Winter Olympics: The Beginning of the End

(Last Updated On: December 10, 2018)

Disclaimer: The Olympics curator is Canadian. He just finished watching an amazing women’s hockey game in which Canada scored twice with two minutes remaining to tie the United States, then scored again in overtime to win their fourth consecutive gold medal. We apologize for any unnecessary smugness.

women's hockeyTwo Minutes to Midnight

When I set Thursday as the deadline for Sporcle Olympics Blog IV, I knew I would be writing one of two ways. Most likely, it would either be in a depressed fashion in which I said “well, you can’t win them all” and congratulated the American team. Or it could be in utter jubilation as Canada once again vanquished our southern enemies. With two minutes to go, I was preparing my whiny rhetoric. Then, it happened. My satellite died (curse you freezing rain!). Yep, I missed the final two minutes of the game. I wasn’t depressed because I figured the Americans had it. After learning of the tie, I rushed to a neighbours house and watched the amazing overtime.

So Canada is again Olympic Champions in hockey. That is great. Tomorrow will come another epic battle as the Canadian men try to beat the Americans in the semi-finals. Can Canada repeat as champions, or will the Americans get some revenge (Note: By the time this blog is published, the game will be over).

What I liked the most about the game was… Wait, what’s that? This is a Sporcle blog? I can’t just write about the great Canadian comeback? Oh, you’re no fun any more.

The Beginning of the End

Winner of the men's 500 meters speed skating competition Mulder of the Netherlands, second placed Smeekens of the Netherlands and third placed Mulder of the Netherlands celebrate at the flower ceremony for the event at the 2014 Sochi Winter OlympicsIt’s hard to believe, but the 2014 Olympics are nearly over. Just three more days and 17 events remain. It’s definitely been an odd Olympics because none of the top four countries – Canada, Germany, Norway, USA –  have done as well as they should. In the lead-up, many observers were predicting 30+ medals for each. Now that looks unlikely.  This is largely thanks to some other nations doing much better than they expected. Most notably the Netherlands in speed skating, where they have dominated and stolen medals that the top four could have challenged for. While as a Canadian fan, I am disappointed that the Canadians may not top their previous count (26 in Vancouver) for the first time in quite some time, it is good to see other countries start to challenge in events they don’t normally do well in. The more this happens, the more the Games will grow. Look at the UK, they have 3 medals with another on the way in curling. This might not sound impressive compared to other nations, but this is the first time in NINETY YEARS that the UK has won four medals in the Winter Games. At the first Olympics in Chamonix, France, they went 1-1-2. As a Canadian fan, I hope they again go 1-1-2 (Sorry Brits, but the UK is facing Canada in the men’s curling gold medal game tomorrow).

Kyrgyzstan Watch

Evgeniy Timofeev finally got his chance to compete in the men’s giant slalom alpine skiing. He finished a career-best 61st with a time of 3:11.72, 26.43 seconds behind gold medal winning American Ted Ligety. He’ll get another chance on Friday in the slalom.

Kiwis on Ice

Last time I wrote about unusual nations. Only two nations south of the equator have ever won winter Olympic medals. The first is Australia. They actually do better than expected and always have a few gold medal favourites. The other is New Zealand. Coming into the games, the country that brought us the coolest flightless bird (sorry penguin fans), Flight of the Conchords and Peter Jackson had one medal (silver in alpine skiing in 1992). It looks like they will again go medal-less, but there is plenty for the Kiwis to celebrate. Three New Zealanders finished in the Top 10 in women’s slopestyle snowboarding. Three more made the top 10 in men’s ski halfpipe and Jossi Wells finished fourth. It’s great to see them starting to establish a good talent base, and maybe in 2014 a Kiwi will win gold.

Quizzes, because Sporcle is a Quiz site

First up, the picks and publishes.

Published Quizzes

2014 Olympic Sport Disciplines by Icon

Curator Picks

Olympic Medal Table: Curling

2014 Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Teams

The Three Quiz Diet

Remember, quiz suggestions can be sent to

In hockey, the Triple Gold Club is a group of players who have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and World Championship gold. Out of the four remaining teams, only one player – Johan Franzen of Sweden – needs an Olympic gold to enter the club. Can you name the others? Try out Hockey’s Triple Gold Club.

The Winter Olympics’ other prestige sport wrapped up today with Russia getting their third gold medal of 2014. See if you can name the singles gold medal winners in the Olympic Figure Skaters quiz.

So you’ve watched the games, but can you remember the sports? You’d better hope so when you try the 2014 Winter Olympics Minefield.

So there’s a big weekend ahead, then that’s all she wrote for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Until then, keep watching and playing.