Swiss free skier Joel Gisler suffered a nasty fall during his run in the men’s halpipe qualifications at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday.
Gisler had just dropped into the halfpipe and was approaching his first maneuver backwards. As he tried to land, he hit the top of the halfpipe and tumbled down towards the center.
Gisler was down writhing around in the snow but was able to sit up. He was seen breathing heavy afterwards and received some medical attention. The 23-year-old was eventually able to get on his feet and was helped down the pipe.
Gisler scored 59.80 on his first run, but just 9.80 on his second due to his brutal fall.
Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu won gold over the weekend in the men’s singles competition, and what made his performance even more impressive is that he apparently did it on one leg in a sense.
Hanyu, who won the hearts of many in PyeongChang with his brilliance on the ice and his devoted, Winnie-the-Pooh-tossing supporters, told reporters on Sunday that he needed painkillers to make it through the competition. The 23-year-old was nursing an ankle injury that had not yet fully healed.
“Without painkillers, I can’t land or take off for a jump,” said Hanyu, per Hiromu Namiki of the Japan News. “I’ve had a lot of aches and pains.”
According to Namiki’s piece, Hanyu hurt his right ankle on a fall in a practice for the NHK Trophy in November. As a result, he skipped every competition in PyeongChang (including the team event) until the men’s singles.
As part of the singles competition, Hanyu had to gut it out through a short program on Friday (where he placed first with a score of 111.68) and a free program on Saturday (where he placed second with a score of 206.17). Those two scores were enough cumulatively for him to win the gold medal.
Of course, we have already seen some other athletes battle through injury in this year’s Olympics, but Hanyu may very well be the first one to do so and go on to win it all in the end.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates had a disappointing performance in their free dance on Tuesday at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
Chock and Bates got their skates tangled midway through their program and ended up falling to the ice. Despite knowing that they would receive a deduction and likely be out of medal contention, the two bounced back to complete their program.
They received a score of 100.13, which left them sixth for the event and third in the combined points, with many of the top pairs to come. They received a two-point deduction for both skaters falling during the program.
Chock knew that the fall was devastating and was seen crying upon completing her skate.
Maddie Bowman received medical attention after falling during the finals of the women’s freeski halfpipe on Tuesday in PyeongChang.
Bowman got three runs in the halfpipe and fell after attempting the same trick all three times. She was unable to complete the 900 she was attempting, and she ended up falling so hard in her final run that the top of her helmet came off.
Bowman received medical attention but was able to stand up and walk it off.
After winning the gold medal at the Sochi Games in 2014 in the halfpipe, Bowman was unable to defend her top spot and ended up with a disappointing finish. Whether it was due to the disappointment or hitting her head and the symptoms that could follow, Bowman was seen crying afterwards.
Bowman was angling for the top score and had a “go big or go home” mentality. Being unable to complete the 900 left her with an 11th-place finish in the event with a score of 27.
Canada and Germany tied for a gold medal in the two-man bobsled at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang on Monday, and Canadian pilot Justin Kripps had a funny quote about it.
Canada’s two-man bobsled team of Kripps and Alexander Kopacz entered their fourth and final run needing a time of 49.28 or under in order to tie Germany’s total times. They ran a time of 49.28 for a total of 3:16.86 — tying them with the Germans.
Upon finishing his final run, Kripps says he saw the number one by Canada’s name and thought they had won, but he didn’t realize there was a tie.
“I didn’t know it was a tie at first,” Kripps said. “I crossed it and I saw the ‘1’ and I was celebrating. Then I saw (Francesco) Friedrich and (Margis) Thorsten super-excited as well. I was like, ‘Man, these guys are really excited for me!’ And then I realized we tied. And I couldn’t be more proud. Friedrich is one of the best of all time.”
Both teams will certainly take it; gold is always better than silver or bronze.
This isn’t the first time there has been a tie for gold in the two-man bobsled. The same thing happened with Canada in 1998.
It’s hard not to feel for Artur Nogal after his unfortunate fate in the 500m speed skating event on Monday.
The Polish skater’s Olympic dreams were dashed when he suffered a heartbreaking slip at the start line right as the competition began.
Nogal’s anguish manifested itself almost immediately. Here is another angle:
The 27-year-old would eventually get to his feet and finish the race. However, he ended up 36th out of 36 with a time of 58.71 (which was over 24 seconds behind gold medalist Håvard Lorentzen of Norway).
Beyond just the four years of training and preparation that culminated in that moment, what makes it even more gut-wrenching is that the 500m is the only event Nogal is competing in at PyeongChang (per his official Olympic profile).
We have definitely seen some similarly heartbreaking moments in previous Olympics as well, but Nogal’s slip has to be one of the roughest breaks for an athlete so far in this year’s Games.
The father of French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis expects her to bounce back quickly after her wardrobe malfunction.
Emmanuel Papadakis, who runs a food truck business in Texas, said that as embarrassing as his daughter’s wardrobe malfunction was, he expected a big performance on Tuesday in response.
“But it won’t knock her down,” Papadakis told Martin Rogers of USA Today Sports. “She is so tough and she has put in so much work. You wait and see what she goes out and does (on Tuesday). I am so proud of her, especially today.
“People see one thing. Yes, something happened. But I hope people can understand enough to think about what really matters. They don’t see that it took years of effort to get here and to try to be as good as you can be.”
Gabriella Papadakis struggled to keep her top up after an early wardrobe malfunction, which was understandably embarrassing for her. She and her partner Guillaume Cizeron still came in second after the short program, though, and have every chance to win a medal despite their troubles.
Elizabeth Swaney is likely the least skilled athlete at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the American who represented Hungary in PyeongChang has quickly become one of the most polarizing stories.
On Monday, Swaney was one of 24 skiers who took part in the women’s freestyle halfpipe event. The 33-year-old finished dead last, and it’s easy to see why when you watch her run:
Swaney simply rode back and forth down the halfpipe, incorporating virtually no tricks or anything that even an average skier would find difficult. A feature from Jason Blevins of the Denver Post on Sunday explained how Swaney qualified for the Olympics. Basically, she funded her own training and fulfilled the requirements by participating in 13 World Cup halfpipe contests, meeting the Olympic requirement for top-30 finishes by competing in events with around 30 or less than 30 entrants.
“I’m just trying to do the best for myself and represent Hungary as best as I can,” Swaney, whose grandparents are from Hungary, said after Sunday’s practice run. “I really hope to inspire others in Hungary to take up freestyle skiing and I hope that contributes to a greater number of people out there freestyle skiing.”
FIS ski halfpipe and slopestyle judge Steele Spence told Blevins that plans are in the works to up the standards needed to qualify for the halfpipe up at the Olympics, such as needing more points than those you can accumulate just from completing a run without falling. Many fans found Swaney’s determination inspirational:
Others, naturally, were not so kind:
The Hungarian Ski Federation said it was completely unaware of Swaney’s skill level and had not seen her in competition in the past year.
Some skiers who chose to remain anonymous told the Denver Post they believe the Olympics should be a stage for the elite to showcase their skills, while others felt having an amateur might “provide perspective.” No matter which side you stand on, you have to commend Swaney for her determination. Like the Mexican skier we saw who came in dead last in a cross-country event, she put in the time and effort needed to accomplish her goal.
French alpine skier Mathieu Faivre, the boyfriend of Mikaela Shiffrin, was sent home from the Olympics by France after controversial comments following his race.
Faivre finished seventh in the men’s giant slalom race on Sunday, with three of his French teammates finishing ahead of him. That was of little consolation to Faivre, who, according to the BBC, told reporters that he was “disgusted with the result.”
“I’m here to race for myself only,” Faivre said. “I felt I was skiing well in the second run but when I saw where I’d finished it was like a slap in the face.”
Faivre added “if you only knew what I think about the group collective,” but has since apologized for the remarks. French skiing director David Chastan confirmed that Faivre was dismissed from PyeongChang “for disciplinary reasons.”
Faivre’s Olympic experience obviously hasn’t gone well, and while his girlfriend did claim a gold medal and still has a shot at another, she has had a disappointing time of it relative to expectations, too. It seems safe to say the couple won’t remember PyeongChang as fondly as they could have.
Image via Instagram/Mikaela Shiffrin
Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy failed to take home a medal in the freestyle event over the weekend, but his experience in PyeongChang seems as though it was very fulfilling.
After he failed to match or improve upon the silver medal he won at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Kenworthy was shown on NBC’s television coverage kissing his boyfriend, Matt Wilkas. Kenworthy didn’t realize the moment was televised until the following day, and he was glad that it was.
Kenworthy came out in a 2015 interview with ESPN, and he has been an inspiration to the LGBTQ community since. He and figure skater Adam Rippon became the first openly gay American athletes to participate in the Winter Olympics this year.
“That’s something that I wanted at the last Olympics – to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom – and it was something that I was too scared to do for myself,” Kenworthy told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. “And so to be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted for the world is incredible. I think that’s the only way to really change perceptions, break down homophobia, break down barriers is through representation. And that’s definitely not something I had as a kid. I definitely didn’t see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend. And I think if I had, it would’ve made it a lot easier for me.”
Kenworthy also shared a message on social media thanking fans for their support.
Despite not winning a medal, Kenworthy was a big part of the Olympic coverage in South Korea. On lighter notes, he freaked out about a tweet he received from Britney Spears and took a funny shot at vice president Mike Pence after breaking his thumb. Overall, it would not be a surprise if Kenworthy felt like the 2018 Winter Games made a bigger impact on him than four years ago when he won a silver medal.