What to watch in Olympic sports this weekend
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Olympic Sports Viewing Guide: Canada’s Speed ââSkaters Coming to Calgary
One of the major events in the preparation for the Beijing Winter Olympics is expected to take place right now. Sadly, the figure skating Grand Prix final in Japan has been called off after the host nation closed its doors to foreign travelers in response to the omicron variant. Still, there are plenty of interesting competitions taking place this weekend in the world of Olympic and Paralympic winter sports. Here’s what most deserves your attention:
Canada’s booming speed skaters return home.
According to the latest Olympic predictions from data company Nielsen Gracenote, Canada is expected to win six medals in long track speed skating in Beijing. That would be a big jump from the two he won at each of the last two Winter Games, and close to the 2006 national record of eight. It’s also nearly a quarter of the 26 medals Canada is expected to win at. Beijing.
Based on the results so far this season, there is little reason to doubt this prediction. In the first three World Cup stops – two in Europe and then last week in Salt Lake City – the Canadians topped the season standings in three events.
The fourth competition opened today in Calgary, and Laurent Dubreuil strengthened his lead in the men’s 500 meters by winning a Canadian record. He is now on the podium in his seven 500m races so far this season, and will try to make 8v8 on Sunday.
Ivanie Blondin leads the women’s mass start after winning gold last week, and Canada is number one in the women’s team pursuit. Isabelle Weidemann and Ted-Jan Bloemen also reached multiple individual podiums. Bloemen was the only Canadian long track medalist at the 2018 Olympics, winning gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5,000.
Expect the medals to keep coming as the Canadiens have the home advantage in Calgary. This is the last World Cup competition before the Olympics, although Calgary will also host the Four Continents Championships next week. If you’re reading this in time, CBC Sports is streaming races live until 6 p.m. ET here. Saturday and Sunday races are from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Mikael Kingsbury wants more gold.
Death, taxes and this guy who wins gold at moguls. Kingsbury opened the season last week in Finland with (yawn) his 66th World Cup victory. The nearly unbeatable Olympic and world champion continues his quest for a 10th consecutive title of the World Cup season on Saturday in Sweden. Watch the men’s and women’s mogul events live from 7 a.m. ET.
Kingsbury is also set to take part in the first side mogul competition of the season. The non-Olympic event takes place Sunday at 7 a.m. ET.
Also watch out for other Canadian freestyle skiers.
Kingsbury is not the only one who can win gold in Beijing. According to Gracenote projections, Canada will win a total of six medals in various freestyle skiing disciplines in Beijing. Besides Kingsbury taking gold in the men’s moguls, predictions are that Rachael Karker and Cassie Sharpe will take silver and bronze in the women’s halfpipe, Simon d’Artois to take bronze in the men’s halfpipe, Edouard Therriault will take silver in men’s big air, Reece Howden will win silver in men’s ski cross and Marielle Thompson will win bronze in women’s ski cross.
Gracenote’s role model doesn’t put Brady Leman on the podium in ski cross, but also sees him as a contender: he’s the reigning Olympic champion and he won silver in the season opener last month. on the course of the Beijing Olympics. Another blind spot for the model could be 2018 Olympic silver medalist Brittany Phelan, who has returned from a knee injury and placed fifth on the Beijing course.
Howden is the reigning Men’s Ski Cross World Cup champion, while Thompson and Sharpe both hold Olympic gold medals. Thompson won the women’s ski cross title in 2014 before sustaining a serious knee injury in training just months before the 2018 Games. She miraculously reached Pyeongchang but couldn’t make it through the first round. Sharpe is on a similar arc. She won Olympic gold in halfpipe skiing in 2018 before exploding her knee at the Winter X Games last January.
Sharpe, Karkner and d’Artois all qualified for today’s final when the halfpipe season opens in Colorado. It was still in progress at the time of our publication.
Today’s men’s and women’s ski cross events in France were wiped out by bad weather. They will try again on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by another series of races on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. ET.
Canadian bobsledders are looking to keep the medals.
Driver Christine De Bruin and brakeman Kristen Bujnowski have won bronze in all three two-man World Cup races this season, and they also placed third in the Olympic test in Beijing. They are, you guessed it, third in the standings heading into this weekend’s meeting in Winterberg, Germany. De Bruin is also ranked fifth in the women’s monobob, a new take on the sport that will make its Olympic debut in Beijing. One place ahead of her is Cynthia Appiah, who reached her first podium as a driver last weekend placing second.
On the men’s side, reigning Olympic two-man bobsleigh champion Justin Kripps is fourth in the event after once on the podium in the first three races. He is also Canada’s top four-man bobsleigh, placing fifth.
Another Canadian rider is having a strong season, but not for Canada. Kaillie Humphries, who won two Olympic gold medals, two world championships and three World Cup season titles in the two-man event before a bitter start for the Canadian team, has recovered as the best Olympic candidate for the United States. Last week, the new American citizen won gold in the two-man and women’s monobob events.
Another note on boardsports: Mirela Rahneva won Canada’s first skeleton medal of the season today, taking bronze.
The action in Winterberg continues on Saturday with the four-man bobsleigh (4 a.m. ET) and women’s monobob (8:30 a.m. ET). Sunday is the two-man bob (3 a.m. ET) and another four-man bob (7:30 a.m. ET).
Canada’s Para-Nordic skiers will try to finish strong.
So far, they have won 13 medals in various cross-country skiing and biathlon events at the Para Nordic Skiing World Cup in Canmore, Alta., Which runs through Sunday. It’s just behind Russia’s 41.
Natalie Wilkie leads with four medals. The 20-year-old won a pair of gold and a silver in cross country races before moving on to biathlon and winning another silver medal. The final biathlon events are held Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon ET on both days.
How to watch:
All of the upcoming events mentioned above can be streamed live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. Also on Saturday On the way to the Olympic Games The show includes downhill skiing, moguls, bobsleigh / skeleton, and speed skating. Watch it from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on the CBC TV network and these streaming platforms. Check out the full CBC Sports broadcast and streaming schedule here.
Gary Bettman is “concerned” that NHL players are heading to the Beijing Olympics. Under their agreement with the organizers of the men’s hockey tournament, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association can replenish their commitment to participate if COVID-19 conditions make travel to Beijing “impractical or unsafe.” They have until January 10 to opt out without incurring a financial penalty. At the annual NHL Board of Governors meeting today, Bettman reassured that the league intended to honor its promise to the players (they were the ones who pushed to go to the Olympics) and said that the final decision would be up to them. But the commissioner also agreed that in addition to the pandemic, heightened political tensions between China and the West are making travel more difficult. This week, Canada and the United States were among the countries that announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games. The recent disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai after accusing a former Chinese government official of sexual assault has also contributed to deteriorating relations between China and other countries. âI am worried,â Bettman said. “And probably more.” Learn more about his comments on the Olympics here.
It’s Gray Cup weekend. Yesterday’s newsletter featured an introduction to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Coles Notes: Defending Champion The Bombers are the better team, but the Ticats are the sentimental favorite because they can break the longest CFL championship drought (22). If you missed it, you can read it all here. The game kicks off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET in Hamilton.
The F1 season is drawing to a dramatic end. the Drive to survive the producers could not have written it better. For the first time in five years, the Formula 1 drivers’ championship is still on the line in the last race of the season. And there’s more than that at stake. Mercedes superstar Lewis Hamilton is aiming for his fifth consecutive title and eighth of his career, which would put him ahead of Michael Schumacher for the record. Hamilton is tied on points with Max Verstappen, the young upstart from Red Bull who is aiming for his first title. They will fix the issue at 8 a.m. ET in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
You are aware. Have a nice week end.