There is a strong possibility that history could be made on Thursday at the Sanki Sliding Center in Sochi, Russia. Since the sport of luge became a full medal sport at the 1964 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, a Canadian has not won a luge medal.
However, Calgary's Alex Gough, Justin Snith, Tristan Walker and Sam Edney have a chance of standing on the podium together as they are currently ranked second in the world and won a silver medal together at the 2013 World Luge Championships in Whistler. The Germans are the heavy favourite, but Canada has a strong chance of beating out teams from Italy, Austria, the United States and Russia to win silver. At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi to date, Gough placed fourth in the women's competition, while Snith and Walker placed a strong fourth in men's doubles luge on Wednesday. The competition will start at 9:00 a.m. mountain time on Sportsnet One.
In figure skating, Patrick Chan of Ottawa will try to make history of his own as no Canadian man has won gold in men's figure skating in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. Donald Jackson, Donald McPherson. Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Jeffrey Buttle and Chan have all won the men's world championship, but never Olympic gold. Chan will begin his quest for greatness Thursday in the men's short program (TSN, 8:00 a.m.).
In men's hockey, Team Canada will play its first game of the Olympic hockey tournament as they face Norway (CBC, 10:00 a.m.). On Wednesday, Canadian head coach Mike Babcock made the announcement that Canada will start Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens against Norway on Thursday and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks against Austria on Friday. Whoever is the better goaltender in the two games will probably get the start against Finland on Sunday. Canadian hockey fans will also be very interested to see how their archrival United States will do against Slovakia (TSN, 5:30 a.m.).
In curling, Canadian skip Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg will play 2012 World Champion Mirjam Ott of Switzerland (Sportsnet, 8:00 a.m.). This will be the third former world champion she has played so far. Jones has already beaten 2009 World Champion Bingyu Wang of China 9-2 and 2013 World Champion Eve Muirhead of Great Britain 9-6. In men's action, Brad Jacobs of Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario (2-2) plays Denmark at 3:00 a.m. (TSN2) and Norway at 10:00 p.m. (CBC).
Canadians also have outside shots at medals in the women's 1000m speed skating (Christine Nesbitt of London, Ontario) at 7:00 a.m. on TSN2, and the women's 500m short track speed skating (Marianne St-Gelais of Roberval, Quebec) at 3:00 a.m. (www.cbc.ca).
Here are events that will be decided on Thursday with my predictions:
Men's slopestyle skiing (CBC, 2:30 a.m.)
Gold--Nicholas Goepper--United States
Silver--Bobby Brown--United States
Women's 10km classic cross country skiing (www.cbc.ca, 3:00 a.m.):
Women's 500m short track speed skating (CBC, 5:00 a.m.):
Bronze--Seung-Hi Park--South Korea
Women's 1000m speed skating (TSN2, 7:00 a.m.):
Gold--Heather Richardson--United States
Silver--Brittany Bowe--United States
Men's 20 km indivudual biathlon (Sportsnet One, 7:00 a.m.)
Silver--Emil Hegle Svendsen--Norway
Mixed Relay Luge (Sportsnet One,. 9:00 a.m.)