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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Winter Olympics 2010 - Day eight as it happened

(All times local. GMT -8)

By Ollie Williams in Vancouver

2046: Another gold for Canada - assuming, Phil, the Latvians find nothing untoward in Jon Montgomery's beard (see below) - concludes the day on which Great Britain's Amy Williams brought home her country's first gold medal of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I hope that's enlivened your appetite for more action at the Winter Games. Britain's Chemmy Alcott is back in action in the skiing on Saturday, there's a huge game between the British and Canadian men in the curling, and watch out for the bobsleigh and short track too. Follow the ongoing GB-Japan women's curling tie using our live results page.

Mike in Canada texts: "Podium owned. Enjoy your skeleton run, Ollie."

I think I shall slide quietly away now.


Phil in Nottingham texts: "Come on Latvia - lodge a protest about Montgomery's boots. Or beard. Or something."

JBaxterSinger tweets: "Better get your skeleton ready!"

That will be a 'no', then.

2036: And we'll just forget that part from half an hour ago where I said I'd go down a skeleton track myself if Dukurs didn't win, won't we. Won't we?

2034: GOLD for Jon Montgomery of Canada, who wins in dramatic fashion as Martins Dukurs of Latvia lets his lead agonisingly slip away, clattering into that final wall with just enough force that it strips a critical 0.70 seconds away, handing Montgomery and the host nation gold.

2031: Jon Montgomery saves his best for his final run, registering a massive one-second lead over Tretiakov. Can Dukurs match that? It's squeaky tray time in Whistler...

2028: Only Jon Montgomery and Martins Dukurs left to go and Russia's Alexander Tretiakov leads the men's skeleton, knocking Kristan Bromley off the podium in the process.

OzoneVibe tweets: "Tell the Canadians to withdraw their protest or we'll stop buying maple syrup."

2022: Kristan Bromley equals his best start in his final run, and look at those feet waggling like fins as he rattles down the track. This is very clean so far, and he sneaks into the lead by 0.10 seconds. It's hard to imagine he will stay there but the Briton leads for now.


2020: Britain's women's curling team trail 4-3 after five ends against Japan, Eve Muirhead scoring two just now.


2016: Veteran Canadian slider Jeff Pain is probably making his last major appearance at these Games but he currently sits second in the men's skeleton. Kristan Bromley is next but one to go. At 37 he can't be far off retiring from Olympic competition either, can he? Is this one last bid for a medal from the man they always, always insist on calling Doctor Ice?

2012: News agencies here are quoting Don Krone, a spokesman for the International Federation of Bobsleigh and Tobogganing, as saying he expects the protest over Amy Williams' helmet to be rejected.

2008: We are slowly meandering towards the conclusion of the men's skeleton. Britain's Kristan Bromley still has an outside chance of doing something special but if Latvia's Martins Dukurs doesn't win gold, I will go down a skeleton track myself. There, that should keep you watching. It's no Amy Williams, is it? Still, the top sliders will start to appear in three or four athletes' time.


2003: Eve Muirhead has been earning rave reviews for the way she has led her Olympic curling team so far, but it seems to be unravelling a little against Japan. The Japanese lead Britain 4-1 in the fifth end.

Figure skating

2000: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir bring proceedings to a close for the day at the figure skating, earning an impressive 42.74 points, which places the Canadians just behind Russians Domnina and Shabalin with the first of their three ice dance events now complete. The current standings and a breakdown of the judges' marks can be found on our live results pages.


BBC Radio 5 live's Eleanor Oldroyd texts: "A Canadian TV reporter standing next to me in Whistler just said: 'Owning the podium? We're not even renting it at the moment.'"

Adam Pengilly continues to improve and his final run is a good one, producing a strong time of 53.23 as he brings his Olympics to a conclusion.

1954: Adam Pengilly is next to go in his final skeleton run.

Figure skating

1951: The Kerrs rack up a score of 37.02 which gets a satisfied nod of the head from John, and a thumbs up from Sinead. That score puts them seventh and their contentment with it is probably a sign that a top 10 finish will be reasonable for them.

1949: While Moan the Podium continues behind the scenes in Whistler, the men's final run is just starting, and John and Sinead Kerr have concluded what looked - when I wasn't studying skeleton protest documentation - like a very solid routine at Pacific Coliseum on behalf of GB. Results coming up...


1946: Where has that Canadian reputation for niceness gone, eh?

1945: Speaking of Amy Williams - you remember her, right? - I can now confirm rumours that the Canadian skeleton team have lodged a protest against Williams' helmet, suggesting it is too aerodynamic and hence illegal. An earlier protest has already been dismissed and we understand the helmet has previously been passed fit for use in competition. However, the jury which governs these things will hear the protest at the earliest opportunity, believed to be once the men's event concludes in an hour or two. As our reporters in Whistler understand it, this second protest is also expected to be thrown out.

Ruth Fisher, Amy Williams' twin sister: "I'm so proud of her. It's been a fantastic team effort and I know the whole of the country has been behind her, so thank you everyone - thank you!"

Figure skating

1940: Belbin and Agosto go third with 40.83 and Belbin, made up to the max, looks relatively made up with that score as well. They should be chasing a medal here though and may not be thrilled to end up behind fellow Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. One more couple before the Kerrs take to the ice.

1934: American figure skater Tanith Belbin may be one half of a very successful ice dance duo alongside Benjamin Agosto but, more interestingly, she is apparently the room-mate of madcap fellow skater Johnny Weir. If you've seen Weir compete, he will not need an introduction. He is certainly one of the stronger characters at the Vancouver Games, go and look him up. Being his room-mate must be an experience. Belbin and Agosto are first to go in the final group.


1930: Eve Muirhead's British team are 1-0 down to Japan after two of their 10 ends at the curling. There they are now, having a conflab about turning this tie around. Plenty of time left.

Figure skating

1924: Domnina and Shabalin go top, for now, as the judges reward a near-flawless performance with a huge score of 43.76, more than two points clear of second-placed Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the US, themselves three points ahead of the rest of the field. That doesn't sew the gold up for the Russians by any means, but it's a useful and commanding lead to have this early in the competition. There are three more couples before the Kerrs perform for Britain.

Associated Press reporter Nancy Armour tweets: "Domnina must have gotten dressed with the lights off, her dress is on backward. Either that or skaters have decided the straitjacket is the hot new fashion trend."

1916: Hello, then, to the figure skaters at Pacific Coliseum. This is the compulsory dance, the first of three events in the ice dance competition, with the medals to be decided on Monday. British interest lies primarily with siblings Sinead and John Kerr, whose video profile is an enlightening experience. Not least the part about Ally McCoist. I urge you to have a watch (and it isn't limited to UK viewers either, you can watch it wherever you are in the world). Beyond the Kerrs, Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin are most people's favourites to win - and they are next to skate, right now.


BBC Sport's Steve Cram, at the curling, texts: "Five days in and fellow commentator (and former Olympic gold medallist) Rhona Martin has broken two computers and the telestrator. Thank goodness we didn't let her near Amy Williams' sled."

BBC Sport's Rhona Martin, at the curling, moments later: "I promise I won't break any more equipment!"

A telestrator is a piece of equipment used to draw images on the screen and illustrate what's happening in events like the curling. I know, I could've guessed that as well but just in case you were wondering.


1903: More on the disqualification of Canadian Michael Douglas in the men's skeleton. Apparently he had the runners on his sled uncovered three minutes too late, and that was enough to get him chucked out of the event. In a sport where half a second is a lifetime, three minutes is an eternity.

1901: Pengilly isn't particularly quick off the mark at the top of the Whistler track but, while he isn't the fastest down the run, he picks out an excellent line and is one of few sliders to keep his shoulder relatively intact on the inside wall after that final corner. I hope most of these sliders are left-handed because their right shoulders must be hanging by a thread after the collisions I've seen. Pengilly goes 18th, an improvement of a couple of places. That'll do us from the skeleton for now - you can keep following the results on our live timings page and the fourth run begins in just under an hour's time. Till then I'm heading over to Pacific Coliseum for some figure skating.

1858: Adam Pengilly may not have seen Japan's Shinsuke Tayama struggle badly with his third run, but the Briton now has a chance to move up the rankings a place or two. Here he goes...


1854: There is more curling coming up in five minutes' time at the indoor tundra that is the Vancouver Olympic Centre. Britain's women take on Japan while Denmark play Canada, Sweden face China and Switzerland are up against Russia.

Ice hockey

1848: With 17 seconds remaining at the men's ice hockey, Patrik Elias grabs an empty net goal for the Czech Republic to seal a 5-2 win over Latvia. That one has now finished.

Figure skating

TheAntiBubble tweets: "Why is there so little about the figure skating in the live feed? I know we've just won a medal, but there's ice dance on!"

You've answered your own question to a degree, especially with the men's skeleton reaching the medal stage whereas the ice dance is spread over the coming four days. That said, I am keeping an eye out for the final group and will be devoting full attention to Britain's Sinead and John Kerr, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and Americans Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto. Use our detailed results pages to stay on top of the judging scores for every pair to have gone so far - GB's Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes are 13th out of 15 at the moment.


1842: There are still over a dozen sliders left to complete their third run at the men's skeleton, including Britain's Adam Pengilly, but Kristan Bromley looks likely to head into the final run in sixth place. Michael Douglas of Canada has apparently been thrown out for turning up too late at the technical inspection. Bit of an error in an Olympic final, that.

More from Amy Williams: "Never in a million years did I think I'd come here and win gold. I don't think it will sink in for weeks and weeks. It's amazing to do this for my country. I had nothing to lose here and and I just went for it. I can't remember what I did on the last run, half of the track is just a blur. I've done everything I possibly could in the last four years to get here and to put in my best performance."

1831: Kristan Bromley has a mediocre start when really he needs something very special to challenge for a medal. One or two clumsy corners don't help but his time of 52.70 is his fastest so far. That moves him up ahead of Austria's Matthias Guggenberger into fourth place for the time being, but the top three are more than a second clear of him.

1828: Great Britain becomes the 26th nation to win a medal at Vancouver 2010, equalling a record set in Turin four years ago. Thought you might want to know. Bromley goes next...

Im_Partial tweets: "Ollie, I'm a lot older than 38, but if you take it up, I'll give it a go as well."

Ah, but I'm too young, you see...

1824: Jon Montgomery sees Dukurs and raises him with a staggering time of 52.20. The final run of this event could be a storming few minutes of live television. Bromley is up for Britain in around four or five minutes' time.

1822: Martins Dukurs barely slides an inch out of place as he racks up another track record to start the men's skeleton with a bang, reaching speeds of 90mph. Kristan Bromley is still competing at Olympic level and he's nearly 38 years old. Just remember that when you're trawling out the "I'm too old to take up skeleton" line in the days to come.

1820: Briefly removing the British blinkers which may, admittedly, have descended in recent moments, the men's skeleton is a big event for Canada too. Watch out for Jon Montgomery on his home track, who has had such a massive build-up in Canada that he will be feeling the pressure from second place after two runs. Martins Dukurs of Latvia is far and away the favourite right now, I would say, having put in two sparkling runs on Thursday to lead. He's going now...

1814: Come on now, focus. British fans can't desert Kristan Bromley in his hour of need. He lies fifth in the men's skeleton after two of four runs and will hence be fifth to go once the men's event resumes in just over five minutes' time - well worth staying up a bit longer, I think you'll agree. Adam Pengilly is even more Somerset than Amy Williams, hailing from Taunton as he does, and he is currently 20th. Cider/slider jokes abound at this event.

levig090 tweets: "Amy was just ice cool throughout the whole competition, there was always a smile on her face. What a girl, what a champion!"

andrewschof tweets: "Eight years ago bronze, four years ago silver, this year gold. It proves the investment is working. More money please in winter sports."

1807: I am told the full medal ceremony for Amy Williams will be at 1900 local time on Saturday (0300 on Sunday in the UK), at the Whistler medals plaza. Skeleton fever may be with us for a while so, in readiness for the many skeleton-related conversations ahead of you, arm yourself with the facts and figures using our comprehensive performance analysis pages.

British Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams: "It's crazy, I'm speechless. I didn't think I would be standing here. I can't remember most of the last run - I came out at the bottom and saw our performance director Andi Schmid smiling, so I thought it must be good. Before the race I was OK, it was a bit weird as I was on my own in the changing room and didn't know when to go out. I had nothing to lose and went down and tried to enjoy it."

Ice hockey

1758: End of the second period at the men's ice hockey - Czech Republic 4-2 Latvia is the score. We now return you to your skeleton transmission.


1755: I would like to very briefly remind you of my 1622 entry (see below). Please note I have now conclusively proved there is no such thing as tempting fate.

Rachel from Warwick, working in Vancouver: "I've been picked on endlessly by my colleagues here about how we Brits are just bitter because we won't win a thing. Thanks, Amy!"

Jmewg tweets: "Great job, so glad we finally got a gold - no point going to bed now, though. Have to stay up to support Kristan Bromley!"

A very good point, well made. It is not over in Whistler. The final two men's skeleton runs begin in half an hour, and Bromley - Shelley Rudman's partner - is fifth with fellow Briton Adam Pengilly 20th.

BBC Sport's Paul Dickenson in Whistler: "What a sight for sore eyes to see Amy Williams at the top of the results. She's owned the ice here and has proved to be the queen of speed. She will be getting her medal later and when she hears those words - 'Amy Williams, gold medal' - she will think 'wow'."

1747: Our report on Amy Williams' skeleton gold medal for Great Britain is already available and we will be adding to it all the time as Williams completes the flower ceremony at Whistler, with a full medal ceremony to come later. She is one of the bubbliest members of the British team at Vancouver 2010 and never stops smiling anyway, but certainly won't shift that smile for the rest of the evening. I'm hoping to bring you her reaction imminently.


George in London texts: "Well, that's Sports Personality of the Year 2010 sewn up."

alexdimond tweets: "That was amazing! Incredible performance from an incredible woman. I'm so pumped right now, can't imagine how she's feeling."


1740: And as a fellow Williams from Somerset, I can safely say Amy has now outdone me. Skeleton is a sport where the gold medallist has to have done something incredibly special to win - and that last slide was sensational under the most intense pressure she has faced in her life. She had never even won a World Cup event before (usually the toughest skeleton races going), let alone a competition at this level. Germany's Kerstin Szymkowiak and Anja Huber take silver and bronze respectively, with Shelley Rudman finishing sixth.


1735: GOLD for Amy Williams in the women's skeleton in Whistler. What a slide. What a performance. What a sport. Britain is on the medal table and Somerset's Amy Williams has a gold medal.

1732: As the host nation's golden girl of sliding, Mellisa Hollingsworth is facing as much pressure as Williams, if not more. Here she goes... her start is humongously quick but she needs to be to put any daylight between herself and Williams in the race for gold. But then she slams into the wall! She crashes into the wall and surely, surely, Hollingsworth can't challenge Williams as she loses a heap of speed. She may not even get a medal. In fact, she won't - she finishes fourth. That is a shock and a huge disappointment for Canada, but now it comes down to Amy Williams for Great Britain. She has to avoid making a similar mistake.

1731: Shelley Rudman has dropped out of the medals but can finish no worse than sixth. A reminder that this is decided on the cumulative timings over all four runs.

Darren in Red Deer, Canada, texts: "I'm 20 minutes away from Eckville, Mellisa Hollingsworth's home town, but cheering for my fellow Brit!"

1726: Anja Huber goes a third of a second quicker to knock Rudman off the top. Four more to go. The last of those is Williams. Excited much? This must be the single most enthralling sport in which to be anticipating British medal success.

1725: Canada's Amy Gough can't match Rudman and sits behind her in second place right now. As far as I'm aware, Britain has never had two medallists in the same individual event at the same Winter Games. This could be about to change.

AliHunter1 tweets: "If Williams wins the gold here, do you think she will she carry the flag at the 2014 opening ceremony? Or curler Eve Muirhead?"

We may be getting ahead of ourselves.

1722: Shelley Rudman once again nails her start and holds an excellent line down the Whistler track despite a big hit on the final corner, which is almost a prerequisite given the line you have to take, even though it looks horrendous each time. Rudman goes top for the time being with her fastest run of the event, 53.82 seconds. Can she hang on for a medal?

1719: Shelley Rudman up next. Last chance for her to threaten the medals but she has really struggled to get to grips with this track.

Matt in Bath texts: "The University of Bath has had a skeleton track for years. It's Shelley Rudman's training ground."

Have you seen that track? It's like calling a kebab van in Bakewell a shopping centre. It's barely any length at all and has no ice, which is traditionally considered a component of a skeleton track. Good for getting your starts right and not a lot else (hence Britain's sliders train abroad much of the time).

1709: British location suggestions for a skeleton track range from the Gherkin in London to Manchester, the Fens, the M4 and M5 (big track, that), "my back garden" and "somewhere near where I live so I could have a go". That'll give the planners something to think about. Thanks all. Shelley Rudman will go in her final run in five or six athletes' time.

chargingfungus tweets: "How does someone get into skeleton in the first place?"

Funny you should ask, my boy Fungus. Watch our video profiles of Shelley Rudman and Amy Williams to get to know the two of them, and find out how they got into it, before they compete for the final time here.

Figure skating

1702: Meanwhile, Buckland and Coomes complete their compulsory dance routine with one or two wobbles but it's largely a well-executed routine. Their score is 25.68 though, not huge, and they look content if not ecstatic. British siblings the Kerrs are up much later in the same event. Back off to Whistler.


1657: The final run of the women's skeleton is under way and you can follow the timings in far greater detail than you ever thought possible or necessary in your life using our live results pages. We are a fair way off seeing Amy Williams once again, though. A reminder: she will be last to go.

Paul in London texts: "You could have a truly spectacular skeleton run alongside the road down Llanberis Pass in Snowdonia - would be beautiful."

Well, yes, but sightseeing strikes me as quite a tricky pastime while going down a skeleton run...

inniebear tweets: "Re: where to put a skeleton track in Britain, somewhere down Norfolk or Lincolnshire way should cut it, no?"

Figure skating

1651: On the grounds that the women's skeleton final run is going in reverse order, I may stick with figure skating to see how Buckland and Coomes get on for Britain. They aren't medal prospects but Nick is noteworthy for being able to make a clicking noise with his mouth far louder than you're imagining right now. Really loud. Probably not part of the routine though.

1648: If you're here for the figure skating, the compulsory dance - the first of three contests which together result in an ice dance medal - is beginning now. Britain's Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes go in the first group, then Sinead and John Kerr are in the last group.


Andrew in Lisbon texts: "Any chance that Amy's personal glory - and glory for Britain - might inspire the powers-that-be to fund some type of facility in the UK? What a shame that any youngster inspired by her to take up the sport will not have the opportunity."

Where, exactly, would you put a skeleton track in Britain though? (Genuine question - I've no idea what the ideal site for a skeleton run looks like. I suspect the Chilterns wouldn't quite cut it.)

Ice hockey

1643: The Czechs are already 3-0 up over Latvia in the hockey. If you're keen on the hockey then watch it online if you're in the UK or use our live results pages to follow it, because I'm about to go a little heavy on skeleton for the foreseeable future.


Dudley1927 tweets: "A few days ago I'd never watched skeleton in my life. Now I'll be staying up all night to watch it."

1638: As you will see from the start list for the fourth and final women's skeleton run, Alex's fears (see below) are unfounded. The final run will be conducted in reverse order so Amy Williams will be last to go. How's that for tension? If you're in the UK this may also mean staying up that bit longer. It will be worth it.

Greg in Malvern texts: "I'm so excited about the certain gold that I've come home from the pub early. I pretended to go to bed early with the missus, and have now escaped to creep around the lounge silently in anticipation. C'mon Amy!"

Ice hockey

1634: Even I, the foremost ice hockey nut in the office, am struggling to find time to keep an eye on the Czech Republic's game against Latvia in the men's tournament. But it is just about to start and you can watch online if you live in the UK.

1630: The third run of the women's skeleton is over and Amy Williams holds a half-second lead over Mellisa Hollingsworth of Canada, who genuinely spells her first name that way. We have 25 minutes to wait until the fourth and final run.

Alex in Cardiff texts: "As much as I am enjoying the British leading this event, it is rather dull with the current runners not in contention for medals. Surely everyone will turn off after the first five runners if no-one can overhaul Williams in the fourth run? This is something that makes skiing a far better spectacle."

Hang on, Alex, isn't that exactly what happened in the downhill skiing? The top skiers went first, then the rest of the field miserably plodded down the hill like sleep-addled penguins. I agree you could probably change a few things around but these rules must be in place for a reason.

Amy Williams after her third run: "I started afresh today and really enjoyed it. Corner 12 and 13 was a bit hairy, but it was a good run."

1622: I'm getting daggers by text for tempting fate but I'm going to carry on tempting fate in a bid to prove there is no such thing when Williams duly takes gold. It is a high-risk strategy. You may be interested to know that if/when Williams wins, this will become the third successive Winter Olympics at which Team GB has claimed a skeleton medal. Alex Coomber won bronze in 2002, then Shelley Rudman took silver in 2006. There's a pattern emerging there...

1619: Bearing in mind Friday night has just become Saturday morning in Britain and some people may be feeling slightly less inhibited than is normally the case, is anyone sufficiently inspired by Amy Williams to take up skeleton? If so, bad news: there is no track in Britain. Just a small hillock in Bath with a 30m start track and a bungee cord. Which makes her achievement here all the more impressive, no matter what happens in the final run.

1615: Amy Williams will have her final run in the skeleton in around 40 minutes' time - so if you missed the third run earlier, don't panic, you have not missed the medal run where gold will be decided. But apologies on behalf of our live video player for its somewhat unfortunately-timed absence. Didn't do that during the men's doubles luge, did it...

Milo334 tweets: "I just hope Amy Williams can hold it together. I was worried about Anja Huber but she looked ordinary. Rudman disappointed too."

1607: Marion Trott of Germany is a big player in women's skeleton but can only finish down in eighth after her third run, below Shelley Rudman. It's beginning to look as though gold may be for Amy Williams to lose with her final run. It is a long old time since an individual Briton won a gold medal at a Winter Olympics.

1603: Shelley Rudman comes up with her fastest run so far but is still down in seventh - check out the live timings for full details of this third run so far. And yes, I am aware that our live online video took a few minutes off to watch the skeleton itself. It should be back now if you refresh your screen.

davytheravy tweets: "Might as well give the gold to Amy Williams now. No-one is going to catch her."

1558: Shelley Rudman carried the flag for Britain at the opening ceremony and was expected to be the big skeleton medal hope. Can she get any closer to her rival Williams and the medals? She'll go in a few moments' time...

1553: Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany makes a bit of a mess of her run and is now half a second behind Williams. That doesn't sound a lot, but it is, given Szymkowiak was Williams' closest challenger and there is only one run remaining. Five have now gone and Williams still leads.

1547: Amy Williams gets another solid start, if not as quick a start as the times she was racking up on Thursday. But her speed improves into a very good run all round, one or two minor errors but essentially superb, and her cumulative time is now 2:41.64. A new track record, too.

1544: The sun has been beating down on Vancouver all day and the same has been the case at the Whistler Sliding Centre - the effect of the sun on the track caused a slight delay on Thursday, so it'll be interesting to see if anything similar occurs this time around. While we wait, some important admin: I very much welcome your input either via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), or send a tweet @bbcsport_ollie if you prefer. Amy Williams will be first to go down the track in run three.

1541: The start of the third run in the women's skeleton is now imminent. The British public, lying face-down on their tea trays in expectation, have five minutes to familiarise themselves with the state of play using the incredibly useful statistics pages on our website.

1537: We also have four curling matches in progress, with Britain's women facing Japan later, and the first of three days of ice dance begins in around an hour, featuring siblings Sinead and John Kerr of Great Britain, alongside Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes. Two more men's hockey matches complete the day.

1535: Hello, everybody. The next few hours are, from a British point of view, the most exciting yet at this Winter Olympics. You would be mad to go anywhere. Britain's Amy Williams tops the women's skeleton after two of her four runs in Whistler, and the final two runs are coming up in 10 minutes' time. One Williams going for gold, one Williams waiting patiently to live text it.

By Anna Thompson

1530: Thanks for your company, I'm signing off now but Ollie Williams will be guiding you through what could be an historic golden shift. By the way, he's not related to Amy Williams, so don't believe him if he tells you otherwise!


1525: For a gentle respite before we switch our attentions to the fast and furious Whistler Sliding Centre, thought I'd give a quick update on the men's curling . Canada are well on top against Denmark, 7-3 after five ends, Switzerland are beat Germany 4-2, France and USA are 1-1 and Norway and China are 2-2.


1510: Right, I've had a cheeky little walk around the harbour and watched a few sea-planes land on what is a gorgeous day in Vancouver so I'm feeling pretty good and refreshed. Some of the more eagle-eyed among you will have realised there's no video at the top at the mo, well normal service will be resumed at 1545 (2345 GMT) for the skeleton. Have I mentioned the fact GB slider Amy Williams is in the gold medal position after the first two runs?! I wonder how she's feeling at the moment? I'm feeling nervous for her! No pressure love, you are just bidding to become Britain's first solo gold medallist since Robin Cousins 30 years ago! By the way Robin is part of the BBC team out here and is at Pacific Coliseum getting ready for the ice dance which kicks off at 1645 (0045 GMT) and features GB's John and Sinead Kerr and Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland.

Tom from Leeds texts: "Do the curling stones still come from Ailsa Craig near Arran?" Our curling producer Peter Small is in the office here in Vancouver so we asked him, and he said that, yes, every curling stone in the world comes from that one reserve. They currently have enough stones to last them until at least 2016. By his own admission, Peter knows rather too much about curling than is healthy ...


1410: The men are taking to the ice for the afternoon's curling action. GB men are having a day off but Germany are playing Switzerland, It's Denmark v Canada, France v USA and Norway v China. The US have not won a match yet and have dropped skip John Shuster, a bronze medallist four years ago, which is a big statement.

Ice hockey

1400 A little update for you from the men's hockey as Sweden score a late goal and beat Belarus 4-2 at Canada Hockey Place.


1340: A fantastic women's 15km pursuit in the cross-country with Norwegian Marit Bjoergen winning her second GOLD of the Games, third medal in all after a bronze as well in Whistler. BBC commentator Rob Walker says: "Her Games are getting better and better and better." Sweden's Anna Haag comes through to win silver and Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk is given the bronze in a photo finish with Norway's Kristin Stoermer Steira. Interestingly Bjoergen and Haag chose to miss a number of World Cup races to prepare for the Winter Olympics and it has certainly paid off.


1330: Not surprisingly we're getting lots of texts and emails of support for GB's Amy Williams, who you might know is in the gold medal position after the first two runs of the skeleton. Catch her medal-winning bid at 1545 (2345 GMT). In the meantime Gavin in Bielefeld, Germany, texts to say: "Got my feet up after a knee op on Saturday, hoping that Amy Williams brings home the gold tonight, GO AMY!"

Jonny Blackburn, Southampton via text: "My wife Rachel is Amy's sled tech and we are defo staying up to watch!"

Locking ourselves in the children's playroom so that we don't wake them - they have been told that "AmyGB" isn't on until the morning or else they would not have gone to bed!! We'll be cheering Amy on to GOLD -twice!!!! Go Amy!!!! The Gregory family, Liverpool."

"Hi Anna, are there any 'demonstration' only events taking place at Vancouver?" texts Fiona. Nope, none, is the simple answer to that one, Fiona.

Ice hockey

1312: Belarus finally get on the board at the men's hockey, Aliaksandr Kulakov bundling the puck past Sweden's Jonas Gustavsson for easily the scrappiest goal of the tournament so far. It's 3-1 to Sweden in the second period.

Alpine skiing

1305: Britain's sole representative in the men's super-G, Ed Drake from Kingston in Surrey, finishes 2.86 seconds off the pace. He seems pretty happy with his performance, as he smiles showing the world his rather snazzy Union Flag gum-shield. There are 64 skiers scheduled to start but I reckon Svindal is already partying.

Alpine skiing

1300: After a lengthy delay, Liechtenstein's Marco Buechel, in his last season of competition, is off but he does not make it down the course. A bit of a sad end to his long and distinguished career. So the top 30 skiers have gone and although it's only provisional, no-one is realistically going to beat Aksel Lund Svindal's time - so he's won his first Olympic gold medal.

Ski jumping

1255: While the skiing is delayed so that Patrik Jaerbyn can be taken off the course for treatment, I've got time to tell you the men's large hill ski jumping qualification has been and gone. The top 10 ski jumpers had already pre-qualified and did not have to jump but Japan's Noriaki Kasai was the leading qualifier and he will join 39 other qualifiers in the competition proper at 1130 on Saturday (1930 GMT). Full list of qualifiers are on the BBC live statistics page .

rob30132 on Twitter asks: "What is the G in Super G? The answer is simple, giant. The full name for the race is the super giant slalom and it was first included in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary."

Matt in the Republic of Ireland asks: "When do the UK and Irish bob go? Who's gonna win?!" Matt - the Irish are in the two-women event, and Team GB are in the two-man, four-man and have two teams in the two-women. All start times and dates can be found on our bobsleigh schedule page . The Irish women survived an attempt to oust them on the eve of the Olympics, remember.

Alpine skiing

1235: With just two top 30 skiers to go, I feel I'm pretty safe in saying it looks as though it's Aksel Lund Svindal's gold to add to his silver in the downhill and Bode Miller will bump his Olympic medal tally up to four, with silver here. Back on the course and the oldest competitor, 40-year-old Swede Patrik Jaerbyn, is involved in a spectacular crash when his ski is caught inside a gate and he receives a blow to the back of his head as he falls and is out cold. Medical officials rush to his aid and he is slowly coming round but is likely to be taken away by helicopter.

Ice hockey

1225: Just chance to nip over to the ice hockey and I can tell you defending Olympic champions Sweden are two goals up over Belarus in the men's hockey at Canada Hockey Place, Daniel Sedin and Daniel Alfredsson with the goals.

Alpine skiing

1220: Here comes Olympic downhill champion Didier Defago. Can he do the double? The answer is no as he comes down in 15th, so no Swiss on the podium today. Svindal is looking pretty confident with himself and looks as though he believes he has won gold, with Miller in silver and the unfancied American Andrew Weibrecht third.

Alpine skiing

1215: Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal knocks Bode Miller off the top (there are huge cheers from the Norwegian broadcasters next door to me) so Bode's wait for an Olympic gold goes on. Great for Svindal after a potentially career-threatening injury a couple of seasons ago. He is one tough cookie.

Alpine skiing

1210: Swiss Didier Cuche is like a coiled spring as he waits in the start gate and off he goes but he's soon in trouble and although it's a good recovery he is down on time. He is again going to miss out on a medal as he finishes seventh, a very disappointing Games for him.

Alpine skiing

1205: Just had chance to eat my breakfast (I've only been here four hours!) and Swiss hope Carlo Janka is on course and has a wobble at the top of the course which Graham Bell says "would have scared the pants off me!". But his medal hopes disappear on the roller at Murray's hope and he loses time at the bottom to ski into fifth.

Alpine skiing

1155: Bode Miller leads the super-G by just 0.03 of a second and he's not convinced it's good enough for the gold medal with some big guns yet to race. Next up it's Manny Osborne-Paradis and he never looks comfortable, even out of the start hut, and crashes out part-way down. "That was an accident waiting to happen," says BBC commentator Matt Chilton.

Alpine skiing

1150: American Ted Ligety, the 2006 combined champion, blows his chance of a medal as he runs wide after Coach's Corner, which means he has to ski extra metres, and finishes well down. Canada's Erik Guay is seen yawning (he is bib number 20) but BBC commentator Graham Bell (and former Olympian) says it's "a nervous yawn". I didn't know they existed!

Alpine skiing

1135: Right, I'm turning my attention to the super-G and Italian Peter Fill has just collided with the final gate and skidded over the finish line minus his skis and just one pole, he's OK though. The super-G is just one run, like the downhill, but they do not have any training runs, just a course inspection.


1130: That's it, GB women have wrapped-up a 7-4 win over Germany in the curling so that's three wins in four with five matches to go, the top four teams advancing to the medal matches. They are looking good at this stage and face Japan at 1900 (0300 GMT). The men have a day off.


1120: Two brilliant draws by GB skip Eve Muirhead in the curling as she takes three in the ninth end to lead 7-4 with one end to go, potentially a match-winning end. BBC commentator and 2002 gold medallist Rhona Martin says it was "a massive end for Britain which will put their heads up and the German's down."

Alpine skiing

1110: Right it's about time I mentioned the men's super-G up at Whistler Creekside, which is coming up at 1130 (1930 GMT). All the usual suspects will be vying for gold, Swiss Didier Cuche (after a poor downhill by his standards) and Carlo Janka, America's Bode Miller and Canadian hopefuls Manny Osborne-Paradis and Erik Guay. The Canadians seemed to be trying too hard in the downhill and blew their medal chances with ragged runs. The start list is available on the live stats page but a few bib numbers to look out for include Miller and Osborne-Paradis (11 & 12), Janka and Cuche (15 & 16) and Britain's Ed Drake, 33.


1050: GB women are back in the lead, 4-3 up after seven ends. BBC commentator Steve Cram bumped into some GB curling fans in a Vancouver bar and they were telling him about their stag do at England's only curling rink in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Sounds like a rather sedate stag do to me but if curling rocks your boat and you want to have a go then there is an initiative to get Britain curling . Blimey, world champions China have already wrapped up a 11-1 win over Denmark within six ends, very impressive.

1040: rob30132 tweets @annat1972 to ask: "Any idea where our Skeleton athletes train? Is there a course in UK like a dry ski slope?" Well Rob, what is remarkable is the fact Britain does not have skeleton track, although there is a push-start track at Bath University, for the all-important sprint and push onto the sled. Britain's "home track" is in Igls, Austria.

Emily Collins tweets to @annat1972 : "Am addicted to curling. Listening to the British women/ladies talking when they think we can't hear is brilliant."

"Sorry if it's been asked but could men play women at curling?" asks an anonymous texter ... . Certainly a question worth asking Mr Anonymous and the answer is yes they can and they do, all the way up to European and world championship level.


1020: We're halfway through the women's curling and it's all square at 3-3 between GB and Germany although the German skip Andrea Schoepp is less than impressed with her red stones. She makes a comment which BBC commentator Steve Cram says: "She thinks the stones are atrocious but she didn't use as polite a word as that." Elsewhere USA, who have not won a match yet, have opened up a 3-1 lead over Russia but China are running away with the match against Denmark, 6-0 up after five ends.

Ski jumping

1010: There's a bit of ski jumping going in, the qualification round of the large hill competition no less. But there has been a bit of controversy beforehand with the Austrian delegation questioning the legality of Swiss star Simon Ammann's ski bindings. They were threatening a protest but the International Ski Federation has cleared the bindings so row over, I think.


0955: GB women take a 3-1 lead against Germany after four ends. Good to see Kelly Wood back in the team after she felt unwell yesterday and was not able to play against Russia, alternate Annie Laird stepping up to the plate well. Elsewhere USA and Russia are 1-1 and China are dominating against Denmark, moving 4-0 up. You can follow the action on our live stats page .

An anonymous texter contributes to the discussion over why some Olympic events are listed as women's and some as ladies. "It is simple," suggests Anon. "Cross country is not dangerous so for ladies and skeleton is crazy so it is for women!"

John in Calgary texts: "Good morning Anna. I don't know about you ... but I forecast three medals for Canada today, and one for UK. Think it's an accurate prediction?

In case we have not mentioned it (ahem), Great Britain has a sniff of a medal today. Most notably for Amy Williams in the women's skeleton, but also for Shelley Rudman in the same event, and for Rudman's partner Kristan Bromley in the men's. Here's your cut-out-and keep guide to how to watch it. It's live on BBC 2, from 2340 GMT the HD Channel and, if you are in the UK, you can watch it on this website too. It's also on Radio 5 Live at 1140. Amy's first run today - which is her third overall - is at 2345 in the UK and her second today - fourth overall - could be around 0115. Amy is leading at the moment, so is in the gold medal position. Britain has not won a Winter Olympics gold since Rhona Martin inspired curling mania in 2002, so you would not want to miss it if the Bath-based slider does the business tonight, well would you? It is the weekend tomorrow ...


0925: Back to the "women's" curling (see 0915), and Germany are 1-0 up against GB after the first end but third Jackie Lockhart hits a double takeout to give skip Eve Muirhead a chance to make amends and she duly does to even it up after two.

0915: There are only four medal events on day eight, the men's super-G at 1130 (1930), the ladies 15km cross-country pursuit at 1300 (2100 GMT) and the men's and women's skeleton, starting at 1545 (2345 GMT). Bizarrely some events are listed as "women's" and others "ladies", not sure what the difference is myself although my male colleague would not be drawn into explaining whether I am a woman or a lady!

0905: If you want to get involved then either text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (international) or you can tweet me. C'mon indulge me.


0850: Right then the early action comes from the women's curling with GB taking on Germany and there are plenty of Union flags on show. GB are in pretty good shape so far with two wins and one defeat and will be looking for another victory this morning. Other matches going on at Vancouver Olympic Centre are Russia v USA and China v Denmark. You can follow the progress with our live statistics page .


0830: Good morning from a sunny Vancouver. I can sense it is going to be a brilliant day and hopefully an historic one too in the world of skeleton. I'm sure you're all aware Brit Amy Williams is in the gold medal position after the first two runs last night. I don't know how well she has slept but I know I woke up a few times, equally nervous and excited for her as she aims to become the first British gold medallist in skeleton at a Winter Olympics. But we've got to wait until 1545 (2345 GMT) for the action to resume at Whistler Sliding Centre. Shelley Rudman - silver medallist in 2006 - is not out of the reckoning either. She could sneak a bronze if she has two top runs. And in the men's competition Kristan Bromley is just 0.05 seconds off a medal so could there be double, or triple medal joy for the British? Roll on 1545! In the meantime you can watch Amy in action on the BBC Sport website (if you're in the UK).

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Latest medal standings

# Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. CAN 14 7 5 26
2. GER 10 13 7 30
3. USA 9 15 13 37
4. NOR 9 8 6 23
5. KOR 6 6 2 14
19. GBR 1 0 0 1

Full medal table

see also
Williams slides to British gold
20 Feb 10 |  Skeleton
Day-by-day guide to the Winter Olympics
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Winter Olympics day eight photos
19 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Mixed day for Britain's curlers
20 Feb 10 |  Curling

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