Shaun White Rocks Halfpipe
Shaun White, the 2006 and 2010 halfpipe winner but a disappointing fourth four years ago, scored a 98.50 for the best qualifying run.
White, 31, is the most famous and decorated American snowboarder of all time and looked like his old self on two assured runs. Full coverage is here.
Marcel Hirscher Wins Combined
Marcel Hirscher of Austria won his first Olympic gold, in the combined event.
Hirscher, who had won six world championships without an Olympic gold, skied an excellent 12th in the downhill portion, not his best event. He then scorched the slalom, recording the best time.
Hirscher was much faster and smoother than the rest of the field in the final 150 meters of the slalom, when the course got considerably steeper.
Alexis Pinturault and Victor Muffat-Jeandet, both of France, won the silver and bronze. All three medalists earned their positions more through slalom excellence than fast downhill times.
In part that was because the downhill course was shortened because of the windy conditions, meaning the downhill specialists didn’t have as long a distance to build a bigger lead on the slalom specialists.
Thomas Dressen of Germany was first down the course, and his time wound up being the fastest in the downhill portion of the men’s combined. But his slalom time was only 15th and he finished ninth over all.
Chloe Kim Dazzles to Win Halfpipe Gold
Chloe Kim, the 17-year-old American snowboarding phenom, won the women’s halfpipe. She dazzled from the start with a score of 93.75 on her first run, and no one came close to beating that mark. On her third and final run, with the gold medal clinched, she executed a victory lap that scored 98.25. The silver went to Liu Jiayu of China, with 89.75, and Arielle Gold of the United States had a strong third run, scoring 85.75. Complete coverage here.
First Positive Drug Test
Kei Saito, a short-track speedskater from Japan, came up with the first drug positive of the Games when an out-of-competition test detected acetazolamide, a masking agent. Saito will be provisionally suspended from competition and must leave the Olympic Village. Saito had not yet competed at the Games.
Dutch Sweep Broken Up
The powerful Dutch team swept the medals in the first women’s speedskating event, and looked like it might do it again in the 1,500 meters. But in the last pairing of the day, Miho Takagi of Japan broke up the top three and grabbed a silver medal behind Ireen Wust of the Netherlands. The Dutch also finished third and fourth.
Wust had won the silver in the 3,000 meters, upset by a less-heralded teammate, Carlijn Achtereekte. But there was no upset on Monday.
Kingsbury Gets His Gold
Mikael Kingsbury has been the world’s dominant moguls skier for six years. But he was frustrated at the Olympics four years ago, losing to his now retired countryman, Alexandre Bilodeau. With six straight World Cup titles, the Olympic gold was all that was missing from his mantelpiece.
Kingsbury left no doubt, putting up the top score in the final for every category: speed, turns and aerial tricks.
Here’s What You Missed:
The American Jamie Anderson’s outstanding first run was good enough for the gold in women’s slopestyle snowboarding, her second straight in the event. Laurie Blouin of Canada was second, and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland third.
It hardly seems fair to spot Laura Dahlmeier a 24-second lead. But based on her victory in the sprint event, that’s the head start she got in Monday’s pursuit. Dahlmeier, of Germany, missed just once and cruised to an easy second gold medal of the Games. On the men’s side, Martin Fourcade of France overcame a 22-second handicap to win.
Here’s What’s Next:
Cross-country skiers take on the shortest event, the sprint.
Natalie Geisenberger of Germany leads the way in the women’s luge.
The mixed doubles curling gold medal match pits Canada against Switzerland.
The United States plays Russia in women’s hockey.