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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:00 PM
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Anyone know if we have any contenders in speed skating?
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 9:26 PM
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Canadian coach Sarah Murray has 'mixed feelings' about unified Korean hockey team
Olympic roster for Pyeongchang likely to include players from North Korea
Ryan McKenna The Canadian Press · January 17/18

The Canadian coach of the South Korean women's hockey team says she has "mixed feelings" about including players from North Korea on her roster.

Sarah Murray, a dual Canadian-American citizen and the daughter of former NHL coach Andy Murray, is concerned about the timing of the decision to ice a unified team.

A deal to combine North and South Korean women's hockey players on one team was reached Wednesday, pending approval from International Olympic Committee.

During their third day of talks in about a week, senior officials also reached an agreement that would see athletes marching together under a "unification flag" depicting their peninsula during the opening ceremony, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.

While Murray acknowledged having the two countries come together at the Olympics is "great for the politics and world relations," she said she would have preferred "this had been done three to four years ago, when we started this journey."

"I have mixed feelings about this combination," she said in an email to The Canadian Press.

Murray was hired to lead the South Korean program in 2014.

If a joint hockey squad is realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified team in an Olympics.

Sudden decision

The idea of North Koreans joining their Olympic team was "very sudden," said Murray.

"We heard unofficial rumours about the possibility four to five days ago, but we didn't believe it because it was so close to the start of the Olympics," she said. "However, in the last couple of days, things have gotten much more serious."

The IOC is due to meet with officials from the two Koreas, along with Pyeongchang organizing committee members, on Saturday at its headquarters in Switzerland.

South Korea also wants the IOC to allow the hockey team's 23-player Olympic roster to be expanded so that several North Korean players can be added without removing any of the South Korean players.

According to Yonhap news agency, Murray told reporters on Tuesday that adding players so close to the Games "is a little bit dangerous just for team chemistry because the girls have been together for so long."

South Korea's president in favour

The potential move has garnered the support of South Korea president Moon Jae-in, who said during a meeting with his country's athletes on Wednesday that a joint hockey team would be a historic event that moves the hearts of people around the world.

South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a regular briefing Wednesday that the government will try to make sure the joint team's formation doesn't cause any negative effects on South Korean players.

"It is the government's basic stance that we will make sure there is no negative impact on our athletes," Tae-hyun said.

The South Korean team recently returned to the country after holding a training camp in the United States. Canadians Danelle Im and Caroline Park are on the South Korea roster.

South and North Korea played against each other in the lower tier of the 2017 world championship. The South shut out the North 3-0.

South Korea is in a group with Switzerland, Sweden and Japan at the Olympics and opens preliminary round play on Feb. 10 against the Swiss.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 9:51 PM
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Curling gaining Olympic steam as hockey takes backseat
Terry Jones Toronto Sun January 16, 2018

When curling made it into the five-ring circus at Nagano 1998, few ever imagined that two decades later the curlers could occupy the centre ring.

CAMROSE, Alta. — When curling made it into the five-ring circus at Nagano 1998, few ever imagined that two decades later the curlers could occupy the centre ring.

But there are 11 Olympic teams — 13 if you include the personnel involved in mixed doubles — that began competition here Tuesday in the $250,000 Canadian Open event of the Pinty’s Slam series who are definitely contemplating that possibility.

“Somewhere over half of NBC’s entire coverage package of the Olympics is going to be curling,” said Kevin Martin, who will be in Pyeongchang as a colour commentator. “It’s absolutely amazing.

“CBC told me that in Canada 45% of their overall hours of coverage of the entire Olympics will be curling. When CBC told me that, I thought, ‘Well, I wonder how much it is at NBC?’ So I was talking to Jim Carr, one of the producers, and he said it’s around 50%, maybe a hair over 50%. That’s quite the number.”

With no NHL hockey players on the property, it’s possible.

Figure skating lost much of its audience since the judging scandal at Torino 2006, and skiing doesn’t have the same status, either.

Curling is positioned to take a large leap forward to the future.

“These are going to be really exciting times for curling. The sport has grown so fast in so many countries anyway, what does this do?” said Martin, a five-time Canadian Open winner. “Where does it go next? This is really exciting.”

Camrose is the last stop prior to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Korea, where curling could end up as the spotlight sport.

The Olympic curlers arrived here for their dress rehearsal excited about the possibilities.

“It’s bad for the hockey fans, but for the curling, it’s good news,” said Vancouver 2010 Olympic silver medalist Thomas Ulsrud.

“What the TV people in Norway tell me is that they are going to show curling the most. They say they’re going to show three times more of the curling than the other sports,” he added.

“Usually, hockey is the biggest sport among the ice sports, but without the NHL players and with the hours curling will be on TV, this Olympics will give us a bigger opportunity to show what we can do as well,” said Niklas Edin of Sweden.

The two-time world champion will compete in the triple knockout format in Camrose with Kevin Koe of Canada, Ulsrud of Norway, Rui Lui of China, Peter de Cruz of Switzerland, John Shuster of the U.S. and Chang-Min Kim of host Korea.

“Curling is not as big in Switzerland like it is in Canada. But from this Olympics, we are told that it is the sport that is going to be shown the most in Switzerland,” said Silvana Tirinzoni, who along with Rachel Homan of Canada, Anna Hasselborg of Sweden, Nina Roth of the U.S. and EunJung Kim of host Korea.

“We will get a lot of attention that we are not used to. It’s great, but it also means the pressure. But that’s how it is. And it’s the Olympic games. That’s why you want to play in there so bad. People will recognize me more than they do right now.”

It’ll be the same for Roth.

“It’s awesome for the sport in the United States, especially,” she said. “Back when I first started curling, nobody in the U.S. knew what I was talking about. After being on NBC at the Olympics for a week and a half, hopefully a lot more people in the U.S. will know what we’re talking about.”

Edin expects many viewers in his country to tune in.

“For our team in Sweden, especially with the hockey, I think it will mean more visibility for sure,” he said. “I think curling will be way bigger on TV back home. I won’t say curling will be bigger than hockey now but with the NHL players not there I’d say almost as big.

“A lot of people now recognize our team. And I’m sure people recognize Anna’s team, too. I think a lot of Swedes will watch us play there.”
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 10:00 PM
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Has gone from 29 to 31 and now 33

Canada projected to win 33 medals at Winter Olympics
Analytics company bases prediction on past individual and team results
Donna Spencer The Canadian Press January 10 2018

An international data analytics company predicts Canada will win a whopping 33 medals, including men's hockey gold, at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

In a virtual medal table released Wednesday, Gracenote projects the Canadian team will rank third in total medals behind Germany (40) and Norway (37) and ahead of the United States (29).

Gracenote delivers music, video and sports metadata to entertainment services and companies.

The company said in a release Wednesday it based its statistical model for Pyeongchang on individual and team results from previous World Cup, world championships and Olympic Games.

The 2018 Winter Olympics open Feb. 9 and close Feb. 25.

Projected count would surpass Vancouver haul

The 33 medals forecasted for the Canadian team (seven gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze) would wallop the country's previous top total of 26 claimed by the host team at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., although the breakdown there was 14 gold, seven silver and five bronze.

Canada's medal haul from 2014 will also be 26 (10, 10 and 6) when the luge relay team is officially upgraded from fourth to bronze.

Stripped of multiple medals by the International Olympic Committee for doping violations, host Russia tumbled from first to fourth in the 2014 overall medal table.

Gracenote thinks Canada will win men's hockey gold without its top NHL players, but predicts silver for the women's hockey team.

COC expects to contend for top spot

With the opening ceremonies less than a month away, the Canadian Olympic Committee has yet to state what the Canadian team's medal target is for Pyeongchang.

Finishing first overall in the total medal count was the goal in both 2010 and 2014. Canada was third in 2010 and will tie with Norway for second in 2014 at 26 medals.

COC chief executive officer Chris Overholt has said "we certainly expect to contend for the No. 1 position," in Pyeongchang.

Gracenote has been increasingly bullish on Canada's medal prospects in Pyeongchang, predicting 29 a year ago and upping that to 31 in November.

Wild card

But Russia is the wild card in the prediction game as 42 athletes banned from Pyeongchang because of doping violations have appealed their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Canada stands to gain medals in some sports in the absence of some Russians, but which athletes will be allowed to compete under the "neutral" banner of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) is still to be determined.

"We have removed all 19 of the projected OAR medallists from this version of the virtual medal table," Gracenote said in the statement.

"The athletes who are allowed to compete will be included in our final virtual medal table release just before the Games begin."

Gracenote predicted gold for bobsledder Kaillie Humphries, the Kevin Koe and Rachel Homan curling teams, figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond, moguls skier Mikael Kingsbury, snowboarder Max Parrot and the men's hockey team.

A month out from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the company forecasted 16 medals for Canada (three gold, eight silver and five bronze). The team won 22 with four gold, three silver and 13 bronze.

Gracenote correctly predicted the majority of Canada's medals in Rio would be won by women, who produced 16.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 6:46 PM
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Crazy that Russia will still have a hockey team, guess we should be aiming for silver...
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Calgarian View Post
Crazy that Russia will still have a hockey team, guess we should be aiming for silver...
Why?
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 8:21 PM
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Why?
... Because NHL players are banned but KHL players are not. Only Russia will be playing with world-class players.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 8:39 PM
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Russia doesn't technically have a team and any medal they win won't be credited to Russia in historic tables.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elly63 View Post
Why?
It's crazy because Russia is banned from these Olympics, yet they still get a team for one of the premier events at the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
Russia doesn't technically have a team and any medal they win won't be credited to Russia in historic tables.
True, but we all know who their team represents...

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Originally Posted by FFX-ME View Post
... Because NHL players are banned but KHL players are not. Only Russia will be playing with world-class players.
NHL players aren't banned, the NHL just refused to participate. We will have some very good players, they aren't on the same level as Datsyuk and Kovalchuck though...
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 10:28 PM
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Only Russia will be playing with world-class players.
Baloney
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 11:03 PM
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Baloney
They easily have the best players in the tournament.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 11:06 PM
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They easily have the best players in the tournament.
Having the best players =/= having the best team.

Having the best team =/= automatically winning the tournament.

Let's see a couple of games before we start moaning.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
Having the best players =/= having the best team.

Having the best team =/= automatically winning the tournament.

Let's see a couple of games before we start moaning.
Never said this guarantees them the gold, just makes them the favourites going in.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 2:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgarian View Post
Never said this guarantees them the gold, just makes them the favourites going in.
...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgarian View Post
Crazy that Russia will still have a hockey team, guess we should be aiming for silver...
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2018, 5:41 PM
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I read the North Koreans would also be sending down fans to support their few Olympians. I can't wait to see them cheering.

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I can't wait for them to realize how much better life in the South is and want to stay.
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2018, 5:48 PM
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Ditto! I wonder how many defections will happen?
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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 4:27 AM
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Canada has its first gold in team figure skating!

http://nationalpost.com/sports/olymp...ce-dance-to-go
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Last edited by SpongeG; Feb 12, 2018 at 5:12 AM.
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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 4:29 AM
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I can't wait for them to realize how much better life in the South is and want to stay.
their cheerleading team is 230 people!
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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 12:23 AM
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Can't believe the womens snowboard slopestyle competition went ahead yesterday, some really nasty bails from jumping into a 70km/h wind! Glad no one got seriously injured!
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  #40  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 1:10 AM
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We're a few days in and no one is really following the games in my circles? Is it the same for you?
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