4 to Watch: Shiffrin Gets Gold in 2018 Olympics Debut - NBC4 Washington
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang

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4 to Watch: Shiffrin Gets Gold in 2018 Olympics Debut

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Mikaela Shiffrin

    The eighth day of competition at the 2018 Winter Games brings some of the heaviest hitters in the Olympics’ biggest sports, from Mikaela Shiffrin’s twice postponed skiing debut to the explosive rivalry between the American and Canadian women’s hockey teams.

    The top events to watch run the gamut from graceful pairs figure skating, where a married couple is representing the U.S., to extreme snowboard cross.

    Here’s what you need to watch in Pyeongchang over the next 24 hours: 

    Skier Mikaela Shiffrin on Feb. 10 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
    Photo credit: Ker Robertson/Getty Images

    UPDATE: Shiffrin Wins Giant Slalom Gold in Pyeongchang Debut

    Model Olympian: Mikaela ShiffrinModel Olympian: Mikaela Shiffrin

    Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin had a golden Pyeongchang debut.

    She used a hard-charging final run to win her second career Olympic gold medal. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel earned silver and Italy’s Federica Brignone took bronze.

    Shiffrin seeks gold in as many as five events at these Games. She was a favorite in the giant slalom and will be in the slalom, scheduled for Thursday night. But skiing two races in two days shouldn’t be a problem for Shiffrin — World Cup races are often held on consecutive days.

    Canada's women's ice hockey team celebrates its improbable gold medal win over Team USA in Sochi.
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    UPDATE: Canada Beats US in Women’s Hockey 2-1

    Model Olympians: U.S. Women's Hockey TeamModel Olympians: U.S. Women's Hockey Team

    Canada scored twice in the second period in a 2-1 win over United States in women’s hockey Thursday.

    Of the five women’s hockey finals in Olympic history, four were played between the U.S. and Canada, building what may be the biggest international rivalry in the sport, women or men.

    Both the U.S. and Canada have guaranteed they're through to the semifinals of the 2018 Games by beating Finland and the Olympic Athletes from Russia, so this match was mainly about pride. It was also very likely a preview of the gold medal game, since both teams will be heavily favored in the semifinals.

    Hagen Kearney
    Photo credit: 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

    UPDATE: Men’s Snowboard Cross Final: Two Americans nearly made the podium

    These US Athletes Won Medals at the 2018 Winter OlympicsThese US Athletes Won Medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics

    France's Pierre Vaultier successfully defended his gold medal in men's snowboard cross, becoming the second athlete to win back-to-back gold medals in the discipline. Australia's Jarryd Huges earned silver and Spain's Regino Hernandez took bronze.

    American snowboarders Nick Baumgartner and Mick Dierdorff finished fourth and fifth, respectively, after crashing on the same jump during the big final. Australia's Alex Pullin also went down on the same part of the course and finished sixth.

    Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim competing in the pairs portion of the team skating event.
    Photo credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    UPDATE: The Knierims Skate With Heavy Hearts, Finish 15th in Figure Skating Pairs

    Funny Faces of Figure SkatingFunny Faces of Figure Skating

    While Mikaela Shiffrin and Team USA’s other alpine skiers have been temporarily sidelined by high winds, American snowboarders are providing the Pyeongchang thrills. Competing in snowboarding slopestyle, teenager Red Gerard on Sunday won America’s first gold medal in Pyeongchang. Now, Chloe Kim, another 17-year-old, will try to match him in women’s halfpipe. And Shaun White, who won his first gold medal when Gerard and Kim were just 5 years old, takes the slopes in his fourth Olympic games in the men’s halfpipe qualifying.

     

    Kim and White highlight an action-packed day that includes speed skaters Shani Davis, Joey Mantia and Maame Biney, and a women’s hockey game between Team USA and the Olympic Athletes from Russia.

     

    Here’s what you need to watch in Pyeongchang over the next 24 hours: 

     

    Kim Goes for Gold, White Makes Pyeongchang Debut

    Chloe Kim is a 17-year-old sensation appearing in her first Olympics. Shaun White is one of the most decorated snowboarders ever, appearing in his fourth Olympics. Kim will go for her first gold medal on Tuesday (Monday night in the U.S.), and White will make his Pyeongchang debut.

     

    Kim, whose parents are from South Korea, has dominated the women’s halfpipe in the years since the Sochi Games, when she was too young to compete. In 2016, she became the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s in a halfpipe contest. She began snowboarding at age 4 with her father, but does not like snow. 

     

    "Actually, I hate it," Kim told Sports Illustrated in January. "I grew up in Southern California.” 

     

    White won gold medals in the men’s halfpipe in his first two Olympics, but finished fourth in Sochi in 2014. He’s looking for redemption in Pyeongchang. He’ll compete in qualifying on Tuesday (Monday night in the U.S.), and then go for a medal on Wednesday if he advances. 

     

    Watch both Kim and White live during NBC’s primetime coverage at 8 p.m. ET.

    Watch Kim’s medal event on digital platforms at 8 p.m. ET on http://stream.nbcolympics.com/snowboarding-womens-halfpipe-final?chrcontext=XXXX

    Watch White’s qualifying event at 11pm ET on digital platforms at http://stream.nbcolympics.com/snowboarding-mens-halfpipe-qualifying?chrcontext=XXXX 

     

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    U.S. Women’s Hockey Continues Quest for Gold vs. Russians 

    The U.S. women’s hockey team won its opening game in Pyeongchang against Finland, 3-1, on Sunday. Now they face the Olympic Athletes from Russia, as the Russians are being referred to in Pyeongchang. The Russians are the youngest team in the tournament, with less experience and almost an entirely new roster from the team that played in four years ago in Sochi. 

     

    The Americans have failed to win a gold medal since the sport was added to the Games in 1998. Most heartbreaking was their loss to powerhouse Canada in the gold medal game  at Sochi. The Canadians, their longtime rivals, have won four straight gold medals.

     

    Watch live on NBCSN at 7:10 a.m. ET Tuesday or on digital platforms at http://stream.nbcolympics.com/hockey-womens-prelims-united-states-vs-russia?chrcontext=XXX

     

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    U.S. Lugers Face the Powerhouse Germans

    U.S. luge medalist Erin Hamlin, America’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony, is in the mix for the women’s singles luge competition in Pyeongchang. Hamlin, a four-time Olympian, won the bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the first U.S. athlete to win an Olympics singles luge medal in the sports’ 50-year Olympic history. 

     

    But the strongest U.S. woman this season has been Sochi Olympian Summer Britcher. And German women have dominated the sport, among them defending gold medalist Natalie Geisenberger and Tatjana Huefner, a three-time Olympic medalist in luge.

     

    Watch live on NBCSN beginning at 5 a.m. ET Tuesday or on digital platforms at http://stream.nbcolympics.com/luge-women-3-4?chrcontext=XXX

     

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    Speedskater Biney Is America’s Best Hope In 500-Meter Short Track

    China’s Fan Kexin, who has six world medals in 500-meter short track speed skating, slipped in the semifinals at the Sochi Olympics four years ago, costing her a shot at a medal.  Now, she’s got another shot at a gold medal.

     

    Her stiffest American competition? The Ghana-born Maame Biney  the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic short track team. Biney learned to skate after moving to the United States at age 5. Another top contender, Choi Min-jeong, is from South Korea.

     

    Watch live on digital platforms beginning at 5 a.m. ET Tuesday at http://stream.nbcolympics.com/short-track-womens-500m-final-mens-1000m-mens-relay-qualification-heats?chrcontext=XXXor during NBC’s daytime Olympics coverage at 3pm ET Tuesday.  

     

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    Americans Speed Skaters Shani Davis and Joey Mantia Takes Ice in 1500m Medal Event

     

    Four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis may be the more recognizable name in the Men’s 1500m, but it’s American Joey Mantia who is most likely to challenge for a medal.

     

    Mantia, from Ocala, Florida, struggled in Sochi, finishing 15th in the 1000-meter race and 22nd in his best event, the 1500-meters. Calling the experience "a complete disaster,” Mantia is hoping to find his way to the medal podium in Pyeongchang. 

     

    The international field will be headlined by the Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis, the reigning 1500m world champion, and his teammate Koen Verweij, who returned from a kidney injury that kept him from training for a year.

     

    Watch live at 6 a.m. Tuesday ET on digital platforms at http://stream.nbcolympics.com/speed-skating-mens-1500m?chrcontext=XXXor during NBC’s daytime Olympics coverage at 3pm ET Tuesday.  

     

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    Married pairs figure skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim finished 15th in the final. Germany on gold, China took silver and Canada earned bronze.

    The Knierims became the first Americans to land a quad twist in an Olympic competition when they hit the four-revolution element in the pairs free skate. The rest of their program didn’t go nearly as well — they were out of synch on their combination spin and a bit shaky on their throw triple flip.

    But the couple revealed they skated right after seeing the news of the deadly Florida high school shooting, and it made it hard for them to focus. Alexa said she was “emotionally drained” as she broke down in tears after the performance.

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