The 17-year-old from Torrance, California, dominated the Olympic women's halfpipe snowboarding final on Tuesday, soaring to a gold medal four years in the making.
Kim put up a score of 93.75 on the first of her three final runs and then bettered it with a near-perfect 98.75 on her final run with the gold already well in hand. With members of her family in the stands, including her South Korean grandmother, Kim put on a show that delivered on her considerable pre-Olympic hype.
Mirai Nagasu, who soared into Olympic history when she landed a clean triple axel jump that was crucial to Team USA winning a bronze medal in the Olympic team figure skating event here on Monday, has used her skating skills to entertain people—and to clean the ice at hockey games.
Nagasu, a native of Arcadia who trains in Colorado Springs, worked for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche as an Ice Girl during the 2015-16 hockey season. Her duties included representing the team at community and charity functions, and scraping snow off the ice during breaks in the action.
The Avalanche paid tribute to her here, and the story went viral. Nagasu saw it on Twitter and got a good laugh.
Although U.S. men’s Olympic hockey coach Tony Granato was inspired to learn about and play international hockey after he watched the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. team prevail at the Lake Placid Games, he said his motivational tactics haven’t included showing his own players the popular movie that was made about that gold-medal team.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Granato said he saw no need to screen the film “Miracle” before his team plays its Olympic opener on Wednesday against Slovenia at Kwandong Hockey Center. “To win, we don’t need a miracle,” said Granato, who was 15 when Herb Brooks’ team upset the Soviets and went on to win the gold medal. “We need to be at our best for two weeks.”
The U.S. men didn’t play any “friendly” or exhibition games before settling in at the Athletes’ Village, and they’ve had four practices here. Granato wouldn’t say on Monday which of his three goalies will start against Slovenia, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ryan Zapolski of Erie, Pa., who has been playing for Jokerit of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, get that honor. The other two goalies are David Leggio, who has been playing in Germany, and Brandon Maxwell, who has most recently played in the Czech Republic.
The United States has earned the bronze medal in team figure skating. It clinched third even before its ice dancers took the ice.
Canada already was assured of the gold, and the Russians had taken silver heading into the final discipline. The Americans led Italy by four points, and when the Italian ice dancers, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, did not score well enough to win the free dance, the U.S. had replicated its third-place finish in the event at Sochi.
That pretty much left Maia and Alex Shibutani's program as an exhibition.
“When you get on the ice and see the (Olympic) rings what’s going through your mind?” “Um, I want to throw up. I want to go over to the judges and ask can I have a Xanax and a quick drink?” pic.twitter.com/y602LLvHln
Mirai Nagasu has become the first American woman — and third overall — to land a triple axel in the Olympics, accomplishing the rare feat in the women’s free skate at the team competition in Pyeongchang.
The 24-year-old from Montebello skated first of the five women and led off her routine with the triple axel just 21 seconds in. The feat drew huge cheers from the crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada also landed triple axels during the Olympics.