U.S. dominates snowboarding in week one of Olympics
The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang has entered the second week of competition, and, at the moment, the United States sits fifth on the medal leaderboard, with ten total medals, five of them gold. Stellar performances in snowboarding propelled America to the front, but with plenty of events left to go, there is more than enough time to collect even more medals. With medals awarded for events in thirteen sports, and plenty more to come in the next week, let’s look back at the standout moments for America, before looking forward into the best events to watch coming up.
The United States is known for dominating snowboarding in the Winter Olympics, and 2018 was no exception. With six events in the sport, the United States secured gold medals in the four individual events. 17-year-old phenom Chloe Kim won her first gold medal in the women’s halfpipe, with American Arielle Gold taking the bronze. Shaun White won his third halfpipe gold — a medal which also counted as the 100th gold ever won by America at the Winter Olympics. Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson won gold in men’s and women’s slopestyle respectively. Lindsey Jacobellis finished fourth in women’s snowcross. All in all, American snowboarders currently hold half of the United States’ medals as they continue to dominate the sport on the international level.
While most of the American skiing world was focused on Lindsey Vonn’s return to competing after multiple injuries, she fell to sixth in the women’s Super-G competition. Earlier in the week, two-time Olympian Mikaela Shiffrin secured the gold medal in giant slalom, although she would later fall short of the podium by 0.08 seconds in women’s slalom, finishing in fourth. On the men’s side, two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety failed to complete the men’s slalom course.
Despite a disappointing first short program from 18-year-old Nathan Chen, the United States secured bronze in the team figure skating competition due to amazing performances by skater Adam Rippon and ice dancing team Alex and Maia Shibutani. Unfortunately, no individual medals have been won by the United States yet, although Chen staged a miraculous comeback from 17th place after the short program to finish fifth in men’s singles. 17-year-old Vincent Zhou placed sixth, while Rippon rounded out the top ten. Pair skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim finished 15th overall.
A normally uncommon sport for the United States, America’s first ever singles luge medal was brought home by Chris Mazdzer, with a silver in the men’s event. He is also the only non-European athlete to ever medal in the event.
Short Track Speed Skating
Olympic rookie John-Henry Krueger secured the silver medal in the men’s 1000m event, the first American medal in speed skating since 2010. After narrowly avoiding a three-skater collision near the end of the race, Krueger finished fractions of a second behind the Canadian skater.
The figure skating competition continues through Wednesday, with ice dancing on the weekend and ladies’ singles up next. Ice hockey enters the quarterfinals stage this week for both the men and women’s teams — the men are entering following a 0-4 shutout loss against the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR), while the women remain favorites for the gold medal even after losing a close game to Canada, 1-2. Curling is continuing to pick up, with the women’s team beating the OAR team before falling behind to Canada. They will continue to compete in the round robin competition.
With plenty of other events still lined up before closing ceremonies, the Olympics are far from over. There are countless story lines and narratives to follow, and history is being made nearly every second. If you haven’t already, take some time out of your busy day to watch the best athletes in the world do what they do best.