Saturday Olympic Daily Digest: Shuster Stops Shustering
The Olympics might be winding down, but they’re not over yet! On Saturday in PyeongChang, there’s new stuff, old stuff and young blood to watch. And over the last 24 hours, there’s been loads of excitement:
Team USA’s nail-biting final curling match against Sweden left four-time Olympian John Shuster a blubbering mess after leading his team to gold. The lovable Midwesterner debuted at the 2006 Games when the U.S. won bronze. Shuster has been the skip for the U.S. team in every Games since, but he has a strong history of choking—or “Shustering”—at the Olympics. But this time, the ‘Team of Rejects’ skip pulled it off, finally letting it shine on the Olympic stage and winning the U.S.’s first curling gold. It might be time for a new definition of Shustering. (And maybe a Paul Rudd movie.)
In the men’s snowboarding big air final on Saturday morning in PyeongChang, Michigander Kyle Mack scored a silver, his first Olympic medal at his first Games. He did it with a trick called—seriously—a bloody dracula. Mack shared the podium with Canadian Sebastien Toutant, who took gold, and Britain’s Billy Morgan. The charming youth Red Gerard, a gold-medalist in slopestyle, came in at sixth with Chris Corning just behind him. In other snowboarding news, Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini won the giant slalom, with Korea’s Sangho Lee in second and Slovakia’s Zan Kosir third.
Over on the skate track, Japan’s Nana Takagi took gold for the women in the first-ever mass start event, while Korea’s Bo-Reum Kim and the Netherlands’ Irene Schouten took silver and bronze. For the men, Seung-Hoon Lee won for Korea, with Belgian Bart Swings and Dutch KoenVerweij joining him on the podium.
The Olympics are a time for most of us to sit on our couches and reflect on how many things in life we don’t do, and how tragically infrequently we push our bodies to the limit (excuse us for a moment, Iroman runners). The Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka took the couch potato-shaming to a whole new level in PyeongChang by accidentally winning a gold medal in and event she wasn’t really there for (the alpine ski event super-G) and then went ahead and did it again for an event she was a favorite in, the ladies’ parallel giant slalom. She’s the first to win Olympic gold in two unrelated disciplines.
Two Russian athletes made the podium in the men’s 50km mass start cross-country race (maybe the most grueling event in the Olympics) Saturday while Finland’s Iivo Niskanen won gold. In the alpine team ski event, Switzerland, Austria and Norway achieved the top spots.
There are just four events to watch on Sunday as the PyeongChang Olympics wrap up: bobsled, cross-country, curling and hockey.
Men’s Curling Final (Replay), Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC
In case you weren’t up at 1:30 a.m. to watch Team Shuster like a real fan, NBC is showing it this afternoon. Don’t miss Ivanka Trump mingling with curling enthusiasts or John Shuster’s weepy interview.
Women’s Curling Final, Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET streaming online
The gold medals for the women were accidentally handed to the U.S. men on Saturday. Be a witness as they finally make it to their rightful owners—Korea or Sweden—at 7:05 p.m.
Men’s Hockey Final: OAR vs. Germany, Saturday at 11:10 p.m. ET streaming online
Everyone expected the loaded Russian squad to be playing for the gold, but… Germany? After taking down bronze medalist Canada, the Germans look to extend their stunning run for one more game to finish off Olympic hockey in PyeongChang.
Figure Skating Gala, Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
Saturday’s primetime coverage will showcase the day’s speed skating events, the four-man bobsled, and the figure skating gala, marking your last chance to watch Olympic figure skating until 2022.
Men’s Cross-Country: 50km Mass Start, Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC
If you like watching people in pain, this is for you! Cross-country is one of the most grueling sports around and this is the longest race. The sport forces its athletes to push their bodies to the limit both aerobically and anaerobically, which is why they always collapse dramatically at the end (…and often barf, too).
Tweet of the Day
Ivanka Trump (along with Sarah Sanders) talks to a lady with a curling stone on her head.
Daily Reading and Videos
- Michael Rosenberg gets all choked up about that Team Shuster win—it’s the perfect Olympic story.
- Gus Kenworthy had a disgusting injury, but continued his tradition of rescuing puppies at the Olympics.
- The Olympic village seems like a lot of fun… maybe too much fun, though.
- Volleyball… in the snow?!
- Norway is crushing it in PyeongChang. Here’s the secret to the Norwegians’ success.
- Tim Layden takes a look at the future of U.S. skiing, and (spoiler alert!) it’s not all that great.
- Luger Chris Mazdzer had to bribe a South Korean bus driver. He explains why.
Athlete to Root For
Codie Bascue, a 23-year-old from a tiny town called Whitehall, N.Y., is piloting the four-man bobsled for Team USA. After finishing ninth in the preliminary rounds, he’s hoping to shave off even more time in the finals. Bobsledding will be on NBC primetime tonight.