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.
The third day is a charm, huh? Canada won four medals on day three of full competition in Beijing, including its first gold of the Games and a historic bronze.
Snowboarder Max Parrot kicked things off by winning gold in the men’s slopestyle. The 2018 silver medalist once again edged Canadian teammate Mark McMorris, who won his third straight bronze medal in the event. Parrot also beat cancer, coming back from a bout with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that caused him to miss the entire season after his first Olympic medal. “Three years ago I was lying in a hospital bed with no energy, no muscles, no cardio,” Parrot said. “Today I am an Olympic gold medalist and I did the greatest race of my life.”
This morning, short track speed skater Kim Boutin achieved her fourth Olympic podium by repeating as the bronze medalist in the women’s 500 metres. And then a shock: Canada won its first-ever Olympic medal in ski jumping by capturing bronze in the new mixed team event. Alexandria Loutitt, Matthew Soukup, Abigail Strate and Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes are the first Canadian ski jumpers to finish better than seventh at the Olympic Games.
All of this good news helped dissipate the bitterness of last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Team. Needing a victory over unbeaten Italy in the round robin final to qualify for the playoffs, John Morris and Rachel Homan missed literally by a millimeter – the difference between the rock closest to Italy and Canada over the pinhole after Homan came in just a little heavy with the final pitch.
For today’s guide, we predict a good medal chance for Canada in freestyle skiing, and maybe a surprise or two in alpine skiing and speed skating. But first, let’s prepare for the renewal of perhaps the greatest rivalry in all of sport.
Here’s what to watch Monday night and Tuesday morning:
Women’s hockey warms up
After beating Switzerland and Finland by a combined score of 23-2 to open the tournament, Canada was finally challenged last night — in more ways than one.
The match was delayed for over an hour as COVID-19 test results for the Russian team, which placed six of its members in solitary confinement last week after testing positive, were not available in time. . Eventually, the teams agreed to play with masks. The test results finally came in the second intermission, but Canada’s players continued to wear their masks. The Russians did not. Canada beat them easily, 6-1.
The first real tournament challenge for the Canadians comes tonight as they face the United States at 11 p.m. ET. It is perhaps the best rivalry in all sports. It’s both extremely heated and almost absurdly even. Their last two meetings in the Olympic gold medal game and their last three in the world championship final have all been decided in overtime or a shootout.
The stakes for tonight’s game are much lower. The winner will get the top seed for the playoff round, but Canada and the United States will almost certainly meet again in the gold medal game for the fourth straight time. This is when everyone will really go all out.
WATCH | Canada rout ROC to continue Olympic dominance in pursuit of gold:
Canadian Medal Chances Monday Night/Tuesday Morning
As we saw with today’s ski jumping bronze, anything can happen. But here are the podium opportunities we can anticipate, in chronological order:
Freestyle Skiing: Women’s Big Air Final at 9 p.m. ET
Megan Oldham, 20, gave Beijing a boost by winning big air silver and slopestyle bronze at the X Games last month. She continued to ride last night in qualifying, posting the top score as women’s big air skiing made its Olympic debut. Oldham have a good chance of achieving their second major podium, following their bronze medal in slopestyle at the world championships last year.
The other Canadian in the final is 17-year-old Olivia Asselin, who finished 11th in qualifying. She took bronze (just behind Oldham) in big air at the X Games. Unfortunately, former World Cup big air champion Elena Gaskell, who sits third in the standings this season, is missing the Olympics after blowing her knee in training.
Oldham and Asselin will face France’s Tess Ledeaux and China’s Eileen Gu, the 18-year-old American born and raised star who is trying to win three gold medals in Beijing. Gu is the reigning women’s world champion in halfpipe and slopestyle, and she also took bronze in big air at last year’s world championships.
Alpine Skiing: Men’s Super-G at 10 p.m. ET
Jack Crawford came thisclose to earn Canada’s first Olympic downhill medal in 28 years last night when he finished fourth — just 0.07 seconds off the podium — in the men’s event. The 24-year-old has never won a medal in a top international race but his result in the downhill – a discipline similar to super-G – means he has to be taken seriously tonight. Additionally, Crawford ranks ninth in the World Cup men’s super-G standings and he placed fifth last month on the famous Lauberhorn mountain in Wengen, Switzerland.
Other Canadians competing tonight are Brodie Seger, who is 29th in the World Cup super-G standings but was fourth in last year’s race at the world championships in Italy; Broderick Thompson, who is 20th in the super-G standings after winning a World Cup bronze medal in December in the United States; and Trevor Philp, who is more of a giant slalom and slalom guy.
Speed skating: Connor Howe in the men’s 1,500m at 5:30 a.m. ET
The 21-year-old ranks third in the World Cup standings at this distance. However, some of the top skaters skipped the last event, so the betting odds probably give us a better picture of Howe’s medal chances. He’s tied for the No. 6 favorite there, with a big gap separating him from the top four.
WATCH | Oldham qualifies with the top run of the women’s big air freeski event:
A few other interesting things you should know
Nathan Chen takes center stage tonight. All eyes will be on the American figure skating star when the men’s event kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET. With his unparalleled jumping ability, the 22-year-old has dominated his opponents throughout this Olympic cycle. Chen won the last three world titles, the last three Grand Prix Finals and won an incredible 14 consecutive competitions before the streak finally ended in the fall. There is, however, a big hole in his CV. Chen’s 2018 Olympic debut turned into a nightmare when he stumbled to a shocking 17th place finish in the short program before bouncing back with a brilliant free skate to finish fifth. Now he is a strong favorite to win gold in Beijing. But Chen must prove he can perform on the ultimate sports stage in order to wrest the title from back-to-back champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. Canadian men’s champion Keegan Messing will compete, along with Roman Sadovsky, after producing the necessary negative COVID-19 tests just in time to fly to Beijing. Without Messing, Canada placed fourth in the team event, thanks in large part to the strong performance of 18-year-old Madeline Schizas. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) won gold when 15-year-old Kamila Valieva became the first woman to land a quad bike at the Olympics.
The mixed doubles curling medals will be decided. If you can still bear to watch after Canada’s devastating loss, the gold medal game should be interesting. The surprising Italian duo of Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner, who were terrific last night against Canada, are looking to complete a perfect tournament against 2018 bronze medalists Norway at 7:05 a.m. ET. Defending world champion Great Britain takes on Sweden for bronze at 1:05 a.m. ET.
Ireen Wust comes out on top. The 35-year-old Dutch speed skating icon broke the Olympic record for the women’s 1,500 meters this morning and became the first athlete to win individual gold medals at five different Olympics. She now holds six Olympic gold medals and 12 medals, all but two in solo events. Despite her continued excellence, Wust insists she is sticking to her retirement plan after this season. “I really want to have kids. So at some point you have to give up,” said Wust, who will also compete in the 1,000m in Beijing. “I’m happy to be able to stop at my highest level.”
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.