Dubreuil looking for a better result this go-around
Laurent Dubreuil finished in fourth place in the 500-metre speedskating sprint earlier in the Games after he was charged with a false start. The Quebec City native will be hoping for a better result Friday in the 1,000. Dubreuil enters the competition as the reigning bronze medalist from last year’s world championships and will be hoping for a similar result or better in Beijing.
Men’s hockey tournament enters the semi-finals
Both semi-final games of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament will be played on Friday. Both Canada and the United States were bounced in the quarter-finals but North American hockey fans will still recognize some familiar names on the ice. Finland has a number of former NHLers on its roster including Valtteri Filppula, Markus Granlund, Leo Komarov, Mikko Lehtonen and Sami Vatanen. Artem Anisimov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Nesterov and Slava Voynov are all playing for the Russian Olympic Committee, while forwards Marcus Kruger and Joakim Nordstrom are representing Sweden. The surprising Slovakian team features a couple of top European prospects who are expected to go high in this year’s NHL draft in Simon Nemec and Juraj Slafkovsky.
Bronze medal being handed out in men’s curling, women’s tournament in semis
In the men’s curling tournament, two countries will go to battle in the bronze-medal game. There’s hope and even expectation that Brad Gushue’s Canadian rink will be competing for gold, but a shot at a bronze certainly wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. On the women’s side, Canada’s Jennifer Jones will hopefully be competing in one of two semi-final matches on Friday’s schedule.
A couple of Canadian medal threats in women’s freestyle ski halfpipe
Calgary’s Cassie Sharpe is expected to be going for her second Olympic gold medal in the women’s freestyle ski halfpipe event. A dominant force in halfpipe competitions over the past four years, Sharpe won gold at both the 2018 Pyeongchang Games and 2019 Winter X Games. She also collected X Games silver last year and a bronze in 2020. Another athlete to watch for is 24-year-old Rachel Karker of Guelph, Ont., who won halfpipe silver at the 2021 world championships and is a multimedal winner at the X Games.
Leman looking to repeat as Olympic champion in men’s ski cross
Defending Olympic men’s ski cross champion Brady Leman will be on the hunt for another gold. At 35 years old, Leman is competing in his fourth and potentially final Olympic Games. There’s little doubt, if these are his last Games, he’ll be looking to end his career on a high note. The Calgary native’s best result most recently was a silver medal at the 2019 world championships.