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As Super Bowl LVI was underway in Los Angeles, Olympic competitions were starting to heat up on the other side of the world for Day 10 of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Two American duos (Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue and Madison Chock/Evan Bates) were battling for a spot on the ice dance podium, and two American bobsledders (Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor) were battling for the win in the Olympic debut of women's monobob. Elsewhere, the qualifying rounds were held for snowboard big air, and the United States and Canada were involved in separate semifinals for women's hockey.
Megan Nick wins surprise bronze in women's aerials
Having won silver in women's aerials at each of the previous four Winter Games, host nation China finally has its first gold medal in the event thanks to Xu Mengtao. It's the second medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics for Mengtao, who claimed the silver medal earlier in competition in mixed team aerials, and she became the first woman to win three medals in aerials events at the Olympics. Mengtao finished with a result of 108.61, as China has now won a total of eight Olympic medals in women's aerials.
Hanna Huskova of Belarus walked away with the silver medal with a total of 107.95, having won gold in the event at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.
In her Olympic debut, U.S. skier Megan Nick captured the bronze medal with a score of 93.76, the first Olympic medal for the U.S. in the event since Nikki Stone won gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
Results: Women's Aerials
🥇 Xu Mengtao (CHN)
🥈 Hanna Huskova (BLR)
🥉 Megan Nick (USA)
Hockey Update: Canada, Team USA avoid stumbling blocks to final fight
Wednesday night at 11:10 p.m. ET. Circle it, underline it, bold it, italicize it: Team USA and Canada will square off for women's hockey gold. Again.
The U.S. shut down a challenge from Finland and Canada smashed Switzerland in Monday semifinals that set the stage for the game everyone's been eyeballing since the last women's Olympic hockey gold medal game in 2018.
Hilary Knight and Cayla Barnes each had a goal and an assist, as did superstar-in-waiting Abby Roque and Buffalo-born Hayley Scamurra. Now the Americans will bid to get revenge against the Canadians after a 4-2 group-stage loss.
Canada's defeat of the Swiss wasn't quite the 12-1 beatdown in the round-robin stage, but the 10-3 blowout was close. The Canadians made more history with the fastest five-goal burst in Olympic history, as Claire Thompson, Jamie Lee Rattray, Blayre Turnbull, Renata Fast, and Erin Ambrose scored in a 3:24 first-period span.
Mikaela Shiffrin confirms she’ll race downhill and combined
Mikaela Shiffrin is sticking to the plan. Entering the 2022 Winter Olympics, the skier planned to compete in all five individual disciplines. After skiing out in the giant slalom and slalom, it was unclear if she would still compete in the speed races.
Shiffrin has never competed in the downhill at an Olympics or World Championships. She has two career World Cup wins in the event.
She won the silver in the combined at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and won the event at the 2021 World Championships.
After her training runs, she was asked if she would compete in the downhill and how she expected to do. Shiffrin seemed subdued, responding, "I’m planning to do it [downhill]. Yeah – I think my times are pretty good, in the mix, speeds are pretty good," adding, “I don’t know, I’m just hopeful that it could be a nice solid result, and I think I have good speed and good opportunity. If anything, it’s a really important chance to get another run in before the combined. Yeah, that’s the plan.”
The downhill event will take place Monday night in the United States.
--Stephanie De Lancey
Team USA goes 1-2 in women's monobob debut
The first-ever running of women's monobob at the Winter Olympics is a wrap, and the United States will leave with gold and silver medals after Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor finished 1-2 in the event.
The win was well-deserved for Humphries, who was consistently the fastest bobsledder on the track. Finding smooth lines through the course, she had the top time in each of the first three heats and took a 1.55 second lead into the final heat, which she easily preserved.
As for Meyers Taylor, she mounted a comeback to get into the silver-medal position. Although she was consistently the fastest starter in the field, she found herself in fourth place entering the final two heats. Meyers Taylor moved past German Laura Nolte with her third run, then set the top time of Heat 4 to move past Canadian Christine de Bruin for second.
Humphries has competed for Canada at past Olympics but switched to the U.S. during this current Olympic cycle. With her third Olympic gold medal, she now has the most of any woman in bobsled history. Humphries is also the first woman to ever win Winter Olympic gold medals for two different countries.
As for Meyers Taylor, the 37-year-old is now the oldest woman to win an Olympic bobsled medal.
Results: Women's Monobob
🥇 Kaillie Humphries (USA)
🥈 Elana Meyers Taylor (USA)
🥉 Christine de Bruin (CAN)
— Shawn Smith
Papadakis and Cizeron take gold in ice dance
The pair entered the 2022 Winter Olympics having won 12 of their last 13 competitions since 2018, and entered the free dance after setting the highest rhythm dance score ever recorded.
Papadakis and Cizeron’s score of 136.15 in the free dance on Sunday was also best among all pairings, as their total score of 226.98 was more than enough for the victory. The ROC’s Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov claimed silver with a score of 220.51.
The United States pairing of Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue grabbed bronze in their final competition, while Madison Chock and Evan Bates were just outside the podium in fourth. Hubbell and Donohue’s medal means the U.S. has won an ice dance medal in five straight Olympics, though it has not won gold since the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Results: Ice Dance
🥇 Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA)
🥈 Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (ROC)
🥉 Madison Hubbell and Zach Donhue (USA)
Max Parrot, Red Gerard advance out of snowboard big air qualifying
The 12-rider field for the men's snowboard big air final is set after the qualifying round, with slopestyle gold medalist Max Parrot of Canada leading the way. Parrot, who returned to snowboarding after a battle with Hodgkin lymphoma a few years ago, is a perennial favorite in the discipline along with countryman Mark McMorris.
Other notable riders in the final include Americans Red Gerard and Chris Corning, as well as China's Su Yiming, who nailed a backside 1800 on his first run of the qualifying round. Su landed a 1980 while training earlier this season, and the 17-year-old is now having a breakout Olympics on home soil after earning a silver medal in slopestyle last week.
Canadian Sebastien Toutant missed the final after falling on his last two runs and will not defend his Olympic gold medal.
— Shawn Smith
Sildaru, Gu advance to ski slopestyle final
Eileen Gu, six days removed from winning big air gold, is now tackling her second of three events at the Winter Olympics: freeski slopestyle. Competition started with the qualifying round, and despite a fall on her first run, Gu bounced back on her second run to secure a place in the final.
The gold medal favorite in this event is likely Estonian Kelly Sildaru, who has been a dominant force in women's freeskiing since she was 13. Sildaru, set to turn 20 later this week, was the top qualifier thanks to a run that included a pair of switch 1080s. She finished ahead of Norway's Johanne Killi and Gu.
— Shawn Smith
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott tops snowboard big air qualifying
After winning a gold medal in slopestyle last week, New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski-Synnott is looking to earn another one in big air after earning the top score of the qualifying round. She'll head into the final as the favorite, but will face tough competition from the Japanese trio of Kokomo Murase, Reira Iwabuchi and Miyabi Onitsuka, all of whom were among the top five qualifiers. Austrian Anna Gasser, the defending gold medalist, will also be in the field.
One rival missing will be American Jamie Anderson, the 2018 silver medalist. Anderson earned a big score on her final run for a double cork 1080, but the qualifying format uses each rider's best two scores, and she had already fallen on her other two runs. She finished 15th, and only the top 12 advanced.
— Shawn Smith
Canada’s sharp shooting too much for Switzerland
Canada took on Switzerland in the first of the women’s semifinal games. A goal wasn’t scored for the first seven minutes of the game, but then the flood gates opened. Canada’s Claire Thompson broke the scoreless stalemate when she put the puck past Switzerland’s Andrea Braendli. Canada would then tack on four more goals, for a total of five goals in just five minutes.
Switzerland’s Lara Stalder got the Swiss on the score sheet on a power play at the end of the first. Her teammate, Alina Mueller tacked on another at the start of the second period, to close the gap to 5-2. However, that’s as close as it got. This one was all Canada, as they went on to win, 10-3.
Thirteen goals is the largest goal tally in a women’s semifinal game. Canada will face the U.S. in the gold medal game Meanwhile, Switzerland will battle Finland for the bronze.
— Stephanie De Lancey
Austria wins gold in ski jumping men's team
The Austrian team of Stefan Kraft, Daniel Huber, Jan Hoerl, and Manuel Fettner won the third gold medal for Austria in the men’s team event, the first for the country since 2010. The team finished with a total of 942.7. After winning the silver medal in the men's individual normal hill event, Fettner secured his second medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Slovenia and Germany rounded out the podium with totals of 934.4 and 922.9, respectively. Norway, the 2018 gold medalist, finished just off the podium in fourth by less than one point. Slovenia's medal is the first in the event since 2002 and the fourth overall ski jumping medal at the 2022 Winter Games.
Results: Men's Team