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Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

As it happened - Winter Olympics day 17

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Results and schedule

Day 17: Sunday, 28 February 2010

Completed

  • 17:30Cross country skiing: Men's 50km mass start

    Result
    • Gold: NORTHUG Petter, NOR
    • Silver: TEICHMANN Axel, GER
    • Bronze: OLSSON Johan, SWE

Completed

  • 20:15Hockey: Men's Final - United States 2-3 Canada

View all results and schedules

(All times local. GMT -8)

To get involved text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) using OLYMPICS as your first word or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

By Ollie Williams in Vancouver

1521: Ladies and gentlemen, that's the game, and that is the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Thank you for reading, for watching, for commenting, texting and tweeting, and being a part of the Winter Games along with us. With the closing ceremony fast approaching, I am going to make like a Canadian tree and maple leave. Stay with me on Twitter until the next Olympic Games, in two years' time, which will be in the city of London. The British have just seen what a host nation can do.

Canadian in Burlington texts: "Listen, world: that's the sound of 35,000,000 Canadians singing the national anthem."

Lyle in New Zealand texts: "Sitting in a physics class, following online, and getting kicked out when screaming with joy at a Canadian victory."

ndoughty tweets: "A fair few members of the extended Drew Doughty family - mainly in Crawley - here in the UK starting to celebrate too now!"

Tim in Vancouver texts: "Just watched the hockey final in a pub in Dunbar, Vancouver. The first full game I've ever watched (I'm a Brit). Awesome atmosphere and lots of happy Canadians here!"

1512: The medals are awarded in order of jersey number. And what do you know, that means number 87, Sidney Crosby, is last to collect his gold.

1511: And now, Roberto Luongo is the first man to collect his gold medal, to enormous cries of "Luuu!" from his home fans in Vancouver.

1509: The American men have collected their silver medals. They are the picture of dejection. Silver will mean nothing to them tonight. Maybe, one day, they will treasure those medals. Right now, they cannot bear to look at them.

Dan in Australia texts: "I watched it on a TV in a clinic waiting room in Canterbury Hospital, Sydney, where I work. Brilliant stuff, go Canada!"

1503: Sidney Crosby was already a legend, at the age of 22, coming into these Games. Every young Canadian wants his name on their jersey. Every young Canadian wants to be him. He was always going to have a hard time living up to that reputation and, in the early games of this tournament, he was just another name on the roster. 'Sid the kid' was quiet. Now, with millions from Kampala to Baghdad to Vancouver to Aberdeen watching (and I know that, they've all been texting me), he has enshrined his name in Canadian folklore. Sidney Crosby has scored the biggest goal of the biggest game of the biggest tournament, for the biggest nation in the sport.

Gill texts: "YES! You can't describe how amazing I feel! Canada!"

1458: Not that anyone inside Canada Hockey Place remotely cares, but that goal makes Canada the most successful Winter Olympic host nation in history, ending the Games with 14 golds.

1456: The goal: Iginla to Crosby from the boards on the left. Crosby had one, quick touch to control it, and used his second touch to rifle the puck home, low past Ryan Miller.

Results

1455: GOLD for the Canadian men's ice hockey team. Gold, Canada, Gold.

1454 Can 3-2 US (67:40): Sidney Crosby scores

Moments after Scott Niedermayer nearly gifts the US a goal in his own zone, Sidney Crosby finds the net and the wonderkid of Canadian hockey delivers his country the final gold medal of the Vancouver Games. It was written.

1452 Can 2-2 US (66:31): Dany Heatley forces the save from Miller, moments after Ryan Suter tested Luongo from distance. Then Rick Nash draws another great save from Miller. Shot after shot after shot.

1450 Can 2-2 US (64:47): Jarome Iginla misses a sitter the first time, then Miller somehow gets in the way of Iginla's second attempt. That was a huge, huge opportunity for Canada.

Anon texts: "I must be the only guy in Burundi awake and screaming at my laptop. Come on USA!"

1448 Can 2-2 US (62:30): Early chance for Canada but then it's Joe Pavelski for the US, forcing Luongo into the save high to his left.

1446 Can 2-2 US (61:15): The other thing I forgot to tell you is that overtime is four-on-four. Each side loses a player. That means the ice is far more open, even though this rink is smaller than the ones used at previous Olympics.

danny_pugsley tweets: "That Crosby miss could get even bigger now."

Here goes with overtime...

1442: I have never understood the rationale behind pulling the goalie in hockey. Teams trailing by a goal (or, occasionally, two) routinely swap their goalie for an extra attacker in the dying moments - but it almost invariably ends up with the winning team scoring into an empty net and making sure of the victory. It never works. Until now. Now it has just worked, to devastating effect, in the last 30 seconds of an Olympic final. That goal was all about sheer weight of numbers in front of the Canadian net.

Taf in Wales texts: "This is the first game of ice hockey I have watched."

They're all like this, Taf. Every game. Frankly, this one has been a bit on the tedious side. Only the four goals and we went a whole 20 seconds at the end without another one.

Gareth in New York texts: "Every bar in Greenwich Village just erupted."

1434: When these big games happen, all the big night build-up talks about how good it's going to be. How all the signs point to one of the most amazing sporting spectacles. Almost invariably, the actual end product is nothing like as good as everybody has been telling you it will be. This game has delivered on every count. It has been clean, fast, exciting and unpredictable. The US are the only team at this tournament to pull their goalie and score with the extra man - Zach Parise's levelling goal is etched on my memory. And the biggest moment of all is yet to come.

1431 Can 2-2 US (60:00): Normal time ends. We will have a 12-minute break for the ice to be resurfaced, then 20 minutes of overtime. The first team to score in that time will win. If nobody scores, it goes to a shoot-out. The final of the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament at the Vancouver Winter Games is producing one of the greatest games of all time.

1429 Can 2-2 US (59:36): Zach Parise scores

With 24 seconds remaining and the US looking clueless, Patrick Kane sends the puck back in. It takes a knock off Langenbrunner's skate and presents itself for Parise from all of a foot outside the net. He couldn't miss. What a game.

1426 Can 2-1 US (59:05): Canada's turn to call a time-out. The tension is immense. The United States have 55 seconds to save the game.

1425 Can 2-1 US (58:30): The US have called a time-out.

1424 Can 2-1 US (58:30): Ryan Miller is pulled with 90 seconds remaining... the US have the extra attacker.

1422 Can 2-1 US (56:30): Canadian megastar Sidney Crosby fluffs his lines. He gets the breakaway, closes in on Miller, then seems to push the puck fractionally too far and is left reaching when it comes to the finish. The puck dribbles away to safety. That could have sealed it.

1419 Can 2-1 US (55:34): From Bangkok, to Saskatoon, to rural Spain, you're all texting in. Keep it coming, it's good to hear from you. Four minutes and a bit to go.

skiddie2 tweets: "Don't call the hockey game yet. Things can turn around in less time than remains. (But I hope not!)"

1417 Can 2-1 US (54:55): Chances are drying up now - I wonder if the Canadian strategy is becoming "hold on to what we have". The majority of possession is with the US, but they're losing their way over the blue line. As I write that, American Brian Rafalski, with four goals to his name in this tournament, sends a powerful shot in on Luongo, which he traps beneath his pads after a big deflection.

1413 Can 2-1 US (52:05): Zach Parise squanders another US opportunity. Both teams have had real chances to get goals here. Whoever scores next, the complexion of the game will change dramatically.

Adam texts: "I'm on a streetcar in Toronto and half the people on here seem to be following the game on their mobile phone."

1410 Can 2-1 US (50:00): Canada's Dany Heatley has two jabs at the puck with half the goal gaping but can't get it past a fast-recovering Ryan Miller.

1409 Can 2-1 US (48:57): Lots can happen in a very short space of time in hockey, but time is now just starting to tick down for the US.

1405 Can 2-1 US (46:39): Kane, to Suter, but Luongo is equal to the low shot then holds onto the next one. No penalties for a rather long time... only four in the whole game. Surprising, given who's playing.

paulweatherley tweets: "Got a feeling for the USA here. Could be a real downer for the host nation."

That is a slight understatement. A Canada defeat would redefine the word "downer". Not happening right now, though.

Charlie texts: "This is Canada's time. Probably the best Olympics I have ever seen."

1401 Can 2-1 US (44:16): Corey Perry is denied bravely by Miller in the US goal, plunging down on the puck from no distance at all.

1400 Can 2-1 US (43:40): I said the US were on top at the end of the second - here in the third, that momentum seems to have dissipated. Canada have twice struck the post now.

1357 Can 2-1 US (40:50): Shea Weber, who seems incapable of a shot that doesn't do something interesting, dings the post as the third period gets under way. Nearly a two-goal Canada lead. Ryan Miller looks contemplative in that US goal.

1355: Off we go again. There are 20 minutes and 23 Americans between Canada and gold.

Anon texts: "The stress in here is starting to boil over. Confrontations around me - angry Russians with horns celebrating American goals. So tense."

Paul texts: "How can you compare this to an England-Germany World Cup final? The US and Canada face off at every other Olympics."

1349: While we wait for the third period, check out the shot charts from the game so far on our website. We've got comprehensive stats from every game in the tournament too.

Bex texts: "I'm watching the US-Canada hockey - what are the rules? It seems you can rugby tackle people in front of the goal!"

Yes, yes you can. Sort of. Within certain limits. We have a basic video guide to ice hockey on our website for those just starting out.

Max in Vancouver texts: "My wife drove home from work and reports that the streets are empty. It was like driving at 1am. Imagine England v Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley to understand the importance of this game."

1340 Can 2-1 US (40:00): A Canada breakaway isn't converted and then Luongo spills a tame shot somewhat unconvincingly. There are chinks in the Canadian armour here. The US may almost be frustrated that the period has ended, because they are slowly coming into the ascendancy. Shot count: Canada 25, US 23.

1338 Can 2-1 US (38:11): For much of the first period, the build-up was there but the chances weren't. This period, both teams are skipping the build-up in favour of shots every 15 seconds. Canada's Mike Richards should have put away a rebound just then.

1336 Can 2-1 US (37:05): Oh, my stars. The puck drifts millimetres wide of Roberto Luongo's goal, then, at the other end, it loops up in the air off Miller before landing safely.

1334 Can 2-1 US (35:37): The pace has dipped slightly as Jack Johnson, for the umpteenth time, fronts up to a Canadian player. A Shea Weber lightning bolt (he being the player whose shot went through the net the other day) lands in the glove of unsighted, relieved US goalie Ryan Miller.

1330 Can 2-1 US (33:39): The US had an opportunity for a second almost immediately after that goal. The Americans are definitely on top and Patrick Kane just circled the Canadian net like a shark before Luongo blocked a fierce shot from long range.

Canadian Gooner texts: "The 1972 series (Canada v USSR) was the best hockey event ever. Eight games. None of this one-game knock-out stuff."

1328 Can 2-1 US (32:44): Ryan Kesler scores

Kesler gets a sublime deflection on a Patrick Kane shot and the puck wriggles past Luongo. As a neutral, that goal has just given us the game of hockey we desperately wanted to see.

1325 Can 2-0 US (31:36): Even strength again. Better from the Americans, though. Luongo has just come up with a massive double save to keep them out, and Sidney Crosby almost got a third for Canada at the other end. This game is wide open now, the Americans have to come out chasing.

1322 Can 2-0 US (29:55): It's a mess of gloves, pads, helmets and fists in front of Roberto Luongo's net, with the goalie sprawled on the floor having just about prevented Zach Parise getting a goal back.

1320 Can 2-0 US (28:30): Jonathan Toews trips Ryan Suter - no doubt about that one and a potentially vital two-minute powerplay for the US begins.

Jenny - "an American hockey nerd stranded in Cambridge" - texts: "This may be Canada's biggest game ever but NOTHING beats the Miracle on Ice (see 1211 entry). Those were college kids, not professionals."

A second miracle on ice may, however, now be required.

1317 Can 2-0 US (27:13): Corey Perry scores

Canada kill the penalty with relative ease and Ryan Getzlaf very nearly gets a second for the Canadians, then moments later Corey Perry does just that. Getzlaf fires the pass, Marleau can't find the puck, but Perry can as US goalie Ryan Miller struggles to cope with the queue of Canadians waiting to shoot.

1314 Can 1-0 US (24:41): Canada were all over the States on that powerplay but the US survive and now they'll get the man advantage. Canada's Eric Staal will sit for two minutes for interference.

GB short track speed skater Jon Eley tweets: "Enjoying the last day of the Olympics, watching the hockey final in the village."

1312 Can 1-0 US (23:30): Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton split open the US penalty-killing unit but Miller is in the way from close range.

1311 Can 1-0 US (22:30): Clear high-sticking penalty against Ryan Malone of the US, so we have a second Canadian powerplay of the night.

1309 Can 1-0 US (21:27): A US defensive error early in the period nearly lets Jarome Iginla in for Canada, right out in front on his own. But his backhand isn't strong enough and Miller saves with ease.

1307: The Canadians are back out on the ice. Second period ahoy. Whether sitting in traffic in Alberta, trying to find the game on the radio in Zambia, or watching via your mobile phone in Perth, Australia - all examples I've just seen via text - steel yourselves for 20 more minutes of madness.

1302: There is a sneaking suspicion that Canada's Dany Heatley, lobbed unceremoniously over the boards into the American bench midway through the first period, may now be carrying an injury. He's not looked happy on the bench (the correct bench, this time) ever since.

Freddie texts: "A rubber disk flying around on some ice, being chased by a bunch of angry Americans and Canadians... that's all I'm seeing right now. But yes, the atmosphere could capture even the alien I am to the sport. Quite amazing how passionate they are."

Pritesh in Leicester texts: "My wife is Canadian so I'm rooting for the USA, and currently annoying her with 'U-S-A!' chants over the phone from England."

1253 Can 1-0 US (20:00): The US get one last close-range dig at the Canadian net, but that's the end of the first period and Canada can be very happy with that. Sidney Crosby, star of the Canadian team, will not be surprised to have found himself the focus of US attention, especially up against the boards. But the US seem quite impotent up front - their best chance was Luongo failing to deal with the puck squeezing under his pad, hardly an American creative masterpiece. Corey Perry (Can) and Jack Johnson (US) have a bit of a scrap as proceedings come to a halt. There's now a 15-minute break until they come back.

Juddy in North Wales texts: "I know nothing about this sport, but its an awesome game and atmosphere, right?"

Ben in London texts: "I'm watching the game with my Canadian girlfriend. She's going nuts. Personally I can't see what all the fuss is aboot."

"Right?" "Aboot." - These Canadianisms had better be intentional otherwise it will confirm my suspicion that Canadian is contagious.

1248 Can 1-0 US (18:15): American Orpik and Canadian Staal have a very minor nibble at each other. But this game is simmering rather than sizzling from a physical point of view right now.

1245 Can 1-0 US (16:23): Rick Nash and Eric Staal weave through the US penalty-killing unit but Miller deals with the shot comfortably. The penalty expires, back to five on five.

1243 Can 1-0 US (14:20): The US are in a bit of trouble now. Bobby Ryan will sit for two minutes for tripping, just after his team let in that first goal. They need to keep it tight for the next couple of minutes.

1240 Can 1-0 US (12:50): Jonathan Toews scores

Mike Richards' shot is blocked but Toews is able to tidy it up with an exquisite finish from a tight angle, as US goalie Ryan Miller isn't able to get across and cover his post.

Joe in Luxembourg texts: "Our TV is out due to a storm. Got the laptop on the sofa with my 10-month-old daughter asleep on my chest as I keep trying to refresh the page for the score. Never even played ice hockey but loving it. Come on Canada."

1235 Can 0-0 US (10:15): Roberto Luongo frantically reaches around with his stick to protect the puck, which almost glides through his legs and into the net - but Canadian team-mate Duncan Keith gets back in time to put a stick behind it. A very dangerous moment for Canada, that was nearly a soft opening goal to give away.

Scott in Northern Ireland texts: "I reckon the US will edge it. Their team has gelled better and with the best goaltender in the NHL on their side, I think they've got what it takes."

1233 Can 0-0 US (08:51): Rick Nash gives US goalie Ryan Miller his first proper test of the game, moments after Canada's Dany Heatley is dumped into the American bench.

1229 Can 0-0 US (06:39): Huge hit from Canada's Mike Richards on Brooks Orpik of the US. Hockey fans will be well aware of this, but Canadian coach Mike Babcock used to be player-coach of Whitley Warriors in the UK. He had a few other gigs in between, mind you.

Josephine in Kent texts: "It's time for the US to give Canada some payback for Salt Lake City. Team USA going all the way!"

1225 Can 0-0 US (04:24): Canadians break with Jonathan Toews but their first real attacking surge peters out. Toews takes a big hit shortly thereafter. Very tentative hockey so far - which is what we'd expect, right? (I'm ending sentences with the word "right?" - I've been in Canada too long.)

1223 Can 0-0 US (02:35): Canada marginally on top in the early stages, by my reckoning. The cameras are wobbling because the crowd are shaking the arena. Every Canadian hit is getting cheered to the rafters.

1219 Can 0-0 US (00:00): Then we shall begin.

1217: We are almost ready to go. The US President and Canadian Prime Minister have beers riding on this game - that's how big it is. The players are out on the ice. Are you sitting comfortably?

Caryn texts: "I'm a South African sports nut waiting up late at night in Cape Town, wanting to know the result. Go Canada! Or will it be the US? Can't wait..."

1211: Don't make the mistake of thinking this game is all about Canada. The United States are a strong, young team. They have already beaten the Canadians once in this tournament. And if you don't think the US as a nation has a history in this sport, watch the legendary game in which the Americans beat the USSR in 1980 - the 'Miracle on ice'. A US win tonight would rank alongside that. Maybe above it.

1207: Finland are the men's ice hockey bronze medallists after coming from behind to beat Slovakia on Saturday in thrilling circumstances. If this game is anything like that one, we are in for a treat.

1157: This game will be live in full on BBC Two in the UK, as well as live online via this website for UK users. If you're elsewhere in the world and can't get to a TV showing it - or at Dallas Airport feeling a tad isolated, Kieran - I'll be burning up this keyboard to deliver updates, and you can use the real-time stats page on our website too.

Kieran texts: "At Dallas Airport at the moment, on my way back to Toronto. Can't say my Texan fellow travellers seem to care, let alone have any awareness for what is the only game bigger than a Stanley Cup final."

John in Calgary texts: "Here's a way for Brits to look at today's final. Think the Ashes, then toss in a bit of the Chappell-Hadlee, and then throw in a heavy helping of sibling rivalry, and you've got the premise for today's game."

Kathy texts: "I'm a Canadian living in Wales and I'm happy with the medals Canada have won at the Games. But out of all the medals, this is the one that matters. Canada have to win this one."

1151: Both the referees for this game are Canadian. One of them, Bill McCreary, reffed the Canada-US gold medal game at Salt Lake City 2002 as well. Canada won that game 5-2.

Simon in Northampton texts: "Oh boy, I've been waiting all day for this. With the NHL continuing to support dead franchises in the US sun belt, it's time for the Canadian fans to show Gary Bettman what hockey passion really looks like."

hypermidget tweets: "Canada will not be repeating any mistakes, particularly not ones from last Sunday. Gold is the order of the day!"

Graham in Toronto texts: "Crazy atmosphere in Toronto. This is more than a hockey game. This is England in the World Cup finals against France. Doesn't get any bigger than this."

Cross country skiing

santhya_k tweets: "How's that for a thrilling Norwegian finish!"

Results

1137: GOLD for Petter Northug of Norway as he surges over the line, unperturbed by the chaos around him as Switzerland's Dario Cologna goes down and out. Germany's Axel Teichmann, just a third of a second behind, takes silver, with Sweden's Johan Olsson third. It is Northug's second gold medal of the Games, alongside a silver and a bronze. In one of the toughest endurance events, Northug has been a hero of Vancouver 2010.

1134: Norway's Petter Northug leads with less than a kilometre to go...

1129: Johan Olsson of Sweden moves forward to join Switzerland's Dario Cologna at the front of the cross-country, with a few kilometres left.

Ice hockey

1125: Roberto Luongo starts in goal for Canada against the United States, in what promises to be one of the finest hockey games you'll ever see. I realise, having given it that build-up, that it may fizzle out into the most dire two-hour period of your life. But I have hope. Do you have hope? And what are those hopes? Text 81111 if you're in the UK, using OLYMPICS as your first word, or use +44 7786200666 if you live elsewhere in the world. Canadians and Americans, that would particularly apply to you in these circumstances. Alternatively, send me a tweet - I'm @bbcsport_ollie.

Cross country skiing

1121: I will not, however, overlook the tension building in the men's cross-country. Petter Northug of Norway was a giant, a monster, in the relay the other day. He's somewhere in that pack at the front as they meander towards the stadium for the last time. Watch the climax live online if you're in the UK or follow the live timings on our results page.

Ice hockey

1117: Hello, everybody. Miracle on ice? Summit series? Forget 'em. (Or, if you're British, don't bother looking them up.) This is as big as a hockey game gets.

By Rob Hodgetts

1110: Now then, team, I've got to cut out of here so that Ollie Williams can begin the build up for the ice hockey final between Canada and USA. Don't panic, though, he'll keep you right up to date with the final 10km of the race. And it's hotting up. Have fun.

1105: Sweden's Marcus Hellner is forcing things at the front now as the race enters the decisive final stages. Dario Cologna, the 15km gold medallist from these Games, is on his shoulder in second. Petter Northug is still ticking along in the chasing pack.

1055: Canada's Devon Kershaw and Swede Marcus Hellner push the pace at the head of the leading pack which contains about 20 skiers. The 50km is my new favourite event, by the way. These boys are nails.

Jordandias on Twitter says: "Parents are going to the ice hockey final in Vancouver; I'm doing the ironing in London. Where's the justice?"

1050: France's Vincent Vittoz leads the through 30km in about one hour 15 mins. Sweden's Marcus Hellner, a double gold medallist at these Games, has also come to the front to join the likes of double bronze medallist Lukas Bauer. Favourite Petter Northug is struggling with a ski and is back in a secondary pack.

1045: Daniel Richardsson rejoins the pack as Johan Olsson and Lukas Bauer come to the fore.

RyanGoldingay says on Twitter: "The Winter Olympics have been awesome! Just wandering whether the BBC will show coverage of the Winter Paralympics?" You betcha. There will be a nightly round-up programme on TV which will be streamed on the web and a text round-up.

1030: Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway leads going past the stadium at the 25km mark, but as they head into the woods he comes back to the chasing pack and Sweden's Daniel Richardsson takes it up and stretches them out a bit more.

Nice , this, from Gdodds on Twitter. "Don't think I'll forget these Games. Very memorable moments from start to end. There'll be a little emptiness tomorrow." There sure will, my friend.

1025: Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby has opened a bit of a gap at the front after 21km. He leads by about 20 seconds so it's the first real break of the race. Pebbles_Becky on Twitter asks if there are any Americans in the field. Becky, my old fruit, you have James Southam, 31, of Anchorage and 19-year-old Kris Freeman, who lives in Thornton.

1015: Just spoken to our Canadian engineer Jon about the ice hockey final later. "How are the nerves?" I asked him. "Good," he replied. "How are yours?" "Well, mine are fine too but I'm English so I don't care," I said. "Oh, YOU CARE," he said. "You're just not showing it yet." On a scale of 1-10 he says his confidence is at about five. "Ask me again three minutes 23 seconds in," he said. I will. What do you reckon?

1010: Hot favourite Petter Northug sprints to the front past Germany's Tobias Angerer but the pair are merely making space and getting a bit of a lead to change skis.

1000: After 10km, Italy's Valerio Checchi leads from Sweden's Anders Soedergren. But it's marginal and the leading pack are more or less together at this stage. Down in Vancouver I can tell you the city is gearing up for arguably the biggest ice hockey game the nation's seen. Anticipation is immense, the TV channels are talking of little else and hordes of red-shirted, flag-wearing Canadian fans were queuing to get into bars as I walked to work at eight o'clock this morning.

0955: Canada's George Grey has raced to the front and is stringing them out a bit in the early stages. He's either just stretching his legs for a bit of fun or grabbing a bit of limelight. But there's a very long way to go yet and the big players will be biding their time and watching the tactics like hawks. It's very much like a cycling race in the way breaks will come and go and the peloton will ebb and flow.

0945: Now, it's all the more fun if you can get in touch with us throughout the day via text on 81111 if you're in the UK or +44 7786200666 if you're not. You can also contact me on Twitter. We can chat about whatever you want. As long as it's Olympics related.

0935: BBC co-commentator Patrick Winterton makes an interesting point. He says with the race running from 0930 to about 1215 the air temperature and thus the snow temperature will change during the race, and therefore the skis (and primarily the bases) they set off on will not run as well later on. Hence the reason they are allowed to change skis.

0930: And they're off! The field set off at a rate of knots, given they've got 50km to go. "This is going to be a gold medal won the hard way," says bouncy BBC commentator Rob Walker.

0915: Morning gang, and welcome to the final day of the Winter Olympics. Don't flag on me now, we need a big last push. Let's kick off with the men's 50km mass start cross country, mainly because that's first. World Cup leader Petter Northug of Norway is looking to end his Olympic campaign with a second gold after his success in the team sprint. Other names to look out for are the Czech Republic's Lukas Bauer and overall World Cup champion Dario Cologna of Switzerland, who won the 15km individual.

It's a damp, cloudy day in Whistler and the technicians are finishing off preparing the ski bases. But interestingly, the racers can change their skis three times so suit the conditions. The course is five laps of 10km.

You can follow all the ups and downs on our live page.



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Watch live coverage of Vancouver 2010 in other European languages

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
Winter Olympics highlights
14 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Day-by-day guide to the Winter Olympics
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Canada win thrilling final gold
28 Feb 10 |  Ice hockey
Canada revel in record gold haul
28 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010


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