• Throwback: The Spaniard who stunned the skiing world in Sapporo

    Coming out of nowhere   February 13, 1972 Francisco “Paquito” Fernandez Ochoa was very much the twist in the tale of the Sapporo 1972 Olympic Winter Games. Lining up in the slalom event, the Spaniard, a more than capable skier but just 21 years old, was not even discussed as a potential medal contender. But

  • Throwback: USA beat Canada to landmark women’s ice hockey gold

    February 17th, 1998 At some point in their lives, each of the players at the Big Hat stadium had been told they could not play ice hockey. Each of them forced to scrape places in boys’ teams because there was nowhere else to join in. Yet here they were now, contesting the final of the

  • Throwback: Bjorndalen completes unique biathlon clean sweep

    The “King of Biathlon” February 20th 2002 Ole Einar Bjorndalen seemed ambitious just to have entered so many events at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Norwegian was to contest all four biathlon events, as well as the 30km cross country, in a matter of just a few days. Yet no biathlete had

  • Throwback: Franz Klammer’s legendary daredevil downhill race at Innsbruck

    February 5, 1976 When Austria’s Franz Klammer lined up as the 15th and final seeded skier in the downhill at the Olympic Winter Games Innsbruck 1976, he knew he was going to have to make some massive risks to win gold. The Olympic favorite heading into his home country’s games after winning three consecutive World Cup titles,

  • Throwback: Lee lives up to billing by retaining gold in Sochi

    Going in unbeaten   11 February, 2014 Lee Sang-hwa went into Sochi 2014 as one of the hottest favourites of the Olympic Winter Games. The Republic of Korea speed skater hadn’t been beaten in a 500m World Cup race all season, winning seven times. Lee was the reigning Olympic champion, having become the first person

  • Throwback: Canada earn first ice hockey gold in 50 years

    Breaking the curse   February 17th, 2002 The record had been a curse for an ice hockey-mad nation: no Canadian Olympic men’s gold medal in half a century. Not even Wayne Gretsky, ‘The Great One’, now executive director of the national team, had managed to end the drought. No wonder defenceman Al MacInnis said mournfully:

  • Throwback: Heaton slides to second skeleton silver after 20-year wait

    The waiting game   February 4th, 1948 At first glance, Jack Heaton’s two Olympic silver medals in skeleton do not seem remarkable – until you delve deeper and realise they were won 20 years apart. Heaton, who came from a wealthy New Haven family, first competed on the Olympic stage in 1928. Going down the famous

  • Throwback: Bilodeau beats great rival Kingsbury to retain moguls title in Sochi

    Competing neck and neck   February 10th, 2014 Alexandre Bilodeau had become a star of Canadian sport when he won the country’s first home gold medal at an Olympic Winter Games with his freestyle moguls victory at Vancouver 2010. But by the time of Sochi 2014, a young pretender had arrived to try and take

  • Throwback: Unfancied USA take a breather to lift unlikely ice hockey gold at Squaw Valley

    Being the underdog… on home soil   February 28, 1960 The USA men’s ice hockey team seemingly went into their home Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley 1960 as also-rans. They had never claimed gold before, never beaten defending champions Russia and had just completed an uninspiring 18-game tour of the States that yielded 10

  • Throwback: Jewtraw breaks the mould to win historic Games speed skating gold

      The first gold medal winner   January 26, 1924 American Charlie Jewtraw will forever be known as the first gold medal winner at the first Olympic Winter Games. When the 23-year-old speed skater arrived at Chamonix 1924 for his first event, the 500m, the odds seemed stacked against him. He had never raced the