Rolland’s pleasure, the postponed team event and the shortened 50km… What you shouldn’t miss this Saturday

The night from Friday to Saturday at the Beijing Olympics was marked by Kevin Rolland’s sixth place in the ski halfpipe final. The Frenchman did not manage to get on the podium but was able to have fun, unlike the French skiers involved in the alpine skiing team event, postponed to Sunday because of strong gusts of wind.

Kevin Rolland gave it his all in the halfpipe final

“No regrets !” In the finish area, just after landing his last run, Kevin Rolland was smiling broadly in front of the cameras. Thanks to a third run at 79.25 points, the best of his final, the flag bearer of the French delegation finished sixth in the halfpipe ski event. He did not manage to create the feat by climbing on the box, but the essential is elsewhere: more than two and a half years after a serious accident which could have cost him his life, the bronze medalist in Sochi is pleased and proved that he had his place among the best riders in the world.

“It’s beautiful…I’m happy with the way I rode today. I managed to fight with the conditions,” the skier from La Plagne told France Télévisions. “On the last run, there was a little option of saying ‘am I doing something that I can’t master to get the podium?’, but I made a wise decision and I said to myself that I had made the people around me suffer enough…” The title was finally won by the New Zealander Nico Porteous, who beat the two Americans David Wise and Alex Ferreira.

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The wind disrupts the alpine ski team event

Until the end, the weather conditions will have disrupted the program of alpine skiing in these Olympics. The team event, which was to start at 3 a.m. French time, could not take place this Saturday due to the strong gusts of wind that hit the Yanqing area. After first postponing the start to 4 a.m. and then to 5 a.m., the organizers finally had to resolve to postpone the event, the last on the alpine skiing program in these Games.

After discussions, the stakeholders finally decided to reschedule the race for Sunday at 2 a.m. French time. However, the weather forecasts are not very encouraging, a very strong wind again being announced within 24 hours. But it’s the last day of competition before the closing of the Olympics and the room for maneuver is reduced.

Mathieu Faivre, bronze medalist on the giant last Sunday, Alexis Pinturault, Tessa Worley and Coralie Frasse Sombet must defend France’s chances during this team event. In 2018, the Blues took fourth place and are, again this year, one of the contenders for the podium.

Les Bleus down on the four-man bobsleigh

After the disappointment in the two-man bobsleigh, Romain Heinrich and the French men’s team, still looking for the second medal in its history in the discipline after the bronze gleaned in 1998, returned to the ice of Yanqing for the four-man bobsleigh event. At the end of the first two races, the tricolor crew (Romain Heinrich, Lionel Lefebvre, Dorian Hauterville, Jérôme Laporal) is in 14th place, 1”82 from the German bobsleigh piloted by Francesco Friedrich. The Blues still have two runs (Sunday from 2:30 a.m.), to try to move up the rankings.

Among the women, the French Margot Boch and Clara Senechal will be on the track from 1 p.m. French time for their third and fourth leg of the two-man bobsleigh. They are currently 17th.

Parisse and Manificat with honors in cross-country skiing

Postponed by one hour due to very difficult weather conditions, the men’s 50km in cross-country skiing has also been shortened… to 30km – even very precisely to 28.4km. Something to change the face of the race, of course. After more than 1h10 of effort, the Russian Alexander Bolshunov won again. On the French side, Clément Parisse took a good 7th place, and Maurice Manificat finished 10th.

Felix Gabory RMC Sport journalist