OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. athletes move one step closer to the podium

Canadians fell short of medalling in the first day of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

The Winter Games are officialy in full swing.

Canadian athletes came close, but did not make it to the podium in the first day of competition. However, a handful of B.C. athletes are one step closer, qualifying for finals to take place in the week ahead.

While you were sleeping:

Three B.C. athletes competed in the women’s 7.5 km sprint biathlon, each qualifying for Monday’s 10-kilometre race.

Kelowna’s Julia Ransom was the top Canadian, finishing 40th out of 87 competitors. She completed the course in 23 minutes, 15 seconds.

Vernon’s Emma Lunder was 54th in 23:30.4 (two targets missed) and Megan Tandy of Prince George was 57th in 23:42.8 (two targets missed).

Jamie Macdonald, who’s hometown was Fort St. James, also competed in the Short Track women’s 500 m event, but received a penalty and did not qualify or the finals.

But Macdonald did qualify for the finals in the 3,000 metre relay, along with Marianne St-Gelais, Kim Boutin and Kasandra Bradette – all from Quebec. The foursome will be up against China, Italy and Korea on Feb. 20.

Defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin came up short and not finishing the men’s short track 1500 m event. Meanwhile, Canada’s Samuel Girard finished just off the podium in fourth. “It was a tough race. I got a few good guys in there. I tried to make my way to the front and at some point it went wrong. It happens in short track,” Hamelin told reporters Saturday.

Canadian mixed doubles curlers John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes have also clinched a spot in the semifinals.

Who, what, when to watch (PST):

5 p.m.: Snowboard – Men’s slopestyle

Four Canadians will be heading into the final run in the men’s slopestyle. Returning contender and former MTV TV star Mark McMorris, of Saskatchewan, will compete alongside Tyler Nicholson of Ontario, and Sebastien Toutant and Max Parrot both of Quebec. “I’m going to get a few more rotations hopefully at practice and step up the rail line a bit,” McMorris told reporters Saturday.

6 p.m.: Alpine skiing – Men’s downhill

Manuel Osborne-Paradis, of Invermere, along with Whistler’s Broderick Thompson will both be representing Canada. Osborne-Pradis is ranked 20th internationally, while Thompson is ranked 24th.

8:30 p.m.: Snowboard – Women’s slopestyle

B.C. born-and-raised Spencer O’Brien, 30, is returning for her second Olympic Games, competing in slopestyle alongside Canadians Laurie Blouin and Brooke Voigt, who’s currently calling Whistler home.

Olympics highlight of the day:

The Winter Games are in full swing, but we still can’t get enough o the opening ceremonies. Check out this video by Summerland’s Justin Kripps, as we he walked into the stadium repping red and white for his country ahead of his bobsled events:

Canada’s standings so far:

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