Slip, sliding into Winter Olympics history
US teenager Red Gerard and Norway's men's skiathlon team sweep the board in Pyeongchang
He might be the baby of Team USA, but he is a golden one. Teenager Red Gerard created his own piece of Olympics’ history after winning the men’s snowboarding slopestyle.
The 17-year-old scored 87.16 points on his final run to beat Canadian pair Max Parrot and Mark McMorris, who ended up with silver and bronze respectively.
It was the United States’ first gold at the Pyeongchang Games and Gerard made the most of it. “I feel awesome and so stoked about today,” he told the media. “I cannot believe what has just happened it is insane.”
Out of this world
Figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva has the world at her feet. The 18-year-old, who is representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia, became the first competitor to shatter a world record at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Medvedeva is already the reigning world champion and is competing in her first Games after breaking a bone in her foot last year.
She looked majestic in the women’s figure skating short program, which is part of the team competition. “I competed to feel the magic of the Olympics,” Medvedeva said.
The OAR team was put together after a doping scandal cast doubts on whether Russia would be allowed to compete at the Pyeongchang Games, with Medvedeva one of high-profile members of the party.
After her marks flashed up on the scoreboard at the Gangneung Ice Arena, the crowd went wild.
“At this point, I am happy with my result, but the performance was a bit tough, probably because it was my first time on the Olympic ice,” she told the media. “I know I can do better. On a scale of five, I’d give myself a four, maybe a bit less, a four minus a quarter,” she joked.
Ready Krueger races to glory
Simen Hegstad Krueger broke away on the penultimate lap to storm to victory in the men’s skiathlon on Sunday and lead a clean sweep of medals for Norway.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Hans Christer Holund took the silver and the bronze in the arduous cross-country event. Athletes have to ski 15 kilometers followed by the same distance speed skating.
At the halfway point, a group of 18 opened up a gap and the lead changed hands several times in the freezing conditions.
Finland’s Iivo Niskanen made much of the early running, but the Norwegians took over with three laps left and an epic internal battle for medals unfolded.
Krueger made his break for glory with little more than a lap to go, striking out on his own and leaving the rest of the field struggling.
Winds of change
It is known as the “blue riband” of men’s downhill and the opening event of the Olympic alpine skiing program in Pyeongchang. But on Sunday the event was postponed because of high winds.
“Due to the strong wind and unfavorable forecast, the men’s downhill is postponed to another date,” the International Ski Federation announced. “The jury will [map out] a plan in the next [few] days and we will inform [the media] as soon as possible,” the FIS added, pointing out training for the men’s combined event, which was scheduled for Monday, had also been canceled.
The downhill could be rescheduled for Wednesday or Thursday, according to organizers.
– with Reuters and AFP