Canada’s medal count hits 20 with four gold, five silver and 11 bronze; Canada’s Jennifer Jones misses out on women’s curling playoffs; Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva stumbles to fourth in women’s singles.

Beijing Olympics: Latest updates


  • Ice hockey: After waiting 1,460 days to get their revenge, the Canadian national women’s hockey team took Olympic gold, beating the United States, 3-2. Captain Marie-Philip Poulin led Canada with two goals and an assist. Sarah Nurse contributed a goal and an assist, with goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens making 38 saves for the victory. The Globe’s Rachel Brady reports that Team Canada thrived in Beijing because everybody mattered. Canada was superbly talented, but also unique in other ways. They bought in to a different style of play – all five players working interchangeably regardless of position. Meanwhile, Canada was ousted from men’s hockey after losing 2-0 to Sweden in the quarter-final match.
  • Freestyle skiing: Canada’s Marielle Thompson has won the silver medal in women’s ski cross at the Beijing Olympics after finishing second in a drama-filled final. Thompson, from Whistler, B.C., made a late push in the big final to finish behind Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund, who led the race from wire to wire. It was Canada’s first trip to the podium in the event since since capturing ski cross gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Canada had four skiers in the semifinals, but only Thompson advanced to the big final.
  • Curling: Canada’s Jennifer Jones missed out on women’s curling playoffs despite winning her final match of the preliminary round. Jones beat Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont 10-4 in the round-robin finale, which temporarily kept her playoff hopes alive. But losses by Russia and South Korea sent Canada packing. Jones finished fifth in the 10-team standings with a 5-4 record. Britain and Japan, also at 5-4, advanced based on their better draw shot challenge (DSC) numbers. Earlier, Canada’s men’s curling team closed out its round-robin schedule with a 5-2 loss to Britain. Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals. The men’s team was playing Sweden Thursday morning.
  • Figure Skating: Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova upset teammate Kamila Valieva, who stumbled to fourth amid a doping scandal, to take the gold medal in women’s singles. Alexandra Trusova of Russia finished second for silver with Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto taking bronze in third. Valieva’s finish means the Olympic medal ceremony could go ahead at the Beijing Games. The IOC has said it would not have a medal ceremony for competitions involving Valieva. Her pre-Games positive test for a banned substance was revealed after she led her team to the gold medal last week, but she was cleared to skate ahead of a full investigation. Canada’s Madeline Schizas finished nineteenth in the event.
  • Freestyle Skiing: All six Canadians — women and men — advancing to their respective finals in freeski halfpipe. On the women’s side, Rachael Karker of Erin, Ont., was second in qualifying behind China’s Eileen Gu. Cassie Sharpe from Comox, B.C., placed sixth and Calgary’s Amy Fraser finished 11th. For the men, Calgary’s Brendan Mackay was the top Canadian in fifth, ahead of Noah Bowman, also of Calgary, in sixth. Simon d’Artois from Whistler, B.C., placed eighth. The top-12 athletes in both the women’s and men’s qualification runs advanced to the finals.
  • U.S. figure skaters want their medals: The U.S. figure skating team told the president of the International Olympic Committee they would have liked to leave the Beijing Games with their figure skating medals won 10 days ago, the U.S. Olympic Committee said on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has sent a letter to the International Skating Union asking that last week’s team results, in which the Russians won gold, should stand regardless of the outcome of Kamila Valieva’s drug case.
  • IIHF, NHL officials optimistic about deal for 2026 Olympics: International Ice Hockey Federation president Luc Tardif said Thursday he is optimistic NHL players will participate in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina, though he wants an agreement reached further in advance than this time around.

Olympic highlights and medal count for Feb. 17

Latest Olympic medal count

Canadian men’s hockey team disappointed after quarter-final defeat: ‘Just wasn’t enough’: Claude Julien never once faulted his team’s heart or desire. Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey coach was also acutely aware of its shortcomings. “Everybody’s got a little bit of a wart in their game,” Julien said earlier this week in an eyebrow-raising moment of candour. “It’s about trying to adjust with that and taking advantage of all their strengths.”

Shiffrin again misses gate at Olympics: Mikaela Shiffrin came to the Beijing Olympics as one of the biggest stars of Alpine skiing – or any sport. She will leave without any individual medals after managing to finish just two of the five women’s races. Shiffrin’s latest mistake of the Winter Games came Thursday in the second leg of the combined, which adds the times from one downhill run and one slalom run. The American stood fifth after the downhill, certainly in contention for a higher finish, but she encountered trouble after about 10 seconds, missed a gate and ended up landing on her hip.

U.S. skaters to get Olympic torches as medals wait: IOC president Thomas Bach offered U.S. figure skaters Olympic torches as holdover gifts while they await a resolution of the Russian doping case that is preventing them from receiving their silver medals, The Associated Press has learned. Two people familiar with the events told the AP late Wednesday that Bach, in a private meeting with the skaters in Beijing that lasted about two hours, reiterated the IOC stance that no medal ceremonies would be held for events involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.

Beijing sees more subdued Olympic atmosphere as COVID-19 forces residents to watch online: Zhou Jun remembers the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics, when it seemed like everyone was learning English to be able to communicate with the foreign visitors about to descend on the city. Athletes and foreign fans roamed the city throughout the Games. “I remember that the streets and alleys were filled with the theme song of the Beijing Olympics,” the 37-year-old said. “There were mascots everywhere. The atmosphere was very festive.” The Olympics returned this year to a China that has changed in many ways, and the atmosphere has been much more subdued.

The Globe and Mail, February 17, 2022