By: Andrew Wood
Just about an hour ago, teenage sensation Chloe Kim secured her long-expected gold on the snowboard, women’s halfpipe. There was actually a greater deal of uncertainly seeing who would finish behind her, and in what order. Spots No. 3 and 4 are rather bittersweet. Arielle Gold, who was injured shortly before the 2014 WOG, made good on her third run (85.45) to receive the first medal of her career. On the same token, Kelly Clark was underscored on her third run to finish in fourth. Not only is Clark the 2002 gold medalist, but she is one of the pioneers of her sport along with Hannah Teter (2006 champion).
Going along with the title, the Netherlands are continuing on their gold rush with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In Sochi, the Dutch secured 23 of the available 36 medals on the long-track, also winning gold in eight of the 12 events. Three full days in, they are still the only nation to have finished at the top. On Saturday, Olympic-newcomer Carlijn Achtereekte was the first to finish at the top, taking gold in the women’s 3,000m. The next day, Sven Kramer secured his eighth career medal (fourth gold) with his win in the men’s 5000m. Seconds later, he was greeted by King Willem-Alexander- probably before he even had a chance to grab water. That’s like if President Clinton were to high five Michael Johnson after his win in the 400m sprint in 1996, or if President Bush were to greet Michael Phelps after his 2008 win in the 100m fly, before having a chance to grab his towel.
On Monday, Ireen Wüst collected her tenth Olympic medal, also her fifth gold, with her win in the women’s 1500m. She won this event in 2010, and took silver in 2014.
My final speedskating note is that the sport goes very well with music. Same can be said for moguls skiing, which brings me to Monday’s highlights:
- Mikael Kingsbury of Canada upgrades his Sochi silver to win the first gold of his career (Moguls skiing). This is the first individual medal in these Games for our friends to the north.
- Martin Fourcade (France, biathlon) repeats as the gold medalist in the men’s pursuit. He was also the French flagbearer Friday night.
- Laura Dahlmeier (Germany, biathlon) earns her second gold medal in three days winning the women’s sprint. Just four years ago, she ended up 46th in the same race.
Here are some things to watch for on Tuesday:
Luge- Women’s Singles. Can 2014 bronze medalist/ 2018 flagbearer Erin Hamlinbounce back from a fifth-place standing to reach the podium? She trails the third-place contestant by .005, so a second medal is definitely within reach.
Snowboard- Men’s Halfpipe. I just watched Shaun White run in the middle of this blog. He’s had as much altitude as anyone I’ve seen in the last few days. The Double McTwist 1260 seems impossible to the rest of us, but is an average business decision for him.
Alpine Skiing- Women’s Slalom- Mikaela Shiffrin’s long-awaited PyeongChang debut. As of Feb 13, she is still a one-time gold medalist, but that could very well change. This is the same event she won back in 2014. Shiffrin was expected to hit slopes earlier this week, but the Women’s GS has been one of two skiing events this year to face a weather delay.