What to watch from Pyeongchang on Day 9 of the Olympics
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — It’s Sunday and the perfect day to curl up on the couch and watch, well, more curling! And if that isn’t your speed, there is a lot more going on in Pyeongchang. Here are some highlights to look out for (all times Eastern):
After yesterday’s epic quadruple jumps, the ice skating turns to the more artistic ice dancing with the short dance at 8 p.m. Keep a close eye on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. The couple has been dancing together for two decades. But we really shouldn’t call them a couple. The pair has sworn that the intimacy, chemistry and intense gazes stop short of love. Or at least short of romantic love. A strong performance from the duo helped Canada win gold in the team competition. Who might be able to stop them on the ice? Be on the lookout for Garbriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States.
On Saturday, we saw the women’s mass start biathlon. Now it is the men’s turn for their 15-kilometer race. All the racers start at the same time and race to four shooting positions: two standing and two prone. Athletes take five shots at each position and must do a 150-meter penalty lap each time they miss. Watch for a rematch between rivals Martin Fourcade of France and Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway. Fourcade is the favorite to win gold, but during Thursday’s 20-kilometer individual race, he missed his final two targets, giving the gold to Boe. Now they will meet up again. Trailing the two men is likely to be Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway. The mass start kicks off at 6:15 a.m.
Can’t get enough curling? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of action on the ice again Sunday. Just after midnight, the women’s 7th round-robin session begins. Great Britain will compete against Sweden, Canada against Switzerland and China against Korea. The curling action continues at 6:05 a.m. when the men enter their 8th round-robin session. The matches are Sweden and Japan, Denmark and Korea, Italy and Great Britain, and the U.S. and Norway. Still not enough? At 7:05 p.m., the women are back at it for their next round-robin session. The matches will be U.S. and Denmark, Japan and Canada, Sweden and Korea, and the Russians and Switzerland.
Want something a bit loftier? Well, look to the sky for the fast-paced men’s aerials at 6:00 a.m. The skiers go flying off jumps and perform a series of twists and flips before landing on a steep hill. A team of judges will look at the takeoff, the form of the jump and tricks, and finally the landing. A degree of difficulty is factored in, awarding more points to athletes who try harder tricks. Keep an eye on American freestyle skier Mac Bohonnon. He has been working on the “Hurricane” — the same trick the late Jeret “Speedy” Peterson landed eight years ago to win his silver medal in aerials. To this day, Peterson is the only person to put down the jump in a competition.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
The men’s 4x10-kilometer relay starts at 1:15 a.m. Each athlete runs 10 kilometers, with the total distance being 40 kilometers. For those who need a little help with the metric conversion: 10 kilometers is about 6.2 miles. The course is divided into three equal segments of uphill, level and downhill fields. Watch how the first two skiers use the classic skating technique and the second two use the freestyle technique, which looks more like skating. Not surprisingly, Norway, Finland and Sweden are favorites.