PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The world finally got to see Mikaela Shiffrin win gold, the U.S. women’s hockey team fell to Canada once again, and Jessie Diggins made Olympic history. Missed the action? We’ve got you covered.
After days of waiting, Mikaela Shiffrin finally got her first gold medal. At first, all of the delays seemed to affect the 22-year-old many believe to be the world’s greatest skier; she was in second place in the giant slalom after the first of her two runs. Then, in the three hours before the second run, she took a nap and snuck onto the men’s course for some free skiing with her mom. She returned ready to dominate, and dominate she did. On Friday, Shiffrin will go for her third gold medal in her best event, slalom, ready to make history. She’d become the only American skier to win more than two Olympic golds.
On the men’s side, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal also made history: He became the oldest Alpine gold medalist, and his country’s first winner in the downhill. But more important, today the world learned that Norwegians are also called “Attacking Vikings.”
– Curtis Sayers (@studiosayers) February 15, 2018
It’d be better if these “Attacking Vikings” actually skied wearing viking helmets, leather and shields.
– Liz Mair (@LizMair) February 15, 2018
Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot may have won gold for the best celebration so far at the Olympics. At the end of their free skate, for which they received the highest score in pairs history, they collapsed onto the ice, gasping for breath, overcome by the emotion of what they’d achieved.
Savchenko, 32, came into these Olympics — her fifth — having won everything but an Olympic gold medal over her remarkable career. Massot is her third partner, and Germany the second country she’s represented. “We did New Year’s together,” Savchenko said, “and we said, ‘2018 will be our year,’ and it is. It’s just an amazing story, and I’m unbelievably happy.”
China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, who led after the short program, took silver, while Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, another set of veterans, won bronze.
Aliona becoming an Olympic champion makes me want to flip a table and throw a chair across the room. LOVE HER. SHES GOT GRIT AND SHE IS A BEAST. My heart is so full. https://t.co/uX2anrI466
– Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 15, 2018
In what could be a preview of the gold medal match, the U.S. lost to Canada, 2-1, its fifth straight loss to the bitter rivals from the north. But U.S. head coach Robb Stauber seemed pleased after the game, taking heart from the fact that the Americans outshot the Canadians 45-23. Both Canada and the U.S. advance to the semifinals.
It took a Dutchman to break the Dutch’s stranglehold on speed skating gold. Ted-Jan Bloemen moved to Canada four years ago after being left off the Netherlands’ team for Sochi. On Thursday night, he broke the Olympic record to beat his former compatriots. Jorrit Bergsma and Sven Kramer, both of the Netherlands, took silver and bronze respectively.
Cross country skiing
Jessie Diggins came to these Olympics determined to become the first U.S. woman to medal in cross-country skiing. On Thursday, she got the closest she’s ever been, missing the podium in the 10-kilometer race by just 3.3 seconds. Even so, she made history with the highest finish the U.S. women have ever had. “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me,” Diggins said. “I’ve had so many people go, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ I’m like, ‘Don’t be sorry.’ I’m proud of what I did today.”
The Scandinavians swept the podium once again, with Norway’s Ragnhild Haga taking gold. Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla added a silver medal to the gold she won earlier in the week in the women’s skiathlon, and Norway’s Marit Bjoergen and Finland’s Krista Parmakoski tied for bronze.
Closer to Home
Despite the inherently celebratory nature of the Olympics, the school shooting in Florida cast a pall over many U.S. athletes.
May the hearts of those who are mourning the loss of victims in the shooting today be lifted up. You are on my mind and on my heart. God bless you all.
– Alexa ScimecaKnierim (@alexa_knierim) February 15, 2018
I got asked if competing at the Olympics was the most important day in my life and the answer is no, every day is important and shouldn’t be taken for granted. These shootings have to stop. Sending love to those families hurting today. https://t.co/HGwj1cBO70
– Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 15, 2018