Lindsey Vonn did not hide the fact that she did not prepare much for the slalom, and that showed in what was likely her final run in the Olympics.
Vonn entered the slalom portion of the super combined event as the leader after acing the downhill portion — her specialty. But very early on in her slalom run, she failed to clear one of the gates. She stopped her run after the mistake knowing that she would not medal and did not finish the course.
Vonn had said prior to the event that she had about three slalom runs since December. The lack of preparation for the event led her to acknowledge she needed a miracle.
“I think it’s going to come down to who can fight the hardest. I certainly know that I’m a pretty good competitor. I’m going to give it hell and maybe I can pull out a miracle,” Vonn had said prior to the event, via USA Today.
Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin took home gold in the combined, while Mikaela Shiffrin earned silver. Shiffrin’s time of 40.52 in the slalom ranked her third and helped her make up ground after she finished sixth in the downhill.
Sven Kramer is offering an apology for an unfortunate incident at a promotional event in PyeongChang.
The Dutch speed skater, who won gold in the men’s 5000m competition for a third straight Winter Olympics, tweeted an apology in Korean on Thursday.
— Sven Kramer (@SvenKramer86) February 22, 2018
“Hello fans from Korea, on behalf of the Heineken team I offer my sincere apologies to the fans who have been injured,” Kramer wrote, according to a rough translation of the tweet. “You came to encourage me, apologies for the inconvenience caused. We wish you a quick recovery.
“I’m going to do my best to show a better picture next time,” Kramer added. “I promise that. Thank you so much.”
Chang Dong-woo of Yonghap News Agency in South Korea relays that Kramer reportedly caused injuries to fans at a Heineken event by roughly throwing free gifts into the crowd.
Dutch speed skater @SvenKramer86's apology statement in Korean for inadvertently causing injuries at a @Heineken event in PyeongChang. According to @telegraaf, athletes reportedly threw out free gifts a bit roughly to the crowd. https://t.co/vTgrF6Ckqb
— 장동우 Chang Dong-woo (@odissy) February 22, 2018
Some on Twitter claimed that Kramer threw a bronze nameplate into the crowd, striking a woman and sending her to the emergency room. Footage also circulated of the supposed moment that he did.
speaking of bad times – you should apologize for you and your reckless teammates throwing a bronze nameplate at the audience, hitting a woman who had to be sent to the ER because of YOUR irresponsible behavior.
— (@threetonine) February 21, 2018
— ONSEMIRO (@MyDearKorea) February 21, 2018
The 31-year-old Kramer, who is a nine-time world champion and now an eight-time Olympic medalist, has become an icon of speed skating with his run of excellence dating back to the 2000s. But there is no excuse for that kind of reckless alleged behavior, and he seems to recognize that now.
Mikaela Shiffrin did not have the most optimistic outlook after completing the first portion of the women’s combined event at the Winter Olympics on Thursday in South Korea.
Lindsey Vonn blew away most of the field with a time of 1:39.37 on the downhill portion of the combined. Shiffrin finished 1.98 seconds behind her, which placed her sixth in the standings.
Asked after her run in the downhill whether she thought she could make up the time in the slalom run, Shiffrin was not so sure.
“We’ll see. Two seconds on Lindsey (Vonn), I’m not sure how much I can make up,” Shiffrin told NBC’s Heather Cox. “But I’m in a good position to fight for it and to do my best slalom skiing and see where it ends up.”
Shiffrin’s best event is the slalom, while downhill is Vonn’s specialty, so she certainly will have a chance to make up some time. But like she said, two seconds will be a lot to make up.
As if winning the first Olympic gold for America in cross-country skiing weren’t already thrilling enough, the tight margin by which Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won added an extra level of drama to the matter.
Diggins chased down Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and outstretched her to cross the finish line first in the women’s team free sprint by 0.19 seconds:
This is the moment that the U.S. team of Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won the USA's first Gold Medal in cross-country skiing (Credit: Omega Ltd., 2018, rights holder). pic.twitter.com/ftHb9n8hPx
— SI Olympics (@si_olympics) February 21, 2018
Watching Diggins come from behind to overtake Nilsson was special.
“In the final stretch I was just thinking, Go, go, go, I’m giving it everything I had and I’ve got someone who I really love and care about waiting for me at the finishing line and I just want to make her proud,” Diggins said, via the New York Times.
Diggins and Randall combined for a gold medal-winning time of 15:56.47. They were 0.19 seconds ahead of Sweden and 2.97 seconds ahead of Norway’s team to win gold.
Not only was it the first Olympic gold for the U.S. in cross-country skiing, but it was the first cross-country skiing medal for the country since 1976. And while the finish wasn’t quite as tight as one we saw in speedskating, the comeback victory was one heck of a way to get it done.
A pair of Scandinavian players on the Toronto Maple Leafs are paying up on a friendly Olympic wager.
Center Leo Komarov, who is part Finnish, and right wing William Nylander, who is Swedish, wore Team Canada sweaters to practice on Wednesday after losing a bet with their coaches. Here is footage, via Mark Masters of TSN.
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) February 21, 2018
Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun provided more context about the bet.
Komarov had to wear a Team Canada jersey at Leaf practice because he lost an Olympic bet with asst. coach Andrew Brewer. Nylander lost his bet to Mike Babcock, who would've had to wear a Swedish track suit. "How did I look?," asked good sport Leo.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) February 21, 2018
For reference, Canada defeated Finland 1-0 in their men’s hockey quarterfinal on Wednesday in PyeongChang. Meanwhile, Sweden did not cross paths with Canada, but also got eliminated in the quarterfinal with a 4-3 loss to Germany.
While the Leafs’ bet definitely made for a classic moment, it is probably only the second funniest storyline we have seen involving Canadian hockey at this year’s Games.
Lindsey Vonn said on Twitter Thursday in South Korea that she will need to race with new skis during the combined event at the Olympics after burning hers out the day before in the downhill.
Vonn shared the following photo on Twitter and said that her skis got burnt out in the downhill race on Wednesday:
Turns out my skis got burnt out in the race yesterday. My technician thinks it happened on the 2nd gate Have to race on another pair today. Hopefully they’ll survive and stay fast the whole way down. #thatisskiracing pic.twitter.com/r8hKINANHN
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) February 22, 2018
Some may view this as an excuse for not winning gold in the downhill, but it’s pretty impressive that Vonn still won a medal in the event despite an equipment failure.
It sounds like she was going so fast on the slopes that there was enough friction to melt part of the base of her skis. That sort of damage could be enough to have slowed her down to finish behind Sofia Goggia or Ragnhild Mowinckel. Vonn ended up 0.47 seconds behind Goggia and 0.37 seconds behind Mowinckel.
Evgenia Medvedeva is drawing inspiration from a seemingly unlikely source in PyeongChang.
The Russian figure skater, who broke her own world record with a score of 81.61 in the women’s short program on Wednesday, revealed that she is a big K-Pop fan and credited her favorite group EXO for her strong showing.
“It’s unreal inspiration and it really improved my mood,” said Medvedeva of listening to the group’s music before her performance, according to the Associated Press. “I feel more confident because of them.”
Medvedeva, 18, finished the short program in second place, putting her in position for a medal ahead of the free program event on Friday. Interestingly enough, she has also been known for her Sailor Moon-themed routines.
if you haven't seen it already, Evgenia Medvedeva's Sailor Moon routine from last year (with PROPS) is really fun, but also an amazing display of figure skating pic.twitter.com/YSXw1xN9of
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) February 21, 2018
As luck would have it, EXO will be performing in the closing ceremony on Sunday. Thus, Medvedeva has an opportunity for a very special weekend in a women’s figure skating field full of awesome storylines.