That's us done for today - Vancouver has finished its day's programme, and the Canadians in the host city will be partying long into the night after winning that semi-final. Sunday's game (on BBC2 in the UK) will be huge against the US, but before we get to that, there is a 10-medal bonanza on Saturday in the penultimate day of these 2010 Winter Olympics. Join us from 1700 GMT on Saturday.
Ice hockey fans of the world, we have what neutrals would probably say is the dream final in these Olympics. Host nation Canada - where this sport is a national obsession, not a pastime - against their neighbours, the USA, who beat them in the group stages in this competition. That gold medal final will be on Sunday, 1215 local time, 2015 GMT, on BBC2 and this website (UK users only). Be there.
Furious defending in front of the Canadian goal in the final seconds as Slovakia desperately seek the late equaliser that would send the hockey semi-final into over-time. But they cannot get it, and the host nation are through to the final.
Michal Handzus scores for Slovakia to make it 3-2 with less than five minutes to go - late drama in the hockey semi-final.
Back over at Canada Hockey Place and Slovakia have scored what looks like a consolation against the host nation in the semi-final,
Lubomir Visnovsky, making it 3-1.
A great night for the Canadians at Pacific Coliseum as the men win the 5,000m relay gold an hour after Charles Hamelin's triumph in the 500m. So 10 golds for the host nation so far and more to come, they hope in the men's curling and ice hockey. Canada never looked like they would be caught after dominating from start to finish for their third win in this event in Olympic history, 1998 and 2002 being their other wins. BBC summariser Wilf O'Reilly says: "They took the race by the scruff of the neck and showed the Koreans what they were made of." Korea finish in the silver medal position and United States sneak past China for the bronze medal. So Mr Apolo Anton Ohno does win his eighth Olympic medal, the most decorated male short -track speed skater in the Games. I salute you.
CANADA win 5,000m relay gold in short track.
Great Britain and Germany battle it out in the B final of the men's 5,000m short-track. Germany were leading all the way but anchor Jon Eley grits his teeth to pass just before the line. The win measured by perfection. The GB team are mightily happy with themselves and BBC commentator Hugh Porter says: "That will have done the British camp a power of good."
Canada can almost taste that final against the Americans now - and a chance to avenge their defeat to their neighbours in the group stages.
has made it 3-0 at the end of the second period.
Apolo Anton Ohno has been speaking to the BBC's Matthew Pinsent
at the short track and there has been more than a hint of retirement in the air
"I would have loved to have had a medal but the referee saw something my coach and I didn't see." Ohno said he had been "physically drained the last few days" and then hinted at this Olympics being his last. "I feel blessed. Seven (medals) is not a bad number and I've got one more chance in the relay."
That's three gold medals in these Games for Meng Wang in short track, the 500m, the 1,000m and the women's 3,000m relay. Not a bad few days at the office for the 24-year-old. American Katherine Reutter is delighted with her silver and Korea's Park Seung-Hi takes the bronze.
GOLD for China's Meng Wang in the women's 1,000m short track.
Hamelin wins Canada's ninth gold of the Games, which puts them second in the medals table above the United States. What a final lap. Hammelin just about stays on his feet to cross the line in first place, Korea's Si-Bak Sung slides over on his back, while Apolo Anton Ohno is disqualified for impeding Francois-Louis Tremblay. So no eighth Olympic medal for Ohno and GB's Jon Eley finishes sixth overall.
Charles Hamelin wins GOLD for Canada in the 500m short track speed skating.
But no sooner do I raise GB fans' hopes, then Jon Eley comes third in the B final so unless all of the finalists fail to finish in an almighty pile-up, Eley will not get a medal. He will most probably finish seventh overall.
Apparently all is not lost for Jon Eley. He needs to win his B final and then hope two skaters in the medal final either don't finish or are disqualified and he will be bumped up into the medal positions.
Canada lead 2-0 after the first period. The mini motor machine is re-icing the surface at Canada Hockey Place so I'll nip over to Pacific Coliseum where some medals will be won shortly in the short track.
2-0 to Canada
as Brenden Morrow doubles the advantage. BBC commentator Bob Ballard
says: "It's palpable how much more comfortable this place is than five minutes ago." He's not wrong.
1-0 to CANADA. They break the deadlock in the ice hockey semi-final against Slovakia but they have a nervous wait to confirm the goal by Patrick Marleau as the video officials review whether the stick was too high. But Canada get the call, the crowd and happy and relieved.
Britain's chance for a second medal at these Games is gone in 41 seconds as Jon Eley finishes fourth in his semi, Charles Hamelin and Sung Si-Bak going through to race for the medals. Eley will race in the B final but he came here wanting a medal and will be disappointed. Defending champion Apolo Anton Ohno wins the second semi, Canada's Francois-Louis Tremblay also going through.
It's time for the men's 500m semi-finals in the short track and GB's Jon Eley races in a five-man heat one after Tyson Heung was advanced.
Phew! Time to catch one's breath before yet another potential epic - Canada taking on Slovakia in the men's hockey semi-final. The winner facing the US on Sunday after their
of Finland earlier. The match is live on BBC 2 and this website.
Canada was banking on Olympic gold in both the men's and women's curling so after Bernard chokes can Kevin Martin restore their faith and hope tomorrow? Remember he has also messed up the final stone in a couple of major matches - the 2002 Olympic final and the 2009 World Championship final - so I doubt he will be sleeping easy tonight? The medal ceremony is taking place but a large proportion of the fans have already made there way to the exits.
Well, would you believe it? Canada skip Cheryl Bernard has the chance for a double take-out to win GOLD for a second time this evening but her final stone jars and Sweden steal one to win 7-6, Anette Norberg defending her Olympic title in extraordinary circumstances. The Swedes leap up in absolute delight and Eva Lund and Anna Le Moine then get down on their knees and kiss the winning stone. The crowd, apart from a very small Scandinavian minority, are stunned into silence. Rhona Martin
says: "Oh my word, twice Cheryl has had the chance of winning the gold and twice she has failed to do it." Think that about sums it up, Rhona.
1808: CURLING NEWSFLASH
- Sweden beat Canada to win the gold medal.
There's good news for GB's Jon Eley as he wins his heat of the men's 500m short track speed skating and advances to the semi-finals, along with Apolo Anton Ohno and Tyson Heung of Germany, who was advanced after being brought down.
The crowd at the curling has gone very quiet, not surprisingly, as a few minutes ago they were ready to celebrate a Canadian gold medal and were cheering everyone stone. BBC commentator Steve Cram: "You can feel the energy being drained out of the crowd. It is being drawn out of the team too?" I'm feeling nervous for all of them!
Canadian skip Cheryl Bernard has the chance to win GOLD in the 10th end but her routine shot does not curl enough and somehow Anette Norberg draws for the two she needs to tie at 6-6 and force an extra end. DRAMA! Bernard looks dejected but has to pick herself up. BBC commentator Rhona Martin
says: "That will be praying on her mind. I wouldn't like to put my money on who would win it from here."
After the relative calm and serenity of curling, the action will be hotting up with the short track speed skating from Pacific Coliseum. It starts at 1800 (0200 GMT) and GB's Jon Eley races in the 500m quarter-finals second heat, alongside Apolo Anton Ohno, the seven-time Olympic medallist. Two out of the four racers will make it through to the semis. Eley is probably Britain's last remaining medal hope at these Games but the 500m is the most unpredictable of them all. It's a bit like Russian roulette.
With just one end to go in an enthralling women's gold medal curling match, Canada open up a two-shot lead at 6-4 after a mistake by Swedish skip Anette Norberg. The defending champions have the hammer but need to score two to take it to an extra end. The pressure's on.
I'm not exactly steaming in, but will hopefully lob in a few medium pacers to keep everyone informed and up to date on this fine Friday evening in Vancouver (well it's actually raining very heavily here). Your comments and views would also be appreciated so either text me on 81111
(UK) using OLYMPICS as your first word or +44 7786200666
(worldwide) or you can always
me. And can you oblige me by performing a little refresh? Cheers.
Team, that's my spell from the Gallery End over. Anna Thompson will steam in from the Fridge End to take you through the rest of the evening. Have fun.
The two teams blank the eighth end as Canada retain their
lead. Canada also keep the hammer in the ninth end.
Canada lie two as Sweden survey their options for the last stone. But Swedish skip Annette Norberg leaves her shot short and Canada steal two to take a
lead after seven ends.
Swedish skier Anja Paerson, who had that massive crash in the downhill early in the Games, is still undecided over whether to continue racing. Paerson, the seven-time world champion, won just one medal, a bronze from the super-combined, from a possible five. "Hopefully I will come back from the break and ski another year. If not, my last race will be in two weeks," said Paerson.
Canada skip Cheryl Bernard threads her final stone in among the four-scoring Swedish stones to grab one and reduce the deficit to
after six ends in the women's curling final. Sweden have the hammer (final-stone advantage)
You'll remember Sven Kramer, the Dutch skater who missed out on an almost certain 10,000m gold when his coach incorrectly told him to change lanes, leading to disqualification. Well, young Sven is unhappy again. The 5,000m champion has accused his team of "miscommunication" after the world champions lost to USA in the pursuit semi-final. The three team members take turns to push the pace in front, but Kramer said: "Blokhuijsen was not giving away the top for me. Finally, when I came on top he was yelling I was going a little too fast. After that, Mark (Tuitert) was giving me a sign to go back and push Jan. That's pretty hard. That's a big mistake."
You or I would pace it out, and use shoe lace holes as a fine-tuner, but this being the Olympics, a fancy measuring stick is employed to give Sweden two for the end. So they take a
lead against Canada going into end six. Tense times for Canada skip Cheryl Bernard and her side. Canada have the hammer.
British bobsleigh pilot John Jackson vows to return on Saturday, if the sled is OK, after their crash on the infamous corner 13. "I made a mistake, I went a little bit too high on the exit of 11. Obviously we're disappointed, but we're fine. We've got a couple of bumps and bruises. The sled has a few scrapes. We'll have a closer look at it later, but if it's fine we'll be back again tomorrow," he said.
Canada skip Cheryl Bernard gets the noisy home crowd on their feet as she grabs a point to level the score at
in the women's curling final against Sweden.
The USA 1 team, riding the "Night Train" sled, lead after rounds one and two of the four-man bobsleigh. Canada 1, driven by Lyndon Rush who crashed in the two-man, pip Germany's four-time gold medallist Andre Lange to go second. GB 1 are 21st after their crash and are doubts to start rounds three and four on Saturday.
Swedish skip Annette Norberg takes two in the third end to make it
Canada 1-2 Sweden
It's first blow to Canada in the
against Sweden but skip Cheryl Bernard can only score one in the second end. Sweden take the hammer.
After each bob goes down, and especially after the crashes, course workers have to work hard to repair the track. They go around with brooms and trowels, filling holes with ice and snow like plasterers.
USA 2 are leading on the splits but then the same corner 13 claims them as they tip over - the 11th crew to crash on this track (six in competition, five in training). They're all OK and hug. News reaches me that Britain's Allyn Condon hurt his shoulder when GB 1 went over earlier. I'll bring more when I get it. Crashes apart, four-man bobsleigh is my new favourite event.
Italy 1 become the new leaders in their Ferrari-built sled. They take a good line through corner 13, where everyone is struggling to stay upright. Next up, one of the Czech crewmen struggles to get in and rides along side saddle for a while before swinging his legs around and sliding in. John Jackson's GB 1 crew set the fastest start time of the competition, but they go high on corner 12 which gives them the wrong line for 50/50, the infamous corner 13, and they go over. When the sled is pulled back upright, the crew untangle themselves and wriggle out. They look OK, but a tad annoyed.
Coming up - it's the final of the women's curling competition with world number ones Canada facing defending champions Sweden. The hosts, who last won gold in 1998, beat the Swedes 6-2 in the round-robin stages.
The crew of Romania 1 are gurning away on the leaders' rostrum as they watch the Czech Republic fail to better their time. All the big crews yet to come so it won't last. You can check out the full standings on our
bobsleigh live page.
Serbia 1 kick off the second round of the four-man bobsleigh competition up at Whistler and very nearly tip over going through the Gold Rush Trail around turns 13 and 14. Next down, Japan 1 do tip over, and slide over the finish line upside down. That's the ninth sled to crash in these Games. All four crewmen climb out unscathed. One looks a bit dishevelled but another bows and grins to the crowd.
Britain's John Jackson sounds content after his four-man crew came 11th in the first run. He said: "We're happy with that, it was a good run. It's good to get our first run under our belts today. We were pleased with the top, but like everyone else we're still having problems with 11, 12 and 13. We made good progress and we're looking forward to the second run." Fairly heavy snow at the track.
Afternoon all. On form? Magic. Now then, straight down to it. In the first men's team pursuit semi-final, Canada set a new Olympic record of 3:42.33 to beat Norway by 1.22secs. The hosts will meet USA in the final, after the Americans scored a famous victory against the world record holders, the Netherlands, featuring gold medallists Sven Kramer and Mark Tuitert.
All over at the hockey and
Finland have been hammered 6-1
by the US, who will face either Canada or Slovakia in the final. Find out which of those two wins through later today, while the women's curling gold medal game is also hoving into view. For all that and more, your man is Rob Hodgetts. I'm off to take in some short track - can Britain get another medal on the board at the last attempt? Stick with us to find out.
of Germany, who led the women's slalom after the first run and finishes a comfortable 0.43 seconds inside Austria's Marlies Schild with her second attempt. Austria deprived of another alpine gold - this is turning into a hugely disappointing Winter Games for them. Not for Riesch, though, who picks up her second gold of the Games.
of the Netherlands in the women's snowboard, making up her 0.02-second deficit in some style to defeat Russia's Ekaterina Ilyukhina, who takes silver. Sauerbreij looked like she took it a little easy at the end but she still came through by 0.23 seconds.
1406: US 6-1 Finland
scores the least consolatory consolation of all time. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but with a few minutes left in the game, there'll be no coming back.
grabs bronze in the women's snowboard, Selina Joerg of Germany proving unable to make up the full 1.5-second gap from the first run. Gold medal second run coming next...
Britain's bobsleigh foursome get a very quick start and
their time of 51.53
places them 11th. To be honest, given the crashes we've seen, just getting down the track is an achievement. On that subject, BBC Sport's Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes reports from Whistler that of the Austrian team that crashed, two are injured - one cut his finger and one has injured a knee, but they plan to carry on. No word yet on the Slovakians.
Here go the British bobsleigh team...
looks to be threatening Goergl in the slalom but loses control in the final stages and cruises down to the finish in ninth place. She was so close. More Chemmy Alcott quotes coming up shortly...
Still 6-0 at the hockey. The Finns and Americans realise I'm very busy elsewhere and it's best if they pipe down.
Another crash at the bobsleigh, this time the Slovakians. The British team must be getting nervy with all these crashes and delays - there is an Italian team due to go, then the Brits.
of Austria leads the women's slalom with around 20 competitors gone in the second run. Tina Maze has just gone second, Maria Riesch of Germany is still to go and the conditions are terrible.
There's a slight delay at the bobsleigh. I was peering through the mist of Cypress Mountain for the snowboarding at the time, but I'm told the Austrian team crashed. Repair work to the track will hold up the British team for a short while.
of Austria glides down to the finish as Selina Joerg crashes out of the first run of their bronze medal final. There will be one more run to go, though. In the first run of the final itself,
crosses the line just two hundredths of a second behind
with one, last run to go before the medals are determined.
That was a quality quarter-final as well. Canada were supposed to win easily but as it gets going it's clear that the US team will push them all the way. The US sneak ahead at the bell for the final lap but suddenly, the Canadians are back ahead by a whisker. However, it's the Americans who take it at the line, by just five hundredths of a second. The
full quarter-final results
are available on our live timings page.
Here we go with the women's team pursuit long track quarter-final between the US and Canada...
The USA 1 men's bobsleigh team still lead at the Whistler Sliding Centre, with Canada second and German teams in third, fourth and fifth. Around 10 minutes until we see the British team.
And Ilyukhina will face
of the Netherlands after Germany's Selina Joerg loses her footing in the closing stages of their semi-final, sliding stomach-first into the fence as Sauerbreij crosses the line.
of Russia stuns Austria's Marion Kreiner in her snowboard semi, taking full advantage as Kreiner runs wide to win by 0.14 seconds. Ilyukhina is through to the final.
goes 30th as the top 30 go in reverse order for the final slalom run, and Germany's Riesch leads at the halfway mark. Being 30th down the hill may not necessarily be much help in the miserable Whistler conditions, mind you. No Chemmy Alcott or Lindsey Vonn in the second run, both of whom went walkies in their first run and didn't finish the course.
It's almost a good job the hockey is fizzling out, because we have a lot
of other events to be watching. The women's snowboard is reaching a climax, US v Canada in the speed skating demands your attention, the bobsleigh is providing thrills and spills and the
second run of the women's slalom
is about to start.
South Korea's women face Japan in the
long track team pursuit
quarter-finals. This is the track cycling of the Winter Olympics, which is maybe why Steve Redgrave draws parallels between the two sports.
Check out my blog
for more on a potential long track venue in Britain. The fourth quarter-final will see Canada's women take on the US, which ought to be worth watching.
Huge crash for the Russia 2 bobsleigh team up at the Whistler Sliding Centre. There'll be a delay while they tidy up the track.
It's not a problem with the start gate, it's a problem with the athlete.
went too early and managed to get herself stranded at the top, even with the gate open. Don't ask me to explain any more than that. No matter how she did it, it's a howler.
Not only is there fog shrouding Cypress Mountain, the rain is getting heavier too. The spectators braving this women's snowboard final look soaked to the bone as the "consolation heats" take place. Precious little consolation up there, and precious little heat. And now we seem to have an issue with a start gate...
The Canada 1 crew go second at the bobsleigh, 0.23 seconds behind USA 1,
with a time of 50.89 seconds after seven teams have gone. This is the first of four runs - two today, two on Saturday.
Still 6-0 in the hockey. The Americans must have called a truce.
And, just for Luuk who texted in to demand it, an update on the speed skating. Joining Canada and Norway in the
men's team pursuit semi-finals
are the Netherlands and the US. Norway and Canada are pair one, the others are pair two. The women's quarter-finals are coming up in just under 10 minutes, and it's the men's semis in about an hour's time.
The visibility at the snowboarding is dreadful but, peering through the gloom, I can just make out
recovering from an early howler to see off the quarter-final challenge of Austria's Claudia Riegler. The semi-finals will pitch another Austrian, Marion Kreiner up against Ekaterina Ilyukhina of Russia, and Sauerbreij of the Netherlands faces Germany's Selina Joerg.
Josephine in Kent texts:
"I'm almost bored. Where's the exciting game I was expecting?"
Seconded. I may defect to the bobsleigh shortly - the hockey is very much a non-event now. The snowboarding might tempt me, too.
As fast as the biathlon departs, the four-man bobsleigh arrives. The lone British crew in this event will race 20th in a field of 25. The Germans, Russians and Americans all have three crews and can be expected to feature heavily. Watch the first run live online right now if you're in the UK, or
keep track of the timings
using our real-time results page.
"Just watching the biathlon and wondering why there's no Brits at all. I thought the military had a good Winter Games programme?"
There is one British biathlete at the Games:
took part in the men's 10km sprint, 20km individual and 12.5km pursuit, finishing 55th, 66th and 56th respectively.
We reckon the previous biggest winning margin in a men's Olympic ice hockey semi-final was 7-1, the score Canada achieved over Belarus at Salt Lake City 2002. The Finns, 6-0 down to the US after just one period, are staring down the barrel of history. The second period is under way.
for Norway in the men's 4x7.5km biathlon relay. That was a relatively comfortable win for Norway, but the battle for silver was an epic one between Austria and Russia. The Austrians pipped the Russians to silver by two tenths of a second. Which is an incredibly small margin after a 30km race. Vladimir Putin will be sharpening his conclusions (see 1050 entry).
BBC Sport's Bob Ballard texts:
"Stunned is probably the best way to describe the atmosphere inside Canada Hockey Place. Six-nil after one period. Who said it would be a tight game?"
we reach the women's snowboard quarter-finals. Watch them online if you're in the UK, or
use our live timings page
to follow the action.
Scott in Northern Ireland texts:
"How amazing is Zach Parise? Incredibly skilled, fast and hard-working. Best player to watch in ice hockey at the moment."
All we're getting from Chemmy Alcott today is a very brief quote. She barely made any headway on her first slalom run before missing a gate. "It was always going to be a fight from my start number today and I knew I really had to try to charge it," she said.
Somebody anonymous has texted me with one word:
The Canadians set
a new Olympic record
in the long track men's team pursuit, seeing off Italy in style. And just a moment ago, Norway edged an incredibly close quarter-final against South Korea.
A few of you have texted to say I missed the 5-0 update. I didn't miss it, I was still writing
it when the sixth went in, so I did them both at the same time. Ice hockey is a pretty quick sport to be live texting in the first place, without the Americans giving us Suomigeddon.
of Austria qualified in first place in the women's snowboard, and she destroys Ukrainian Annamari Chundak to reach the quarter-finals. (I think I may have called this the quarter-final round earlier. It isn't, it's the last 16.)
At the Richmond Olympic Oval, the
men's team pursuit
quarter-finals are getting under way in the long track speed skating.
Al in Oxford texts:
"Kiprusoff told the Finnish team not to bother taking him if he wasn't gonna be the definite starter. Bet he feels stupid now."
1229: US 6-0 Finland
Oh, make it stop.
gets a second despite the Finns having replaced Kiprusoff with Niklas Backstrom in goal. And, as I write, the sixth American goal goes in,
lifting the puck past the hapless Backstrom. "It's getting embarrassing now," says commentator Bob Ballard, in the understatement of the millennium.
1223: US 4-0 Finland
starts the move, glides across the face of Miikka Kiprusoff's net, and finishes it as the puck breaks loose. Forget the rugby, if you want to see something getting mauled, watch this game.
"I have a strange suspicion that the US are now going to hammer Finland."
I would argue that is neither strange, nor a suspicion.
1220: US 3-0 Finland
powers the puck past Finnish goaltender Kiprusoff and this, already, is turning into a sizeable deficit. Finland have called a time-out. They have all the time in the world to get back into this, but they don't have a hope if they carry on the way they started the game.
1218: US 2-0 Finland
I did mention the Finnish reluctance to score while I'm watching them, but they had at least kept it quiet at the back on previous occasions. Not so today:
finds the net off the crossbar as the US take advantage of their first powerplay. We're not even halfway through the first period.
Tim in Dorset texts:
"For an Olympic semi-final in 'Hockey Country' there are an awful lot of empty seats in the arena."
A good observation. Maybe the Canadians are saving themselves for later. I need to find a new route home each night - the current one runs, without fail, straight through the daily we're-so-amazed-to-be-Canadian street parties. I am a big fan of Canadians, but the Canadians are bigger fans of Canadians.
the quarter-finals of the women's snowboard
we go. Eight heats, two athletes going head-to-head in each, two runs, then the victor progresses. The action starts in a few minutes, and you can watch it live online if you're in the UK.
1209: US 1-0 Finland
Miikka Kiprusoff, one of the most reliable goaltenders in the game, comes out of his net and makes a howler of a pass straight to American forward
- who sends the puck low into the empty goal. A sucker punch with just two minutes gone.
I mentioned the portentous words of Vladimir Putin a little earlier, threatening "organisational conclusions" if Russia didn't buck their ideas up at the Games. The Russian biathlon team have wisely taken that to heart and
they are leading the men's 4x7.5km relay
at the moment.
Whoever wins this game will face either Canada or Slovakia in the final, which is being held at a prime-time 1215Van/2015UK on Sunday. Definitely don't miss that one. No Canadian has given the remotest consideration to Slovakia winning their semi-final. Whether this is an error remains to be seen later today.
Just over five minutes until US v Finland faces off. Your predictions and associated thoughts, please. I just started writing about Welsh ice hockey, in order to contrast it with the stuff on Finnish rugby below, then realised it was utterly, utterly pointless. If you know who Nicky Chinn is you might have enjoyed it, but you probably don't.
If this were a rugby match, Finland would be in trouble. The Finnish rugby union team are
(out of 95) in the world. The US are up in 18th. Maybe we shouldn't look out for the Finns in the rugby sevens at Rio 2016, then. What is
a rugby match is Wales v France in the Six Nations, which begins shortly and for which
will be your live text commentator, sat an entire continent to my right.
Ice hockey analyst Brent Pope and I were discussing the US-Finland semi-final last night. He reckons the US should not be underestimated - they are not as strong as Canada on paper, he granted me, but they are quick and powerful. This game should be an interesting match-up: the youthful US versus the ageing Finns, who were unlucky not to get gold in Turin four years ago. Face-off is in 20 minutes.
Lindsey Vonn, who crashed out again in the slalom: "Going into these Games everyone expected a lot of me, but I tried to stay realistic. I tried for one medal at the time. Expectations have been very high. My own expectations have been met. I have the gold medal I came here for and I could not be happier. I was contemplating stopping after my crash in the giant slalom but that is just not who I am. I'm going home maybe a little more broken and bruised, but happy."
Maria Riesch, who leads the women's slalom after the first run: "I've been in this position before and I know you must not get carried away. I will need to attack in the second run but I also need to ski with my head. I would have been in an even better position had I not made a mistake on the lower part of the course."
We are spoiling you. Not only are we giving you men's biathlon, there is also the immensely enjoyable prospect of not one but two men's ice hockey semi-finals. The United States face Finland in the first of those games, coming up in half an hour's time. I've twice had the pleasure of commentating on Finland at these Games and, in that time, they went 115 minutes (out of a possible 120) without scoring. I would imagine they will be keen to change that today.
Follow the game in stats using our results page
or, if you're in the UK, you can watch the game live online or on the red button.
The very last biathlon event of the Winter Olympics, the
relay, is about to start in Whistler.
So much for my Swiss fightback. The perma-terrified Mirjam Ott has conceded after the Chinese put together two stonking back-to-back ends, scoring two and four to take an unassailable 12-6 lead. China take the
Darren in New Zealand texts:
"Why haven't you used up and down GB arrows like you do with the tennis? It's a lot easier to follow."
How, exactly, is one "up" arrow over the space of 17 days of Winter Olympics coverage going to make it easier for you to follow proceedings? Vancouver 2010 has, mercifully, been about more than the British team's prospects. The up arrow spent its time off sunning it up in the Seychelles; the down arrow endured a miserable long weekend in a cottage in the Lake District, then sat in front of repeats of Dad's Army. (It has family in the opening credits.)
Well, if the medal was in the bag, the bag has been left on the conveyor belt and is now very much lost property. Britain's
- in admittedly dreadful visibility - doesn't make it past the fourth gate, sailing mournfully into the fog and onto the plane home.
Qualifying in the women's snowboard
has just finished and it's a narrow escape for
of the United States. She was quickest in the first run but a mistake in the second run nearly cost her a place in the final - she eventually finished 13th overall with the top 16 going through. The final will be in around an hour's time.
is coming up very shortly in the slalom. I know what you're thinking. The medal's in the bag.
China have their noses ahead again in the curling, it's now 8-6. No amount of cowbell in the world seems to be enough to push the Swiss ahead. I have developed a real, deep-seated loathing of cowbell over the past two weeks. I used to be cowbell's best friend. We don't talk any more.
There are dark grumblings in Russia as they lie down in
in the medal table, with just three gold medals to their name. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin,
that he is, took time out from opening a judo centre in Siberia to tell reporters: "Of course we expected more from our team, but that's not cause to throw up our hands, wear a sackcloth and ashes or beat ourselves with chains." If you're a Russian team member, that probably comes as a relief. However, he went on: "It's cause for serious analysis and conclusions, including maybe organisational conclusions." Which may be less of a relief. Ominous.
Dave in Canada texts:
"The Canadian women's hockey team should know to act. They've been there before. Three times. Consecutively."
See, I told Mirjam Ott not to panic. The Swiss have drawn level with China and their bronze medal game is tie at six apiece.
At last, some clarification on the
dilemma (see 1026 entry). She missed a gate in her first run and was handed a 20-second penalty. She has just completed a much better second run but it won't make much difference, she won't reach the final.
The second run of the women's snowboard qualifying has just started. Watch it live online in the UK or
follow the action
using our results page.
has much-improved visibility on her side in Whistler. Her first-run time is only enough for 10th place but, given her delight, she will clearly take that.
British short track speed skater
has just been wishing team-mate
good luck via Twitter. Eley, considered Britain's last realistic chance of a medal, goes in the men's 500m quarter-finals at 1800 Vancouver time (0200 on Saturday in the UK). Douglas will join him on the ice for the men's 5000m relay after that.
Swiss curling skip Mirjam Ott, who routinely looks like a rabbit in the headlights anyway, resembles a crushed soul as the Swiss indulge in a team-talk. Her team are only two behind. She needs to look on the bright side. She's pushing stones along ice in front of a global television audience. Things could be worse.
At the halfway mark in the women's curling bronze medal game, China have
moved fractionally ahead
to hold a 6-4 lead over Switzerland.
continues to intrigue me. First the snowboarder had a time (albeit a terrible one, 1:09.11 compared with around 41 seconds for most), then she was shown as having been disqualified, and now her time has been reinstated. I wonder if she's as confused as I am.
Just now I told you to keep an eye on
of Switzerland in the women's snowboard. You can now safely shift that eye elsewhere because she's been disqualified. I have to confess, caught up in a heady mix of curling and slalom as I was, I'm not sure what happened to her.
of the United States heads
the live standings
at the moment.
While we've been away at the slalom, the Swiss women's curlers have hauled themselves right back into their bronze medal game against China. The Chinese did have a 5-1 lead - that's now been
cut back to 5-4
in the fifth end.
"Compared to Andrew Flintoff after the Ashes, the Canadians were quite restrained!"
doesn't even finish - there's
something I've written before. She straddles a gate and glides off dejectedly to one side. Remember, she's got a broken finger after her earlier accident on the Whistler slopes.
lead an Austrian comeback in the slalom? Through the relatively heavy Whistler snow she goes, but her time of 51.40 seconds will only send her third.
"If the United States had won and done the same thing as the Canadian women, Canada would be in uproar. Be discreet with your lawbreaking, Canada!"
completes her first slalom run in a time of 50.75 seconds to go top, after a disappointing run from Austria's Kathrin Zettel. Only two bronze medals and a gold in alpine skiing for Austria at these Games, a poor haul by their standards.
"Regarding the Canadian women's celebrations, what would be even more insulting to the beaten Americans is if the cigars were Cubans."
It's looking ominous for Switzerland. After three ends,
China lead 5-1
in the women's bronze game.
You will be spoilt for choice in around 10 minutes' time, when both the women's slalom skiing and the women's snowboarding get under way. If you thought Dutch involvement at the Winter Olympics only extended to bouncing up and down at the speed skating while Sven Kramer forgets to steer, watch the snowboarding at Cypress Mountain. The Netherlands'
is one of the favourites to take gold, but you should also keep an eye on
of Germany and
of Switzerland. Qualification is about to start - use our
comprehensive results service
to keep on top of it.
may have crashed out of the giant slalom, but the American makes her return in the less-giant slalom, the first run of which begins in just under 15 minutes. Vonn is up against Germany's
in what has been billed as a battle of the gold medallists - downhill champion Vonn versus super-combined winner Riesch. The latter is fifth to go, while Vonn is 10th and Britain's
will be 54th out of the gate.
Check the full start list
and follow the live timings on our results page.
China are in fine form in the women's curling bronze medal game. After scoring three in the first end, they restrict Switzerland to one in the second. Pretty much all going China's way.
"While the Canadian women should have kept the party in the locker room, they did think the rink was empty. Only a reporter that just stayed behind got lucky with a picture."
Not so sure about that, Gareth. Have you seen how many pictures there are? Good quality, close-up pictures. I realise they were drinking champagne but you'd need to have downed a considerable quantity not
to spot the continued presence of cameras at the venue.
"What is the fuss about the ice hockey celebration? In my view it was a good old hockey celebration. Has everyone forgotten the Canadians had just won gold at home?"
If you're watching live online - or doing something olde worlde like using a television - there are new graphics at the curling, showing the precise path each stone takes down the ice. I still can't decide if the Swiss were LBW or not.
(If you're Canadian, that joke may not hit home.)
In other news, what do you make of the Canadian women's ice hockey team
having to issue an apology
for their on-ice celebrations after beating the US to win gold? You can also text me - the number is 81111 in the UK (start your message with the word "Olympics") or +44 7786200666 worldwide.
On Thursday, Sir Steve Redgrave mentioned an idea he's had:
building a long track speed skating venue
in Britain. I've been having a think about what that would mean if it happened, and Phil Brojaka - the British long track skater mentioned during Thursday's live coverage - has given me his thoughts, too. Now I'd like yours.
Have a read of my blog
while we watch the curling, and leave a comment or
send a tweet
Short track will be the British focus much later in the day, but the first event under way is the women's curling bronze medal game. Your protagonists are China and Switzerland. You can watch it live if you're in the UK, or
follow the action
using our real-time results page.
You know when you're sat in a quiet room for a while, in what feels like silence, then suddenly you notice there's a clock ticking? That's just happened. I've got London and Vancouver clocks directly above me and they're almost deafening me now. It must mean time is ticking away until the end of the 2010 Winter Games - but there are still some big moments, and British medal chances (stop it with that cynical look) on the way.
Hello, everybody. Canadians have had a fair few exciting days recently, and this promises to be another one. Canada's women take on Sweden for curling gold, and their men face Slovakia in the last four of the hockey, where the United States will play Finland. If you live in Canada and have any sense, you'll put the ear defenders on now before the cowbell-wielding masses reach the streets.