Canadian Trail: How Canada did today at the Olympics

Justin Kripps, Alexander Kopacz share bobsleigh gold, Virtue and Moir set ice dance record

Canadian Trail: How Canada did today at the Olympics
Justin Kripps and Alex Kopacz earned Canada's 16th medal at the Olympics in South Korea on Monday, while figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir broke their own record in the ice dance short program and sit atop the standings entering the free dance. © Getty Images/CBC

By Doug Harrison, CBC Sports

Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., awoke Monday in South Korea in medal position in two-man bobsleigh. A few hours later, the pilot and his brakeman Alexander Kopacz of London, Ont., earned their first Olympic Winter Games medal, sharing gold with Germany in a four run, combined time of three minutes, 16.86 seconds.

The 31-year-old Kripps joins Pierre Lueders, who won gold in 1998 at Nagano, Japan, as the only Canadians to top an Olympic podium in the men's event. Kripps's teammates, Nick Poloniato and Jesse Lumsden, finished seventh while Christopher Spring and Lascelles Brown were 10th.

Earlier Monday, three-time world champion figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir received Level 4 marks on all five elements in the ice dancing short program to score 83.67 points and break their own world record.

In Monday's free dance at 8 p.m. ET, they will try to become the second pair to win two ice dance titles, joining Russia's Pasha Grishuk and Evgeniy Platov, who earned back-to-back gold medals in 1994 and 1998. Virtue and Moir won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and silver four years later in Sochi, Russia.

In the medal standings, Canada remains third with 17, including six gold. Norway is tops with 28 medals and Germany second with 20.

Here's how other Canadians fared on Monday:

Figure skating

Two other Canadian duos will follow Virtue and Moir into the free dance: Andrew Poje and Kaitlyn Weaver sit eighth with 74.33 points and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirer are ninth (69.60).

Women's hockey

Jennifer Wakefield scored twice and Shannon Szabados made 14 saves in Canada's 5-0 semifinal win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Seeking an unprecedented fifth Olympic gold medal, they play arch-rivals United States on Wednesday at 11:10 p.m. ET.

Rebecca Johnston, captain Marie-Philip Poulin and Emily Clark also scored for Canada.

The Americans, who will attempt to win their first Olympic gold medal since 1998, blanked Finland 5-0 earlier Monday.

Women's curling

Ottawa skip Rachel Homan extended her win streak to three games, moving into playoff contention with a dominating 8-3 victory over a strong Japanese rink at Gangneung Curling Centre.

Homan (3-3) stole four points in the fifth end to take a commanding 6-1 lead over Satsuki Fujisawa's rink. Japan scored two in the next end before Homan's deuce in the seventh forced Fujisawa to concede defeat. Homan, who is tied for fourth place with China and Britain, faces China on Tuesday.

Freestyle skiing

Cassie Sharpe, who suffered a broken thumb in her final pre-Olympic competition in late January, occupies top spot in women's halfpipe after the first two runs of qualifying at Bokwang Snow Park.

Sharpe, from Comox, B.C., followed up a score of 93.00 on her first run down the halfpipe with a 93.40 on her second run. In halfpipe, the best score from two runs counts.

Calgary's Rosalind Groenewoud qualified 11th with a score of 73.20. The top 12 competitors move on to Tuesday's finals.

Men's curling

Kevin Koe has traded places with fellow Canadian skip Homan and is now the one searching for answers in South Korea after dropping his third consecutive game, a 9-7 extra-end decision to American John Shuster.

Shuster shot 82 per cent and scored two on a takeout in the 11th end to beat the 43-year-old Koe, whose record slipped to 4-3. The Calgary native is tied with Great Britain and remains in playoff contention as the top four rinks advance to the semifinals.


Laurie Blouin made good on her second attempt to land a cab double underflip, scoring 92.25 to qualify fourth for the big air final (Thursdayat 7:30 a.m. ET in Canada). The freestyle snowboarder from Stoneham, Que., overcame poor weather conditions to win Olympic silver in slopestyle on Feb. 11, two days after suffering a head injury after falling during training.

Blouin's teammate, Spencer O'Brien, was 11th on Monday after earning 76.75 points in her second run while Brooke Voigt, failed to advance past qualifying. The top 12 competitors advance to the finals.

Speed skating

The foursome of Ivanie Blondin, Josie Morrison, Keri Morrison and Isabelle Weidemann stopped the clock in two minutes, 59.02 seconds — the third fastest in the quarter-finals — to advance in women's team pursuit. Canada will face Japan (2:56.09) in Wednesday's semifinal at 6 a.m. ET.

In the men's 500-metre final, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix was in the final pairing and after 100 metres was ahead of the pace set by eventual gold medallist Havard Lorentzen of Norway, but faded to finish 11th in 34.934 seconds. Gilmore Junio and Laurent Dubreuil placed 17th and 18th, respectively.