WINTER OLYMPIC DAILY UPDATES: #15 TEAM GB DOWN BUT NOT OUT

It’s been a case of close but not close enough for Team GB today. Emily Sarsfield qualified for the ski cross finals but went out at the quarterfinals and our women’s curling team lost to Sweden in the semifinals. But all is not lost: the curlers can still claim bronze on Saturday.

Feature Image Source: @evemuirhead (Twitter)

It’s been a tough day at the PyeongChang office today, with disappointment for Emily Sarsfield and Eve Muirhead’s curling team. Making her long-awaited Olympic debut, Emily made it through the first heats of this morning’s Women’s Ski Cross final but wasn’t able to to squeeze into the top two at the quarterfinal stage. Finishing 16th overall, her post-race Instagram post says it all:

“It’s been a crazy journey… career threatening injuries, self funding, no coach, heart breaks… but we made it out the other side and I’m STILL SMILING! Achieving a dream today of becoming an Olympian racing against some of the best skiers in the world and achieving Britain’s best Ski Cross result makes it all worth while!”

A post shared by Emily Sarsfield (@emskicross) on

The day didn’t go according to plan for the women’s curling team either, losing in the semis to a rock solid Swedish crew. It’s by no means over though, as the ladies will fight Japan for the bronze medal tomorrow (11.05 GMT). Here’s to hoping they can recreate a bit of Sochi magic to repeat their bronze-medal winning performance from those Games!

Also up tomorrow is Billy Morgan, who’ll be going large in the Men’s Snowboard Big Air final, which starts at 01.00 GMT. And our awesome Alpine foursome – Dave Ryding, Laurie Taylor, Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest – will engage in battle for a medal in the Alpine Mixed Team at 02.11 GMT.

Never heard of the mixed team event?

Don’t feel too bad, this is the first time it will appear at a Winter Olympics (although it has been contested in the World Championships since 2011 in its current format).

Here’s how it works: each of the 16 participating countries creates a team of two men and two women, with teams seeded according to FIS national team rankings. The teams compete in a series of head-to-head slalom races with four heats in a match; in each of those heats the skiers face off directly on parallel slalom courses. The team that wins the most heats proceeds to the next round. In the case of a tie, the times of the fastest man and woman on each team will be tallied, with the victory going to the team with the quickest combined time.

The reigning World Champions are the French, who had a super strong quartet in Alexis Pinturault, Mathieu Faivre, Adeline Baud and Tessa Worley. However, the French Alpine team confirmed earlier this week that a chastened Faivre (Mikaela Shiffrin’s boyfriend) was sent home from the Games on Monday for his lack of team spirit. In essence, he told reporters – in the heat of the post-race moment when he finished seventh in the Men’s Giant Slalom – that he didn’t care about medals won by his team mates and was only concerned with his own success. Ooops.

Fortunately for Team GB, who race Team USA in the first heat, Faivre’s girlfriend won’t be competing in the event either. And neither will Lindsey Vonn or Ted Ligety. As Vonn told reporters when she was asked if she’d be taking part: “I don’t really think we have a strong chance of getting a medal since none of our top athletes are doing it, so I probably won‘t.” Good thing she’s not French or she’d be at home by now…

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