Snowboarder Sochi 2014

ALL THE NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION LIVE FROM SOCHI 2014 AS IT HAPPENS!

By Duncan Mackay and Nick Butler in Sochi, and Zjan Shirinian in London  
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are Russian

Goodnight!

00:24
But - and the light's have gone out at the Iceberg Skating Palace so I really do have to leave now - we will leave that for tomorrow!

See you then!

One nugget from insidethegames Olympic historian Philip Barker to leave you with.

philip barker00:18 Violinist Vanessa Mae competes for Thailand in the women's giant slalom on Thursday morning  but she is not the first musician to take part in the Olympics.

The most famous was French athlete and concert pianist Micheline Ostermeyer who won three medals at the 1948 Olympics in London. She took gold in the discus and shot put and a bronze in the high jump for good measure.

00:15
An early start on the slopes - 09:30 we begin in the women's giant slalom to ensure the best of the weather while the men's curling playoff gets underway between Britain and Norway even earlier, at 09:00

00:10
Seven gold medals to come tomorrow - including the two delayed from today. So we have Alpine skiing, mass start biathlon, men's ski halfpipe, Nordic combined, short track speed skating, men's snowboard cross and men's 10,000m long track speed skating.

00:02
At the end of it all Germany have extended their lead to three golds on the medals table ahead of six countries tied on five golds apiece.

23:52
So, after a few minutes to catch their breath following tonight drams, it is time to wrap up another day in Sochi.

And it's been a funny old one indeed. After delays meant that curling was the only dish on the Olympic menu for most of the day, action came alive this evening in a spell-binding few hours in which five gold medals were won - for Belarus, Russia, the US, Belarus again, and Germany.

Evening Session - ice dancing, bobsleigh, curling, ski jumping, aerials and ice hockey!

23:17
The final event of the day is complete. Canada have beaten Switzerland 3-1 in their women's ice hockey semi-final and will face arch-rivals the United States in Thursday's final. Canada will be aiming for a fourth straight title. 

Switzerland will face Sweden for bronze.

23:13
Germany win the final gold of the day to extend their medals table lead.

There was so much pressure on final jumper Severin Freund but he pulled off that last effort with as calmly and clinically as, well, a German in a football penalty shoot-out, and duly leads his country to their first team ski jumping title since Salt Lake City 2002. 

Severin Freund of Germany on the way to powering his team to ski jumping glory ©AFP/Getty ImagesSeverin Freund of Germany on the way to powering his team to ski jumping glory ©AFP/Getty Images



Sochi 2014 gold medal23:07
Severin Freund jumps 131m and it is enough! Germany win their eighth gold medal of Sochi 2014. They beat triple defending champions Austria by 2.7 points while Japan take the bronze medal.

23:05
Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer leaps 132m. His country lie first but will that be enough to hold off the Germans?

23:04
Here is Noriaki Kasai of Japan. The Japanese last won this event at Nagano 1998. 134m from Kasai and they lead so are guaranteed a medal.

23:02
Poland take the lead, and it is just the top three to come now. 

22:59 Germany's total at the moment is 910.4 while Austria are on 907. So it is pretty close.

Those two are still to come but early in the final round it is Slovenia, then Czech Republic and then Finland.

22:57
The Iceberg Skating Palace is rapidly emptying now - but hopefully I will not be told to leave until at least the end of the ski jumping.

The final jump for each nation is happening now.

22:54
Austria are chasing a third successive team ski jumping gold but they lie second behind the Germans after the third jump of the second round, so the seventh overall.

Andreas Wellinger of Germany out leaping Thomas Diethart of Austria there with Japan occupying the bronze medal position.

22:48
A few more details on that aerials final earlier on as well. Anton Kushnir of Belarus pulled off the first back-double-full-full-double-full routine in history, so I hear, which earned him an almost unheard of gold medal winning score of 134.50 points. Behind runner-up David Morris of Australia, you may be wondering what happened to the two Chinese hopes who so dominated the early rounds.

Well, Jia Zongyuan took bronze despite somersaulting on landing while compatriot Qi Guangpu fell and finished outside the medals.

22:46
Meanwhile, the US ice dancing gold medal winners Meryl Davis and Charlie White do not want to leave. After several laps of honour they can still be seen accepting congratulations from just about everyone in the Iceberg Skating Palace.

And they deserve every single one.

22:44
We are also still going in the women's ice hockey semi-final as Switzerland take on Canada for the right to face the US in the final. And how the Swiss must be regretting that awful start. They were 3-0 down after 12 minutes, but now, after 40 minutes, it is 3-1. 

22:42
That last gold comes in team ski jumping and the final round has just begun. In the second round of jumpers, Japan lead from Norway and Poland.

But no, as I type Germany have taken the lead. Marinus Kraus leaps 134.5 metres!

22:40
It has been a frantic few minutes in terms of the medals table but, with one gold to come tonight, the latest table can be seen here.

22:38
It is a fifth gold of Sochi 2014 for Belarus. Who would have expected that?

Anton Kushnir of Belarus celebrates aerials gold ©Getty ImagesAnton Kushnir of Belarus celebrates aerials gold ©Getty Images



Sochi 2014 gold medal22:33
And it is Anton Kushnir of Belarus who claims gold ahead of David Morris and Jia Zhongyang. 

22:29
The four qualifiers for the third and final Final in the aerials have been decided. Jia Zhongyang leads compatriot Qi Guangpu for a Chinese 1-2. Third lies Anton Kushnir of Belarus with David Morris of Australia fourth.

22:25
The flower presentation is beginning here as the light dims - not making life easier for frantically typing journalists I can tell you - but it was a privilege to be here in this atmosphere tonight.

And, up the mountains, there are still two gold medals to be decided this evening.

22:24
Redemption for Davis and White as they win Sochi gold to follow Vancouver silver

Meryl Davis and Charlie White en route to the gold medal in the ice dancing ©Getty ImagesMeryl Davis and Charlie White en route to the gold medal in the ice dancing
©Getty Images



Sochi 2014 gold medal22:19
Gold for Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the US. A stunning seasons best performance of 116.63 and a total score of 195.52. Silver for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada and Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov win bronze.

22:16
You could cut the tension with a knife. Or an ice skate come to that. Will they win gold? Or will the Canadians hold on?

22:14
It is amazing how quiet the crowd are now it is no longer Russians performing. Davis and White looking good so far...

22:12
Here go the Americans. Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Silver medallists at Vancouver 2010 and world champions in 2011 and 2013...

22:10 
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev score 172.92 in the ice dancing so they are only fourth. Canada then Russia then France is the top three with one pair left.

22:08 
Qi Guangpu of China leads in the aerials, Germany lead in the team ski jumping and the Swiss have pulled a goal back in the ice hockey - it is 3-1 now to Canada.

22:06
Midway through the dance so time, possibly, for a curling update. Switzerland beat China 10-4 and Sweden beat Japan 8-4 in the other matches.

So, because Britain somehow grasped defeat from the gaping jaws of victory, they still go through but in fourth rather than third. So they now face unbeaten Canada while Sweden will play Switzerland in the semi-finals.

20:04
Will the crowd have any voice left to cheer the next couple - who are also Russian. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev are up now, and the crowd are clapping rather than cheering at the moment...

22:02 
Bunch after bunch of flowers is thrown onto the ice along with chanting, board-banging and general hysteria after a seemingly superb effort by Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov. Silence now while we wait for the score. It is 183.48 and they go into second place.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir went into the lead in the ice dancing with a seasons best performance ©Getty ImagesTessa Virtue and Scott Moir went into the lead in the ice dancing with a season's best performance ©Getty Images



21:54
Virtue and Moir are in the lead. 114.66 for the free dance and 190.99 overall and that will take some beating. Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are up next and the crowd support is sensational. 

21:53
Meanwhile in the curling, somehow, Denmark have hit back to beat Britain 8-7.

21:51
The French leaders have been together for 15 years and won two European titles together. Retirement looms but will they go out with a final flourish? Moir and Virture dance well - we are waiting for their score - but all the crowd care about is the next couple to take to the ice. 

21:47
What an evening of sport we have going on in Sochi. From the grace of ice dancing, to the pace of bobsleigh, to the suspense of curling, the spectacle of aerials, the aggression of ice hockey and the gravity-defying ridiculousness of ski jumping, we really have had it all this evening.

And what better way to sample all of it, I hear you say, than right here on the insidethegames live blog.

21:45 
Nathalie Pechalot and Fabian Bourzat probably got the least vocal reception of the final ice dancing five when they were introduced but they gone into the lead by a cool eight points as their total score is 104.44.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, second overnight, are now on the ice.

21:41
Action is also just beginning in the first of three aerials finals in freestyle skiing. 

The first aerials final of three is underway ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe first aerials final of three is underway ©AFP/Getty Images



21:38
We are going to focus on the figure skating as the final round begins but it is now Norway, then Germany, then Japan, then the Czech Republic in the team ski jumping first round.

21:35
Would you believe it. It matters little as Britain are through anyway but their women play a disastrous final end and Denmark level the match at 7-7. We are going into an extra end.

Canada have finished the round robin stage with a 100 per cent record as they defeat South Korea 9-4 after their class told in the final few ends. 

21:31
Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje score the best free dance tally of the night to continue Canada's sporting success in the Olympic Park in recent minutes - but are only second overall just 0.39 of a point behind the Italian leaders. 

The final five pairs are on the ice warming up now and deafening cries of Ru-si-ya are heard as the host nation provides two of the pairs. A few chants of U-S-A as well in reference to overnight leaders Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

21:30
It is somewhat ironic that after the quietest day of the Games so far - this evening is becoming fairly manic on the sporting front. The second women's ice hockey semi-final is underway and Canada are already 3-0 up on Switzerland. Natalie Spooner scoring twice. 

21:27
The big guns have entered the ski jumping now for the first round proper. Norway score 137.7 points and take the lead. Japan and Austria currently lie second and third.

21:24
Meanwhile, Sweden have moved 7-4 up on Japan so it is looking more and more likely that Switzerland will qualify for the semi-finals. They lead China 9-6. Britain are guaranteed qualification whatever their result but are looking good for third as they lead Denmark 7-4.

21:23
Not quite - 99.18 in the free skate and the Americans move into second behind the Italians.

21:20
The sounds of One Day More from Les Misérables now for second US pair Madison Chock and Evan Bates. They receive the loudest cheer of the night so far, but will it be good enough for the lead?

21:15 
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte have taken the ice dancing lead for Italy. The first couple to score more than 100 points in the free dancing section tonight. They are also the current European champions but were only sixth after the short dance.

21:12
In the curling, Switzerland are closing in on fourth place as they go 9-4 up on semi-final qualification rivals China.

Japan are 5-4 down against already qualified Sweden and must find something if they are going to force a play off tomorrow. 

21:10
There seems to have been something of a thaw in the supposed Alexey Voevoda and Alexander Zubkov animosity we keep being told about as they embrace when receiving the flowers following their bobsleigh gold medal for Russia. 

21:07
It is a Michael Jackson medley 1-2 on the ice dancing leaderboard as Maia and Alex Shibutani of the US take the lead from Great Britain's Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland. 

21:03
All change in the Great Britain versus Denmark curling as Britain score three before another one after a Danish error. So in other words they lead 7-4. 

21:00
Germans Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi move into second behind the British leaders as the ice dancing resumes. The Shibutani's from the US are up next.

And it's another Michael Jackson medley!

20:56
We are also underway in ski jumping where it is the team event tonight, South Korea lead from US and Canada at the moment in the trial round. 

20:52
The Russian pair shake hands at the finish but do not go overboard - they dislike each other intensely apparently off the ice - but what a team they make on it.

Russian flagbearer Alexander Zubkov drives the host nation to bobsleigh gold ©Getty ImagesRussian flagbearer Alexander Zubkov drives the host nation to bobsleigh gold
©Getty Images



20:49 Sochi 2014 gold medal
Russia-1 win gold in the bobsleigh. Host nation flagbearer Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda do not set another track record - but extend their lead and win by 0.66 seconds. 

Switzerland win the silver medal and the United States hold on for bronze, just, so there is no change to the standings after either the second or third runs. 

20:45
Final three to come in the bobsleigh. Russia-2 still in the lead.

20:43
The break is still going on here in the figure skating as the stadium continues to fill up. 

A little bit more information on the music incorporated into the Italian dance earlier on - which I rather careless discredited by describing (at 20:23) only as the theme music of television show The Apprentice.  

Dance of the Knights is also known as Montagues and Capulets and this is because it was written in 1935 by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev for his ballet version of Romeo and Juliet.

20:38
Into the final stages of the bobsleigh now with Russia 2 currently in the lead after a strong drive by Alexander Kasjanov.

We are likely to have a Russian winner tonight but it will probably by Russia 1 driven by Alexander Zubkov rather than the current leaders.

20:30
First curling update of the all-important evening session as the ice is re-surfaced in the figure skating. China have enjoyed men's success earlier but their women are fairing less well and trail Switzerland 6-3. Britain also trail, 4-3 to Denmark while Sweden lead Japan 5-2 and it's 4-4 between South Korea and Canada. 

So...as it stands Britain and Switzerland are heading through in joint third place to join already qualified Canada and Sweden. I think. 

Britain are guaranteed a semi-final berth whatever happens tonight thanks to the average accuracy of draw shots before each game. 

So some sort of curling equivalent of goal difference, to you and me.

20:27
Thomas Florschuetz of Germany leads in the final run of the bobsleigh. He was 11th after run three and the top ten are still to come. Russia, Switzerland, US in the top three overall positions heading into this final run.

20:23
A Latin theme dance, perhaps unsurprisingly, from the Spanish pair Sara Hurtado and Adria Diaz. It is a personal best and the crowd like, but it is only enough for third behind Britain and Azerbaijan. 

Hold on. A familiar song for the Italian pair now on the ice - for anyone familiar with the television show The Apprentice that is. We were treated to about 30 seconds of the theme tune - Dance of the Knights by Sergei Profofiev, of course, for most other people. 

20:20
She overcame the conditions as well as the rest of the field, but Darya Domracheva is the best performing individual athlete of Sochi 2014 as she wins her third gold of the Games. 

Coming into Sochi she held a solitary bronze from Vancouver 2010 but the 27-year-old from Belarus has also taken world titles in 2012 and 2013. She is in the form of her life right now though.

Darya Domracheva of Belarus becomes the first triple gold medal winner of Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images
Darya Domracheva of Belarus becomes the first triple gold medal winner of Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images



20:07
We are still in the early stages of the action in the ice dancing at the moment. I often forget that, while in most winter sports we zoom through the entrants quickly, in figure skater it is much a slow process with each couple spending much longer on the ice.

An entertaining spin through a compilation of Michael Jackson songs by British pair Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland takes the lead. The crowd certainly enjoyed the Billie Jean finale. Penelle Carron and Lloyd Jones of France follow with a more classical routine which puts them second before they are pushed down to third by the next pair to take to the ice - Julia Zlobina and Alexei Sitnikov of Azebaijan.

GOLD MEDAL FOR DARYA DOMARCHEVA

Sochi 2014 gold medal19:51
Belarus' Darya Domracheva claims her third gold medal of Sochi 2014 with victory in the women's biathlon 12.5km mass start. The Czech Republic's Gabriela Soukalova takes silver and Norway's Tiril Eckhoff bronze.

19:36 The crowd raises to greet the Jamaican bobsleigh team at the end of its third run. They crossed the line in 58.17, six-and-a-half seconds behind the Russian leaders, but there is thumbs-up from pilot Winston Watts. 

That will be the last we see of them as only the top 20 progress to the final round.

19:13
After such a quiet day it is exciting that so much is now going on as Darya Domracheva of Belarus takes the early biathlon lead in pursuit of her third gold medal of the Games.

The floodlights are on and the women's biathlon mass start has begun ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe floodlights are on and the women's biathlon mass start has begun
©AFP/Getty Images



But, after it has kept us so faithfully entertained all day, we will not forget curling as the final four women's round robin matches get underway. All four are tied at 0-0 at the moment. 

19:01 
We are still going in the third run of the bobsleigh and just starting in the ice dancing. And, beneath the fog and floodlights, the biathlon has also begun. For all the fun of time trial events there is something refreshing exciting at the sight of the whole field racing together. 

18:58
Some 26 hours later we have a mass start biathlon race about to begin. But even now it is not the correct one - the women's 12.5km event instead of the men's 15km test which will not take place until tomorrow. 

18:52
A late strike by Brianna Decker and the the US eventually beat Sweden 6-1 in ice hockey. Will they win a first Olympic gold since Nagano 1998 in the final? 

18:45
Switzerland stay in second place after clocking 56.26 while Steven Holcomb's US team lie third. Canada 3, Latvia 1 and Russia 2 occupy the next three spots. 

Jamaica are still to come but, it is fair to say, they will not be troubling the top three positions. Though maybe I am speaking too soon because it sometimes takes them until the third run to get up to speed... Remember Cool Runnings?

18:37  
Another track record for the Russian pair and Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda as they power down the Sanki Sliding Centre track in a superb time of 56.08 seconds.  

18:35
So, after a pretty straightforward day, some multi-tasking will soon be in order as a myriad of different sports are about to commence. The third run of the two man bobsleigh is up first,

Oh, and Sweden have pulled a goal back in the ice hockey. Anna Borgqvist scores to make it 5-1 to the US. 

18:28
Speaking of the aerials, we have now reached the end of the first qualification run and it remains a tie at the top between China's Jia Zonyang and Australia's David Morris.
Four other skiers - China's Qi Guangpu and Wu Chao, Switzerland's Renato Ulrich and Oleksandr Abramenko of Ukraine - have also qualified for the final.

The rest of the field will head into the second qualification run in a few moment's time. 

18:25
We also have figure skating, biathlon, bobsleigh and ski jumping medal action to come this evening as well as the conclusion of the aerials. 

18:21
The rampant US still lead in the ice hockey. Canada against Switzerland will follow later on tonight.

Sweden would have been fourth on that list but Stockholm withdrew from the 2022 race last month ©Getty ImagesSweden would have been fourth on that list but Stockholm withdrew from the 2022 race last month... they remain 5-0 down to the US
©Getty Images



18:10
Given that both China and Ukraine are currently featuring on the leaderboard in the aerials it has got insidethegames thinking about which of the five countries bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics is doing the best in Sochi so far? 

Not that this will affect their bidding chances in any way, I feel the need to add. 

I can tell you that all five have won medals but all sections of the medals table is represented. Norway lie third with five golds and 14 medals. Next comes Poland in eighth with four medals but all of them golden and then one place behind is China with three golds among five medals. Right at the bottom there are two countries with just a solitary bronze - and they are the two other 2022 bidders of Kazakhstan and Ukraine.  

18:03
Jia Zhongyang of China has now gone level at the top of the leader board with Morris after posting an identical score of 118.59 points. We are about halfway through the first round. 

17:56
David Morris of Australia has a big lead early on in the aerials ahead of Oleksandr Obramenko of Ukraine.

17:48
In case you are wondering there have been no medals decided yet today - so you can see the latest, but unchanged, medals table here. Four sets of medals to be decided later on this evening though, all being well. 

Aerials qualification has now started while the US have moved 5-0 up over Sweden. A blow this for the Swedes after their curling and cross country relay success over recent days.

17:45
It's been a funny old day here in Sochi due to the weather-induced lack of action. Thank goodness for curling and ice hockey is all I can say.

But we have a busy evening to come and next to begin is the men's aerials freestyle skiing qualification in a few moments time. 

17:41
insidethegames' roving photographer Philip Barker has taken advantage of the lull in action to take some "behind the scenes" action snaps.

Two mascots make the morning commute from Lazarovskaia station ©Philip BarkerTwo mascots make the morning commute from Lazarovskaia station ©Philip Barker

Flower girls wait backstage to present the female skeleton medal winners ©Philip BarkerFlower girls wait backstage to present the female skeleton medal winners ©Philip Barker



Slovakia fans perform a national chant for a television crew ©Philip BarkerSlovakia ice hockey fans perform a national chant for a television crew ©Philip Barker


What are these three mascots discussing I wonder? ©Philip BarkerWhat are these three mascots discussing I wonder?
©Philip Barker




17:35
We are back underway in the ice hockey and the US have promptly made it 4-0 after what can only be described as a goal mouth scramble.

17:23
An amazing statistic has just flashed up during the ice hockey break. Number of shots during the first period - 29 by the US in comparison with just one by Sweden. That tells you just about all you need to know about this match so far. The US lead 3-0.

17:16
Just to reiterate, China joined Canada and Sweden in the semi-finals of the women's curling earlier, while Britain will face Norway in a play-off during tomorrow's "rest day" for the final spot.

There will be more nail-biting moments later this evening though for China and Britain - if their fans have any finger nails left to bit that is - as each are among the contenders for the women's semi-finals ahead of the final round-robin matches (see 14:09 and 11:58 if you want to attempt to understand what each has to do to qualify). Good luck...

It was a superb performance by China to beat Great Britain and advance to the semi-finals ©Getty Images
It was a superb performance by China to beat Great Britain and advance to the curling  semi-finals ©Getty Images



17:10
The US women are the reigning world champions but have not won Olympic gold since Nagano 1998. But if they keep up this form that could all be about to change...

twitter logo
great first period ladies! @carpy05 @kstack16 @kbells22 @Hilary_Knight @AmandaKessel8 @Bdecker14 @mduggan10 @KendallCoyne #USAHockey
-
IOC Athletes Commission vice chair Angela Ruggiero tweets as many of the US team as she possibly can in 140 characters.

17:01
Make that 3-0 as Amanda Kessel scores to add to earlier strikes by Alex Carpenter and Kasey Bellamy.

16:54
It has not taken the Americans long to assert their authority in the women's ice hockey semi-final, racing into a 2-0 lead.

16:47
Just to round things up in the other matches - neither of which could affect the semi-final positions - Switzerland beat the United States 6-3 and hosts Russia came out on top 8-7 against German. Let us know whether you enjoyed it Claudia...

Britain and Norway to play-off for last men's curling semi-final spot after both beaten

16:43
China have beaten Britain 6-5 which means Britain and Norway will play-off tomorrow for the last semi-final place in the men's curling.

16:38
Norway have been beaten 5-3 by Denmark in the curling. That means if Britain beat China they are out...It is currently 5-5 there. If Britain lose it is a play-off tomorrow against Norway. But whatever happens, China's place alongside Sweden and Canada in the semi-final is guaranteed.

16:32
At the Shayba Ice Arena the women's ice hockey semi-final between the United States and Sweden is about to start. The US won the first ever women's Olympic ice hockey tournament at Nagano 1998 but have had to watch neighbours Canada win Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. The US were the beaten finalists at Salt Lake and Vancouver while the Swedes lost to the Canadians in Turin. 

16:24
But Britain pull it back to 5-5 against China...

16:21
In the curling Denmark have taken the lead 5-3 against Norway, the same score as by which China are leading Britain. If things stay like until the end then it means China will qualify automatically alongside Sweden and Canada and Norway and Britain will meet in a play-off tomorrow. We are currently in the ninth end. As Sir Alex Ferguson was fond of saying, "This is squeaky bum time."

Injury update: British halfpipe skier discharged from hospital

16:15
Britain's Rowan Cheshire has been discharged from hospital following a crash during halfpipe training yesterday (see 13:53).  Following an overnight stay at a local hospital, she has returned to the athletes' mountain Olympic Village after the doctors said they were happy with her progress.

16:00 We are heading towards the business end of the curling. China have just 4-3 up against Great Britain, Switzerland are leading the United States 5-2, it is 3-3 in the match between Denmark and Norway and Russia are 6-5 ahead against Germany. Will knowing Claudia is there help inspire the Germans to a late victory?

"It's much too dangerous" claim top riders as back decision to postpone snowboard cross

15:55 The decision to postpone the men's snowboard cross event because of fog at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park (see 14:18) has been backed by athletes and officials "The visibility at the top was bad the whole time," said German team coach Hans Riesch. "It would have been dangerous to ride because you couldn't see anything. It was a pure safety issue."

Organisers at Rosa Khutor went to extreme lengths to ready the course, even turning on the snow gun fans in an apparent attempt to blow away the fog. But with the gloom refusing to lift in time for seeding runs to be held, athletes had faced the possibility of competing with little or no time to ride the course, which had been altered slightly since the last official training on Saturday.

"If a guy bails in front of you, you get the short end of the stick," said Germany's Konstantin Schad. "I guess the maximum speed we reach is 80 kilometres per hour. There is no way of competing in fog - it's much too dangerous."

IOC member Stefan Holm proudly shares his letter inviting him to present the medals tonight to Sweden's winning 4x10 kilometres cross relay team ©Twitter

twitter logo"I hope the relay the guys appreciate it as much as I do"
- Sweden's IOC Athletes' Commission member Stefan Holm looks forward to presenting the gold medals tonight at the Medals Plaza in the Olympic Park to the country's 4x10 kilometres cross country relay team who won yesterday 

15:18 Update in the curling. China lead 3-2 against Britain, Switzerland are 3-1 up versus the United States, Denmark lead Norway 3-2 and it is 4-4 in the Russia and Germany match. Sounds like there has been plenty of good curling for Claudia to enjoy (see 14:42).

London 2012 long jump champion sets sights on Pyeongchang 2018 gold medal

Greg Rutherford won the long jump gold medal at London 2012 and now wants to win another one at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Sports Illustrated/Getty ImagesGreg Rutherford won the long jump gold medal at London 2012 and now wants to win another one at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Sports Illustrated/Getty Images


15:09 While the curling slowly comes to the boil, like a particularly tasty Scotch broth, bit of interesting news from the weekend. Apparently, Britain's Greg Rutherford has claimed that he has targeted Pyeongchang 2018 where he wants to try to become the first man for nearly a century to win gold medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Rutherford won the men's long jump at London 2012 and claims he hopes to have try-outs in bobsleigh and skeleton later this year. "I'm serious about it," he told The Guardian. "There is something about going down the ice head first that massively appeals to me. I genuinely want to try skeleton and bobsleigh. I might be awful or I might absolutely brick it but it's something I'm really keen to do."

Rutherford revealed he had been encouraged by Shelley Rudman, the Briton who won a silver medal in the skeleton at Turin 2006 and who finished 16th at Sochi 2014 in an event won by team-mate Lizzie Yarnold. "If I am good enough, my plan will be to continue through to the summer Olympics and after [Rio] 2016 either switch or spend my winters doing the new sport," he said.

The last time to achieve such a feat was American Eddie Eagan, won gold as a light-heavyweight boxer in Antwerp in 1920 and in the four-man bobsleigh in Lake Placid in 1932. "Speed is the one thing I am incredible fortunate to be blessed with," Rutherford said. "So there is no reason why I can't do well. If I am able to compete in the Winter Olympics then I will go there to win. I have achieved the major goal in my sport, which is winning the Olympic title, and now I want other challenges."

14:46
The men's snowboard cross competition has been rescheduled for 10:30 tomorrow with a shortened format after thick fog forced the postponement of the event at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park (see 14:18).  The seeding runs have been cancelled and the competition will now begin with athletes seeded according to their FIS points

14:42 We are sure Claudia is in for a fascinating afternoon at the curling. At the moment it is still early days, though. Britain are drawing 1-1 with China in a potentially decisive encounter for both teams, Russia are beating Germany 2-0, Switzerland are two up against the United States and Denmark are 1-0 ahead of Norway.

twitter logo"Good curling" is what they say when they start, I look forward to some good curling as well!

- IOC Athletes' Commission chair Claudia Bokel. Let's hope Claudia has rediscovered her Twitter Mojo after a couple of quiet days on the tweeting front.

And this is why events are being postponed...

Sochi 2014 officials can be barely seen through the fog at  Rosa Khutor Extreme Park forcing organisers to postpone events ©Getty ImagesSochi 2014 officials can be barely seen through the fog at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park forcing organisers to postpone events ©Getty Images

Men's 15km mass biathlon start also postponed

14:22
The men's 15km mass biathlon start competition, scheduled for 15:30, having originally supposed to have been held yesterday will also not to take place today. They hope to reschedule it for tomorrow now. 

Men's snowboard cross cancelled for day due to fog

14:18
At almost the same time as the curling starts, it is announced men's snowboard cross competition has been postponed at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and will not take place on Monday due to poor visibility caused by thick fog (see 11:39 and 14:00). A decision is awaited on when the competition will be held.

14:16
Good news is that there is finally action again with the start of the men's curling...

Where's Professor Stephen Hawking when you need him?

14:09
A list of possible scenarios in tonight's final set of robin round matches of the women's curling competition has just been released by the World Curling Federation and Sochi 2014 (see 11:58). 

If these teams win How they will stand

CHN-DEN-CAN-SWE

1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4 CHN
CHN-DEN-CAN-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR 4) tie-breaker between JPN-CHN
CHN-DEN-KOR-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4 CHN
CHN-DEN-KOR-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR 4) tie-breaker between JPN-CHN
CHN-GBR-CAN-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4 CHN
CHN-GBR-CAN-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4) tie-breaker between JPN-CHN
CHN-GBR-KOR-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4 CHN
CHN-GBR-KOR-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4) tie-breaker between JPN-CHN
SUI-DEN-CAN-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 SUI, 4 GBR
SUI-DEN-CAN-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 SUI, 4 GBR
SUI-DEN-KOR-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 SUI, 4 GBR
SUI-DEN-KOR-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, DSC* between GBR-JPN-SUI
SUI-GBR-CAN-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4 SUI
SUI-GBR-CAN-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4) tie-breaker between JPN-SUI
SUI-GBR-KOR-SWE 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4 SUI
SUI-GBR-KOR-JPN 1 CAN, 2 SWE, 3 GBR, 4) tiebreaker between JPN-SUI

* DSC: Draw Shot Challenge decides the ranking and could change after the "Last Stone Draw' of Session 12. In this situation, the team with the best DSC is qualified as 3rd, while the other two teams play a single tie-breaker."

Clear?

14:00
Sochi 2014 officials have just put out a statement reading: "The men's snowboard cross competition has been delayed until 14:00 at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Monday due to poor visibility caused by thick fog." But seeing as it is already past 2pm and we are looking at volunteers standing in foggy conditions on the course that seems unlikely...(see more at 11:39)

Injury update: British halfpipe skier to leave hospital later today


13:53 An update on the condition of Rowan Cheshire, who suffered an horrific crash yesterday during practice, has been released by the British Olympic Association. 

"Team GB halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire had a restful night in hospital following her fall during training last night," they said in a statement. "Cheshire will be discharged today after the doctors were happy with her progress. She will return to the Athlete's Mountain Village where she will be looked after by Team GB medical staff."

But the 18-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent still has not completely ruled out competing on Thursday, it seems.  "Her progress will be monitored on a day to day basis as is standard with concussion and a determination regarding her ability to compete will be made later this week," the BOA statement continued. "Please note there will be no further update today regarding Rowan Cheshire."

VIDEO: Jamaica's Bobsled Song




13:34 Jamaica's bobsleighers may have not have made a great start in yesterday's opening two rounds, ending the day last of the 30 teams. But they have released this song to accompany their re-entry to the Winter Olympics after a 12-year absence. Let's helped get them to number one in the charts at least!

Pyeongchang 2018 begins preparing for Closing Ceremony. Will it be Gangnam Style?

Gangnam Style 2


13:20 As we enter the final week of Sochi 2014 attention is slowly beginning to turn to Pyeongchang, the next hosts in four years time. As traditional, they will have a short segment in the Closing Ceremony on Sunday to promote themselves.

It has been revealed today that group of South Korean pop, classical and jazz artists will perform the nation's most popular folk song of "Arirang". Zainichi Korean pianist and composer Kunihiko Ryo, South Korean classical singer Jo Sumi, pop singer Lee Seung-chul and jazz singer Nah Youn-sun will perform a medley of various versions of "Arirang" with an orchestra.

No other details yet of what we can expect from the South Koreans and whether they have signed up Psy to perform the country's new unofficial national anthem Gangnam Style...

Quote graphic"We knew it was going to be tough, it was never going to be a walk in the park."
- Britain's Eve Muirhead after the women's curling team kept alive their hopes of gold medal glory with victory over Russia this morning. They need to beat Denmark tonight now to ensure their place in the semi-finals

Olympic figure skating champion celebrates victory at Japan House


12:38 After nine days of frantic non-stop action a bit of a strange feeling has enveloped Sochi 2014 at the moment. With the biathlon and snowboard cross currently on hold because of the weather and not even any curling to satisfy our appetite for Winter Olympic sport, we thought this might be a good opportunity to bring you some pictures of what has been happening on the fringes of the Games.

New Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu shows his support for Tokyo 2020 ©FacebookNew Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu shows his support for Tokyo 2020 ©Facebook

We thought we would start off with this picture of Yuzuru Hanyu visiting Japan House on the Olympic Park to celebrate his victory in the men's figure skating. He became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic figure skating gold when he beat three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada and, at 19, the youngest since St Moritz 1948, when the winner was American Dick Button. Of course, no visit is complete to Japan House without saying how much you are looking forward to Tokyo 2020...

Australian attacked on Twitter after criticising Russian anti-gay propaganda law


12:23 Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff has revealed she's being receiving hate tweets during these Games, targeting her sexuality. An outspoken critic of Russia's controversial anti-gay propaganda legislation, Brockhoff claims she has been attacked on social media due to her strong viewpoints.

"I've had a lot of people tweeting me about different things," Brockhoff said. "I've had hate tweets. But it's good getting different sides of the story, and trying to open your eyes a lot more before you say anything.

"I've been called an aggressive something dyke or something, but I thought it was pretty funny. This one guy said, 'I'm right behind Putin, you should break a leg and get locked in the slammer' ... The hate is funny."

12:05
While we ponder the likely scenarios in curling you might be wondering why we are not mentioning what else is going on. That is because nothing else is going on. The biathlon and snowboard cross being delayed due to the weather conditions.

Curling results

11:58 If Japan beat Sweden they will face the winners of China v Switzerland in a semi final play off tomorrow. I think. Unless Great Britain lose to Denmark in which case the complexity gets too much for me...

11:52 Great Britain have moved a step close to the women's semi finals. They have beaten Russia 9-6 and move up to third overall. A win this evening over Denmark will guarantee qualification.

But Japan have beaten China 8-5. Both sides, as well as Switzerland, are now tied on four wins. A mouth watering clash between China and Switzerland this evening while Japan will have a tough task against already qualified Sweden. Unbeaten Canada face South Korea in the other match.

twitter logoWasn't the best day yesterday, still don't remember much! Thanks everyone for the lovely messages
- Britain's Rowan Cheshire reflects on her halfpipe training crash yesterday. She also posted this picture.

British freestyle skier Rowan Cheshire following her crash yesterday ©TwitterBritish freestyle skier Rowan Cheshire following her crash yesterday ©Twitter



Snowboard cross seeding runs cancelled

11:39 The men's snowboard cross seeding runs have been cancelled at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Monday due to poor visibility, it has just been announced.

After a meeting of the International Ski Federation (FIS) jury, competition organisers will continue assessing conditions and hope to progress straight to the knock out rounds at 13:30. The seeding of the athletes there will be according to their FIS points.

IOC and Sochi 2014 press briefing and women's curling

11:38 The usual dose of statistics to round of the press briefing. There has been a total of 1,050,865 tickets sold with 127,235 sold yesterday and a total of 11,120 volunteers, reveals Kosterina.

President Bach is at bobsleigh today - not competing, just watching, Mark Adams adds just in case you were wondering. No doping figures given today.

11:34 The technicalities of snow and weather conditions at Rosa Khutor is being probed in greater detail now.

11:30 Russia reduce their curling deficit to one. It's 7-6 to Britain after nine ends but the British have the hammer in the tenth and final end. Japan lead China 6-5...

11:27 Has any reserve snow been used, is the straightforward next question? "Nyet", is the even blunter reply.

11:22 Is the level of attendance and support from Vladimir Putin abnormal for a host country leader, is the latest question? IOC spokesman Mark Adams suggests it is not that different from the Queen and British leader David Cameron's presence during London 2012, but is particularly pleasing. President Putin is clearly a huge sports fan. he adds. 

11:20 Question now about the former MP and Italian gay rights campaigner Vladimir Luxuria being reportedlly arrested in Sochi while watching the Winter Olympics with a banner reading "Gay Is OK" in Russian. No real response as of yet from Alexandra Kosterina. 

11:18 Question about long queues at Bosco superstore and now we are on to injuries and the whether spectator-friendly courses are being pushed at the expense of safety.

11:15 We were right. The first question is on the state of the biathlon and cross country course and whether it was snow rather than fog which is actually causing delays. The biathlon race has been delayed due to weather conditions until 15.30 this afternoon, is the brief reply of Sochi 2014 spokeswomen Alexandra Kosterina.

11:12 The daily briefing is underway. After the customary "highlights of the day" video we are hearing from two figures involved in the designing and organising of the Alpine skiing resort at Rosa Khutor.

11:06 South Korea have beaten the US 11-2.

11:05 Huge moments in the women's curling as Britain take four points to move 7-3 ahead of Russia. And it gets better for the British as Japan move 6-4 ahead of semi-final qualification rivals China.

twitter logoGreat bit of work in the eighth end there by @annasloan1 - few fist bumps & waving of GB flags in the crowd...still very tight #LoveCurling
- Team GB are also feeling the curling love as their team makes a huge move to go 7-3 ahead of Russia.

10:49 But we are perfectly happy to just have curling to keep us occupied this morning. There is something refreshingly reassuring about the sight of curlers in a huddle talking tactics before returning to the ice for yet another methodically thought out shot.

Curling is proving as compelling and nerve-wracking as ever at Sochi 2014 ©Sports Illustrated/Getty ImagesCurling is proving as compelling and nerve-wracking as ever at Sochi 2014
©Sports Illustrated/Getty Images



I have said it before, and risk alienating some of our international readers by saying so again, but in its slow, drawn out and immensely tactical yet captivating nature, it reminds me strongly of test match cricket. And I mean that as a huge compliment. 

They are talking about a rest day tomorrow as long as there are no ties in terms of semi-final qualification. A rest day in curling? I think there's more chance of Jamaica recovering from 30th overnight to win a bobsleigh medal later on than that happening.

Britain and Russia are still locked at 3-3, while Japan are 5-4 up on China. In the dead rubber meanwhile the nightmare is getting worse for the US as they trail 9-2 to South Korea.

10:44 We spoke too soon about snowboard cross delays. Hearing reports now that the first seeding run has been put back until 12:15 with the second to follow at 12:50.

10:37 There have been no further update this morning as of yet about British halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire - who suffered concussion and was kept in hospital overnight as a precaution after being knocked unconscious in a training accident yesterday. Read our report here.

twitter logoIt's gonna be a close finish! (If you can see the #SBX finish line!) Will keep you posted on delays #GoAUS
-
Australia's Olympic team provide updates on the fog engulfing the Mountain Cluster. Still no word on snowboard cross delays - it is due to start at 11am.

There might be a problem seeing who crosses the line first in the snowboard cross if the fog remains ©TwitterThere might be a problem seeing who crosses the line first in the snowboard cross if the fog remains ©Twitter



10:25 You can see the weather has changed a bit here in the Coastal Cluster as well by these photos provided yesterday by insidethegames historian Philip Barker. But the atmosphere remains as good as ever in the Olympic Park.

Supporters having fun besides the Olympic Rings ©Philip BarkerSupporters having fun besides the Olympic Rings ©Philip Barker

Entertainers add to the atmosphere in the Olympic Park ©Philip BarkerEntertainers add to the atmosphere in the Olympic Park ©Philip Barker



10:18 It is still just curling going on at the moment. Neither Canada or Sweden are playing this morning but both have already qualified for the semi-finals. China, Britain and Switzerland are all tied on four wins each - but the Swiss are also not playing at the moment. 

Britain remain 3-2 up on Russia while China have pegged it back to 3-3 against Japan. South Korea and the US are ranked ninth and 10th respectively so have no chance of making it through but it's turning into an early morning nightmare for the Americans at the moment. They are trailing 7-1 after four ends. 

10:10 Hearing reports of fog engulfing the snowboard cross course as well this morning - so we will keep you posted on time changes there as well.

I think I know what the first question in the IOC press briefing later this morning might be...

Early morning nerves at the curling

10:03
There may still be no biathlon but action has already begun at the Curling Centre and, wi

About the author

Duncan Mackay Editor

Duncan Mackay

Duncan Mackay is the editor of insidethegames.biz. Awards include British Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, British News Story of the Year in 2004 and British Sports Internet Reporter of the Year in 2009. Mackay is one of Britain's best-connected journalists and during the 16 years he worked at The Guardian and The Observer he regularly broke a number of major exclusive stories, including the news that British sprinter Dwain Chambers had tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs.


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