Mikaela Shiffrin had some ups-and-downs to her 2018 Winter Olympics, but looking back on things, she views the Games as a “massive success.”
Shiffrin began the Olympics with a gold medal in the giant slalom on Thursday. The following day she competed in the slalom — her best event — and came in fourth, which was a disappointment.
After that, Shiffrin decided to sit out Saturday’s super-G and the downhill on the following Wednesday so she could focus on the combined on Thursday. She won silver in that event.
Initially expected to compete in five events and do well in several of them, Shiffrin had to cut out two events and medaled in two. She’s proud of what she accomplished even if it’s not quite what she was hoping for before the Olympics began.
“Sitting here with you, I can look back and say this was a massive success. I’m pretty over the moon about it,” Shiffrin told NBC’s Mike Tirico in an interview that aired on Friday night in the US.
Shiffrin also said the weather conditions, which pushed several events back on the schedule and ultimately led her to drop out of two events, was the toughest thing for her to deal with.
“That was the most difficult part of this Games for me. The schedule changes, and then having back-to-back races in my two best events, especially with my strongest event being held second. That was maybe the most difficult thing for me. I don’t think I could have done any better (in the slalom).”
Shiffrin finally realized that much of what happened was out of her control, and she’s learned to accept that and be proud of what she was able to accomplish given the circumstances. She now has two golds and a silver in her Olympic career. The two Olympic gold medals tie her for the most ever by an American alpine skier.
Considering what her initial reaction was to her slalom performance last week, she’s come a long way in changing her feelings about things.
Before their gold-medal match against Sweden on Saturday, the United States men’s curling team got hyped up by Mr. B.A. Baracus himself.
In the hours before the competition, the team posted a video on Twitter of famed actor and media personality Mr. T calling them on the phone to wish good luck and offer them a pep talk.
Curler Tyler George seemed especially thrilled in a tweet of his own as well.
Of course, most of the guys on the team were probably just kids when the now-65-year-old Mr. T was at the height of his fame in the 1980s. But it’s still a cool gesture nevertheless from the veteran actor and pop culture giant, who may now have a new favorite sport beyond just wrestling.
File this one under “life comes at you fast.”
Russian bobsled pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva failed a doping test last week, the country’s federation announced, the second Russian athlete to do so during the Winter Olympics.
Making this all the more awkward? Via Greg Walters of Vice News, Sergeeva appeared in an online video prior to the Olympics wearing a shirt that proudly proclaimed “I Don’t Do Doping.”
Unsurprisingly, the video that featured this apparel has swiftly been taken off Youtube.
Russia had already been troubled by a state-sponsored doping operation that resulted in many athletes — and the federation itself — being officially banned from the Olympics. The first doping allegation of these Games has already created an awkward situation, but there will be no such issue here, as Sergeeva’s Russian bobsled team finished 15th, well out of medal contention.
The gold medal-winning U.S. women’s hockey team named a key shootout move after a Britney Spears song, and have duly been rewarded for it with a shoutout from the singer herself.
The shootout move that resulted in Jocelyne Lamoureux’s winning goal was named “Oops, I Did it Again” by the team, and that did not go unnoticed by Spears herself.
Naturally, Lamoureux was a bit excited.
It turns out Spears has been a surprisingly frequent celebrity figure in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Who saw that coming?
After winning gold in the women’s singles competition on Friday, Alina Zagitova had to shout out the gold medalist of the men’s competition too.
The 15-year-old Russian figure skater put together a stunning performance in her free program to finish with a total score of 239.57 and take home the gold medal. Speaking with the media after her triumph, Zagitova showed love to Japanese men’s counterpart Yuzuru Hanyu, who himself won individual gold last week. Here is what she had to say, per Jackie Wong of Rocker Skating:
The two figure skating phenoms also appeared to have met face-to-face earlier in the PyeongChang Games, according to images posted by fans on Twitter.
When you also consider the extent of what Hanyu, who is only 23 himself, battled through to win his gold, it’s easy to see why there’s a deep mutual respect between the two young stars as they both now sit atop their sport.
Canadian hockey player Jocelyne Larocque issued an apology for taking off her silver medal after losing the gold medal game to the United States 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
“I want to apologize to the IOC, IIHF, the PyeongChang Olympic Organizing Committee, Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and most especially to my teammates and our fans for removing my silver medal after it was presented to me,” Larocque said in a statement.
“In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me. I meant no disrespect – it has been an honour to represent my country and win a medal for Canada. I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games. Being on the podium at the world’s biggest sporting event is a great achievement and one that I’m thankful I was able to experience with my teammates.
“For all fans, young and old, please understand this was a moment in time that I truly wish I could take back. I take seriously being a role model to young girls and representing our country. My actions did not demonstrate the values our team, myself and my family live and for that I am truly sorry.”
Larocque’s actions received widespread attention, but many understood that her reaction was reflective of her immediate disappointment over losing. She even said as much after the game, explaining that they wanted to win gold.
An apology from Larocque probably was not necessary, but this should satisfy those who were upset by her actions.
Canadian hockey player Jocelyne Larocque drew attention when she took off her silver medal upon being awarded it following the gold medal game at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang on Thursday.
Larocque’s Canadian team lost 3-2 in a shootout to rival US, whom they’d beaten in the gold medal game at the last two Olympics.
The medal presentation ceremony takes place on the ice after the game. Immediately after the silver medal was placed around her neck, Larocque removed it.
Larocque’s actions were questioned by some, who thought it showed poor sportsmanship and a lack of appreciation for her accomplishment. Larocque explained why she did it and said it was because they didn’t achieve what they wanted to.
“It’s just hard,” Larocque said, via the AP. “You work so hard. We wanted gold but didn’t get it.”
Larocque’s actions — especially so soon after the loss — make complete sense for a competitor. The silver comes as a disappointment to many, because you receive it after losing a gold medal game. That’s why the gold and bronze medal winners may feel more accomplished immediately after a game.
Perhaps Larocque will feel more appreciation for her silver in time, but for now, it’s understandable why it stood as a symbol of disappointment for her.
TJ Oshie sent a shoutout from Team USA shootout hero to another.
The US women’s hockey team won gold on Thursday at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang with a 3-2 shootout win over rival Canada. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored in the sixth round of the shootout, which turned out to be the winning goal after Maddie Rooney stopped Canada to give the US the edge.
In 2014, Oshie helped the US beat Russia at the Winter Olympics in Sochi by scoring on four of six shootout attempts, including the clincher.
Upon learning of the US’ victory over Canada, Oshie sent the following tweet congratulating scorers Monique Lamoureaux and Gigi Marvin, as well as Jocelyne Lamoureux, who scored the golden goal in the shootout.
That’s some pretty awesome love shared by Team USA hockey heroes. Unfortunately only one of them received a medal, as the men’s team finished fourth in 2014.
Jocelyne Lamoureux helped the United States women’s hockey team win its first gold medal in 20 years with an incredible shootout goal on Wednesday, and it turns out the golden goal had an even better name.
After the dramatic victory, Lamoureux’s twin sister Monique revealed that the play in which Jocelyne scored the winning goal on is one that the team has practiced, and it’s called the “Oops, I Did it Again.”
If we had told you that the gold medal-clinching goal in the women’s Olympic hockey tournament would be named after a Britney Spears song, you probably would have thought we were crazy. Such is life in 2018.
The 3-2 win in PyeongChang gave the women’s hockey team its first gold medal since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. They were finally able to get over the hump against Canada, who beat them in overtime at the 2014 Games in Sochi and also beat the U.S. for the gold in 2010 and 2002.
The Olympics are a great generator of breakout stars. The athletes generally only gain major attention every four years, meaning new potential stars are coming onto the scene all the time. Even older athletes are finding success in the Olympics after battling obscurity and other obstacles earlier in their careers.
Here are 10 star athletes whose presence at the PyeongChang Olympics have gained them newfound fame and support.
1) Chloe Kim
It takes more than dominance in your sport to become a true Olympic breakout star — you must have a personality, too. Chloe Kim, gold medalist in the women’s snowboard halfpipe, has both in spades. Kim flew to gold in the halfpipe event, then tweeted her way into our hearts with a series of extremely relatable food tweets. That personality should serve her well, and given that she’s just 17 years old, we should be seeing her at future Winter Olympics for years to come.
2) Maddie Rooney