The only question was whether the United States would clobber China as badly as Canada's 18-0 wipeout of Slovakia. No, but it was close. The Americans won 12-1, with Jenny Potter notching her first Olympic hat trick and becoming the leading scorer in U.S. Olympic history. The Americans came within 2:21 of a shutout in front of a crowd that included Vice President Joe Biden and 1980 U.S. hockey captain Mike Eruzione. "I think we did a good job playing our game, but at the same time keeping sportsmanship in mind," U.S. captain Natalie Darwitz said.
Tim Burke and Jay Hakkinen were supposed to challenge for medals. Then came a heavy, wet snowfall that was tough enough to undo Norwegian great Ole Einar Bjorndalen as well. Bjorndalen, winner of a record nine biathlon medals, had the worst finish of his Olympic career — 17th. His three penalties from the prone position matched the most of all 87 competitors, and his four total penalties tied for second most. Vincent Jay of France won the event, ahead of Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway and Jakov Fak of Croatia. They were all among the first 10 starters, before the snow began to cause problems.
Kristina Groves gave Canada hopes for gold in the women's 3,000 meters, but wound up with the bronze, beaten by Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic, who gave her country its first speedskating medal, and Germany's Stephanie Beckert. Sablikova, the gold medalist, also is favored to win the 5,000 meters. Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr. was the top American, finishing ninth.
Germany's 20-year-old Felix Loch easily won the Olympic gold medal on a track shortened after a young slider from the republic of Georgia was killed in a training run crash. American Tony Benshoof, who finished eighth, disliked the shortened track, saying: "I excel at high speeds and high risk. Unfortunately, they lowered the start and it's like running the downhill men's ski race down a bunny hill."