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Neate Sager

CTV jinx strikes Maltais

Fourth-Place Medal

You want to call it a CTV jinx, then call it a CTV jinx.

Before teammate Maëlle Ricker won her gold, Canadian rider Dominique Maltais became the latest athlete whom the consortium profiled in those inspirational Donald Sutherland-narrated promos to crash in her event, failing to make it out of qualifying in women's snowboardcross, the event she won a bronze medal in four years ago at Turin.

That makes four athletes who were either hexed by the hype or whose chances were greatly exaggerated. Maltais is an admirable sportswoman, as a past medalist and professional firefighter. That is exemplary — it's more than I've done! — but it does not make someone a mortal lock for a medal.

Maltais had the CTV ad and she's out of boardcross. Ricker, who appeared in one promo that doesn't have the network's logo or the Olympic rings, went on to win the event.

Strange how that happens, especially since Maltais, as Jamie Campbell has said 1,001 times by now, just had to stay on the board, since she wasn't contending with three other riders in qualifying.

Who else has fallen prey? Manuel Osborne-Paradis might know "every bump, every contour" of the mountain in Whistler, but he finished 17th in men's downhill on Monday.

The figure skating pair of Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison got over their trust issues, but not enough to do better than a respectable sixth place.

It would take a deeper analysis to figure out if there is a jinx.

There will be a clearer picture after figure skater Patrick Chan (see his ad) performs. One could use the old theatre line, "break a leg, kid," but that might be too risky.

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