Sochi 2014, Day 16: What’s on this Sunday?
There are three gold medals up for grabs on the final day of Sochi 2014, with the men going for glory in the 50km cross-country skiing mass start, the four-man bobsleigh and, last of all, the ice hockey gold medal match, which is scheduled to finish an hour before the Closing Ceremony brings the curtain down on the XXII Olympic Winter Games.
Flashback to Vancouver 2010:
Crosby’s golden goal sends Canada wild
Cross-country skiing, men’s 50km mass start: Petter Northug of Norway did justice to the No1 bib, sitting in with the leaders right from start and digging deep after two hours of intense effort to beat Germany’s Axel Teichmann in the sprint for the line. The bronze medal went to Johan Olsson of Sweden, who came home just a second behind Northug in the tightest finish ever seen over this distance. After a disappointing first two weeks at Sochi, the formidable Northug will be determined to sign off with a successful title defence and another gold medal
Bobsleigh, men’s four-man: USA-1 driver Steven Holcomb and his team-mates Steve Mesler, Curtis Tomasevicz and Justin Olsen beat the Whistler track record twice en route to deposing two-time reigning Olympic champion Andre Lange in Germany 1. Just for good measure, the Americans also went fastest in the third run before easing home to win by 0.38 seconds. Driven by Lyndon Rush, Canada 1 came in third, just 0.01 seconds behind the German bob. Holcomb is back in action in Sochi, and after warming up with a bronze in the two-man, he will be looking to pilot his quartet to another gold in his favourite event.
Ice hockey, men’s final: The streets of Vancouver and Canada as a whole were deserted as the nation assembled in front of their TV sets to watch their ice hockey heroes take on USA with the gold medal at stake. The match, watched by a capacity crowd of 17,748 at the Canada Hockey Place, did not disappoint, with the score locked at 2-2 at the end of regular time. Sidney Crosby was to be the host nation’s matchwinner, the Pittsburgh Penguins centre slamming in a golden goal from a Jarome Iginla assist seven minutes into overtime. The home side’s pulsating victory triggered jubilant scenes in Vancouver as fans flooded into the streets for a party that would last long into the night. The 3-2 win gave the hosts their 14th gold medal of the fortnight, a new Olympic Winter Games record. Having seen off the USA in the semi-finals, the Canadians will be defending their title against Sweden in the gold medal match in Sochi.
Closing Ceremony: IOC President Jacques Rogge declared the XXII Olympic Winter Games closed at 18:56 on Sunday 28 February 2010. The two Olympic flames – one installed in the centre of the Olympic Stadium and the other in the downtown location of Jack Poole Plaza, on the shore of Burrard Inlet – were simultaneously extinguished just four minutes later. The Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, then passed the Olympic flag to Rogge, who in turn handed it to the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov.
Four years on, and it will be the Fisht Olympic Stadium in the Russian city that takes centre stage, and if the Closing Ceremony is as spectacular as the one that opened the Games 16 days earlier, then we’re in for a treat!