Five things to watch Friday at the Winter Games
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PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Star figure skater Patrick Chan begins his quest for singles gold Friday at the Pyeongchang Olympics, while cross-country skier Alex Harvey and speedskater Ivanie Blondin attempt to come back from disappointing results. Here are five things to watch:
FREE SKI — Cross-country skier Alex Harvey tries again to become Canada's first Olympic male medallist in the sport when he lines up for the 15-kilometre freestyle race. Harvey will need to put the disappointment of not qualifying for the elimination round in Monday's sprint behind him. The 29-year-old from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., hadn't missed the knockout stage in the event since 2015. Canadian coach Louis Bouchard said Harvey lacked energy Monday.
CHAN CAN — Patrick Chan begins one final quest to win a gold medal in men's figure skating when he skates his short program. The three-time world champion, who will retire after the Olympics, has looked at times this season as if he's dragging himself to the finish line. But he showed what he's capable of in Monday's team event, helping Canada secure the gold medal with two beautiful quad jumps. He'll be hoping to replicate that success in Friday's short program and Saturday's free skate.
FOCUS ON THE 5 K — Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin returns to the speedkskating oval in the gruelling 5,000 metres. She finished a disappointing sixth in the 3,000 last weekend, saying she was "probably going to dwell on it a little bit after this. It's only human to do that." But she was confident she had enough time to shift her focus to the 5,000. A former short-track speedskater, Blondin's best event is the new mass start race.
DOWN WIND — The alpine skiing competition has been plagued by weather delays due to high winds at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. If the weather co-operates Friday, Canada's men's speed skiers will be on the slopes in the super-G. Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., is the reigning world champion in the event, but he was forced to bow out of the Olympics with back problems. Watch for Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Invermere, B.C., the bronze medallist at the 2017 world championships.
ROOKIE RACERS — Canada's women's skeleton team has completely turned over since the 2014 Sochi Games following the retirement of veterans Sarah Reid and Mellisa Hollingsworth. Jane Channell of North Vancouver, B.C., Mirela Rahneva of Ottawa and Elisabeth Vathje of Calgary will all be looking to put themselves in podium position with their first two Olympic runs Friday. The final two runs are slated for Saturday.