© Canadian Press photo
Slopestyle skiing gold medallist Canadian Dara Howell and bronze medallist Kim Lamarre pose for photographers after receiving their medals during a ceremony at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Tuesday.
SOCHI, Russia — A third double-podium finish in four days has Canada in the overall medal mix at the Sochi Olympics.
Freestyle skier Dara Howell won Canada’s fourth gold medal Tuesday with a dominating performance in the women’s slopestyle event, while teammate Kim Lamarre was third.
Howell’s winning run earned a score of 94.20, well ahead of the 85.40 posted by silver medallist Devin Logan of the United States.
“I think that’s the best run I’ve ever done in my entire life,” said Howell, who was cheered on by a vocal, red-clad contingent that included her parents.
“The course just worked for me today,” the native of Huntsville, Ont., added. “I could not be happier.”
The two medals give Canada a total of nine medals (four gold, three silver, two bronze). That’s four more than at this point at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Canada has a chance at another medal on Day 5 of the Games as Alex Gough and Kimberley McRae, both form Calgary, were in the mix in women’s luge.
Lamarre, from Quebec City, continued an impressive run from Quebec athletes at these Games. Athletes from the province have contributed six of Canada’s nine medals.
“It’s amazing how many coaches are coaching outside Quebec and it’s amazing how many coaches we produce here,” said Alex Bilodeau, who won his second straight Olympic gold in men’s freestyle moguls on Monday.
“When you produce coaches, athletes and people it inspires others and it snowballs. It’s like the economy. If the economy’s doing well, it leads to other gains. It’s the same in sports.”
Bilodeau credited a boost from the Vancouver Games for the rise of winter sport in Quebec, and said it’s only going to get better.
“The number of clubs and registrations increased unbelievably after Vancouver but wait until next year,” he said. “It’s just going to continue to grow in our sport and in others. With (Olympic champion short-track speedskater) Charles Hamelin and all the other Quebecers, you have to keep it going so it continues to inspire the young people in Quebec. We’re on a nice roll, and we can’t let it slip away.”
Also on Tuesday, Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg rink continued to roll in women’s curling, while Brad Jacobs and his foursome from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., struggled.
Jones curled a perfect game as Canada remained undefeated in round-robin play after a 9-3 victory in eight ends over Sweden.
“I never look at the stats, but I felt like we played really well as a team today,” said Jones. “The girls just left me some makeable shots and I made them.”
Jacobs fell to 1-2 after a tough 7-6 loss to world champion Sweden.
“It’s a two-way win, so to speak,” said Sweden skip Niklas Edin, whose team has won all three of its games. “Both beating them and putting them 1-2.
“Now they can’t really afford any more losses to be sure of making the playoffs.”