What you missed in PyeongChang last night: Nick Goepper gets silver, Marcel Hirscher delivers excellence
American Nick Goepper won silver in the men’s slopestyle event. He delivered a crucial third run to go from the bottom of the standings to silver. Teammate Gus Kenworthy had three disappointing runs in the final. He couldn’t land a run cleanly resulting in a 12th place finish. In Sochi, the Americans swept the event.
Austrian Marcel Hirscher continued his dominance in the men’s giant slalom. He finished a full 1.27 seconds ahead of the next skier. It was his second gold medal of the games, after already winning the super combined. Hirscher will have a chance to go for a third gold medal in his best event, the slalom, on Tuesday.
American Ted Ligety likely skied in his last race in the men’s giant slalom. He finished a disappointing 15th. His first run was too slow to overcome. Countryman Ryan Cochran-Siegle finished in 11th.
John-Henry Krueger won the 1000m silver medal, which ended the U.S. speed skating’s medal drought. A crash in the final knocked out most of the field, and only Krueger and gold medalist Samuel Girard were left. South Korean Seo Yi-Ra was the fastest to get up from the crash and took bronze in the event.
World record holder Choi Min-Jeong easily won the women’s 1500m. The South Korean finished almost a second ahead of the next-best finisher. It was South Korea’s third gold medal of the Games. It was also the first medal won by a South Korean woman at these Olympics. Li Junyu of China won silver, with Kim Boutin of Canada taking home bronze.
Great Britain’s Elise Christie’s Olympic jinx continued with another crash and penalty. Last week she was impacted by a crash in the 500m final. Infamously in Sochi, she was disqualified from all three of her races. Today, she was taken to the hospital after the crash. She is scheduled to race in the 1000m on Feb. 20.
All three Americans failed to advance to the semifinal stage. Jessica Kooreman was docked for impeding an opponent. Maame Biney took an early lead in her race but was not able to hold on. The 1500m was the end of her Olympic Games. The last American, Lana Gehring, also took an early lead but could not hold on.
Lizzy Yarnold won back-to-back golds in women’s skeleton. Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling took home the silver, and Laura Deas of Great Britain claimed the bronze. Yarnold came into the final run down .02 seconds, but she finished her final run with a course record. She became Great Britain's first athlete to win consecutive gold medals in any Winter Olympics.
Americans Katie Uhlaender and Kendall Wesenberg finished 13th and 17th, respectively. Uhlaender was competing in her fourth Olympics and was looking for redemption after finishing .04 seconds out of bronze in Sochi. However, her first run was slow, and it was too much to overcome.
In another back-to-back performance, Poland’s Kamil Stoch won the gold medal in the men’s large hill event. He is the first man in the event to repeat since 1988. He is just the third ski jumper to ever win three or more gold medals in individual events. American Michael Glasder finished near the bottom, and teammate Kevin Bickner ended up in 20th overall.
Goepper got it
Norway’s Oystein Braaten won gold in the men’s freeski slopestyle with a score of 95.0. Nick Goepper, who won bronze in Sochi, captured the silver medal. Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand took home the bronze.
The U.S. men swept the podium in slopestyle four years ago. Goepper delivered an excellent final run to go from the bottom of the standings to silver. Gropper had a strong rail section and pulled off a triple cork 1440 to finish his run. Conversely, Braaten secured the gold on his first run.
The level of skiing was high in the final, which kept skiers like James Woods off the podium. Woods was the only skier to put down two runs with 90s.
Gus Kenworthy, considered the best American in the event, couldn’t land a full run. He ultimately finished a disappointing 12th (last in the finals).
Twice as nice
Marcel Hirscher won the men’s giant slalom, his second gold medal of the Games. He also won gold in the super combined. Hirscher also has a chance to win a third gold medal in PyeongChang, which hasn’t been done since 1968.
Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen took second, finishing 1.27 seconds behind Hirscher. France’s Alexis Pinturault took home the bronze.
Austrain skiers have now won five gold medals in giant slalom. Austria has also won gold in three of seven Alpine events in PyeongChang. 110 starters from 69 countries competed in this event, making it the most diverse of the 2018 Games.
Ted Ligety could not defend his title from Sochi. He finished 15th overall after he was 20th after the first run. Ryan Cochran-Siegle was the best American finisher. He finished tied for 11th.
Germany defeated Norway 2-1 in a shootout in Group C preliminary play. Germany scored on its first three shootout attempts, and Norway missed all three attempts. Germany will now head to the qualification playoff round.
On the women’s side, Switzerland rebounded from a disappointing loss to Team OAR. They beat Korea 2-0 in the first classification game on the women’s side. Even though Switzerland won, it was the strongest showing by Korea in the tournament. Their goalie, So Jung Shin, played outstandingly. She made 51 saves in the contest.
Next, Switzerland will play Japan for fifth and sixth place. Korea will play Sweden for seventh and eighth place.
Japan handed the U.S. a 7-2 loss. Japan is one of the more dominant teams of the men’s tournament, and the U.S. couldn’t hold its own against the powerhouse. The U.S. made just 61 percent of their takeouts, whereas Japan was successful on 94 percent.
Both teams were tied for fourth in the team standings heading into the game. The U.S. falls to 2-3, now tied for fifth. Japan improves to 3-2, tied for third.
Elsewhere, Norway beat Denmark 10-8. Switzerland handed Canada their second-straight loss, winning 8-6.
It’s a “marathon”, not a sprint
In the grueling men’s 4x100km relay, Norway won gold. Team OAR came in second with France taking home their second-consecutive bronze. Sweden was attempting a three-peat in the event, but ultimately ended up in fifth.
Norway took home their 11th cross-country skiing medal at these Games. It was the third medal for Simen Hegstad Krueder of Norway at these games. He anchored the relay and had a great sprint down the stretch. The U.S. finished last in the race, coming in 9:24.20 behind Norway.