One of the iconic moments for Team USA in these Pyeongchang Olympics was Jessie Diggins pushing down the stretch during the women’s team sprint to earn America’s first-ever cross country gold medal. So it’s fitting that Diggins will end the Olympics by carrying the American flag in Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremonies.
Here’s everything you need to watch for the final day of the Winter Olympics:
Historic Gold Medalist Carries the Red, White and Blue
Jessie Diggins captured the United States' first-ever women’s cross-country skiing medal when she and teammate Kikkan Randall won gold in the freestyle team event. Now, the 26-year-old will be the first cross-country skier to carry the U.S. flag in the Winter Games’ closing ceremonies.
“I actually thought there maybe had been a mistake. I was like, `What? I can’t believe this,’” Diggins said on the “Today" show. “It is so humbling, and I feel so honored to have been picked.”
Some of the star power will be in the stands, where President Donald’s Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will lead the U.S. delegation. The opening ceremony spotlight was on the mysterious Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, who was dubbed “North Korea’s Ivanka.” Will the real Ivanka Trump be able to seize some of that limelight?
As for entertainment, expect K-pop stars CL and the boy band EXO.
Watch the closing ceremony Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC or on digital platforms here.
Russia Takes Elusive Hockey Gold
The Soviet Union won the hockey gold medal in the Olympics seven times between 1956 and 1988. The Unified Team, a team of post-Soviet players, won the gold medal in 1992. And when the Russians played for the gold medal on Sunday, competing as OAR, the Olympic Athletes from Russia, they won a thrilling overtime match with Germany 4-3.
So the Russians won a ninth hockey gold medal while never actually winning one for Russia.
After failing to win a gold medal at the last six Olympics (regardless of their name), and failing to win any medal at the last three, the Pyeongchang games seemed to be Russia’s best chance in decades. With the National Hockey League missing in action — it refused to allow its players to participate in the Olympics — the Russians entered the tournament as the heavy favorite.
“We’ve been striving for this for years,” said Oleg Znarok, Russia’s coach.
But because of a doping scandal that impacted the country’s entire Olympic program, the Russian national team has been banned from these Olympics — hence the Olympic Athletes from Russia name. When they beat Germany, the Russian flag was not raised, and the Russian national anthem wasn't played.
They faced a surprising German team in the gold medal match. The Germans upset Canada in the semifinals, 4-3.
The Russians didn’t need upsets to reach the finals. After losing to Slovakia 3-2 in its opening game, the Russians won four consecutive games by a combined score of 21-3, including a 6-1 win over Norway in the quarterfinals and a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic in the semifinals. In pool play, the Russians beat the United States, 4-0.
Sweden Beats South Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls' to Win Gold in Women’s Curling
The South Korean women’s curling team fell, in front of a home crowd, to Sweden in the gold medal match, 8-3.
But South Korea’s “Garlic Girls” (dubbed the nickname for their hometown’s locally grown garlic) still earned silver in women’s curling, the country’s first-ever Olympic medal in the sport. Korea had never qualified for an Olympic curling tournament before Sochi in 2014.
In Pyeongchang, curling was the busiest sport; from the first match of the new mixed doubles discipline — a day and a half before the lighting of the cauldron — to the end of the women's final, there were 18 straight days of competition, some with as many as four matches in each of three sessions per day.
Norway's 'Iron Lady' Takes Home 8th Gold in Cross Country
Norway’s "Iron Lady" Marit Bjoergen took home her second gold in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang Sunday for Women’s 30km Cross Country Skiing.
Bjoergen, 37, made her Olympic debut in 1999 and Sunday’s gold is her eighth gold medal in the Winter Olympics.
Bjorergen stayed in the lead most of the one hour and 22 minutes that it took for her to complete the course. Finland’s Krista Parmakoski took home the silver, finishing nearly two minutes behind Bjorergen. And Stina Nilsson took home the bronze for Sweden.