Beijing Olympics Day 5: Canada’s Meryeta O’Dine wins bronze in snowboard cross; Medals in team figure skating delayed by legal issue;

The latest Olympics news from Beijing and around the world on Wednesday. Web links to longer stories if available:

2:55 a.m.: Meryeta O’Dine has won bronze in the women’s snowboard cross for Canada.

The 24-year-old from Prince George, BC, was at the 2018 Winter Olympics but didn’t get to compete because she suffered a concussion in training and recently lost her brother to cancer.

2:40 a.m.: Canadian Meryeta O’Dine has made it into the final of the women’s snowboard cross. She was one of four Canadians to advance to the quarter-finals.

1:58 a.m.: After falling on his first attempt Wednesday, Shaun White hammered down a pressure-packed halfpipe qualifying run to make it through to the medal round of his fifth and final Olympics.

The three-time gold medalist fell on his signature trick on his first run — the Double McTwist 1260 — and was looked at in 19th place. Each rider gets two tries and only their best score counts. The top 12 advance to Friday’s final. White ended up in fourth place.

After a 50-minute wait following his fall, White returned to the top of the pipe and nailed the same run he’d tried before.

12:55 a.m.: An ongoing legal issue that could affect the medalists in the team figure skating competition at the Beijing Olympics has caused the award ceremony to be delayed, the IOC said Wednesday.

The ceremony to award the Russian team the gold medals, the United States silver and Japan bronze was pulled from its scheduled slot late Tuesday.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said the reason was a “legal consultation” required with the governing body of skating. Details of the case were not specified.

“We have athletes that have won medals involved,” Adams said at the daily news briefing.

If any athlete and team were disqualified, an appeal would likely follow to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Canada placed fourth and would be in line to be upgraded.

12:05 a.m. (updated): Oakville’s Evan McEachran opened with the best jump in the men’s ski big air final and, after two runs, only one skier, Norway’s elastic Birk Ruud, had put a better score on the board. Going into the final round, McEachran had a 93 and a crash. The 24-year-old Canadian had a real chance at a medal, writes Star columnist Bruce Arthur.

It was all in front of him, but his triple cork saw him skid out sideways, and off the podium. McEachran went for it. He missed, and ended up ninth.

Full column from Bruce Arthur here: Canada’s Evan McEachran gets a Ruud awakening after leading freeski big air final

11:37 p.m.: After Mikaela Shiffrin, the star American skier, fell in the women’s slalom Wednesday, experiencing one of the most heartbreaking moments of her career, the NBC broadcast lingered on her as she sat hunched on the side of the slope, head down in her folded arms . The announcers called it a major disappointment.

To some fans, it felt like an uncomfortable or even exploitative intrusion in a dark moment.

10:57 p.m.: Defending Olympic champion snowboarder Chloe Kim (USA) cruised through the halfpipe on her first run, scoring 87.75, taking the top spot in women’s qualifying Wednesday at Genting Snow Park. Mitsuki Ono of Japan was second, and Cai Xuetong of China was third.

Elizabeth Hosking, from Longueuil, Quebec, and Calgary’s Brooke D’Hondt qualified ninth and 10th, respectively, and will advance to Thursday’s final.

10:30 pm: Lena Dürr is leading the women’s slalom at the Beijing Games after two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin saw another race end early.

Dürr led from the start as she was first down the course know as the Ice River. The German skier posted a time of 52.17 seconds, 0.03 quicker than Michelle Gisin of Switzerland.

10:25 p.m.: Wednesday will be a busy day on the short track for Team Canada. Not only will medals be handed out in the men’s 1,500 meters, but heats in the women’s 1,000 and the semifinals in the women’s 3,000-meter relay.

Fresh off a bronze medal performance in the 500-meter sprint, Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., will be competing in both preliminary events.

Charles Hamelin is competing in his fifth and final Olympic Games, and could become just the fifth Canadian to capture six medals. He’ll take part in the men’s 1,500-meter short-track speedskating race at 6 am ET.

10:20 p.m.: After disappointment in the mixed doubles event, Canada will get another shot at curling glory when skip Brad Gushue and his rink begins its tournament against Denmark at 7:00 am ET. Gushue previously guided Canada to a gold medal at the 2006 Games in Turin.

9:49 p.m.: Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin’s second race at the Beijing Games ended even more quickly than her first.

The 26-year-old American skidded out of control about five seconds into the opening run of the slalom Wednesday and is out of the event.

8:41 p.m.: Canada’s Evan McEachran, from Oakville, Ont., will be one of 12 athletes competing for gold in the men’s freeski big air finals at 10 pm ET.

8:30 pm: The women’s snowboarding halfpipe qualifying event starts at 8:30 pm, and will feature Canadians Elizabeth Hosking and the debut of Brooke D’Hondt — the youngest Canadian in Beijing at 16 years old.

Canadian Liam Gill is competing in the men’s halfpipe qualifying event at 11:30 pm ET. He’s going up against three-time halfpipe gold medalist Shaun White of the United States.

8:19 p.m.: Eric Staal, an unsigned free agent, had little chance of making Canada’s 2022 team. But his fortunes changed when the NHL dropped out of the Olympics in December amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Now, Staal will be one of the key players as Team Canada tries to improve on its 2018 bronze medal and win gold for the third time in the last four Olympics. Staal is joined by Jason Demers, Daniel Winnik, David Desharnais and Josh Ho-Sang on Team Canada — all of whom also have NHL experience.

Read more from USA Today: Here’s a look at some other recognizable former NHL players in Beijing.

8:15 p.m.: The triple cork in the halfpipe is here — and it’s very likely to play a role in the Olympic snowboarding finals.

The trick requires three off-axis flips with varying degrees of rotation. Japan’s Ayumu Hirano became the first one to land one in competition in December, and he did one at the X Games with 1440 degrees of rotation.

Read more from USA Today: Here’s why we’re likely to see triple corks in tonight’s Olympic halfpipe

2:49 p.m.: Snowboarders Patrizia Kummer (Switzerland) and Zan Kosir (Slovenia) had something in common Tuesday in the Olympic parallel giant slalom race — an early exit.

Both were out in the first heat Tuesday at Genting Snow Park. Just like that went Kummer, the 2014 Olympic champion, and Kosir, whose three Olympic snowboarding medals are the record — along with Shaun White, Kelly Clark, Jamie Anderson, Mark McMorris and Tuesday’s winner, Benjamin Karl, and bronze medalist Vic Wild.

1:37 p.m.: US skier Nina O’Brien has a compound fracture of her left tibia and fibula and will be taken back to the United States for further treatment.

O’Brien had initial surgery at a hospital in Yanqing, China, near the Alpine ski venue, after a heavy crash Monday afternoon in the second run of the giant slalom.

1:35 p.m.: Referee Cianna Liefffers was left bleeding with a slash across her face during Canada’s 4-2 preliminary round game win over the US women’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Monday.

Lieffers was accidentally hit across the face by US forward Amanda Kessel’s wayward high stick as seen in this video. Lieffers is seen bleeding above her lip and given ice but returned to the game in the next period.

1:35 p.m.: Skier Jessie Diggins made history at the Winter Olympics in Beijing by becoming the first American woman to win an individual medal in cross-country skiing.

On Tuesday night, the 30-year-old skier won a bronze medal in the women’s free sprint out of the 91 competitors who started the race. Sweden’s Maja Dahlqvist won the silver medal and Jonna Sundling took gold.

1:30pm: Alex Clarke grew up playing hockey in Weyburn, Sask., and has been refereeing since she was 12 years old. Last year, she became the first female linesperson in the Western Hockey League and now she’s working her first Olympics as an on-ice official in the women’s hockey tournament.

Like the players, she had to compete for her spot on the ice and she’s got big goals for the tournament, they’re just a little different.

Read the full interview with the Star’s Kerry Gillespie here: Beijing behind the scenes: On women’s hockey’s biggest stage, it’s not just the players under pressure

12:44 p.m.: For many Winter Olympic Games, fans purchased the Bay’s Team Canada red mittens as a way to support the athletes and flash their national pride. In partnership with the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Team Canada benefited from the purchase of the mitts, which cost just $15.

But in 2021, Team Canada revealed a new partnership with Vancouver-based athletic gear company, Lululemon. The price tag on the mitts? $68.

Read more from the Star’s Muela Vega: From $15 to $68. Team Canada’s mittens were an Olympic icon. Now, they’re too expensive, some say

12:38 p.m.: One day after Leslie Jones suggested that NBC was pressing her to give up her colorful Olympics commentary, the network said Monday night that the situation “has been resolved.”

Jones, the former “Saturday Night Live” star who has become an unofficial Olympics armchair expert, has tweeted her way through the past three Olympics, much to the adoration of die-hard sports fans and novices alike. But on Monday she said that some of her videos of her had been blocked and that she was considering giving up on the Olympics altogether.

12:03 p.m.: Ann-Renée Desbiens was of two minds about her workload in Canada’s 4-2 win over the United States in Olympic women’s hockey Tuesday.

The Canadian goalie’s 51 saves were more than the combined shots she faced in her first two starts in Beijing. Outshot 53-27, Canada however held off the defending champions to finish the preliminary round atop Pool A at 4-0.

11:46 a.m.: Curlers Amos Mosaner and Stefania Constantini won the mixed doubles gold medal match on Tuesday, capping a nearly perfect week with an 8-5 victory over Norway.

It was the first-ever Olympic curling medal for Italy, which broke through the round-robin with a perfect record and advanced to the final by beating Sweden 8-1.

10:39 a.m.: Natalie Geisenberger of Germany became the first to win the Olympic women’s luge competition three times to cement her place in history as the sport’s best.

Her four-run time at the Yanqing Sliding Center was 3 minutes, 53.454 seconds — 0.493 seconds ahead of silver medalist Anna Berreiter of Germany and 1.053 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Tatiana Ivanova of the Russian team.

Previously: Canada beats USA 4-2 in women’s hockey preliminary round; American skater Nathan Chen breaks world record in men’s singles figure skating; China’s Eileen Gu wins gold in the first women’s big air freestyle ski competition and breaks the internet.

For a full write-up of what you missed yesterday at the Beijing Olympics, click here.

For full coverage of the Beijing Olympics, click here.


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