BRITISH CURLER WINNING HAT-TRICK
British curler Bruce Mouat has expressed bemusement that his trademark baseball cap has its own Twitter account and cult following.
Mouat and Jen Dodds are the current mixed curling world champions and have made a great start on Beijing - on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Olympic tournament.
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"We were playing last year and I was having a bad hair day and the commentators were slagging me off," said Mouat.
"I kept my hat on and someone made a Twitter account, which now has more followers than me.
"I guess it's a wee bit of a superstition now. It has got superpowers, apparently. It's maybe a vanity thing - it just covers up my bad hair."
FLOCK AROUND THE CLOCK
Flying down an icy tube at 145 km/h is a doddle compared to the ‘leap in the deep end’ that Janine Flock took before her third Olympics.
Playboy magazine’s Austrian edition approached the three-time European skeleton champion, 32, to be their pre-Games cover star.
"I don't like being the centre of attention,” said Flock, and there seemed to be no time for the photoshoot between the end of the World Cup season and Beijing.
But after encouragement from her grandmother, she went ahead with the shoot in a hotel in Leogang.
“I want to show with the photos that a natural body can also be beautiful,” said Flock. “Every woman can be proud of her body.”
Women’s skeleton medals will be given out on 12 February and Flock's focus is on taking the final step onto the Olympic podium having finished fourth in PyeongChang.
“It's important to have other things on your mind than just the sport from time to time,” she said. “I even think it will give me an extra boost of motivation.”
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SLOW GOING AT THE CROSS COUNTRY
Athletes don't tend to look beyond their next competition but up in Zhangjiakou some cross country skiers are thinking big picture.
The effects of climate change have eroded the number of competition and training venues that can rely on natural snowfall and Beijing is relying heavily on fake snow.
“I think climate change will have the biggest impact on our sport in the years to come," said American Gus Schumacher.
However, Brit James Clugnet's biggest worry is the speed of the course
“The course is super, super slow,” he said. “It’s so cold, and it’s a bit like a desert next to the track, so when it’s windy, the sand comes into the track.
"You have to reach a certain speed and then you’re all right, but when you’re going slowly, it feels like you’re standing still.
"I’m glad I’m not doing the distance races because I think it’ll be hard. If you get tired, suddenly you’ll go so much slower. The strongest athletes will win, but even more so on this course.”
PLAYING COPS HELPS GOLD MEDAL STRESS
French biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet has a target on his back as World Cup leader but he's found a way to cope with that high pressure situation here in China.
He joined up with the French Gendarmerie's elite unit GIGN as part of his Games preparations.
Training put him in staged battle situations to test his stress resistance and ability to control emotions.
"They gave me solutions for situations of big stress," he said.
"These people work in these situations every day and week, with weapons, with dangerous people. I wanted to ask, 'How are you feeling in this situation? How do you find the key to be better?'
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BY THE NUMBERS
The luge run in Yangqing is the longest in Olympic history, measuring 1583 metres for men and 1475m for women,
Germany usually dominate with 42 medals, including 20 golds, comfortably more than any other country.
Their superstar Sylke Otto was 36 years old when she became the oldest gold medallist but the most Olympic medals won by any athlete is six by Italian legend Armin Zoeggeler.
But Germany's Georg Hackl - voted the greatest luger of all-time - won more golds, at Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994 and Nagano 1998.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
It’s fair to say Kjetil Jansrud wasn’t happy that downhill training was cancelled after three skiers had the chance to complete full runs.
There is complete chaos with the flow of information.You get the impression that Markus (Waldner, race director) ran a little dictator line without information, so it is very difficult to be an athlete at the top and have no idea if it will be on or not. I think as a collective you feel as if you were robbed.
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