Friday was a day of ups and downs for the U.S. Here's what Saturday holds in PyeongChang.

By Jenna West
February 17, 2018

The past 24 hours have been filled with highs and lows for Team USA in PyeongChang. 

There was no miracle for the U.S. men’s hockey team, as it fell to the Olympic Athletes of Russia on Saturday and will have a much tougher road to win a medal. The Russians clinched the top spot in Group B and will advance to the quarterfinals with a bye. 

American figure skater Nathan Chen made history in the men’s free skating program as he landed an Olympic-record six quadruple jumps. (That’s right: SIX.) He had the highest score of the free skating event (215.08) but ultimately did not medal because of his disastrous performance in Thursday’s short program. Yuzuru Hanyu, who is basically Japan’s figure skating G.O.A.T., took home the gold medal as expected.

After her highly anticipated PyeongChang debut, Lindsey Vonn was unable to medal in the Super-G. She slipped during a turn in the final stretch and settled for sixth place. Ester Ledecka, the Czech Republic’s world champion snowboarder, won gold and made Olympic history by being the first athlete to compete in both skiing and snowboarding at the Games. 

Vonn, who won bronze in the Super-G and gold in the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics but missed the 2014 games in Sochi with to a knee injury, will have another chance to compete for a medal next week in the downhill. 

U.S. speed skater John-Henry Krueger took home the silver in the men’s 1000m short track. He ended Team USA’s speed skating drought by winning the first individual medal in the sport since 2010. 

Women’s speed skating took a harsh turn—literally—as Great Britain star Elise Christie crashed with China’s Li Jinyu in the women’s 1500m semifinals.  Christie’s leg was gashed during the fall and she was taken to the hospital, ending her medal hopes. Choi Min-Jeong, South Korea’s top speed skater, took home the gold in the finals.

U.S. speed skater Maame Biney finished last in her 1500m short track heat, marking the second disappointing run for the 18-year-old who also finished last in Tuesday’s 500m quarterfinals.

Must-Watch Events

Men’s Freestyle Skiing: Slopestyle (Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC)

American Gus Kenworthy is favored to win a medal in this event, but there’s a hitch: Kenworthy broke his right thumb during practice on Thursday. He still plans to compete and will be joined by teammate and Sochi bronze medalist Nick Goepper. They, along with 2014 gold medal winner Joss Christensen were part of a rare single-nation sweep of the podium in Russia.

Men’s Alpine Skiing: Giant Slalom (Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC; event begins at 8:15)

Team USA’s Ted Ligety, 33, is looking to earn his third career gold medal. He’s the only U.S. alpine ski racer with two Olympic golds. Ligety won his first in the combined event, which has downhill and slalom runs, in his Olympic debut in the 2006 Torino games. His second gold came in the giant slalom at Sochi in 2014.

Tweet of the Day

After Nathan Chen stole our hearts with his historic free style program, he won us over again. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell tweeted Chen early Saturday morning to thank him for representing Team USA and Salt Lake City, Chen’s hometown. Despite being a little busy over in Korea, Chen was still thinking of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend dunk contest like any basketball fan would.

Daily Reading and Videos

Athlete To Root For

Lowell Bailey might not be one of Team USA’s biggest stars, but he’s a pioneer in his sport. Bailey, 36, competes in the biathlon, which combines skiing and shooting. The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in the biathlon. Heading into his fourth event in PyeongChang and in his final Games, Bailey hopes to change that in the men’s 15km mass start on Sunday. 

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