The weekend will present much Winter sports watching for Olympics fans. Saturday, Men's Curling heats up with round robin nations play. Men's short track speed skating will also have several heats of quarterfinals. Freestyle skiing has several men's aerial events and slopestyle in qualifying rounds. Today will also contest the finals of the men's ski jump large hill competition. Alpine Skiing will include some men's giant slalom competition.
Men's Ice Hockey also has several rounds, with Russia facing the USA, and Slovenia facing Slovakia. The USA currently leads their group, with Russia in second place, so today's game should determine group leader. With the exclusion of current NHL players, the Olympics have been a good opportunity to watch the top hockey prospects, certain to be drafted in the NHL, from throughout the world. These games have also given second tier and semi retired players from countries like Canada to play on the world stage. The Korean Men's Hockey team has 7 North Americans, all of whom have been naturalized citizens of their new country.
Currently, Norway leads the overall medal count, but is outclassed by Germany, who currently have 9 gold medals compared to six for Norway. Norway currently has 17 total medals, six gold, Germany has 15, 9 gold, Canada has 13 medals, 4 gold, The Netherlands has 12 total medals, 5 gold and the good old USA rounds out the top 5 with 8 total medals 5 gold, currently.
Our naked Tongan, Pita Taufatofua, managed to cross the finish line in his 15 km event. Fortunately, this time, he was fully dressed, mercifully, and completed the course without a fall. The Olympic cross-country skier said to himself, "not in front of everyone. Don't give me my first fall." He finished about 33 minutes behind gold medalist Dario Cologna, but finished before the course was closed, and he wasn't even in last place.
To get to the Olympics, he travelled with fellow competitor German Madrazo, of Mexico, to so many qualifying races, and failed at each one, until the last one in Iceland, where they both qualified. "Pita and I spent two months, fighting and fighting every day," Madrazo said. "One day we were completely out of money and we had one last chocolate bar. There was nothing left and we split that chocolate bar and said, 'Well brother, we live to fight another day.'"
He finished after his friend Pita, who greeted him at the finish line with a hug. Another red lantern comrade was, not surprisingly, Morocco's Samir Azzimani, who competed in downhill skiing in the 2010 Olympics, but who made the difficult transition to cross country. Azzimani, once known as the "couscous rocket," also competed with a lot of heart.