Here are the first of our 3 general factsheets on the Olympic Winter Games. This one gives multiple lists of Olympic records in every category you can imagine – most medals, most gold medals, most silvers, individual, overall, age records, appearance records, most events. Ask about it and it will be in here. More to come in the next 2 days on the Olympic Winter Games in general.
In the attached factsheets, we list detailed historial Olympic information for every IOC Member Nation that has previously competed at the Olympic Winter Games and that will compete in Sochi, as of 27 January 2014. There appear to be 88 qualified NOCs that have met IF quota requirements as of 24 January, and have accepted them (the previous record for a Winter Olympics is 82 in 2010 at Vancouver). Unfortunately, after reallocation of some quotas, only the skiing federation (FIS) has published the final quotas as of 26 January. We have tried to list below the sports for which each NOC has qualified but there is a small chance, with reallocations, that there may be minor differences in the final allocation by sport.
There are seven nations that will compete in Sochi that have never before competed at the Olympic Winter Games – Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tonga, and Zimbabwe. Their factsheets have been published previously on olympstats.com – see http://olympstats.com/2014/01/23/new-winter-olympic-nations-for-sochi/, which came out on 23 January.
One problem nation is listed below and that is DPR Korea (North). They have not qualified any athletes for Sochi (including Dennis Rodman). They had the 1st and 2nd reserves for pairs figure skating but those do not appear to have been chosen by final reallocation of quota spots by the International Skating Union (ISU). However, yesterday (26 January), DPR Korea has petitioned the IOC for redress to allow them to have Olympic athletes compete in Sochi. So they are included below but it is unknown if they will compete.
We’re in a little bit of a holding pattern while we await the IFs to publish the final lists of NOCs who have accepted their quota spots in the various 2014 sports. That should be out on Monday, the 27th. Final entries should be coming in starting that day as well.
In the interim, we’re fairly certain that the NOCs in the attached PDFs will not be competing, although all of them have competed previously at the Winter Olympics. That is because they no longer exist as nations – Czechoslovakia, Fed. Rep. of Germany (West), German Democratic Republic (East), Netherlands Antilles, Serbia & Montenegro, Soviet Union, Unified Team, and Yugoslavia. These are for historical interest only.
The attached factsheets will give information about nations that have previously competed at the Olympic Winter Games. A few have actually qualified (Algeria, Puerto Rico, South Africa) but their NOCs have elected to not send any athletes to Sochi. There appear to be 22 nations that have previously competed at the Winter Olympics but will not be in Sochi.
We will send out the factsheets for the Sochi competing nations on Monday, after acceptances of quota spots is finalized. Tomorrow, just for historical interest, we’ll give information about those previous Winter Olympic Nations that no longer exist (Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Netherlands Antilles, East & West Germany)
We’ll start the Sochi NOC Factsheets with the one dealing with those nations that have never before competed at the Olympic Winter Games. There appear to be 7 that will make their debut in Sochi.
Quotas for all sports have been announced. Nations are now in the process of either accepting their quotas or turning them down, and having them re-allocated to other nations. So it will be a day or two until we have more definitive information about the competing nations. Factsheets on those will follow shortly.
Curling may not be the most exciting sport to the uninitiated viewer, but the ice sport often brings close encounters at the Olympics. Ten teams will be taking part in both the men’s and women’s competition, and as usual they will play a round-robin tournament before heading into the playoffs.
In the men’s tournament, Canada has a positive record against all other nations in the field. An exception is technically speaking Russia, as the host nation is competing in the Olympic curling for the first time. Given their 10th place in the last Worlds, not too much should be expected of them on home ice. Great Britain – or Scotland to be more precise – and Sweden are the only nations to have taken part in all Olympic curling competitions, also competing in that almost forgotten 1924 tournament (which featured France as the third nation). Despite this long history, the Britons have never beaten Canada at an Olympics, while the Swedish curlers fear the Swiss, being down 0-6 in their matches.
Medal-wise, Canada, Norway and Switzerland are the most likely to be on the podium. Canada has won two silvers (1998, 2002) and two golds (2006, 2010), while Norway and Switzerland have won one gold each, and earned three medals in the last four Olympics. Scotland has done well at recent World Championships, though, and Sweden are the reigning World Champions.
There is no nation with a positive record against all teams in the women’s competition. Both Canada and Sweden have a historically been better than six of their nine opponents. Canada has lost its only match against China, and is down 2-3 versus Switzerland. The Swedes, champions in 2006 and 2010, are 2-3 down against the Canadians, and the current host nation, Russia, is also ahead 2-1. New on the Olympic ice sheets will be South Korea, which surprisingly took 4th place in the 2012 Worlds. This brings the number of Asian nations competing to a record three.
Looking at the medal history, Canada has always been on the podium, but have only won the gold once, in 1998. Sweden appeared three times in the top three, placing third in Nagano besides their two titles. With two silvers in 2002 and 2006, the Swiss are the third most medalled nation in women’s curling. Recent World Championship medalists also include Scotland (2013 winners) and China.
And here is the next-to-last set of USA related sports factsheets, this time for the four Nordic sports of cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, and ski jumping. Tomorrow, we’ll finish up the USA sports factsheets with the team sports of curling and ice hockey. Later this week, now that the sports quotas have closed (19 Jan), we will start giving National Factsheets for the competing nations at Sochi.
The Dutch speed skating twins Michel and Ronald Mulder have both qualified for the Sochi Olympics in the 500 m. The two are both medal hopefuls, being ranked 2nd and 5th in this season’s World Cup Standings. Twins competing in the same event at the Winter Olympics is not unique, but still relatively rare.
The first time this happened was in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936. The hockey players András and László Gergely both were forwards for the Hungarian team, which ranked 7th. Sixteen years later, twins won the first Winter Olympic medal together. Swedish hockey players Hans and Stig Andersson earned a hockey bronze in 1952. The two were born with surname Andersson, but changed their names to Tvilling before the 1956 Olympics, a name meaning “Twin” in Swedish. We are not entirely sure about the 3rd pair of twins to compete at the Winter Olympics. Sources are unclear on whether František and Steve Tikal are twins or not – they certainly are brothers. Their story is interesting nonetheles, as Steve had fled communist-ruled Czechoslovakia for the West, and represented Australia while his brother still played for their mother country.
The first gold winning twins came in 1964, again in ice hockey, with Soviet twins Boris and Yevgeny Mayorov. After retiring from active sports, Boris became coach of Spartak Moscow, while Yevgeny became the team’s director. The 1964 ice hockey event was the first competition at the winter Olympics with two twins competing, as Geza and Iuliu Szabo also played for Romania. In Sapporo 1972, the first twin sisters first competed. The Firth twins would eventually contest four Olympic Winter Games together. Sharon and Shirley were both members of the Gwich’in First Nation in Canada, and later featured in a CBC documentary called “The Olympians: The Firth Sisters”. The first mixed gender twins entered in 1976, when Christian and Karin Künzle of Switzerland ranked 7th in pairs figure skating.
At the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, the best ever twin performance at the Winter Olympics came in the men’s slalom. Phil Mahre, already a silver medallist in 1980, claimed gold in the Olympic slalom. His twin brother Steve came second (after winning the first run) to produce the first 1-2 for twins in Winter Olympic history. After the Mahres, only one pair of twins has medalled: the Sedins. Henrik and Daniel helped Sweden win the 2006 hockey gold medal, equalling the performance of the Mayorovs. The Sedins have played together on the same team their entire professional career, both now being long time representatives of the Vancouver Canucks. In 1999, they won the Elitserien Player of the Year together.
The full list of twins competing in the same event at the Winter Olympics:
- András and László Gergely (Hungary) – Ice hockey 1936
- Hans and Stig Andersson-Tvilling (Sweden) – Ice hockey 1952 & 1956
- František and Steve Tikal (Czechoslovakia & Australia) – Ice hockey 1960 [twins not confirmed]
- Boris and Yevgeny Mayorov (USSR) – Ice hockey 1964
- Geza and Iuliu Szabo (Romania) – Ice hockey 1964 & 1968
- Christer and Thommy Abrahamsson (Sweden) – Ice hockey 1972
- Sharon and Shirley Firth (Canada) – Cross country skiing 1972 (5 km, relay), 1976 (5 km, 10 km, relay), 1980 (5 km) & 1984 (5 km, 10 km, 20 km)
- Christian and Karin Künzle (Switzerland) – Figure skating 1976 (pairs)
- Phil and Steve Mahre (USA) – Alpine skiing 1976 (giant slalom), 1980 (slalom, giant slalom) & 1984 (slalom, giant slalom)
- Dorota and Małgorzata Tlałka-Mogore (Poland) – Alpine skiing 1984 (slalom)
- Antonia and Ferdinand Becherer (West Germany) – Figure skating 1988 (pairs)
- Catarina and Christina Eklund (Sweden) – Biathlon 1994 (7.5 km, 15 km)
- Dmitry and Stanislav Dubrovsky (Russia) – Nordic combined 1994 (individual)
- Kenji and Tsugiharu Ogiwara (Japan) – Nordic combined 1998 (individual, team)
- Melanie and Maureen de Lange (Netherlands) – Short-track speed skating 1998 (relay)
- Ben and Matt Hindle (Canada) – Bobsleigh 1998 (four-man)
- François and Maurice Rozenthal (France) – Ice hockey 1998 & 2002
- Nataliya and Vera Zyatikova (Belarus) – Cross-country skiing 2002 (10 km, 15 km, pursuit, relay)
- Lanny and Tracy Barnes (USA) – Biathlon 2006 (15 km, relay)
- Daniel and Henrik Sedin (Sweden) – Ice hockey 2006 & 2010
- Julia and Stefanie Marty (Switzerland) – Ice hockey 2006 & 2010
- Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux (USA) – Ice hockey 2010
- Laura and Sara Benz (Switzerland) – Ice hockey 2010
- Valj and Vita Semerenko (Ukraine) – Biathlon 2010 (7.5 km, 10 km, 15 km, relay)
Shorter post today but in keeping with the last few days of publishing the USA Sports Factsheets, here are the Factsheets for the Extreme Sports – freestyle, snowboarding, and short-track. Tomorrow the Nordic Sports, and we will finish on Wednesday with the Team Sports (curling and ice hockey).