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Around the water cooler – Feb. 11

Snowboarding (Men’s Slopestyle) — Only two weeks prior to these Olympics, Mark “Mr. Clutch” McMorris, fractured a rib at the Winter X Games. Presumably fuelled by the power of Canadian wheat, the Regina native made a speedy recovery in time to become Canada’s first medalist of Sochi 2014. In all three rounds, McMorris’ first run was lackluster, but the 20-year-old consistently posted second runs that lived up to his nickname. If only we all got a second chance to make a first impression.

(Ruby Xia / McGill Tribune)
(Ruby Xia / McGill Tribune)

Figure Skating —  In a wild twist of events that reminded the Olympic world of a colder time marked by détente, a French media outlet reported judge vote-fixing by the Russians and Americans. As it turns out, all the superpowers needed to get along was the impending threat of Canadian supremacy in the ice dancing event; allegedly, the Cold War rivals were colluding to ensure that the American ice dancing pair finished before Canuck skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. In return, all the Russians wanted out of the backroom dealing was a gold medal in the overall team trophy. Eerily enough the Canadian figure skating team won a silver medal—placing behind the Russian team, while Virtue and Moir finished second behind none other than our southern neighbours.

Speed Skating (1500m short track) — “It’s not my best distance,” Quebec native Charles Hamelin explained following his gold in the 1500m short track. The medal, Hamelin’s fourth of his Olympics career, puts him second on the list of most decorated Canadian male Winter Olympic athletes. The Olympics were a family outing for the Hamelins; Charles’ father, Yves, is the Canadian speed skating national team director while his brother François, finished second in the B-final earlier that night. François probably apologized for bringing dishonour to his family by not medalling; the only thing more Canadian than a humblebrag is an apology

Freestyle Skiing (Moguls) — Justine Dufour-Lapointe became Canada’s first gold medalist of the 2014 Winter Olympics when she posted a score of 22.44. Fans in Sochi began seeing double-trouble when Chloe Dufour-Lapointe—Justine’s older sister—took home the silver medal in the same event. Two days later in the men’s event, Vancouver 2010 gold medalist Alexandre Bilodeau proved to be more than a one-hit-wonder, while Mikael Kingsbury, came in as the runner-up. All four athletes hail from La Belle Province, giving the nation of Quebec three golds and two silvers, good for third best at Sochi 2014.

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