U.S. men’s figure skating champion Nathan Chen looked nothing like the jump master he became while enjoying an undefeated season, surprisingly falling twice during his short program Friday morning in the first phase of the Olympic team event.
Conversely, the American husband-and-wife duo of Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim, known for performing beautiful twists and lifts but struggling with side-by-side jumps, were nearly flawless in their short program and sealed it with a kiss at center ice at Gangneung Ice Arena.
Whether it was the earliness of the hour—the event started shortly after 10 a.m. local time—or the pressure of performing at the Olympics hitting home, a startling number of skaters stumbled through the first day of the team competition.
Kirill Kaprizov’s quick shot from the right circle during a power play gave the Olympic Athletes From Russia a 4-3 overtime victory over surprise finalist Germany and the gold medal in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament.
Kaprizov, whose NHL rights are owned by the Minnesota Wild, had a goal and four assists after he ended the game and the tournament nine minutes and 40 seconds into sudden-death play. Teammate Nikita Gusev, whose rights are owned by the Vegas Golden Knights, had two goals and two assists.
The gold medal was the first won by the team known variously as the Olympic Athletes From Russia / Russia / the Unified Team since a 1992 triumph in Albertville, France, as the Unified Team.
John Shuster’s last throw in the eighth end of the Olympic curling final clacked off one Swedish stone and knocked it into another, sending them both skittering out of scoring range.
Five yellow-handled American rocks were left behind.
The score, known as a five-ender, is so rare it has only been topped once before in the history of the men’s or women’s Olympic final. And it effectively clinched gold for Shuster’s erstwhile “rejects,” who rallied from the brink of pool play elimination to claim only the second curling medal ever for the United States.