2 hr 34 min agoFinland beats Switzerland to reach men’s ice hockey semifinalsFrom CNN’s Matias Grez
Switzerland’s Yannick Weber (L) and Finland’s Harri Pesonen vie for the puck during their men’s hockey quarterfinal match on Feb. 16. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)Finland comfortably eased past Switzerland 5-1 to reach the semifinals of the men’s ice hockey competition.
They join the Russian Olympic Committee and Slovakia, who stunned the USA on penalties earlier on Wednesday, in the final four.
Sweden and Canada face off later this afternoon for the fourth semifinal berth.
3 hr 26 min agoNorway takes gold in men’s cross-country skiing team sprint classicJohannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway reacts crossing the finish line to win the gold medal during the men’s cross-country team sprint classic final on Wednesday. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)After a tense finish in the women’s event, there was no such drama in the final straight of the men’s team sprint classic as Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo powered away from the field to finish more than 15 meters clear of his nearest rival.
It’s a remarkable fifth Winter Olympics gold medal for Klæbo — his second of Beijing 2022 — who, at just 25 years of age, is already considered one of the greatest cross-country sprint skiers of all time.
Teammate Erik Valnes was there to greet Klæbo as he crossed the finish line to clinch Norway’s 13th gold of these Games.
Finland finished a distant second to take the silver medal, with the Russian Olympic Committee taking bronze.
3 hr 32 min agoAfter almost 12 days straight curling, GB curlers are starting to feel “a wee bit of fatigue” in the lungesFrom CNN’s Ben Morse
Bruce Mouat of Great Britain competes at the curling mixed doubles on Feb. 8. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Curling at Beijing 2022 has been almost a daily event, with men and women lacing up to slide their rocks around at the National Aquatics Centre.
And after a while, it’s beginning to have an effect on some of the maneuvers athletes need to perform.
According to Team GB’s Bruce Mouat, getting down low and stretching his legs is where he’s most feeling it now after almost 12 consecutive days on the ice.
“I think it’s maybe lunging, you do that a lot when you’re sliding. You obviously got a wee bit of fatigue there,” he said after his GB team beat the ROC 8-6 in the men’s curling round robin on Wednesday.
“Body feels really good, mind as well. I’m in a really good head space. I feel like I’m playing really well.”
But Mouat says he’d happily keep playing the sport he loves for as long as possible.
“I love curling so if I get to do that for a month straight, then I’ll do it for a month straight.”
3 hr 38 min agoPandemic and environmental concerns have tested ice-makers at Beijing 2022 From CNN’s Ben Morse
General view of the National Speed Skating Oval on Feb. 1. (Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images/Getty Images)The Winter Olympics are a global Games for athletes, but that’s also true of the people working behind the scenes at Beijing 2022.
Canadians Mark Peter Messer and Matthew James Messer are the men responsible for ice making at the National Speed Skating Oval.
Both worked on the ice in PyeongChang in 2018, and four years later they’ve been intent on providing record-breaking surfaces.
But, Mark — widely regarded as the finest ice-maker on the planet — believes that the ice in the National Speed Skating Oval is even faster than the one they made in South Korea, as evidenced by the fact a number of Olympic speed skating records have already been broken in Beijing.
“We have been very successful with our records,” he said during a press conference. “We have records in almost every distance. We’re getting very good feedback from the athletes and from the coaches that we have made a good surface for them to perform on.”
A process that began almost immediately after the last Winter Olympics, they have been working with a small team from Canada alongside local ice-makers in China to ensure the ice is maintained after the games.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
“As the pandemic started to hit, we started doing longer trips but less work, because we would do quarantining before and quarantining when we got back to Canada, so it created some challenges there, for sure,” said Mark.
“Some of the trips we would have done, we didn’t do because of the restrictions. So we did more work over Zoom calls and technology calls.
“We had some challenges, for sure. We did not have a lot of experience before the Games where we could learn. Usually, if you open a building, it takes you three or four or five years to really understand how everything works together.
“There are the effects of the air, the effects of the humidity, the lights, the people that come in. There are many factors that affect the quality of the ice and we did not have a big opportunity to learn that because with the pandemic that’s going on we did not have the opportunity to have the test events.
“We had some small test events, and we appreciated the people that came for those. We learned some small stuff, but most of the learning that we did we had to make as soon as the Olympic athletes came.”
As well as making the fastest circuit possible, both men have been tasked with making the National Speed Skating Oval as environmentally friendly a
Finland beats Switzerland to reach men’s ice hockey semifinals
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