Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Day 12 Medal Predictions and Results

Tyler Donohue@@TDsTakeNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 18, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Day 12 Medal Predictions and Results

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    American Ted Ligety picked up the gold medal in the giant slalom.
    American Ted Ligety picked up the gold medal in the giant slalom.Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Ted Ligety was not afraid of his destiny. The American became the first U.S. skier to win the men's giant slalom, and that was the highlight in Day 12 of Olympic competition.

    The United States had a chance to add gold in the women's bobsled, but it had to settle for the silver and bronze medals since the Canadian team of Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse  took the lead on the final run and won the gold medal. The silver medal had to be a disappointment for Americans Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers.

    Russian skier Vic Wild sent the home fans into a frenzy when he won the men's parallel giant slalom, while Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland won the same event on the women's side.

    Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic scored a huge victory in the 5,000-meter women's speedskating event, breaking the ever-present stranglehold of the Dutch skaters. 

    The Norwegian women's cross country team won the team sprint event, while Finland won the equivalent event on the men's side. Norway also picked up a gold medal in the initial mixed biathlon relay, trouncing the field by 32.6 seconds.

Men's Alpine Skiing: Giant Slalom

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    Associated Press

    Ted Ligety destroyed the competition in the men's giant slalom to take home gold for the United States. 

    Ligety thrashed the course in the first of his two runs as he bested his nearest competitor by 93-hundredths of a second. 

    The American was only 14th fastest in the second run, but by that time in the event, he knew he just had to finish to claim gold. 

    The gold was the seventh overall in Sochi for the United States, a number puts the nation one behind Germany and Norway in the gold department. 

    France saw two of its skiers put in strong second runs to earn silver and bronze at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center. 

    Steve Missillier had the best time in the second run to win the silver, while Alexis Pinturault earned the second-best time in the latter heat to bring him the bronze. 

    In his final Olympic race, Bode Miller finished in 20th place. 

    Gold: Ted Ligety (United States): 2:45.29

    Silver: Steve Missillier (France): 2:45.77

    Bronze: Alexis Pinturault (France): 2:45.93

    Last Updated by Joe Tansey. 

    Pre-Event Predictions: 

    Alpine skiing has been thrilling to watch through the first week and a half in Sochi. The giant slalom should continue that trend.

    American Ted Ligety is the reigning World Cup champion in this event. He is the most decorated alpine skier in the mix on Wednesday and aims to become the first American man to earn a gold medal in the giant slalom.

    Marcel Hirscher has consistently proved to be Ligety's greatest rival and contemporary in recent years. The Austrian is arguably the biggest threat to potential U.S. history.

    Alexis Pinturault is less experienced than Ligety and Hirscher, but he commands respect for sustained success in less than three years on the World Cup circuit. The 22-year-old Frenchman is a legitimate contender to top the podium.

    French teammate Thomas Fanara, who, conversely, is an established veteran, must also be considered among the favorites to surge ahead in giant slalom competition.


    Gold: Marcel Hirscher, Austria

    Silver: Ted Ligety, United States

    Bronze: Alexis Pinturault, France

Women's Snowboarding: Parallel Giant Slalom

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    Patrizia Kummer
    Patrizia KummerAndy Wong/Associated Press

    Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland survived the marathon day at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park to defeat Tomoka Takeuchi of Japan in the women's parallel giant slalom.

    After falling behind by three-tenths of a second in the first of two heats in the final, Kummer came back to take a marginal lead near the bottom of the course before Takeuchi wiped out. 

    Takeuchi dominated the racing throughout the day, but when it came down to crunch time, she failed to deliver a gold for the Japanese. 

    Kummer earned the sixth overall gold at the Games for Switzerland. 

    After losing her first heat by one hundredth of a second, Alena Zavarzina won the second heat over Ina Meschik of Austria by 0.82 to take home the bronze for Russia. 

    Gold: Patrizia Kummer (Switzerland)

    Silver: Tomoka Takeuchi (Japan) 

    Bronze: Alena Zavarzina (Russia)

    Last Updated by Joe Tansey.

    Pre-Event Predictions:

    Swiss snowboarder Patrizia Kummer looks like a strong contender after taking silver at the 2013 World Championships. Olympic veteran Amelie Kober aims to return to the podium for the first time since 2006, when she claimed a silver medal for Germany.

    Fellow German Isabella Laboeck is back for her second Winter Games go-round. Japan's Tomoka Takeuchi is a four-time Olympian still searching for her first giant slalom medal.


    Gold: Patrizia Kummer, Switzerland

    Silver: Amelie Kober, Germany

    Bronze: Isabella Laboeck, Germany

Men's Snowboarding: Parallel Giant Slalom

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    Andy Wong/Associated Press

    Vic Wild sent the Russian crowd into a massive uproar with his victory in the men's parallel giant slalom.

    Wild, who is an American expatriate, defeated Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini by two seconds and 14-hundredths to earn the sixth Russian gold at the Sochi Games. 

    Galmarini fell toward the end of the course and was forced to settle for the silver as he moved his nation's total medal count to 10. 

    Zan Kosir won the fourth bronze of the Games for Slovenia as he defeated Patrick Kussler of Germany in the bronze-medal race. 

    Gold: Vic Wild (Russia)

    Silver: Nevin Galmarini (Switzerland) 

    Bronze: Zan Kosir (Slovenia) 

    Last Updated by Joe Tansey. 

    Pre-Event Predictions: 

    Austria boasts a pair of competitors with podium potential. Benjamin Karl and Lukas Mathies may ultimately battle it out for national and global supremacy.

    Karl earned silver at the 2010 Vancouver Games. As the Fresno Bee notes, Olympic gold is the one accomplishment absent from Karl's long list of accolades. 

    The Austrians will be challenged by Slovenia's Rok Marguc and Frenchman Sylvain Dufour.

    Jasey-Jay Anderson is the reigning Olympic champion. Fellow Canadian Michael Lambert figures to be in the mix as well.


    Gold: Benjamin Karl, Austria

    Silver: Rok Marguc, Slovenia

    Bronze: Michael Lambert, Canada

Women's Cross-Country: Team Sprint Classic

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    Marit Bjorgen
    Marit BjorgenMatthias Schrader/Associated Press

    The Olympic legend of Marit Bjoergen grew a bit more on Wednesday, as she was a part of the Norwegian team that won gold in the women's team sprint event.

    Bjoergen and teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg led the 10-team final for five of the six laps as the pair won the eighth gold of the Games for Norway. It is Bjoergen's ninth career medal.

    Finland's pair of Kerttu Niskanen and Aino-Kaisa Saarinen won the silver medal as they crossed the finish line nine seconds after Norway.

    Sweden and Germany took the battle for third down to the finish line, and it was the Swedes who earned the bronze medal to complete the Scandinavian sweep. 

    Gold: Norway: 16:04.05

    Silver: Finland: 16:13.14

    Bronze: Sweden: 16:23.82

    Last Updated by Joe Tansey.

    Pre-Event Predictions: 

    No U.S. woman has ever reached the podium in Olympic cross-country skiing, but the tandem of Kikkan Randall and Sophie Caldwell gives Team USA an elevated level of hope. Caldwell finished sixth in the freestyle sprint last week, the best finish ever for a female American cross-country skier.

    Norway is anchored by Marit Bjorgen, a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Ida Ingemarsdotter led Sweden to a gold medal in the event at the 2011 World Championships.

    Germans Stefanie Boehler and Denise Herrmann teamed up to earn bronze in the cross-country relay earlier during these Olympics.


    Gold: Norway

    Silver: Sweden

    Bronze: Germany

Men's Cross-Country: Team Sprint

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    The men's team sprint came down to a dramatic finish as Finland won the event on the final lap, which saw Germany's Tim Tscharnke fall to open the gap up for the Finns. 

    Once Tscharnke hit the deck, Sami Jauhojaervi sprinted away from his Russian counterpart to earn the first gold medal of the Games for Finland. 

    Russia took the silver medal, while Sweden took advantage of the German mishap to claim the bronze medal.

    Germany ended up falling back to seventh place after Tscharnke's spill near the end of the course. 

    Gold: Finland

    Silver: Russia

    Bronze: Sweden

    Last Updated by Joe Tansey. 

    Pre-Event Predictions: 

    Switzerland's chances in the team sprint were dealt a blow when two-time Sochi gold medalist Dario Cologna decided to skip the event. Still, the Swiss should contend.

    The Norwegian duo of Ola Vigen Hattestad and Petter Northug attempt to regain national glory in the cross-country circuit. Sweden has enjoyed a successful 2014 Olympic campaign in cross-country and can add to its momentum with a strong showing from Teodor Peterson and Emil Jonsson. 

    Hannes Dotzler and Tim Tscharnke will keep Germany in contention.


    Gold: Sweden

    Silver: Norway

    Bronze: Switzerland

Women's Speedskating: 5,000 Meters

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    Martina Sablikova
    Martina SablikovaMatt Dunham/Associated Press

    Ignoring the pain that comes with racing 5,000 meters, Martina Sablikova showed power and poise in taking the gold medal and defeating two rivals from the Netherlands.

    Speedskating has been almost entirely the province of the Dutch throughout the 2014 Sochi games, but Sablikova would have none of it. The Czech skater was controlled throughout the first half of the race and then slowly increased her speed in the later laps to finish in first place with a time of 6:51.54.

    Sablikova had also won the silver medal in the 3,000-meter race.

    Dutch skaters Ireen Wust and Carien Kleibeuker finished second and third, respectively. Wust skated in the same pair with Sablikova and pushed her hard, but the Czech skater was too strong for her in the end. Wust finished nearly three full seconds behind Sablikova with a time of 6:54.28. 

    Kleibeuker skated in the pair before Sablikova and Wust, and she temporarily took the lead when she put a time of 6:55.66 on the scoreboard. 

    Dutch skaters have won 21 speedskating medals in the Olympics, including six gold, seven silver and eight bronze. The Czech Republic has won two speedskating medals, one gold and one silver.

    Maria Lamb was the lone American in the race, and it did not go well for her. She finished last among the 16 skaters with a halting time of 7:29.65.

    Gold: Martina Sablikova, Czech Republic

    Silver: Ireen Wust, The Netherlands

    Bronze: Carien Kleibeuker, The Netherlands

    Update by Steve Silverman

    Pre-event prediction

    Germany's Claudia Pechstein is searching for redemption after being banned from the Vancouver Games. She placed fourth in the 3,000-meter race.

    Martina Sablikova is the reigning gold medalist and returns with another title in her sights. The Czech star previously pulled out of 1,500-meter competition to focus on this event.

    Japanese Olympic veteran Masako Hozumi is a dark horse here. She finished seventh at the event in 2010.


    Gold: Martina Sablikova, Czech Republic

    Silver: Claudia Pechstein, Germany

    Bronze: Masako Hozumi, Japan

Biathlon: Mixed Relay

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    Norway's biathlon team won the inaugural mixed relay in the Olympics.
    Norway's biathlon team won the inaugural mixed relay in the Olympics.Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Norway added to its medal haul in biathlon by taking the gold medal in the inaugural mixed relay competition.

    Each team consisted of two men and two women, with the men racing 7.5 kilometers, while the women competed for six kilometers.

    The Norwegians led throughout the race and won with a time of 1:09.17.0. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen skied the third leg of the race for the Norwegians and he was followed by Emil Hegle Svendsen. The victory earned Bjoerndalen the 13th Olympic medal of his career.

    Tora Berger and Tiril Eckhoff got the Norwegian team off to a strong start. The Czech skier/shooters finished second, while the Italians took home the bronze medal. 

    The Norwegians have earned three gold medals, one silver and one bronze in biathlon events.

    The American team skied fairly well and placed 11th with a time of 1:12.20.1. However, their shooting was substandard as the Americans were tagged with 13 penalties.

    By contrast, the Norwegians had only two shooting penalites.

    Gold: Norway, 1:09.17.0

    Silver: Czech Republic, 1:09.49.6

    Bronze: Italy, 1:10.15.2

    Update by Steve Silverman

    Pre-event prediction

    This event represents another first at the Sochi Games. The inaugural Olympic 2x6-kilometer women and 2x7.5-kilometer men mixed relay promises to provide a peek at an eclectic group of athletes competing together for national pride.

    Norway has been strong again in biathlon competition and enters this race as a prohibitive favorite. It presents another opportunity for Ole Einar Bjoerndalen to make Winter Games history by winning the 13th medal of his career.

    The Czech Republic is led by Ondrej Moravec, who already has two medals in Sochi. He earned bronze Tuesday in the 15-kilometer mass start event.

    Martin Fourcade is enjoying a dominant run in Russia. He owns a pair of individual gold medals, claimed silver Tuesday and has France in contention for first place in relay action.



    Gold: Norway

    Silver: France

    Bronze: Czech Republic

Women's Bobsled

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    Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers
    Lauryn Williams and Elana MeyersDita Alangkara/Associated Press

    On the surface, it appeared to be a great day for the United States, picking up the silver and bronze medals in the bobsled.

    However, after taking the lead into the fourth and final run, the United States could not close the deal and allowed Canada to take home the gold medal.

    Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers had an excellent push to start their final run, but they quickly ran into trouble at the top of the Sanki Sliding Center, and their lead over Canada's Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse quickly evaporated. When Williams and Meyers continued to bang their sled into the sidewalls, their fate as non-gold medal winners was sealed. 

    Humphries and Moyse finished with a time of 3:50.61, and that gave them an edge of .10 over Williams and Meyers. The U.S. team of Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel finished in 3:51.61, and they took home the bronze medal.

    The third American team of Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones finished in 11th. That teams was expected to do the best of the three American bobsled teams, but they struggled during the first day of competition and could not climb in the standings.

    Gold: Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse, Canada, 3:50.61

    Silver: Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers, United States, 3:50.71

    Bronze: Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel, United States, 3:51.61

    Update by Steve Silverman

    Pre-event prediction

    The highly publicized transition of American Lolo Jones from Summer Olympics star to Winter Games competitor created headlines, but it's her U.S. teammates who are in premier position to reach the podium.

    Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers lead all contenders through the first two of four total runs. "Lauryn has had so much Olympic experience, and I'm so confident in her abilities," Meyers said, via ESPNW's Jim Caple. "It will be fun to go out No. 1 and throw something down."

    Fellow U.S. racers Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel secured the third-fastest time.

    Jones settled for an 11th-place effort on Tuesday.

    Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse are sandwiched by the Americans in second place. Humphries earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

    Veteran Sandra Kiriasis leads Germany. The 39-year-old hopes to recapture the magic of her 2006 gold medal in Torino.

    Kiriasis begins Wednesday in fifth place.


    Gold: Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers, United States 

    Silver: Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel, United States 

    Bronze: Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, Canada