p.m. ET against the United States, Olympic champions in title (2-2). USA captain John Shuster won a surprising Olympic gold medal in 2018, but his rink is not considered a top contender this time around. Canada’s women’s team is in an even more difficult situation. Jennifer Jones and company are also on a two-game skid after losing to reigning Olympic champions Sweden last night. And now, Canada (1-2) must face consecutive world champions Switzerland (4-0) in 1:05 a.m. ET.
The maple beef was sorted. That’s what other countries called him when Mark McMorris complained that he, and not fellow Canadian Max Parrot, should have won gold in the men’s slopestyle event after the chief judge had admitted that a mistake by Parrot had been missed. McMorris tweeted a public apology today, and Parrot said McMorris also made amends face-to-face. “I told him no worries,” said the champion. They will face off again in the men’s big air, starting Monday. Learn more about the McMorris-Parrot controversy here.
How to watch live events
They are televised on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet. Or choose exactly what you want to watch live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and the CBC Sports Beijing 2022 website. Check out the full streaming schedule (with links to live events) here and learn more about how to watch the Games here.
If you are located outside of Canada, unfortunately you will not be able to access CBC Sports coverage of the Games on the app or website. This is due to the way the Olympics media rights deals work. But if you’re in the northern United States or other international areas, like Bermuda, which regularly have the CBC television network, you can watch the Games there.