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Jenna Conter: Always up for some Olympic air

Arials
Arials

Move over luge, we have a new kid on the ice track. Adding to the series of Winter Olympic sports that I’m labelling Someone Lost a Bet, we welcome skeleton.

Take the sled, keep the spandex suit, but flip the athlete around to head first and belly down. According to the announcers, these athletes focus their training on glute and core strength to allow for the best control while sliding, not to mention the added bonus of maintaining a clean pair of underpants from start to finish.

You think that’s scary? If you stayed up to watch the first Team Canada vs. Team U.S.A. women’s hockey game, then you now know scary. There was a reason I opted to be in net when we use to play ball hockey at summer camp. For one, I was awesome and, secondly, it was safer there.

I hate to harp on my gender but ladies . . . can’t we all just get along? With a game that ended 2-1 for Canada, the aggression at times overshadowed the skill. And I’d be making the same comments if the men’s team seemed to take every play personally, but in an amateur-level game said to be a non-contact event, the collection of net crashing and body piles seem to paint a different picture.

Enjoy all the Armchair athleticism, follow the Games here.

This heated rivalry has leaked off the ice and into the interviews with a good amount of banter between our ladies. It’s a hop, skip and a jump to taking out their earrings and snapping in a Z formation while arguing over who got into whose head first. As with anything, talking the talk is all well and good — but the numbers don’t lie and we stand proud ahead of Team U.S.A. with a 3-0 record thus far.

I highly suggest brewing some coffee and adding hockey to your viewing schedule.

A good night’s sleep, though short, ended with the switching on of the next event on the ski slopes.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s women’s aerials!

Fly? No, but they can soar through the air, complete death-defying flips and twists and land on the soft-packed ski slope below like they were simply dismounting the bottom stair.

OK, fine: There are some epic fails and falls but given the degree of difficulty, the fear factor and the very real possibility of a major spinal injury, I hold my tongue. One of the many winter sports that seem to happen in a blink of an eye, this one is slowly breaking into my top five. If you like the summer’s gymnastic floor routines and high platform diving, this is right up your alley.

Also Thursday:

•Ted-Jan Bloemen takes home Canada’s first gold medal in 10km speed skating.

•Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford take bronze for the short program pair free skate.

•Canada lost to host country South Korea in game five of the curling round robin. There is officially such a thing as too much curling. Sorry.

•I’m still trying to understand why biathlon is a sport, but hey, I have terrible aim so who am I to judge.

•This just in/realized: Luge relay exists. Female, male and two-man luge. Happy early birthday to me!

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