BEST MOMENTS OF DAY 10

Hakuna Matata

If medals were awarded for soundtracks, Team GB’s drought would finally be over. But the IOC continue to insist that only the best ice dancers can win medals, lame, so instead Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson had to settle for a commendable top-10 finish despite tearing it up to the Lion King. And when we say top 10, you can assume we mean 10th dead on.
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We do have one minor quibble with Fear and Gibson's routine. Circle of Life is the most overrated Disney song of all-time – where was Can You Feel The Love Tonight on Valentine’s Day? – but it’s a small blemish as their moves got more and more daring as He Lives In You crashed around the arena.
Still, it was another day without a visit to the podium and, after Team GB’s two-man bobsleigh dreams faded before they had barely begun and Eve Muirhead’s curling rink fell to another damaging defeat, we’re officially in panic mode.
At the top of the standings in the ice dance, France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron finally secured the only major medal that had eluded them. Another world record display in the free dance helped banish memories of the former’s dress falling apart mid-routine at Pyeongchang 2018 as they stepped into the void left by Canadian legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
“We don’t realise it yet, it feels completely unreal,” Papadakis told Eurosport. “We’ve been waiting, this is the medal that we wanted, my brain doesn’t understand.”

'Pinnacle of entertainment!’ - Papadakis and Cizeron seal gold as ‘art and sport meet’

Four more years?

The quadruple axel isn’t dead just yet. Yuzuru Hanyu, the only man capable (or willing) of landing the sport’s most daunting trick, has hinted he could compete into Milan-Cortina 2026.
After a disappointing Beijing singles campaign featuring a lot of hype and little end product, the Japanese star was widely expected to call time on his career at a press conference on Monday. Instead, he got his legion of fans – the Fanyus – rather excited.
"If you ask me whether these were my last Games, I don't know," Hanyu said.
"The Olympics is a special place, one of a kind. It's a competition, a challenge, that you want to take on even if you're hurt. There's no other place like that for a figure skater. There is a part of me that does want to skate here again."

‘Destroyed’ – Hanyu goes for broke but finishes ‘skating for pride’

We're not crying, you are

Our tearjerker of the day award goes to… China’s Xu Mengtao and Belarus’ Hanna Huskova.
The pair shared an emotional embrace after the women’s aerials final, which saw Xu snatch gold with a brilliant final run and spoil Huskova’s defence.
Once the grip was relinquished, and a crestfallen/elated (hard to tell) Huskova had disappeared, bronze medallist Megan Nick wandered over to Xu and bellowed “OLYMPIC CHAMPION” in her face. We hope Huskova wasn’t in earshot.

IN OTHER NEWS

If you're ever feeling down, get out a marker pen and scribble some positive affirmations on your hand.

THREE TO WATCH ON TUESDAY

  • Figure skating - women’s singles (from 10:00 GMT)
Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has gone from golden girl of Beijing 2022 to a controversial inclusion in figure skating, and attention will fully be on the 15-year-old when she begins her singles campaign in the short programme.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that she could continue to compete, despite failing a drugs test in December. “Exceptional circumstances” were cited, partly because of her age but also because she was only notified of the result after she helped the Russian Olympic Committee win team gold, leading to a provisional suspension which was quickly lifted on appeal.
Most rival nations are not at all happy that Valieva will compete, and the competition will start with all athletes knowing that if she finishes in the top three, no medals will be awarded as a doping investigation is still ongoing.

Tearful Valieva pulls to side after fall during figure skating training

Valieva has a big chance of winning gold too. She became an overnight worldwide sensation when she became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in competition during the team event - but now the pressure is on her for very different reasons.
She has rivals, though, including her team-mates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, who finished first and third at last year’s World Championships. Natasha McKay goes for Team GB at her first Olympics.

'Allowing her to skate creates an enormous precedent' - Marchei on Valieva competing

  • Alpine skiing - women’s downhill (from 03:00 GMT)
Mikaela Shiffrin is back in action in the women’s downhill - and she returns with a different mindset, too. The American star has not had the Games she wanted or expected having crashed out of the slalom and giant slalom, before finishing ninth in the super-G.
She goes in the downhill for the first time at the Olympics, an event she barely races on the World Cup circuit. But Shiffrin is not putting any pressure on herself anyway: “I’m not focusing on the medal anymore. It’s just trying to do my best execution every day.
“Anyway, that’s my best shot at a medal. So, it’s a little bit of maybe a paradox ... that your best chance to have that performance is to stop thinking about the performance and to focus on what you’re doing in that moment.”
The favourite is easily Italy’s Sofia Goggia, the reigning champion who also sits top of the World Cup standings. No athlete has beaten her in a race she completed since December 2020.
  • Freestyle skiing - women’s slopestyle (from 01:30 GMT)
Eileen Gu goes for what she hopes will be the second of three freestyle skiing gold medals when she lines up in the final of women’s slopestyle, but the American-born Chinese athlete faces stiff competition.
She qualified with the third highest score, with Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru setting the standard ahead of Norway’s Johanne Killi. There are genuine hopes of a British medal here, too, with the talented 17-year-old Kirsty Muir likely to be in contention having come sixth in qualifying.
GB’s 2015 world silver medallist Katie Summerhayes will also be in action.

BRIT WATCH

There were high hopes of a medal for Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson in the two-man bobsleigh after an impressive World Cup season, but they go into the final two runs in 11th place and 0.42 seconds off the medal places, meaning they will need a miracle to get on the podium.
Hall will be hoping two more positive runs down the course will set him up well for the four-man event, where they will again be contenders.
The youngest member of Team GB has arguably been the best performer so far, and Kirsty Muir has an outside chance of winning a freestyle skiing slopestyle medal when she goes in the final of slopestyle with Katie Summerhayes, a world silver medallist seven years ago (from 01:30 GMT).
James ‘Woodsy’ Woods finished fourth in slopestyle at Pyeongchang 2018 and he has since won the world title, but he has not shown that kind of form in Beijing yet. He goes in qualifying (04:30 GMT).
Natasha McKay is the British representative in the singles figure skating competition, having finished 23rd at the World Championships last year, and she begins her debut Olympic campaign with the short programme.
Bruce Mouat’s men’s curling team have been in superb form, winning five out of six matches, but today they have the toughest test of all as they take on unbeaten Sweden - who also beat them in the final of the World Championships last year (12:05 GMT).
Eve Muirhead’s women’s rink face Japan (06:05 GMT).
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