Spencer O'Brien, Eric Guay have tough days along the Canadian Trail
Figure skaters bring home country's lone Sunday medal
Tears and disappointment wrapped in a silver lining met the travellers along the Canadian Trail on Sunday at Sochi.
The figure skating team competition produced that second place finish behind the emotionally high Russians.
Canada did not win any of the four disciplines, but put in a consistent performance in all eight events (four short, four long programs) led by Tessa Virtue of London, Ont. and Scott Moir, of Ilderton, Ont., who finished second in ice dance. Kevin Reynolds, of Coquitlam, B.C. was second in men’s long, and Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. finished fifth in women’s long.
This was the first time the event has been offered in the Winter Games.
Another debut event, women’s slopestyle, did not produce the finish expected by Courtenay, B.C.’s Spencer O’Brien. The defending world champion was a medal favourite but touched her backside down at the end of a backside 720 and wound up 12th.
She was in tears afterward in a CBC interview, but earned a lot of love from social media.
Jenna Blasman, of Kitchener, Ont., was 11th in the semis and did not advance.
Sunday began with the men’s downhill, considered one of the gems of the Olympic crown, held at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre.
Erik Guay, one of the sport’s most consistent performers with 21 World Cup podiums, came in determined to add an Olympic medal to that resume. He’ll have to wait a week for the Super-G, however, as the best the Mont-Tremblant, Que. resident could do was 10th in difficult lighting conditions.
Ben Thomsen, of Invermere, B.C., was 19th, Calgary’s Jan Hudec 21st and Manuel Osborne-Paradis, from Vancouver, 25th.
Also along the Trail:
• In biathlon, Rosanna Crawford, whose best race is normally the longer 15 km, came through 25th in the 7.5 km sprint in 22:10.8, carrying one penalty for a single missed target out of 10. A miss results in a penalty lap that adds about 25 seconds to your time. Megan Imrie, of Falcon Lake, Man., was 31st with one miss, Zina Kocher, of Red Deer, Alta. was 32nd with two misses and Megan Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C. was 59th, with three misses.
• Back in 2010, the men’s 30-kilometre skiathlon turned up a surprise when Ivan Babikov from Canmore, Alta., finished fifth for Canada’s best-ever result. It was not to be this time as Alex Harvey, of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., was 18th, Babikov took 25th and Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., was 45th.
• At Sliding Centre Sanki, Sam Edney of Calgary finished 11th in a strong field with a four-run total of 3:29.777. Mitchel Malyk was 26th and John Fennell was 27th; both are also from Calgary.
• Two more Calgarians, Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes and Dusty Korek, competed on the final day of men’s K90 Normal Hill ski jumping, finishing 36th and 39th respectively.
• Finally, Canada’s long track speed skating team, in a transition period, saw Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg finish 20th in women’s 3,000 metres, while Ivanie Blondin, of Ottawa, was 25th.