Canada’s Grondin, O’Dine win bronze medal in mixed team snowboard cross

By The Canadian Press

Meryeta O’Dine didn’t expect her second Olympic medal would come down to a crawling contest.

O’Dine was third in the mixed team snowboard cross big final at the Beijing Olympics Saturday when she was knocked down by Italy’s Caterina Carpano, who took a jump too high and landed on the Canadian’s back.

Gold and silver were out of the equation. Thus began the scramble for third.

O’Dine of Prince George, B.C., made her way to the first jump. With no momentum, she needed to inch her way up – on her hands and knees – just to get her race going again. She beat Carpano to the top of the jump, and crossed the finish line more than five seconds ahead of the Italian.

O’Dine claimed bronze with partner Eliot Grondin of Sainte-Marie, Que.

“You’ve got both your feet still strapped in and you just basically do a bear crawl going up the front of the jump,” said O’Dine.

“You work as hard as you can and it felt like for that moment was all the cardio that I did all summer.”

It was the second Olympic medal for both O’Dine and Grondin. She captured bronze in women’s snowboard cross on Wednesday while he claimed silver in the men’s event the following day.

O’Dine finished 23.20 seconds behind American Lindsey Jacobellis, who won gold with partner Nick Baumgartner. The Italian pairing of Omar Visintin and Michela Moioli took silver.

After O’Dine and Carpano crashed all the cameras were focused on the race for gold between Jacobellis and Moioli, leaving Grondin in the dark about the fate of his partner.

“It’s stressful, I won’t lie. You don’t know what’s happening here,” he said.

A second Canadian team of Liam Moffatt of Londonderry, N.S., and Tess Critchlow of Big White, B.C., were eliminated in the quarterfinal.

Canada’s other medal hopeful later Saturday failed to deliver.

Laurent Dubreuil

Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil reacts after skating in the men’s 500 metre speedskating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Saturday, February 12, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Speedskater Laurent Dubreuil was fourth in the men’s 500 metres, narrowly missing out on a podium spot by 0.03 seconds.

The 29-year-old from Levis, Que., the reigning world champion in the distance, posted a time of 34.522 in the skate’s final pairing. China’s Gao Tingyu won gold.

Calgary’s Gilmore Junio was 21st. Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., was 29th of 30 skaters.

In the skeleton, Mirela Rahneva of Ottawa finished fifth overall after scoring the fastest time in the first run.

The 33-year-old posted a combined time of 4:09.15 over four runs in a contest that was won by Germany’s Hannah Neise. Neise pulled off a surprise victory over Australia’s Jaclyn Narracott and the Netherlands’ Kimberley Bos to win her first Olympic title.

After starting with the best round, Rahneva fell to ninth after the second.

“I think it’s been much like all season, just up and down,” she said. “I’m struggling to find that consistency but I’ve so much to be thankful for.”

Rahneva cited the challenges she’s faced in recent years, including being without a coach for a while and having to train virtually.

She rebounded with a better third run, which helped lift her to fifth — an improvement over her 12th place result four years ago in PyeongChang.

RELATED: Daily Recap: Canada’s results at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

It was a difficult day for Canadian team sports, with losses in hockey and curling.

In men’s hockey, Canada goaltender Edward Pasquale blamed himself for a 4-2 loss to the United States – the first meeting between the countries since the semifinal of the 2014 Sochi Games.

Pasquale was shaky in the 23-save performance that saw Canada fall to 1-1 in the tournament.

A disastrous Pasquale miscue gifted the Americans a 3-1 advantage when Nick Shore stole the puck behind Canada’s net and fed Brendan Brisson in front early in the second period.

And Kenny Agostino’s blast at 6:13 of the third leaked through an unscreened Pasquale to seal the victory for the U.S.

“I fought the puck pretty much all (game),” said the Canadian netminder. “I gave up two weak ones. If I make those two saves we’re 2-2 going into overtime.”

Mat Robinson and Corban Knight replied for Canada, which closes out round-robin play Sunday against the Chinese.

At the Ice Cube, Sweden’s curlers got the better of Canada twice on the day.

A mistake by skip Jennifer Jones and her teammates ended Canada’s comeback bid in a 7-6 loss to Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.

Jones’ final stone in the 10th end overcurled and the Canadians’ assumption they had second shot stone _ which would have forced a tie and sent the match to an extra end _ was wrong.

“I was pretty happy to have the opportunity and unfortunately it just overcurled probably by half an inch,” Jones said. “It wasn’t that far off.”

A measurement confirmed the Swedish rock on the edge of the eight-foot ring was closer than Canada’s.

Holding Canada to a single gave the defending champions the victory and sent Jones to her second straight loss.

“I was surprised the measure didn’t go our way,” said Canada vice Kaitlyn Lawes. “I’m actually still pretty shocked about that. I would have bet my house that we were sitting second shot there.”

Canada lost for the second straight day and slipped to 1-2.

Later in the day, Brad Gushue dropped a 7-4 decision to Sweden’s Niklas Edin. The Canadians have lost two in a row to fall to 2-2. They get the Americans next.

At the National speedskating Oval, the Canadian women advanced to the semifinal of the speedskating team pursuit.

Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann, and Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., finished second in 2:53.97 seconds _ 0.36 seconds behind Japan’s Olympic record-setting time.

The Canadians will face the Netherlands in Tuesday’s semifinal.

A few hundred kilometres away in Zhangjiakou, the Canadian women crossed the finish line ninth in the cross-country ski relay.

Canada finished the 20-kilometre event – four legs of five kilometres each – in 57:20.9. They were 3:39.9 behind the gold medal-winning team from Russia.

Canada’s foursome was made up of Katherine Stewart-Jones from Chelsea, Que., Dahria Beatty of Whitehorse, Cendrine Browne of Saint-Jerome, Que., and Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt of Morin Heights, Que.

In ice dancing, the team of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier will have some ground to make up heading into the free skate following a sixth-place performance in the rhythm dance.

The bronze medallists at the 2021 world championships skated an entertaining routine to music by Elton John but were docked points on a mistake in their “twizzles,” which are side-by-side one-footed turns that must be done in perfect unison.

“I’ll replay it for sure,” Gilles said. “But you know, it’s a new day on Monday (the free dance) and I’m excited to kind of have a fresh slate.”

The pair, who were dressed in bedazzled neon orange bodysuits, scored 83.52 points.

France’s four-time world champions Gabriela Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who were runners-up to Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir four years ago in Pyeongchang, scored 90.83 to move into first place, while Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov earned 88.85 points to settle into second. Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue were third.

Canada’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen, who used to compete for Denmark, made their Olympic debut, earning an eighth-best score of 78.54

A third Canadian pair, 21-year-old Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que. and 22-year-old Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., sit in 13th.

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