Canadian Trail: How Canada did today at the Olympics

Speed skating trio misses podium, mixed curlers Lawes, Morris advance to semifinals

Canadian Trail: How Canada did today at the Olympics
Canadian speed skaters Charles Hamelin, left, and Samuel Girard glance at the scoreboard to view the replay of the Olympic men's 1,500-metre final on Saturday in Gangneung, South Korea. © Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press

By Doug Harrison, CBC Sports

Canada's Olympic team, hopeful of securing its first medal or more on the first official day of competition, came away empty-handed Saturday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Quebec speed skaters Samuel Girard and Charles Hamelin, a four-time Olympic medallist attempting to become the first Canadian Olympian to win three individual gold medals, fell shy of the podium in the men's 1,500 metres. Girard was fourth while Hamelin crossed the line in sixth but was later disqualified for impeding another skater.

Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin, who won the 3,000 at the final women's World Cup in Germany before the Olympics, placed sixth at the Gangneung Oval.

Here's how other Canadians fared on Saturday:

Speed skating

Ottawa's Isabelle Weidemann posted a top-10 finish, placing sixth in the women's 3,000 metres (4:04.26), while Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, Alta., was 20th in 4:13.70.

In the men's 1,500 B final, Montreal's Pascal Dion was third.

Kim Boutin (43.634 seconds) and Marianne St-Gelais (43.437) won their respective heats in the women's 500 to qualify for Tuesday's quarter-finals. Jamie Macdonald was penalized and didn't advance. In the women's 3,000 relay, Kasandra Bradette, Macdonald, Boutin and St-Gelais finished second in their heat in 4:07.627 to qualify for the A final on Feb. 20 at Gangneung Ice Arena.

Mixed curling

After dropping their first match to Norway in PyeongchangKaitlyn Lawes and John Morris have reeled off five consecutive victories, the latest an 8-2 drubbing of Anastasia Bryzgalova and Aleksandr Krushelnitckii from the Olympic Athletes from Russia team to reach the semifinals. Earlier in the day, the Canadians routed Switzerland's Jenny Perrett and Martin Rios 7-2 in six ends.

Click below for highlights/analysis of Canada's win over Russia:


All four Canadian men advanced to the slopestyle final later Saturday, led by Max Parrot, who earned 87.36 points in his second run to take top spot in the second heat. Mark McMorris, who has come back to form this season after suffering a broken jaw, broken ribs, broken arm, ruptured spleen, stable pelvic fracture and a collapsed lung in a catastrophic snowboard crash in the B.C. backcountry last March, held first place until Parrot surpassed him. He qualified with a second-run score of 86.83 points.

Rounding out the Canadian contingent was Sebastian Toutant, who was third in the first heat (78.01) and Tyler Nicholson, fifth in the second heat (79.21).


On the sliding track, Sam Edney, at the Olympics for the fourth and final time, is the top Canadian. He sits fifth with a combined time of one minute 35.617 seconds after the first two of four men's runs that will be completed Sunday at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

Reid Watts sits 10th (1:35.855) in the field of 40 and Mitchel Malyk 16th (1:36.125).

Ski jumping

Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes finished 26th out of 30 in the men's individual normal hill, amassing 208.1 points, well behind winner Andreas Wellinger of Germany, who counted 259.3.

High winds at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre during Saturday's first round led to a 30-minute delay for the final, which was contested in minus-11 C temperatures but it felt colder with the wind chill.

Click below as Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes qualifies 18th for the final:


Four Canadian women — Julia Ransom, Megan Tandy, Rosanna Crawford and Emma Lunder — fought through bitterly cold conditions in the 7.5-kilometre sprint. Ransom crossed the finish line 40th, followed by Crawford (53rd), Lunder (54th) and Tandy (57th). Germany's Laura Dahlmeier won the event after hitting all 10 of her targets.


The first gold medal of these Olympics was won in the women's 15-kilometre skiathlon at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre, but not by a Canadian as Sweden's Charlotte Kalla stood atop the podium after pulling away from the pack with a winning time of 40 minutes 44.9 seconds.

Top Canadian was Cendrine Browne in 33rd, followed by Emily Nishikawa (44th), Anne-Marie Comeau (48th) and Dahria Beatty (52nd).