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Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

As it happened - Winter Olympics day seven

(All times local. GMT -8)

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By Ollie Williams in Vancouver


Skeleton

2156: The good people of Britain will just be waking up to the news that Amy Williams leads the women's skeleton competition overnight, with two runs remaining, so that's it from me with almost all of Thursday's action now concluded. That will also do for GB's Kristan Bromley, who watches last man Nicola Drocco of Italy finish 26th after his second run and heads off to bed, knowing he will return in an exceptionally good fifth place for Friday's final runs. Two skeleton gold medals to be won on Friday, make sure you don't miss any of it - I'll see you then. (Still ongoing, for your live stats viewing pleasure, is Slovakia v Russia in the men's hockey.)

Curling

2153: The last stone gives Britain a 9-6 victory over Denmark at the men's curling, to a huge reception from the British fans at the Vancouver Olympic Centre. That scoreline makes it sound more comfortable than it was - it all came down to the last stone and, while it was a fairly simple shot, it's not a situation the British would ideally want to be in. They will still want to pick their game up in the coming days.

Figure skating

Figure skating gold medallist Evan Lysacek: "That's my best free programme this season. I've been waiting for a clean free skate all season. I tried not to get too excited after each jump. I wanted to pump my fist every time."

Curling

2146: One stone each remaining at the curling. Remember, it's 6-6 in the final end between Britain and Denmark.

Ice hockey

2139: Goalless between Slovakia and Russia after the first period in the men's hockey.

Curling

2136: We're not done at the curling yet and, more importantly, neither are Denmark. They have refused to let go of this one and have got the score back to 6-6 going into the final end. However, Britain will have the last stone, so hold a slight advantage still.

Skeleton

2134: Austria's Matthias Guggenberger decimates just about every wall of the Whistler track and still manages to outdo Bromley by a mere three hundredths of a second. Martins Dukurs, the favourite, has yet to have his second run.

2131: Michael Douglas - not that one - gets a much better start than Bromley but drops off as he heads down, so Kristan Bromley still holds the lead for Britain. I would say today is going slightly better than anticipated for Team GB's sliders.

2128: Kristan Bromley's start is fractionally slower than that of current Latvian leader Tomass Dukurs but his slide improves as he goes down. He clocks 143kph heading into the last corner and takes a bit of a hit in the process, but goes first for the time being with a total time of 1:45.80 - though some of the top stars are still to have their second run.

Curling

2125: Britain now lead Denmark 6-4 at the men's curling. Much more like it after a poor start to the Games for David Murdoch and his clan.

Figure skating

2121: I did of course mean Brian Boitano, of Battle of the Brians fame.

2119: Evan Lysacek, the current world champion, is the first American since Rian Boitano in 1988 to claim gold at the Olympic men's figure skating. Up he steps to take the plaudits on a very natty-looking wooden podium. The sort of podium that could well become an item of garden furniture for a lucky Canadian after the Games. It would sit well next to my UBC Thunderbird shed (see 2000 entry).

Ice hockey

2115: Slovakia and Russia have faced off in the men's hockey. Russia beat China 2-1 in the women's game earlier.

Freestyle skiing

2112: I'm just hearing that men's aerials training on Friday has been cancelled. Temperatures are apparently too high during the day at Cypress Mountain for organisers to maintain a decent level of snow there.

Skeleton

2109: Pengilly is third-fastest following his second run which, given we've only had four sliders so far, is not going to serve him well.

Results

2107: GOLD for Evan Lysacek after Evgeni Plushenko can't deliver with his final routine. Plushenko had a quad in his routine and Lysacek did not, but Plushenko struggled to land a triple axel at the start, and seemed slightly (only slightly, mind) off his game throughout. The sequins which, from a distance, take on the effect of a waistcoast and tie were a nice touch, but the judges aren't as easily swayed as I am and despite a standing ovation, they send the Russian into second.

Skeleton

2105: Adam Pengilly is about to have his second skeleton run for GB.

Figure skating

2058: Well, the BBC commentators loved Johnny Weir's routine, as did the crowd. He's been more exciting, more bizarre and more extravagant, but has he ever skated a better routine? We await the judges' verdict... 156.77. That seems low if you ask me. He tries to hide his disappointment - while wearing a crown of roses - and the crowd are booing. But there's not a lot he can do, and he goes fifth. Evgeni Plushenko is last to go. Can he deprive Evan Lysacek of a gold?

Ice hockey

2056: Russia still lead China 2-1 with seven minutes left in the third period at the women's hockey.

Curling

2051: While Johnny does his thing at Pacific Coliseum, let me quickly tell you Britain are now 4-3 down against Denmark in the men's curling. There is a shot-by-shot breakdown of the game so far for you to follow if you're keen.

2049: If you don't fancy reams of skeleton performance analysis, you may be the type to play the Vancouver 2010 game on our site. Give it a go, let me know how you get on. Now here's the flamboyant Johnny Weir at the figure skating...

Skeleton

2046: We're 15 minutes away from the resumption of the men's skeleton, where Martins Dukurs leads comfortably, with Kristan Bromley in seventh and Adam Pengilly down in 17th. Our skeleton performance analysis pages have detailed breakdowns of times, splits and speeds for each competitor. And you've got a quarter of an hour to digest it all. Perfect.

Figure skating

2041: Stephane Lambiel maybe stays a little within himself in his free skate, if only to keep the routine clean, and moves into second place with a score of 162.09. He ain't that happy with it though. Delve into the full scores for each competitor on our site if you want to see what's happened so far at Pacific Coliseum.

2036: Nobunari Oda goes into bronze medal position at the figure skating despite that stoppage when his lace broke. Not that he'll stay there for long with Stephane Lambiel on the ice and both Johnny Weir and Evgeni Plushenko to come.

Skeleton

2033: Newsflash! Amy Williams will prepare for her final two skeleton runs on Friday as follows: "I really haven't slept that great all week so I'll go back and read a bit of my book and try to switch my brain off. I'll just go and relax and get my sled ready for another day at the office." I'm very good at switching my brain off, I can give her tips if she needs them. No mention of what the book is although the report in front of me calls it "chick-lit". Any suggested bedtime reading for her?

Figure skating

2029: Ooh hello, you don't see that often. Nobunari Ono's lace appears to have snapped at the figure skating, in the middle of his routine. The Japanese star has gone off to fix his skate. He has three minutes to do that, then, as far as I'm aware, he has to go back on and start where he left off. Which can't be overly easy. A bit like going down the skeleton track, and being asked to "pick up where you left off" halfway down it. Not going to help.

2024: Evan Lysacek is first to go in the final group at the men's figure skating and he knocks Canada's Patrick Chan off top spot with consummate ease. The buzz from the crowd grew into a crescendo as his routine went on, and he looks, er, stoked. (See 1908 entry.) Lysacek's free skate mark is 167.37, giving him an overall mark of 257.67, a good 16 marks clear of Chan. Five more skaters to go and this is well worth watching, if you can tear yourself away from the skeleton. (Or curling, of course, where Britain are 3-2 up over Denmark after five ends.)

Skeleton

2021: Ireland's Patrick Shannon comes down the skeleton track in a time of 55.18, which is enough to earn him 24th place - just ahead of New Zealand's Iain Roberts, who has the dubious distinction of being bottom of the pile.

Bobsleigh

2017: A bit of news you may have missed earlier - the British two-man bobsleigh team had an encouraging day's training before the skeleton began on the same track. British duo John Jackson and Dan Money finished third and sixth in their third and fourth training runs. There are two more training runs on Friday, then the race proper spans Saturday and Sunday. There has been no British Olympic medal in the bobsleigh since the four-man team won bronze in Nagano 12 years ago.

Snowboarding

2010: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - or, let's be honest, his press office - wasted precious little time in tweeting about Australia's gold in the half-pipe. He says: "Torah Bright - take a bow, unbelievable run! Gold for Australia."

Curling

2006: A ding-dong battle at the curling - Britain's men looked to have turned it around and were leading Denmark 2-1, but the Danes have hauled it back to 2-2 after four of the 10 ends.

Skeleton

2003: Adam Pengilly becomes my closest challenger for "most famous man from Taunton mentioned in this live text" as he heads down the Whistler track in the men's skeleton. He takes a big hit off the wall near the end and finishes in 15th. Kristan Bromley is seventh while Martins Dukurs holds a healthy lead.

Ice hockey

2000: The UBC Thunderbird Arena, which is such a good name that I'm going to rename my garden shed after it when I get home, is hosting China v Russia in women's hockey. The Russians are a goal up in the second period.

Figure skating

1959: At the figure skating, Patrick Chan is back on home ice for his free skate after struggling to make an impression in the short programme. He certainly looks the part and the judges give him 160.30, a new season's best and enough to send him top for the time being. But remember the final group, with the top six from the short programme, are yet to go.

Skeleton

1952: Canada's Jeff Pain caused a bit of a stir before the Games, accusing other teams of using magnetic sleds in order to improve their times down the track. Certainly, Pain is not relieved at the end of his first run here - he is back in seventh place. (You and I both know I've only picked him out in order to do an admittedly second-rate "pain" gag, but chin up. Britain's Adam Pengilly is up soon.)

Ice hockey

John in Calgary texts: "If tonight wasn't the double tall grande espresso wake-up shot that Canada's hockey team needed, I don't know what is. If we play like this against the US, we'll get royally burned."

Skeleton

1942: Bromley doesn't start as quickly as leader Dukurs and slowly haemorrhages time all the way down the track. He finishes fourth-fastest so far in a time of 52.91, 0.59 seconds behind Dukurs.

1940: Jon Montgomery is all over the TV in his native Canada, and his first run at the men's skeleton puts him second behind Martins Dukurs. Britain's Kristan Bromley up next...

Curling

1939: Great Britain are 1-0 down to Denmark in the third end at the men's curling. The British really need to win, remember.

Andrew in Melbourne texts: "Dare I hope, after Torah Bright's gold, that Australia can topple Team GB in the Winter Olympics? I'm still hearing about (and deeply embittered by) the 'thrashing' we received in Beijing. Go Torah! C'mon Aussies!"

Skeleton

1934: Here is what Amy Williams, who leads the women's skeleton on behalf of Great Britain after two of four runs, has to say: "I didn't really expect to be in front place right now. It was a good first day, but there are two more runs left, so I'm going to concentrate on them and not get ahead of myself. I'm just trying to relax and enjoy it. We are still learning things on this track and there is still room for improvement."

1933: While I was away, I got into an argument with a Canadian woman, pretending to be Irish, about the potato famine. I don't know why these things keep happening to me.

Skeleton

1931: And I'm back, just in time to see Latvian Martins Dukurs set a new track record as first to go in the men's luge at Whistler. He's not only set a new record, he's taken a whole second off it.

Curling

1914: There's more curling getting under way at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, where Britain's men will take on Denmark. David Murdoch's team have won only one game and lost two so far, so this needs to be a marked improvement. I'm going to take a short (mostly food-related) break and return in time for the men's skeleton in 15 minutes. In the meantime, follow the curling on our comprehensive live results pages.

BBC Sport's Rhona Martin texts: "I'm crowd-spotting through Steve Cram's binoculars and Jackie Lockhart, from the GB women's team, is here to cheer the men on."

Snowboarding

1908: More on gold for Torah Bright in the women's half-pipe, the expanded results of which you can view on our website. Bright suffered a fall in her first run but apparently it was the technical brilliance of her second run what won her it. That score of 45.0 is a monster - US pair Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark couldn't get near it. "Not surprisingly they are all stoked," I am told. Everybody in snowboarding is always stoked. Nobody in any other sport is stoked, but snowboarders are perma-stoked. Do Stoke fans get stoked?

Ice hockey

1901: CANADA WIN as Martin Brodeur saves from Martin Pluss, moments after wonderkid Sidney Crosby scores at the other end. That's the game and I'm giving it as much billing as a gold medal because digging out a result there is huge for Canada. There will be plenty of questions in the Canadian press about this result, but it's still the right result for them.

Snowboarding

1859: GOLD for Torah Bright of Australia in the half-pipe after her US rivals can't get close.

Ice hockey

1858: Jonas Hiller leaves a leg straggling to deny Sidney Crosby after Switzerland miss their opening penalty shot. Hiller then denies Jonathan Toews... still no score from these penalty shots...

Snowboarding

1854: Two to go in the women's half-pipe final and Torah Bright still leads for Australia, ahead of US duo Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark.

Ice hockey

1852: We are going to penalty shots between Canada and Switzerland after the Swiss, to borrow a Jose Mourinho phrase, park the bus for the remainder of overtime.

1848: Martin Brodeur is forced to make a close-range save with just under three minutes of overtime to go, keeping Canada in the game. Penalty shots are looming.

Figure skating

1846: Figure skating fans, I hope you can understand why the men's free skate has not received quite the love it deserves so far. I'll be sure to get there in time for the final group.

Ice hockey

1843: I think this is the first hockey game at Vancouver 2010 to have gone into overtime. It has finished 2-2 between Canada and Switzerland which, frankly, is already pretty humbling. Switzerland are by no means the worst team in the world but Canada are a different class - as they often remind themselves. Overtime is starting now and if the Swiss nick a goal, the devastation will be complete.

Skeleton

1841: Amy Williams seems a little high at the end of her run but she is 0.30 seconds ahead of anybody else at the halfway point of the women's skeleton. She takes her helmet off, waves to the camera, gives the crowd a thumbs-up and walks off knowing she will go into Friday's runs leading the Olympic field. What a performance. Check out the full standings after two runs using our extended results service - Shelley Rudman is in seventh.

Snowboarding

1838: Torah Bright banishes the demons of her first run to go top of the half-pipe final with 45.0. Here goes Amy Williams for GB in the skeleton...

Ice hockey

Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff Lee on Twitter: "Oh guys, the Swiss net is down at the other end. You're supposed to put the puck in the net down there."

1835: Approximately eight million of you have written to query the assertion that the US and Canada are the two strongest hockey teams. It wasn't mine, it was David's (see below), but I should have clarified that Russia and Sweden are considered more likely rivals for the gold medal. Three minutes left, still 2-2.

Skeleton

1833: Melissa Hollingsworth is Canada's golden girl of sliding and she has to come up with an exceptional second run to challenge Amy Williams here. Down she goes and it's a very quick start, maintained all the way, which takes her into first place. Three more to go before Williams gets her second bite at the cherry. Spare a thought, though, for Nozomi Komuro of Japan. Four years of training and she's disqualified before the race begins. I am told her sled had never been sent for approval and therefore did not get the required sticker to say she was good to go. So she's out and probably biting the ice in frustration.

Ice hockey

1827: There is a phrase in hockey - "standing on his head" - used to describe goaltenders performing miracles to keep their team in a game. Jonas Hiller of Switzerland is trampolining on his head. He pulls off an incredible save to keep the score at 2-2 against Canada.

David in York texts: "The Swiss are no mugs when it comes to hockey - Zurich beat Chicago in the Victoria Cup a few months ago. They are playing with heart and passion, unlike Canada."

Snowboarding

1824: One of the half-pipe finalists, Queralt Castellet of Spain, hasn't made it to the start after she crashed during practice. She has been taken to hospital but only as a precaution. The first run of the final is almost over and Torah Bright of Australia, one of the favourites, has just fallen. She'll have to rely on her second run. Hannah Teter of the US leads.

Ice hockey

Stuart in Cheltenham texts: "As the US and Canada are meant to be the strongest two teams, would defeat for Canada against Switzerland probably hand the gold to the US?"

No, it wouldn't. We're still in the preliminary round and one defeat is not the end of the world, since you can still go through to the knock-out stages. But a defeat by Switzerland would be a serious embarrassment for Canada. It's still 2-2 with 12 minutes left in the third period. If the score stays level, there will be five minutes of overtime, then penalty shots.

Skeleton

1819: Here goes Shelley Rudman in the skeleton. She carried the flag for Team GB at the opening ceremony and has been built up as a huge medal chance, but finds herself eclipsed by team-mate Amy Williams so far. Rudman is doing well in her second run though, and keeps excellent shape and line all the way down. She goes top with a cumulative time of 1:48.92. Check out precise timings for every athlete using our results pages.

1815: Canada's Michelle Kelly once again has a disappointing run at the skeleton, even though the ice is getting harder - and, theoretically, quicker - as the temperature drops in Whistler. Britain's Shelley Rudman has her second run in a few moments' time.

Ice hockey

Nasko in London texts: "Canada are looking really shaky. The gap in men's hockey is closing which is perfect for the game, but I still think the hosts will win tonight."

J_Donovan tweets: "Four years yesterday, Switzerland beat Canada in Olympic ice hockey. Astonishing if lightning strikes twice. What is it about the Swiss?"

Snowboarding

1806: Once again it is hard to know where to look. Skeleton and ice hockey are occupying my time but remember the men's figure skating is on, and the women's snowboard half-pipe final has just started.

Conor from Liverpool texts: "I don't know what I want more, a Swiss win the ice hockey or gold for Amy Williams."

Skeleton

1801: The start list for the second run is in reverse order according to how well everyone did in their first run, so Amy Williams will be last to go this time.

1758: And while the Canadians weep for their all-but-lost Olympic hockey gold, the British can start to cheer again for Team GB's female sliders. The second run of the women's skeleton is about to take place. Have a read of what happened in the first run and then watch live online if you're in the UK, or follow all the action on our real-time results pages.

(I didn't mean the part about the hockey gold, before that gets quoted in every Canadian newspaper going. Mr Negative British Media that I am.)

Ice hockey

1754: OH MY STARS. Maw, get the cattle in, Switzerland have drawn level in the men's hockey. You can't have an own goal in hockey so Switzerland's Patrick Von Gunten gets the credit but, to British football fans, that's an own goal from Patrick Marleau of Canada. The puck flew in off his skate, and that ends the second period. There will be 20 minutes left for Canada to rescue a win.

Figure skating

1750: French former world champion Brian Joubert is in the next group at the men's figure skating inside Pacific Coliseum. Joubert is not having the greatest of weeks. He messed up his short programme and then, earlier today, had a public dressing-down from French skating chief Didier Gailhaguet, who told reporters: "He has not behaved like a top level athlete, by not wanting to travel abroad from time to time, by not working enough, and thirdly not competing in enough events. This morning I told him, 'We're not continuing like this. We offered that you work for six or eight months with Brian Orser, coach of Kim Yu-Na. You refused.' It is a late crisis of adolescence."

Skeleton

James in Essex texts: "Is it too early to hope for skeleton gold? Why can't it be one run like the skiing!"

Ice hockey

Neil in Milton Keynes texts: "What a goal for Switzerland that was! You need something special to beat Martin Brodeur, and boy was that special."

Figure skating

1742: Canada's Vaughn Chipeur had a fairly miserable short programme on home ice the other night, and his free skate doesn't do too much to improve matters - although he does deliver a very nice triple lutz. He's dancing to the kind of slightly underwhelming free jazz you get in over-complicated bars. That bassline isn't going to win anyone any medals. Chipeur scores 113.70, a season's best, which puts him fourth so far. After four competitors. Go Canada Go. (Look at me - one sniff of a medal in one sport and I think I can win that fight...)

Skeleton

1740: The second run in the skeleton has been delayed, presumably as a result of the earlier delay, which is all very British Rail. Amy Williams and friends will begin again in 20 minutes' time.

Ice hockey

1737: The Swiss have got a goal back! I can't imagine what'll happen if they beat the Canadians in the men's hockey. I probably wouldn't have a hotel room to go back to. Or even a city centre to go back to.

Skeleton

1732: Ten minutes until the second run begins in the skeleton. There are four runs in total and the competition will conclude on Friday, but there are also two runs of the men's competition to come before this day is out.

Ice hockey

1727: Patrick Marleau has given Canada a 2-0 lead over Switzerland early in the second period in the men's hockey. Normally I would be doing everything in my power to stay watching the hockey but the lure of somebody British leading a Winter Olympic competition is proving irresistible.

Skeleton

1724: Thoughts from the British sliders after their first runs in the women's skeleton:

Amy Williams, who leads the competition: "I just went for it and I really enjoyed it. It was good fun. I've got three more runs yet, so hopefully I can stay consistent and see what happens."

Shelley Rudman, currently 11th: "I'm a bit frustrated. I know I can do better."

1722: There has been a lot of talk in the build-up to these Games about the Canadians monopolising training time at the Whistler track, particularly in skeleton. One figure which keeps cropping up is the suggestion that the Canadians had 10 times as many training runs as anyone else. If that is the case, Canadian sliders Melissa Hollingsworth (fifth) and Michelle Kelly (12th) may have to answer some tricky questions unless they up their game. Williams of Britain still leads. (Amy, not me.)

Curling

1717: Approximately an aeon ago we were following the curling. You will remember that Britain's women beat Russia 10-3. Other women's results are as follows:
Denmark 7-6 US
China 9-5 Japan
Canada 6-5 Germany

Ice hockey

1713: Canada lead Switzerland by a goal to nil with the second period starting shortly in the men's hockey.

Skeleton

1712: Our sports news correspondent James Pearce has just tweeted back a pic of Amy Williams in the immediate aftermath of her first run.

1710: Amy Williams, the fastest thing to come out of Somerset since I learnt to drive, still leads the skeleton despite very strong challenges from Kerstin Szymkowiak and Anja Huber of Germany. Canada's Amy Gough has just gone second, 0.31 seconds behind Williams, who is strolling around the Whistler campus high-fiving the rest of Team GB.

Snowboarding

Gaz in Preston texts: "Best moment of the Winter Olympics so far? Elena Hight in the ladies' half-pipe semis, turning to the massive 40ft screen just before her second run and being surprised that it was her on it!"

Figure skating

1705: The last of the four groups in the figure skating is the one to watch: it contains competition leader Evgeni Plushenko of Russia, the flamboyant Johnny Weir of the US and fellow American Evan Lysacek who, lest we forget, turned up for the short programme looking like Big Bird in an oil slick. They will be in the last group to compete, quite some time from now, so you may want to carry on watching the skeleton or the hockey for the time being.

Skeleton

1700: Amy Williams gets a superb start, 0.1 seconds quicker than anyone else, and she produces an utterly gripping run to put in a time of 53.83 seconds. A new track record, a new start record, and first place in the competition. At last, after what feels like an eternity, somebody British has just done something marvellous at this Winter Olympics. (There are three runs to go, including two on Friday, but let's not worry about those yet.)

1657: It is all going off now. As well as skeleton and ice hockey we now have the men's figure skating starting, plus there are some curling matches to catch up on in a second, once we've seen Amy Williams head down the Whistler track...

Snowboarding

1657: You will all be glad to know that Mercedes Nicoll has indeed reached the women's half-pipe final. The semi-final results show that Australia's Holly Crawford leads the six semi-finalists joining the final, where 12 athletes will compete.

Skeleton

1654: Shelley Rudman rumbles through corner 11 a little unconvincingly but, in the absence of split times for some reason, it's difficult to know whether she's picking up any time on Hollingsworth. At the finish, though, she's almost half a second back on her Canadian rival, which is a big old deficit in skeleton terms. Amy Williams has been in much better form in training and will be fifth down the track in a few minutes.

1652: At last we're under way at the skeleton and home favourite Melissa Hollingsworth is first down the track. And her time of 54.18 is a new course record, breaking her own previous mark. Here's Britain's Shelley Rudman...

Ice hockey

1649: Dany Heatley is in the right place at the right time, and benefits a tad from over-committed Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller to score his third goal of the Games and Canada's first of the night. They lead Switzerland 1-0 in the middle of the first.

Skeleton

1644: Just before the skeleton gets going in Whistler, it's worth pointing out that the track is the same one as used in the luge and bobsleigh, and is still taking plenty of flak from critics. Former Olympic medallist Thomas Schwab, who now leads the German federation, called the track "scandalous" and "a joke" earlier today. But Italian bobsled brakeman Samuele Romanini said the track was "absolutely not" too dangerous, adding: "Bobsled is a speed competition, like Formula 1 but on ice. In my opinion it is fast, but it's not dangerous for us."

Snowboarding

1639: The second run in the women's half-pipe semi has now started. Sarah Conrad, though, can forget reaching a final on home snow as she once again crashes out.

Separately, an irate Egon thinks I'm blaming him (see beneath 1633 entry). "You started it," he texts. I'm well aware of that, Egon. I take all the blame for this sorry state of affairs.

Ice hockey

1633: We're looking at the skeleton track in Whistler now and there is no way this event is about to start, they are still preparing the surface. We are now told it'll begin in 20 minutes' time, so hold your horses there. In fact, better idea: watch the Switzerland v Canada men's hockey game live online if you're in the UK, or follow all the action using our results and stats pages. I can tell you Martin Brodeur is in goal for Canada, as opposed to Roberto Luongo who was between the pipes against Norway. We're about to face off.

Egon in Warrington texts: "I once knew a woman called Mercedes who, despite the classy name, worked in a rough area of Liverpool. Oh, and am I the only person who can't hear the word 'half-pipe' without thinking of the '90s skater song, 'Heaven is a Half-pipe'?"

"Women named Mercedes" may very well be the single worst topic of live text conversation since the BBC Sport website began.

Short track

1624: If you're British you may not yet have recovered from Wednesday's series of disasters at the short track speed skating. British skater Elise Christie certainly felt hard done by after her exit in the 500m event, and she vented some of her frustration in the comments beneath our reporter Matthew Pinsent's blog on proceedings. It is well worth reading the blog, the comments, and Matt's response.

Snowboarding

1618: Mercedes Nicoll gives herself a little clap at the bottom of the half-pipe, after a run that may get her into the final despite a missed grab. She gets 40.1 and that will indeed be enough for the Canadian to reach the last 12 in around 90 minutes' time.

Curling

1613: Finally the Russian curlers see sense and concede, giving the British women a whomping 10-3 victory after only eight of the 10 ends.

Anon via text: "In the stands at the curling as we speak and let me tell you, the Russian skip has kept me entertained throughout."

Snowboarding

1611: Sarah Conrad of Canada is going to need something out of her second run in the women's half-pipe semi-final after messing up the first. The well-named Mercedes Nicoll is Canada's other entrant and will go in a few minutes' time. I've only met one other person called Mercedes.

Ice hockey

1607: The US women's ice hockey team are 5-0 up on Finland coming out for the third period.

Snowboarding

1602: Right. The chance of the Russians doing anything in the curling is as remote as me executing a Telemark landing so let's go and halve some pipe at Cypress Mountain. The first woman down is Slovenia's Cilka Sadar and she produces a not-too-bad 30.1.

1555: In some respects, the delay at the skeleton is convenient. It means we can focus on the women's half-pipe semi-final, starting in around five minutes. The start list does not include the top six from qualifying, who went through directly to the final. But there are six more places in the final now up for grabs for everyone else.

Curling

1552: The Russian women's curling team, perhaps mindful that I have been semi-inadvertently stoking World War III via the medium of a curling live text, are steadfastly refusing to concede despite being 9-2 down to Britain.

Skeleton

1547: I'm told the first run of the women's skeleton will now go at 1630Van/0030UK, in other words in 45 minutes' time. It was due to start in 15 minutes but apparently the sun is out over the Whistler track, and covers need to be put down to cool the surface before the competition begins. Turin 2006 silver medallist Shelley Rudman and the impressive-in-training Amy Williams will feature for Britain.

1544: I have just been handed an Olympic pin badge from a Japanese broadcaster. You would not believe the fervour that surrounds pin badges here, or at any Olympic Games. There are hundreds of pin traders in Vancouver and every team and broadcaster has to turn up with some pins to hand out, to fend off the baying mob. They almost act as a currency. It must be said that Team GB have come armed with one of the very best pin badges you can find, a beautiful golden snowflake with an engraved lion.

Curling

1541: Other women's curling scores so far:
Canada 4-2 Germany (end 7)
China 4-2 Japan (end 6)
Denmark 3-4 US (end 7)

Alpine skiing

JordanDias tweets: "My respect for Lindsey Vonn goes from strength to strength: she conducted an interview with ZDF in fluent German."

1527: While we're on the subject of Russia, it's interesting to note that back in Moscow, the Russian team's troubles have been the subject of fierce political debate. So far, the Russians have three medals to their name including one gold, for Nikita Kriukov in cross-country skiing.

"Russian sport is mired in corruption and shady deals having nothing to do with sport," Russia's opposition Liberal Democrats said in a statement. "The best coaches go abroad, and our fellow countrymen perform for the teams of other nations. This can't go on like this. Our sport needs deep-rooted restructuring, so that we do not blush in four years when our sportsmen will perform in their own country."

Curling

1522: A lot has been written about the British women's curling skip, Eve Muirhead, being only 19 years old - some of it by me - but the Russian team Britain are playing today is almost absurdly young by curling standards. The Russian skip is four years older than Muirhead, but the oldest member of the team is 26. Jackie Lockhart, 45 next month, is the oldest British competitor here in Vancouver. Britain are now 7-2 up on Russia.

Ice hockey

1516: The US women are a comfortable four unanswered goals up on Finland after the first period at the ice hockey. Speaking of hockey, American swimming legend Michael Phelps turned up to watch his country's men beat Norway earlier. "While many wearing red, white and blue around him stood and roared, a seated Phelps gave applause more suitable for the theatre after the Americans' third goal," reads a surprisingly bitter American report dedicated to Phelps' appearance.

Snowboarding

1512: British snowboarder Lesley McKenna crashed out twice in her half-pipe qualifier earlier. Here's what she has to say:

"I'd been really looking forward to this Olympics and this morning I was actually riding really well, so it is irritating and disappointing as I was really on form during training.

"I think it's amazing that anyone from Britain has done so well in snowboarding when you consider the lack of facilities we have in the UK. There's a massive amount of British talent and I hope that talent is nurtured in the future."

Curling

TalentedAthlete tweets: "Sat with Kelly Wood's parents. She has texted them to say she is not dying, just sick and dizzy."

So she should be OK, but in the meantime Annie Laird is getting her first curling outing of the Games. Laird herself only made the team because Karen Addison left in January. At an event at the Games? Watching at home? Send a tweet @bbcsport_ollie to get in touch.

Biathlon

Pascal in Guildford texts: "Don't be so hard on Lee Jackson in the biathlon! (See 1445 entry.) Toughest sport in the world, so he must be pretty fit!"

I couldn't agree more, not least because the man is equipped with a gun. The Norwegians next door (we're surrounded by Scandinavians here) are incredibly big on biathlon. You should see their studio, they've set up a whole log cabin indoors.

Curling

1458: So far I've managed to mention a nuclear winter and a Russian sub with reference to curling, but then it is a Cold War in there given the temperature settings. It's like Détente never happened.

1455: Curling is not a sport renowned for substitutions but both sides have already made one in the GB-Russia women's clash. Britain's Kelly Wood isn't feeling well so Annie Laird has stepped in for her first Olympic action, while the Russians, playing abysmally, have made a tactical change. Not entirely sure what that tactical change will do, exactly. Does curling have such a thing as special teams?

Ice hockey

1450: At the ice hockey, the US men ended up comfortable 6-1 victors over Norway although they took their time about it. In the women's game, Julie Chu has already put the US a goal up over Finland midway through the first period.

Biathlon

1445: I mentioned a Norwegian one-two in the men's 20km individual biathlon earlier. Now it looks like there may be a dead heat for silver between Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Sergey Novikov of Belarus. Does it therefore still count as a one-two? Much to ponder. Lee Jackson of Great Britain is back in 45th, doing an admirable job of not similarly challenging the rulebook or statisticians.

1441: And for a moment there, I was accidentally live texting eight hours in the future. Refresh your screens if you want the times restored to Vancouver, not UK.

Curling

1439: In the icy depths of the Vancouver Olympic Centre, where the temperature has been set to accurately simulate the effects of curling in a nuclear winter, Britain's women have taken a whopping 5-0 lead over Russia after just two ends.

Results

1432: Two gold medals within three minutes of sitting down illustrates quite how busy this is going to be. GOLD for Canada's Christine Nesbitt in the women's 1000m speed skating at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The Dutch take second and third.

1429: Hello, everybody. I reckon we've got the busiest session of the Games so far coming up. Take a look at this and see what ices your puck:

- Curling with both the GB men and women in action
- The men's free skate which will probably send a figure skating gold in the direction of Evgeni Plushenko of Russia
- Ice hockey including Switzerland v Canada in the men's event (cowbells versus Canadians, bring ear defenders to that one)
- Skeleton in Whistler where there are four Brits and big GB medal hopes
- The women's half-pipe in snowboarding, albeit minus Britain's Lesley McKenna who seems set on some kind of Olympic record for consecutive falls
- And not forgetting the men's 20km individual biathlon starring Britain's Lee Jackson and where Norway have just completed a one-two, GOLD going to Emil Hegle Svendsen

By Anna Thompson

Snowboarding

1420: The women's half-pipe qualification is over and I can tell you Torah Bright, Kelly Clark, Queralt Castellet, Hannah Teter, Gretchen Bleiler and Sun Zhifeng are directly through to the final. Check out our live stats page to find out who has made it to the semi, which starts at 1600 (midnight in the UK). Right I'm off, thanks for your company, I'll hand you over to Mr Ollie Williams.

Curling

1410: GB women's curlers are back in action against Russia. BBC commentator Steve Cram tells us: "A bad result for our men was not helped by a very dodgy chilli in the media compound. I definitely need the GB girls to give me a lift although the Russian team always provide good spectating." (we think Steve is referring to the Russian skip Ludmila Privivkova , who has a reputation for being one of, if not the, most beautiful female competitors in these Games . Rhona Martin, meanwhile, is feeling a little smug about the state of play in BBC Sport's booth. "You'll be glad to know that in the BBC box we are all wide awake, unlike the Chinese commentators in front of us who are fast asleep. To our left two Canadian commentators are wrapped in travel rugs."

Snowboarding

1355: Brit Lesley McKenna's Olympics are over as she falls in her second qualifying run. She is a top rider but for some reason in the Winter Olympics, this is her third, she can't seem to land her tricks properly. I think that might be the last we see of McKenna on the competition circuit but if she does retire, she will bow out with her head held high as the first British snowboarder to win a World Cup event (and she did it twice).



Alpine skiing

1350: James from Essex via text: "Cannot believe Anja Paerson just won a bronze. After watching her crash yesterday I thought her career was in jeopardy let alone her chance of winning a medal the next day!" My sentiments exactly James. And Chemmy Alcott's been chatting after finishing 11th: "I had no pressure on my from the poor downhill, so it was easier to pull it back with the slalom. Ten years ago I was a good slalom skier so I tapped into that confidence."

Snowboarding

1340: Blimey I've not even mentioned the women's half-pipe yet. Well we're into the second run in qualifying and Australian Torah Bright leads the way with a whopping 45.8, from American Kelly Clark, who sings to herself just before she drops in to the pipe (must say Kelly, I'd stick to the snowboarding if I was you). The top six automatically qualify for the final, then 7th to 16th go in a semi-final, with the top six of those making up the final 12. Britain's Lesley McKenna had a shocker in the first run and fell so she needs to pull it off in the second if she's to go forward.

Ice hockey

1330: Haven't updated the men's ice hockey for a bit. It's 3-1 to the US against Norway. All the latest information is available on the live page and you can also watch it on the red button.


Alpine skiing

1325: Wow that was exciting and just shows Lindsey Vonn is beatable. By the way another solid performance by Britain's Chemmy Alcott, who finished 11th, equalling her best Olympic finish and she still has her more favoured super-G and giant slalom to come.

Results

1315: Lindsey Vonn's attempts to win a second gold go in a flash as she straddles in the middle part of the course so Germany's Maria Riesch wins the gold medal (as predicted by me earlier on, I think you'll find). Julia Mancuso gets a second medal and I can't tell you how pleased I am about Anja Paerson winning the bronze. Respect!

Alpine skiing

1310: American Julia Mancuso is guaranteed her second medal of the Games after going into the lead. She is so chuffed she falls on her back and wiggles her skis in the air. But then Germany's Maria Riesch goes into the gold medal position by a whopping 0.98 seconds with just The Vonn to race.

Alpine skiing

1305: Huge cheers greet Anja Paerson after she goes into the gold medal position, a day after her crash at the bottom of the downhill course, an amazing achievement considering she is battered and bruised. BBC Sport commentator Matt Chilton describes it as Paerson's "Hermann Maier" moment in reference to the Austrian's comeback to win gold in the super-G after an equally spectacular fall in the Nagano Olympics downhill.



Alpine skiing

1300: Austrian Kathrin Zettel shakes it up at the top which means Chemmy Alcott's medal dream in the super combined is over but the worst she can finish is 14th. The course is getting rutted which will make it tough for the later starters but they have a hefty time advantage.

Alpine skiing

1245: Brit Chemmy Alcott has a relaxed, clean, slalom run and goes into the bronze medal position but all the big guns are yet to race . Slalom specialist Sarka Zahrobska from the Czech Republic is in the gold medal position at the moment. Julia Mancuso, in third after the downhill, nips to the loo with a cameraman following, thankfully he stays outside the door.

Curling

1240: I think I'm safe to say British curling skip David Murdoch is not a happy bunny after their last-gasp defeat by the Swiss. He says: "Switzerland played the usual negative, Swiss tactics, trying to run you up the last end, and it worked for them again. We can't afford too many more losses, another loss and we're on the back foot. So it's win, win from now on. We can't afford to drop any more. That's two bad losses."

avatar81 on Twitter (@annat1972) has responded to my question of why the combined became the super combined. "The combined was downhill + two runs of slalom in 2 days, the super-combined is a shorter downhill + one run of slalom in 1 day," he says. Not really more super then - why didn't they call it the shorter combined?


Ice hockey

1235: USA are 2-0 up against Norway in the men's hockey. You can watch that game on this very website if you're in the UK, or on the red button on your TV. We'll keep you posted as best we can too here plus we have a live page which goes into more detail than you could shake a (hockey) stick at.

Alpine skiing

1230: The action is resuming at Whistler Creekside with one slalom run, involving 55 gates, to decide who is the best all-round skier. Hungary's Anna Berecz will get proceedings under way as she finished 30th in the downhill (Noelle Barahona will ski after Lindsey Vonn as the Chilean was 31st and last in the first part of the race and outside the top 30). Brit Chemmy Alcott will race 13th down and leader Vonn will go 30th.


1215 I'm still in shock after GB men men stole defeat from the jaws of victory in the curling. But I've got to re-focus and carry on with the veritable feast that is the Winter Olympics.. So what's coming up then? At 2030 GMT in the UK, which is 1230 here in British Columbia, the women competing in the super combined go in the slalom , where Team GB's Chemmy Alcott has work to do after a wobbly downhill . Also at 1230 local time, and half-eight in the UK, Scotland's Lesley McKenna attempts to qualify for the final of the women's half-pipe . C'mon girls, I need something to cheer me up.


Ice hockey

1200: Anyone who has been in Vancouver during these Olympics knows that the one gold medal this country wants more than any other is men's hockey, or ice hockey to us Brits. Sidney Crosby, aka Sid the Kid, and his mates continue that campaign at 1630 local time, which is half-past midnight in the UK. They are up against Switzerland, but if you cannot stay up until after midnight to get your fix of NHL stars in Olympic action, we have the USA men's team against Norway starting now.


Curling

1150: Britain have lost after David Murdoch's final shot does not curl enough and does not knock the stone near enough to the button. They have lost by millimetres and look gutted. And could this defeat, their second in the competition, come back to haunt them later on in the tournament? Not surprisingly Switzerland cannot contain their delight and lead the standings with three wins.

Results

1145:GOLD for Norway's Tora Berger in the biathlon which is the country's 100th gold in Winter Olympic history, which was confirmed by Mark Hanna on Twitter.

.
Curling

1140: It's nerve-wracking stuff at Vancouver Olympic Centre as GB men are tied 3-3 with Switzerland with just a couple of stones left each. GB have the hammer but there are concerned faces on the team as David Murdoch could be left with too much to do.

Ski jumping

1125: We haven't mentioned ski jumping for a few days, probably because there hasn't been any action but it resumes on Friday with large hill qualification. But there's a row brewing over Simon Ammann's bindings. He won gold on the normal hill and the Austrians are now questioning the legality of the bindings. Will keep you posted with what the International Ski Federation has to say about it.
Curling

1110 The Swiss should have taken a two in the eighth end but Ralph Stoekli fluffs his final stone and they take just one. Much shaking of heads from the Swiss and GB have the hammer.

Biathlon

1100: A few of you are asking for updates from the biathlon and I can tell you Norway's Tora Berger has finished in 40.52.8 and by all accounts this is a fantastic time but she'll have a long wait to find out if it's enough for a medal. The live statistics page will have all the answers.

Curling

1055: It's tense stuff at the curling and BBC producer Peter Small says: "Rhona, Steve and myself are delighted that we got out of bed at 6am to watch three blanked ends. Intriguing though." C'mon Peter, you know you guys love it really.

Curling

1050: GB men's curlers still 3-2 up over Switzerland in end eight.

Chemmy Alcott has just spoken to our reporter Rob Hodgetts . "I struggled today," she admitted. "I almost straddled the gate at 70 miles per hour, it was very close. It almost could have been a disaster. It was very dark in there (on the course - which was shaded) and it was tough. You have those days when you're just not on it, and I wasn't on it. I've got to really attack the slalom but it's not my strongest event anyway so I've got to go really hard. I've had a few good slalom runs this season but we'll see." By the way the event is a officially called the super combined, they changed it from combined a few seasons ago, no idea why.


Alpine skiing

1035: Chile's Noelle Barahona is the final racer down and completes the downhill section for the women, almost 10 seconds off the pace. Thankfully after yesterday's array of crashes everyone gets down in one piece. Not surprisingly the Vonn to watch is Lindsey Vonn, she has 0.33 advantage over Maria Reisch, with Julia Mancuso 0.80 seconds behind. Brit Chemmy Alcott is 18th, with a 2.90 second deficit to make up and is understandably disappointed with her downhill run. The medals will be decided after one slalom run, starting at 1230 (2030 GMT) and available on the red button. They race in reverse order so Barahona will go first, Vonn last and I'm going to stick my neck out and predict Riesch is going to win gold, but what to do I know? Text or Tweet me your thoughts.


Alpine skiing

1025: There are a few more racers to go in the downhill section of the combined but they will not threaten Vonn at the top of the leaderboard. The race is currently being shown on the red button and the slalom will be too at 1230 (2030 GMT) so tune in for that if you can.

Biathlon

1020: The women's 15km is about to get started with Germany's Magdalena Neuner looking for a third medal of the Games. Swedes Helena Jonsson and Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek could challenge after a solid World Cup season, as could Germany's world champion Kati Wilhelm.


Curling

1010: We're in the fifth end in the men's curling and GB have re-taken the lead and are now 3-2 up against the Swiss.

Alpine skiing

1000: Lindsey Vonn skis sublimely to take the lead in the combined with a smooth downhill. She hardly looked like she was trying yet she takes 0.80 seconds off the lead. Her best mate Maria Riesch, completely out-of-sorts in yesterday's downhill, is up next and somehow stays on the course after a huge error but she's flying and goes into second place, just a third of a second off the pace. And hats off to Anja Pearson who goes into sixth place despite racing with a sore left calf and bruised hips after her spectacular crash in the downhill.


Curling

Michael in Notts texts: "Re 0920, can you explain how the Swiss have the final stone in the third after a steal in the first and a blank in the second?" This answer from our curling producer Peter Small, who is alongside Rhona Martin and Steve Cram at the Vancouver Olympic Centre. "If you score you lose the hammer. When you steal, the hammer stays with the previous team. Switzerland started the game with the hammer, and Britain stole it in the first end so the hammer went back to the Swiss. The second end was no score, so the hammer stayed with the Swiss, and there was two in the third end so the hammer was then with GB."

Alpine skiing

0950:Brit Chemmy Alcott is down safely in the combined but had an almighty wobble which slowed her down and she is two seconds off the pace. Will need an excellent slalom run if she is to challenge for a medal. The cameras focus on a woodpecker who, I imagine, is oblivious the Winter Olympics are on, but I could be wrong.



Curling

0945: We're in the fourth end in the men's curling and Switzerland score two to go 2-1 up against GB.

Alpine skiing

0940: The early start is causing a few problems as the flat light is proving difficult to read the contours on a difficult course. We've only had eight racers and three, Nadja Kamer, Elena Prosteva and Daniela Merighetti have missed a gate and skied out. Julia Mancuso leads and is in great form after her silver medal yesterday.

RyanGoldingay via Twitter to @annat1972 : "Another impressive start by the British Boys! Chemmy with the lucky 13! Good luck to all of the British involved!

A text arrives from a slightly tongue-in-cheek-sounding Simon in Dorset. "Everyone in UK on edge of their seats: Can Chemmy scrape into top 60?" says Si. A little harsh, as Chemmy stands a better chance in the combined than she did in the downhill, and in the downhill she posted a very respectable 13th place. We shall see ...

Alpine skiing

0930: We're off in the combined with Swiss Nadja Kamer but her hopes are blown early on as she misses a gate. And huge apologies to Anja Paerson. I thought she wasn't racing but I was wrong. Very impressive and brave after crashing at 100kph 24 hours ago.

Curling

0920: It's a positive start for GB men in the curling as they go 1-0 after the first end and have the hammer (final stone) in the second end. They seem very relaxed and happy this morning.

If you're watching the GB world champion men's curlers in their latest game against the Swiss, or if you're super-excited about the women's combined which features Chemmy Alcott and goes at 1730 GMT (0930 local time), then please please Tweet me or text me (81111 if you are in the UK; +44 7786200666 if you are not) and tell me all about it. Go on, do, it makes it much more fun for everyone.

Alpine skiing

0910: Chemmy Alcott is bib number 13 and Lindsey Vonn 18 and amazingly Anja Paerson is fit to race after the Swede crashed off the final jump in yesterday's downhill. If she's 100% she is a definite threat to Vonn.

Curling

0900: The curlers are about to start as the pipe band leads the teams out and as well as GB v Switzerland, there is also Denmark v US, Germany v Norway and Candad v Sweden at a half-full Vancouver Olympic Centre.
Steve Cram and Rhona Martin, our commentators at the curling, have been experiencing difficulties with their clothing and their technical equipment, respectively. Both seem happier today. Steve tells us: "Just when I thought I'd got my clothing all sorted out, I saw the Norwegians this morning. I know it's early but pyjamas on ice? Really." (We'll try to get a pic posted here soon of the Norwegian curlers' gear). Rhona adds: "I'm excited that everything is finally working. Canadian fans are here in force for their big game against Norway and Kevin Martin, the Canadian skip, has just played a perfect draw in the shot challenge which means he has the opening hammer."

0840: Greetings from a crisp and sunny Vancouver and good morning/afternoon depending on where you are reading this. We're on to day seven of the Olympics and we have a feast of sports to keep you interested over the next 12 hours. There are six gold medals up for grabs today including the women's combined where US ski sensation Lindsey Vonn will attempt to win her second title in 24 hours. Brit Chemmy Alcott also races and has an outside chance of a medal. The action starts with the downhill at 0930 (1730 GMT). Before that we GB men's curlers taking on Switzerland and they will be looking to build on their emphatic 9-4 win over the French last night. At lunchtime Lesley McKenna goes in the snowboard half-pipe and later on it's the turn of the skeleton sliders - Shelley Rudman, Amy Williams, Kristan Bromley and Adam Pengilly - who race the first two heats at Whistler Sliding Centre. Excited? Well I certainly am.





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see also
Day-by-day guide to the Winter Olympics
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Winter Olympics day seven photos
18 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010


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