Olympics live: the last alpine event was moved earlier due to the wind

Members of the Ukrainian team climb the Olympic rings to pose for a photo in the Olympic Village of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Beijing's Yanqing district.  (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Members of the Ukrainian team climb the Olympic rings to pose for a photo in the Olympic Village of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Beijing’s Yanqing district. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

PA

The latest news on the Beijing Winter Olympics:

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The last alpine ski race of the Beijing Olympics has been rescheduled an hour earlier than expected due to strong winds announced.

The mixed team parallel event is now scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday Beijing time, instead of 11 a.m.

The wind is expected to exceed 20 mph (30 km/h.)

The team event involves men and women from each participating country and is the last chance for American Mikaela Shiffrin to medal at the 2022 Winter Games.

Only one of the 10 athletes who won individual gold medals in Beijing was on the team rosters released on Friday: Austria’s Johannes Strolz. He won the men’s combined last week and also picked up a silver medal in the slalom on Wednesday.

There is a group of 16 teams but only 15 nations entered, so top-seeded Austria will get a first-round bye.

The first round matchups are USA v Slovakia, Switzerland v China, Italy v Russia, Norway v Poland, France v Czech Republic, Germany v Sweden and Slovenia v Canada.

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Johannes Thingnes Boe looked like himself again, dominating from the start and keeping his composure throughout the four firing stages to claim Olympic gold on Friday in the mass start biathlon race.

The tall Norwegian threw his arms in the air as he crossed the line in 38 minutes, 14.4 seconds.

Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma only missed one target on the last shot and left the range in pursuit of Boe. He won silver, 40.3 seconds behind Boe. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen of Norway shot clean on the final shot and won bronze, finishing 1:12.5 behind.

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Thomas Krol won gold in the 1,000 metres, giving the Netherlands its third straight Olympic speed skating title in the event.

Krol was clocked in 1 minute, 7.92 seconds.

Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil won silver. Haavard Lorentzen, the 2018 silver medalist, took bronze.

The Netherlands won their fifth gold medal in 12 events in Beijing with one day of competition remaining.

In 2014 Stefan Groothuis won the 1000m and Kjeld Nuis followed with a win in 2018.

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Sixteen years after winning Olympic gold in curling, Brad Gushue returns to Canada with bronze.

The Canadians took advantage of a last missed shot by American – and reigning Olympic champion – John Shuster in the penultimate inning that turned a one-run advantage into an insurmountable 8-5 lead.

Gushue won gold in Turin in 2006. At the time, he shared the podium with Shuster, who won bronze.

This time, the Canadian skip brought down his American counterpart.

The Americans took a 5-4 lead with two runs in the sixth, then Canada scored two in the eighth to take the lead. With the United States holding the last-rock advantage in the ninth, Shuster tried to knock two Canadian rocks into the scoring area, but missed.

It gave Gushue two points, with one volley to go. Canada’s penultimate shot cleared all of the American rocks from the target area, leaving no chance for the United States to tie the game, and Shuster immediately conceded.

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Justine Braisaz-Bouchet moved up front with a strong, patient shot and stayed there with her cross-country skiing to win the women’s biathlon mass start race at the Olympics.

A strong wind affected the field as they lined up each time to shoot, but Braisaz-Bouchet only missed once on the last standing shot and skied out of range in first place. She held on and crossed the line carrying a French flag in 40 minutes, 18 seconds.

Norwegian teammates Tiril Eckhoff and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland missed two targets each in this last fight and left the field together, 48 seconds behind the Frenchwoman. Eckhoff chased hard and crossed the line for the silver, trailing Braisaz-Bouchet by 15.3 seconds.

Roeiseland won bronze, her fifth medal at the Beijing Games.

Roeiseland is the second biathlete, male or female, to medal in all four individual events at the Olympics, tying Norwegian great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. She also won gold in the mixed relay.

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Ryan Regez led a brace for Switzerland in the Olympic ski cross final at Genting Snow Park.

Regez took the lead early and never let it go along a course filled with bumps, jumps and rolling terrain. He raised his arms in triumph shortly after crossing the finish line.

His teammate, Alex Fiva, 36, finished with the silver medal and Russian athlete Sergey Ridzik took bronze.

As a child, Regez always thought his future was in alpine skiing, specifically downhill. When that didn’t materialize, he started an apprenticeship as a structural designer before discovering skicross.

He paid in gold.

In the small final, Italian skicross racer Simone Deromedis won the heat with a bit of flair. He came out of the last jump and did the splits before crossing the finish line.

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International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has criticized Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s entourage for their “extreme coldness” towards the 15-year-old skater after her error-filled free skate at the Beijing Olympics.

Bach says it was “chilling” to watch on TV. Valieva, who was at the center of controversy over a positive doping test, finished fourth overall despite finishing first in the women’s short program earlier in the week.

The IOC President did not name Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who was seen on camera telling a visibly upset Valieva: “Why did you give up? Why did you stop fighting?

Bach says “you could feel this scary atmosphere, this distance.”

Tutberidze and other members of Valieva’s entourage will be investigated over the teenager’s positive test for heart medication ahead of the Olympics.

Bach says the pressure put on Valieva was “beyond my imagination”.

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Eileen Gu won gold in the women’s halfpipe final on a windy and cold morning to become the first action sports athlete to win three medals at the same Winter Olympics.

Gu warmed up with a score of 93.25 in her first run, before going even higher and bigger to post a 95.25 in her second. For her third and final pass, and with the contest locked, she had a nice leisurely walk.

The eminent freestyle skier of American origin who represents China already had a gold medal in big air and a silver in slopestyle.

Defending Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada was second and her teammate Rachael Karker took the bronze medal. Teenager Hanna Faulhaber was the top American in sixth place.

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Germany’s Francesco Friedrich took part in the final day of four-man bobsleigh training at the Beijing Olympics on Friday, a day after suggesting he could skip the session.

Friedrich was the first sled down the hill on Friday for the final practice session. This may have played a role in his decision to participate. Friedrich was one of the last sleds to hit the ice on Thursday during a four-man practice and afterwards the three-time Olympic champion expressed concerns about track conditions.

He probably liked what he saw on Friday. Friedrich started the day with a run of 58.98 seconds. It was his fastest in five runs on the Yanqing Sliding Center ice in his four-man sled this week.

He is the big favorite for gold in the four-man event which starts on Saturday.

Some of the top sliders opted out of practice on Friday, including Canadian teammates Justin Kripps and Chris Spring, Germany’s Christoph Hafer and Latvian veteran Oskars Kibermanis. It is not uncommon for veterans to withdraw from a training session, in order to preserve their bodies and their sleds for the two days of competition that lie ahead.

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Eileen Gu earned the highest score in her first run of the women’s halfpipe final as she tries to become the first action sports athlete to win three medals at the same Winter Games.

The eminent freestyle skier of American origin who represents China already has a gold medal in big air and a silver in slopestyle.

On a windy and cool day, Gu rode a strong run and scored a 93.25 to easily lead the way. Defending Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada sits in second place after the first run of three and her teammate Rachael Karker was third. American teenager Hanna Faulhaber was fourth.

The temperature hovered around 3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 16 Celsius) with an 11 mph wind.

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Judges who let Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva compete at the Beijing Olympics despite testing positive for a banned substance have accused anti-doping officials of “not operating effectively”.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, in a recently published 41-page document explaining its decision, cited “unsustainable delay” at the testing laboratory in Sweden.

This meant that Valieva’s positive test for a heart medication was only revealed during the Olympics despite her urine sample arriving in Stockholm on December 29. Laboratory staff have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her lawyers have suggested she was infected because her grandfather uses the banned heart medication for which she tested positive.

The judges’ full verdict was released early Friday, hours after 15-year-old Valieva’s error-filled free skate sent her losing her mind to finish fourth in the Olympic women’s individual event.

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The International Testing Agency says Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Hunko tested positive for an anabolic steroid at the Beijing Games.

The ITA says she failed a drug test after competing on Monday. She placed 20th in women’s monobob.

Hunko is the third athlete to test positive for doping at the Beijing Olympics and the second from Ukraine, after cross-country skier Valnetyna Kaminska.

The three ITA cases in Beijing detected a steroid.

Hunko, 28, placed second in the 2016 World’s Strongest Woman pageant, according to her official biography of the Beijing Olympian.

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More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

About Ethel Partin

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