Beijing Olympics Day 15: Team Canada chasing gold in ski halfpipe, speedskating; Canadians hope to slide onto podium in bobsled finals

The latest Olympics news from Beijing and around the world on Day 15. Web links to longer stories if available:

6 p.m.: Here’s a look at some of Team Canada’s upcoming events:

  • Simon d’Artois, Noah Bowman, and Brendan Mackay are competing in the men’s freeski halfpipe finals at 8:30 p.m. ET.
  • Rémi Drolet and Olivier Léveillé will be competing in the men’s 50km mass start at 1 a.m.
  • Longtrack speedskaters Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais will compete in the mass start at 2 a.m. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu and Jordan Belchos race for the men.
  • In pairs figure skating, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro along with Vanessa James and Eric Radford, compete in freeskate at 6 a.m..
  • In two-woman bobsled, Canadian pairs Melissa Lotholz and Sara Villani, Cynthia Appiah and Richardson Wilson, and monobob bronze medallist Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski will compete in the third heat at 7 a.m.
  • Canada will race in the 1/8 alpine ski finals against Slovenia.
  • The following teams are competing for Canada in the first heat of the 4-man bobsleigh event starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. Starting 5th: Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell. Starting 15th: Christopher Spring, Cody Sorensen, Samuel Giguere and Mike Evelyn. 16th: Taylor Austin, Daniel Sunderland, Chris Patrician, and Jay Dearborn.

11:25 p.m.: The Pyeongchang Games served as a wake-up call. The Beijing Olympics made it clear. Canada is not the curling force it once was.

At the Beijing Games, all three Canadian entries had middling performances. Morris and Rachel Homan missed the playoffs in mixed doubles and Jennifer Jones didn’t make the cut in the women’s team event. Brad Gushue lost the men’s semifinal before salvaging a bronze with a win over the United States.

11:20 a.m.: Dave Feschuk: In 2018, the Canadian women had to finally admit they were No. 2 in hockey. Here’s how they got back to Olympic gold

10 a.m.: Figure skaters Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China shattered their own world record for a short program at the Beijing Games on Friday night with a score of 84.41 points, giving them the narrowest of leads over Russian rivals Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov heading into the free skate to decide the Olympic champion.

9:25 a.m.: IOC President Thomas Bach joined the global bandwagon of support for Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva on Friday, criticizing her entourage and questioning whether 15-year-old athletes should be put under such pressure at the Olympics.

Want the Star’s take? Here’s the latest from Bruce Arthur: IOC president Thomas Bach’s tough talk on Kamila Valieva controversy was galling

8:30 a.m.: Laurent Dubreuil’s wife asked him: Do you want to see us? The CBC sets up video connections to the families of Olympic athletes here that you see right after your event, from across the world. Dubreuil had done it once already, after the 500-metre long-track race in which he was the favourite. He finished fourth by three-hundredths of a second. He said seeing his family was the hardest part. So he told his wife no.

“After the 500, I talked to them just so they would know I’m not that pissed off, that angry, you know?” said Dubreuil, smiling, after winning silver in the men’s 1,000-metre sprint.

Bruce Arthur: Speedskater Laurent Dubreuil goes the distance for silver after narrow miss earlier in Beijing

Previously: Speedskater Laurent Dubreuil wins silver in 1,000 metres; Brad Gushue defeats American John Shuster 8-5 to win curling bronze; Cassie Sharpe and Rachael Karker took the silver and bronze in ski halfpipe.

Click here for a full write-up of what you missed yesterday at the Beijing Olympics.

For full coverage of the Beijing Olympics, click here.

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