4 to Watch: US Stars Shiffrin, White Go for Gold - NBC4 Washington
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang

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4 to Watch: US Stars Shiffrin, White Go for Gold



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    Shaun White (L) and Mikaela Shiffrin (R)

    A couple of the biggest stars of Team USA were scheduled to compete for medals in Pyeongchang Wednesday.

    Skier Mikaela Shiffrin is looking to defend her gold medal in the slalom, but it was postponed for a second time. 

    Snowboarder Shaun White won a third gold in the halfpipe after missing the medal stand in Sochi four years ago.

    Also Wednesday, figure skating returned with the pairs competition, and the U.S. men's hockey team took the ice for the first time. 

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

    Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympic Debut Postponed — for a 2nd Time

    Model Olympian: Mikaela ShiffrinModel Olympian: Mikaela Shiffrin

    Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait a little longer to make her Pyeongchang debut.

    She must wait to ski in her signature event, the slalom, after it was postponed Wednesday morning due to high winds. She was the youngest-ever Olympic slalom champion at the Sochi Games at age 18, and she's the first woman to win three consecutive slalom world titles in 78 years. Shiffrin hopes to become the first person to win the slalom gold medal twice in a row. She was initially set to make her Pyeongchang debut in the giant slalom race earlier in the week, but it was postponed due to dangerous winds.

    The race has been moved to Friday, after the giant slalom race rescheduled for Thursday morning (Wednesday night in the U.S.).

    Lindsey Vonn, another standout American skier, will not compete in the slalom.

    Shaun White of USA looks on during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
    Photo credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Back on Top: Shaun White Wins Halfpipe Gold

    Model Olympian: Shaun WhiteModel Olympian: Shaun White

    Team USA's Shaun White held off a strong field Wednesday and soared to victory in the men's halfpipe competition in Pyeongchang. White’s gold medal marks the 100th for Team USA in its history of competing at the Winter Olympics.

    Japan’s Ayumu Hirano took the silver, while Australia’s Scotty James earned the bronze.

    White earned gold in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010, but didn't even crack the top three in Sochi. That outcome haunted him at times before he hit reset last summer and pointed to South Korea.

    In qualifying, White exhaled after putting up a 93.75 on his first run, ensuring a spot in the finals. He later topped his own score with a 98.5.

    Head coach Tony Granato of the Men's USA Ice Hockey Team works practice ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Hockey Centre on Feb. 9, 2018, in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
    Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    USA Men’s Hockey Gives Up 3 Late Goals in Shock Loss to Slovenia

    DC, Meet Your 2018 Winter Olympic AthletesDC, Meet Your 2018 Winter Olympic Athletes

    The U.S. men’s hockey team’s quest for a first gold medal since the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980 got off to a rough start Wednesday, as the Americans allowed Slovenia to come back from two goals down to win 3-2 in overtime.

    American Brian O’Neill powered his team to the lead with a goal and an assist, but Slovenia got going early in the third period, when a deflected shot beat U.S. goalie Ryan Zapolski. Still losing with two minutes to go, Slovenia pulled its goalie to play with an extra attacker and soon had an equalizer thanks to captain Jan Mursak. Mursak scored again just 38 seconds into the sudden-death overtime.

    This Olympics is the first since 1994 not to feature active NHL players, which may have made the difference in the game — none of the Americans who played in Sochi are on the roster this year, while the Slovenian team was largely unchanged.

    But there’s a silver lining to the U.S.’s first day in action. The tournament favorites, the Olympic Athletes from Russia, lost their opener as well, falling to Slovakia 3-2 in regulation time. That means the U.S. is still above the Russians in the group standings.

    Team USA includes Virginia native Garrett Roe; a member of the Washington Capitals' minor league team, Hall of Famer Ray Bourque's son Chris; and former member of the Capitals organization Ryan Stoa.

    Watch Again:Team USA v. Slovenia on our digital platforms. 

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

    The Knierims Advance to Pairs Figure Skating Final

    Funny Faces of Figure SkatingFunny Faces of Figure Skating

    Team USA’s lone entry in pairs’ figure skating, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, finished the short program portion of the competition in 14th place Wednesday morning at Gangneung Ice Arena. The score qualified them for the next stage, free skate, set for Thursday morning.

    Skating to “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge!” the Knierims scored a 65.55 — 34.18 for their technical score and 31.37 for performance. They were the 13th of 22 pairs to skate, with the top 16 advancing to the final.

    It has been a busy first week in Pyeongchang for the husband and wife team. As the only U.S. pair, the Knierims skated both the short program and free skate in the figure skating team event, in which Team USA took bronze.

    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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