Canada’s Brady Leman has earned his Olympic redemption.
Leman, from Calgary, won gold in the men’s skicross at the Pyeongchang Games on Wednesday, making up for a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Canada also secured a bronze medal as Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries and Phylicia George of Markham. Ont., were third in women’s bobsled at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
Toronto’s Kevin Drury was last in the four-man big final after crashing with Sergey Ridzik, an Olympic Athlete from Russia. Ridzik recovered enough to finish behind Leman and Switzerland’s Marc Bischofberger.
Leman held off a late charge by Bischofberger to win Olympic gold for the first time.
“I had to just let go of everything and just race,” Leman said. “Turn the brain off a little bit in the race, which seemed to work out I guess.”
Drury was seemingly fine after the crash, shouting encouragement to Leman before the podium ceremony. David Duncan of London, Ont., was fourth in the small final, putting him eighth overall.
Montreal’s Chris Del Bosco crashed in an earlier heat and was taken to hospital where he was conscious and stable. A spokesperson for Freestyle Canada told The Canadian Press that Del Bosco has a suspected pelvic injury.
“Chris Del Bosco sustained a fall during today’s skicross race,” Alpine Canada said in a statement. “He’s been taken to hospital with team doctors for examination.
Further information will be released when available.”
Del Bosco finished fourth when skicross made its Olympic debut at the 2010 Vancouver Games. The 2011 world champion has won gold at the Winter X Games on two occasions.
He was 17th at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Humphries, the two-time defending Olympic gold medallist from 2010 and 2014, and George moved from fifth to third following the third run. But the Canadians couldn’t overtake either Germany’s Mariama Jamanka or American Elana Meyers Taylor on their final run and captured the bronze medal with an overtime time of three minutes 22.89 seconds.
Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz won gold in 3:22.45 while Meyers Taylor, who finished second behind Humphries in 2014, and Lauren Gibbs took second in 3:22.52.
Edmonton’s Alysia Rissling and Heather Moyse of Summerside, P.E.I. — the brakeman for Humphries at the 2010 and 2014 Games — finished sixth in 3:23.63. Christine de Bruin of Stony Plain, Alta., and Melissa Lotholz of Barrhead, Alta., seventh in 3:23.89.
Canadian curler Rachel Homan is leaving the Olympics earlier than she’d hoped. Her rink’s fifth loss of the women’s round robin eliminated them from medal contention, the first time Canada has ever missed out on a medal in either men’s or women’s curling since the sports made its return to the Winter Olympics in 1998.
Homan’s team fell 6-5 to Britain’s Eve Muirhead in the morning draw. The Canadians needed to win it and their round-robin finale against Olympic Athletes from Russia to avoid elimination.
“I’m a little bit disappointed,” Homan said. “We wanted to try and qualify and make playoffs for Canada, but we gave it all we had. We never gave up. It’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s sport.”
The top four teams in the round robin advance to the semifinals.
South Korea’s EunJung Kim (7-1) and Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg (6-2) were already playoff-bound prior to the final draw. Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa was 5-3 ahead of Muirhead at 5-4.
Canada remained in contention on the men’s side as Calgary’s Kevin Koe finished second at 6-3 behind Sweden’s Niklas Edin (7-2). Koe’s rink capped the round robin with an 8-3 win over Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne and faces American John Shuster (5-4) in Thursday’s semifinal.
The Canadian men’s hockey team advanced to the semifinals with a tight 1-0 win over Finland. Maxim Noreau registered the game’s lone goal early in the third period but the big development for Canada game in goal.
“I saw it from the bench. It had eyes,” Canada captain Chris Kelly said of Noreau’s shot. “A fantastic (faceoff) win by (O’Dell). That’s kind of what it takes. Just one play and that’s the difference.”
The Canadians lost starting netminder Ben Scrivens to an upper-body injury in the second. He gave way to Kevin Poulin at 4:17 of the period after being flattened by Finland’s Veli-Matti Savinainen, who was being checked on the play by Canadian Eric O’Dell.
Poulin was rock-steady in relief, stopping all 15 shots he faced after Scrivens opened by making six saves. The Canadians, devoid of NHL talent, are now just two wins away from an Olympic three-peat.
Canada will face Germany in semifinal action Friday after the Germans shocked Sweden 4-3 in overtime Wednesday. The Russian entry faces the Czech Republic in the other contest.
Snowboarders Mark McMorris and Max Parrot could earn more medals after qualifying for the men’s big air final.
McMorris, from Regina, was third in the second heat, scoring a 95.75 on his second run to qualify for Saturday’s final.
Parrot, from Bromont, Que., was the top qualifier in the first heat with a 92.50 run. Sebastien Toutant of L’Assomption, Que., also advanced with his 91.00-point performance.
McMorris is less than a year removed from a catastrophic backcountry snowboarding accident. He has already earned a bronze in men’s slopestyle at these Games behind Parrot, who took silver.
The top six performers from each 18-man heat advanced.
In figure skating, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., was in third place following the women’s short program. Osmond scored 78.87 points, 4.05 behind leader Alina Zagitova.