The Sochi Network

Sochi Summary Day 13: What is it with Freestyle Skiers and facial hair?

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What is it with Freestyle Skiers and facial hair?

The Ski Cross event was jam-packed with super efforts, beginning with France's Jonas Devouassoux rugged look

Aussie Anton Grimus went all Ned Kelly with his effort that has been two years in the growing.

However Filip Flisar stole the show at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park with his handlebar 'tache.

The 26-year-old Slovenian was certainly a favourite on social media.

We don't expect to see the same in Friday's women's event……or do we. Remember what happened in the women's Snowboard version.

GOOD DAY

Jennifer Jones - She has been Canada's top-ranked skip since 2005 but the opportunity to represent her curling-mad country at the Olympics had eluded her until 2014. Canada, where regional Curling tournaments appear on mainstream TV, is always the favourite for gold on the back of that passion and have secured at least a bronze since the sport returned to the Olympics in 1998. But Canadian women hadn’t won gold since that inaugural competition in Nagano when Sandra Schmirler’s rink was victorious. However Jones along with lead Dawn McEwen, second Jill Officer and vice Kaitlyn Lawes changed all that with a 6-3 win over Sweden, maintaining their unbeaten record in all 11 games played in Sochi.

UK Sport - Funding should mean medals and Eve Muirhead's bronze in the women's curling mean Britain have won four. That total matches their highest ever Winter Olympics medal tally which was set back in 1924 in Chamonix. Muirhead and team-mates Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton are a slick operation, curling full-time thanks to £5 million of funding by sportscotland and UK Sport. If David Murdoch’s rink of Michael Goodfellow, Scott Andrews and Greg Drummond win the men's final against Canada on Friday, it would be the first time that GB has won more than one gold at the Winter Games.

Alina Muller - The Swiss was just 15 years, 10 months and 27 days old when she made her Olympic debut. Today her empty-net goal proved to be decisive as Switzerland won their first medal in women's ice hockey after rallying from a two-goal deficit to beat Sweden 4-3 in a frenetic bronze medal game. "It's an amazing feeling. It's amazing we came back from 2-0 down," Muller, whose brother is Mirco Muller of the San Jose Sharks, told reporters." She hadn’t played any women’s hockey before playing for the Swiss junior team as Muller plays with the boys and competes in the second-tier Swiss U17 league.

Canada ice hockey ladies - They've dominated the Olympic scene for some time, but for a moment, their run on top looked certain to end. Cue hockey final dramatics right up there with the men's humdinger in 2010. From 2-0 down, Canada retained their gold medal again late on with a sudden-death overtime winner for a historic fourth in a row.

BAD DAY

Todd Lodwick, Bill Demong - After a combined 11 Winter Games in one of the Olympics' toughest sports, the US duo called time on their careers, waving goodbye to the gruelling blend of ski jumping and cross-country skiing that goes by the name of Nordic Combined. They won silver in 2010 with Lodwick, the first American to appear in six Winter Olympics and who carried the flag at the opening ceremony in Sochi, and Demong, who won the individual large hill gold in Vancouver, part of the team. However today they bowed out with a whimper. They were joined by brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher but finished sixth of the nine teams, over two minutes behind winners Norway.

Finn Halvorsen - Is the managing director of US Speed Skating and is under fire after the team failed to win a single individual medal at the 2014 Olympics. Team member Maria Lamb weighed in on the debate, saying Halvorsen had "done a lot of damage the way he has single-handedly, perhaps, destroyed so many good athletes due to his calls and actions. It's fairly remarkable, actually." The last time the US failed to win a medal in speed skating was back in 1984 in Sarajevo and they only have the men's and women's team pursuits to end their barren streak. The US were given permission to ditch their high-tech Under Armour outfits by the IOC midway through the Games but the switch failed to change their fortunes.

Julia Lipnitskaya - Expectations that Russia could finally end their long wait for a women's champion reached epic proportions after the 15-year-old produced two spell-binding performances to help the hosts win the team title. The women's competition was billed as a three-way race to the finish, featuring Yuna Kim, Lipnitskaya and Mao Asada, but she ended up being upstaged by compatriot Adelina Sotnikova who did end that Russian drought. Her hopes melted away with a fall on her triple flip in yesterday's short routine and things didn't get any better in the free. She fell on the triple salchow and a wonky landing on another left her in fifth place.

US ice hockey ladies - Oh, dear. Three minutes to go, they looked certain to claim a huge victory and gold. Few defeated Olympians at Sochi will feel as deflated as this poor lot. And one imagines the men's side watched it all fall apart on television before gulping nervously ahead of their own showdown against the Canadian males.

BRITS IN ACTION

Team GB’s women’s curling rink won bronze with a 6-5 victory against Switzerland. Skip Eve Muirhead and her rink of Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton avenged defeat to Mirjam Ott's team in the round-robin stage with a final stone draw.

Emma Lonsdale was the last of Britain’s freestyle skiers to compete but failed to make the final on her Olympic debut as she finished 18th in qualifying.

GOLD MEDALS AWARDED TODAY

Freestyle Skiing - Men's Ski Cross: Jean-Frederic Chapuis (France)
Nordic Combined - Team: Norway
Curling - Women's: Canada
Freestyle Skiing - Ladies' Ski Halfpipe: Maddie Bowman (USA)
Figure Skating - Ladies: Adelina Sotnikova (Russia)
Ice Hockey - Women's: Canada

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Julia Lipnitskaya in action

TWEET OF THE DAY

DON'T MISS TOMORROW

GB's men face Canada for curling gold at 13:30 GMT as David Murdoch's rink look to emulate Rhona Martin's victory in 2002.

BIG NAMES IN ACTION

Mikaela Shiffrin - The American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin will head into the women's Olympic slalom as the big favourite after she won world slalom gold in Schladming last season.

Darya Domracheva - Has already become the first woman to win three biathlon titles at the same Winter Olympics. She rested from the mixed relay to boost Belarus' chances in the women's relay.

Victor An - Viktor Ahn kissed the ice and paraded the Russian flag after winning gold for his adopted country in the 1000m short track speed skating and he could win two more in the 500m and in the relay.

YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF THEM BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE

Fanny Smith - The Swiss is the defending World Champion in Freestyle Skiing's Ski Cross and the 21-year-old is the favourite for gold despite being told in 2011 that she could not ski again after a serious knee injury.

GOLD MEDALS ON OFFER

10:41: Freestyle Skiing - Ladies' Ski Cross
13:30: Curling - Men's
14:30: Biathlon - Women's 4x6km Relay
16:15: Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Slalom
17:47: Short Track - Men's 500m
17:58: Short Track - Ladies' 1000m
18:30: Short Track - Men's 5000m Relay