Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue of Canada perform in the ice dance free dance figure skating team event in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

What to watch from Pyeongchang - Day 10

February 18, 2018 - 10:08 pm

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — What better way to mark the last day of a three day weekend than by watching feats of athletic greatness at the Olympics! Here are some highlights to look out for. (All times Eastern.)


Whatever ice dancing lacks in jumps and tricks, this year's competition makes up for it in heat. All eyes will be on Canadian power pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir whose chemistry can be felt from the other side of the world. The two, who have been dancing together for 20 years, swear they are not a couple. At least not in a romantic way. The first skaters take the ice at 8 p.m.


If you are looking for something with a different kind of thrill, the women's ski halfpipe final starts at 8:30 p.m., with the last run set for 9:18 p.m. Canada's Cassie Sharpe is the favorite with tricks like the cork 1080, which is three rotations on her side. (Yeah, we had to look it up, too.) But keep an eye out for Maddie Bowman, who won the first gold medal in this event when it started in 2014 in Sochi. Judging in the halfpipe is subjective, based on level of difficulty and impression.


Drama has hit the staid world of curling! Look out for Canada, whose skip took serious heat for a controversial move against Denmark. She demanded a stone be removed from play after it was "burned" or touched by a player. That is within the rules, but she was slammed for the aggressive move in sport that prides itself on gracious sportsmanship.

The men's round-robin session 9 gets underway just after midnight. The women play at 6:05 a.m. and the men come back around for session 10 at 7:05 a.m.


How orange can the podium get? Of all the gold medals at in speedskating at this games, only one has gone to an athlete not born in the Netherlands when Japan's Nao Kodaira won the women's 500 meters. The Dutch will seek to maintain their dominance today. Watch for the clap skates, which hinge at the toe, allowing the skate to keep contact with the ice longer. The women's team pursuit quarterfinals will be at 6 a.m. and the men's 500-meter final at 6:53 a.m.


The last two runs of the ever-popular men's final will start at 6:15 a.m. The field is being led by two men with American ties, but neither is racing for the United States. Germany's Christian Poser is married to an American bobsled star. Justin Kripps, who was born in Hawaii, is racing for Canada. Watch for the spiked shoes the men wear to better grip the ice as they try to build up as much momentum as possible during the push start.


What could be more fun than a sport that puts skiing and shooting together? Skiing and shooting with friends! In the mixed relay, teams of two men and two women trade off skiing with a rifle on their backs and taking shots at five targets. In the relay, athletes are given three extra bullets, but if they have to use them, they have to load them by hand. No pressure with cold fingers! If after using all eight bullets they still haven't hit all five targets, the athlete must ski a 150-meter penalty loop. For the handoff, the athletes must make body contact within a 30-meter-long transition zone. The start is at 5:45 a.m.


For the women, the semifinals are a pair of rematches from opening games of this tournament. The defending gold medalists Canada will play the Russians, who will be trying to reclaim some pride after losing to their first match 5-0. The puck drops at 7:10 p.m.


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