Murphy 84th in Sochi
Judy Simons, the Bermuda Olympic Association president, tipped her hat to Tucker Murphy after his 84th-place finish in the 15-kilometre cross-country ski race at the Winter Olympics in Sochi yesterday.
The Bermudian completed the course in 49min 19.9sec, just losing out to Federico Pablo Cichero, of Argentina, in a dogfight to the end.
Murphy finished four places higher than he did at the previous Winter Games, but, owing to the more difficult conditions in Russia, his time was down on the 42:39.1 that he recorded in Vancouver four years earlier.
Simons praised Murphy for his valiant efforts in what she described as “challenging conditions” at the Laura Biathlon and Ski Complex. “The conditions did not look all that great for any of the competitors,” she said. “But, given the conditions, Tucker is to be commended on his performance.
“I think the conditions in Sochi have changed dramatically where it is almost like spring time there, which is not the most ideal for the competition. But he carried our flag well and has competed well and he is to be commended.
“He is a very fit young man and he has obviously been quite committed and dedicated and done extremely well, so we are very proud of him.”
Ninety-two skiers started out on the course and 87 finished, with Dario Colgna, of Switzerland, taking the gold medal, his second at these Games, in 38:29.7. Sweden’s Jonas Olsson and Daniel Richardsson filled out the podium in 38:58.2 and 39:08.5, with the latter surviving a photo finish with Iivo Niskanen, of Finland, for the bronze.
Murphy, 32, qualified for a second straight Winter Olympics after reaching the B standard in the 15km freestyle in Chamonix, France, last month, comfortably accumulating an average of less than 300 points from five races.
Heralding from a semi-tropical island where snow is unheard of, having a Bermudian represented at the Winter Olympics is an extraordinary feat within itself, according to Simons.
“The commitment for our winter athletes to go and train and qualify for the Olympics takes quite a bit of dedication and sacrifice,” she said. “So we help in what small way we can financially with Olympic scholarships.”