Red Gerard and Chris Mazdzer snagged more medals for the U.S., though the Americans can add to their total on Sunday, as well as get a glimpse of Mikaela Shiffrin's PyeongChang opener.
Here we are, back again with another installment of SI’s Daily Olympic Digest! Saturday was filled with excitement as more medals were handed out in five of the day’s events.
Men’s slopestyle was rife with cases that could have been. Many medal contenders, including Canadian Mark McMorris, who sat in first place entering the final round, had promising runs that were spoiled by late falls. American hopeful Red Gerard, 17, entered the final round in 11th place, but had a heroic 87.16 final run that put him on top to capture the United States’ first gold medal of the Games. Gerard is the youngest U.S. Olympian to medal in men’s slopestyle. This is the second gold in a row for the U.S. in the event at the Winter Olympics.
Chris Mazdzer helped secure another medal for the U.S. in men’s luge, ending a 54-year drought for the U.S. in the event. After finishing 13th in Sochi, strong third and fourth runs elevated him to capture a silver medal in PyeongChang. Austria’s David Gleirscher took home a surprising victory, shocking men’s luge singles favorite German luger, Felix Loch who finished fifth and missed his chance at a three-peat.
France’s Perrine Laffont ran away with the fastest time in the qualifying and final rounds of women’s moguls, securing the gold medal. The Olympics got its first glimpse of the 19-year-old in Sochi where she was the youngest skier at age 15. Justine Dufour-Lapoint of Canada and Kazakhstan's Yulia Galysheva took home silver and gold respectively. A U.S. sweep was spoiled in the final round as Morgan Schild, Jaelin Kauf and Keaton McCargo, and Tess Johnson failed to medal.
After being down to Finland 1-0 after the first period, Team USA’s Monique Lamoureux and Kendall Coyne scored early in the second period to make a major comeback in women’s ice hockey. Another late goal by the U.S. with 13 seconds left in the third iced the win for the U.S..
Massive wind gusts postponed the highly anticipated men’s downhill from Saturday night until Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. ET.
Women’s Slopestyle Final (Live at 8:00 p.m ET Sunday; live on NBC during Primetime coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET Sunday)
The U.S. has Jamie Anderson, the reigning gold medalist from the Sochi games, heading its team. She is favored to repeat, although Anna Gasser of Austria is arguably Anderson’s biggest challenger in a strong field poised to land intricate tricks. Anderson will compete alongside first-time Olympian teammates Julia Marino and Hailey Langland, who are looking to take home their first Olympic medals.
Team Event: Men’s Single Skating Free Skate, Ladies Single Skating Free Skate, Ice Dance Free Dance Final (Live at 8:00 p.m. Sunday on NBC during Primetime coverage)
Canada still sits atop the field after a strong performance from Tessa Virtue and Matt Moir in the team ice dance short program. Following Evgenia Medvedeva’s dazzling 81.06 performance, the Russians, eyeing a repeat of their Sochi gold, climbed into second place, just edging out the U.S., currently in the bronze position. Not far behind are Japan and Italy.
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 & 2 (Editor's note: This event has been postponed to Thursday)
In Sochi, Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest American woman to win the event. In PyeongChang, she could potentially win five gold medals, but will first have a go at the slalom and giant slalom before deciding how to proceed.
Women’s Singles Luge Heats 1 & 2 (Live at 5:50 a.m ET Monday; live on NBCSN beginning at 5:10 a.m ET)
In a loaded group of competitors, the U.S. brings some very talented athletes including Sochi bronze medalist Emily Hamlin, who will look to better that at these Games. A very accomplished Summer Britcher, who has three wins in World Cup competition, is eager to score her first medal at the Olympics. First-timer Emily Sweeney’s Olympic hopes were spoiled by her sister in 2010 when the two battled for the third qualifying spot. She will rely on her strong start to propel her onto the podium at these games.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Foreshadowing perhaps? Don’t miss Lindsey Vonn as she hits the slopes in the coming days in her final Olympic run.
DAILY READING AND VIDEOS
Our staff continues to pump out stories from PyeongChang and our New York office, keeping you updated on all the action!
- Daniel Rapaport captures the moment 17-year-old Red Gerard won the U.S.'s first medal of the Games
- What's the best way to enjoy the Olympics? Ask Red Gerard's family—they seem to get it
- Karl Bullock chronicles the comeback of one-time prodigy skier Resi Stiegler and his journey to PyeongChang.
- Here’s a by-the-numbers look at what it took to make the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games possible
- The veterans of the U.S. women's hockey are ready to see the fruits of the team's culture change
- Michael Rosenberg on what Korea's first gold coming in the country's favorite sport means
- You'll be seeing 'OAR' a lot during the Olympics. It's not a new country—here's what it means
ATHLETE TO ROOT FOR
Watch out for 17-year-old American Chloe Kim, who will make her Olympic debut in the women’s halfpipe qualifying round late Sunday. Although the Korean American qualified for the Sochi Olympics, her age prevented her from competing. That is not the case for these Games. Kim is projected to score big in the halfpipe and has already been likened to Olympic greats like Shaun White. If she medals, she’ll be the youngest American to accomplish the feat at the Olympics.
Check out SI’s 14 Things to Know About Snowboarding Prodigy Chloe Kim.