Olympics: Falls Derail Men's Figure Skating and Bode Miller
by Sadie Gennis
After a disastrous short program competition Thursday’s Winter Olympics, which saw Evgeni Plushenko withdraw and retire shortly before he was scheduled to take the ice, the bad luck continued into Friday’s free program.
Frontrunner Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan fell twice during his program, seemingly leaving it open for Canada’s Patrick Chan to take gold. But when Chan took the ice next, the skater suffered several stumbles and never quite recovered.
In the end, Hanyu became Japan’s first gold medalist in figure skating with a combined score of 280.09. Chan followed with 275.62. In third place, Kazahkstan’s Denis Ten earned his country its first-ever medal in figure skating with his score of 255.10. USA’s Jason Brown, who skated last, had an opportunity to move up in the competition but too many stumbles landed the first-time Olmpian in ninth place.
In the women’s aerials skiing, Belarus’ Alla Tsuper won gold with a score of 98.01. China’s Xu Mengtao scored silver with 83.50. Australia’s Lydia Lassila, who fell on her jump, still managed to get bronze with 72.12.
Switerzland’s Dario Cologna got through the grueling cross-country 15-kilometer classical with a winning time of 38:29.7. Not even 30 seconds behind, Johan Olsson of Sweden earned bronze with his 38:58.2 finish. Sweden also took home bronze thanks to Daniel Rickardsson’s time of 39:08.5.
In a surprise upset, Switzerland’s Sandro Viletta captured gold in the men’s alpine with a time of 2:45.20. Before topping the Olympic podium Friday, Viletta had never managed a top-three finish in a World Cup or major championship. Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic got silver with a time of 2:45.54 followed by Kjetil Jansrud with 2:45.67.
Defending American champion Bode Miller wasn’t able to make up time for a mistake during his downhill run and ended in sixth with a time of 2:46.60.
In the women’s biathlon, Belarus dominated the podium. Darya Damrachova and Nadezhda Skardino won gold and bronze, respectively, with their times of 43:19.6 and 44:57.8. Taking home silver was Switzerland’s Selina Gasparin with a time of 44:35.3.
Great Britain’s Lizza Yarnold earned a gold medal in women’s skeleton with a 3:52.89 finish. USA scored silver with Noelle Pikus-Pace‘s 3:53.86 time. Elena Nikitina of Russia got bronze, with a finish time of 3:54.30.
What did you think of Day 7?