Olympic Overview

Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea


Harry How

Team USA walks in the Opening Ceremony (courtesy of Getty Images).

Ellie Coppock, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Friday, February 9, marked the start of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

According to the New York Times, so far, Norway leads the medal count with 37 metals total, 13 of them being gold. The United States are in fourth place with 21 total metals, 8 of them being gold.

Some highlights have included Shaun White’s gold win in men’s halfpipe snowboarding. After his results in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, fans felt White’s victory was well-deserved. White plans to retire after these games along with skier Lindsey Vonn. Seventeen-year-old Chloe Kim also won gold for The United States in the women’s halfpipe. Kim finished with a score of 98.25, 8.5 points away from the silver medalist, Liu Jiayu of China. Arielle Gold won the bronze medal for Team USA in the same event. According to USA Today Sports, American Jamie Anderson took home the gold medal in the women’s snowboard slopestyle. Red Garard also won gold in the men’s snowboard slopestyle.

Another noteworthy moment was American figure skater Mirai Nagasu’s triple axel. Nagasu is the third woman in history to complete the trick and the first to do it at the Olympics. Before her, American Tonya Harding completed the trick in 1991. Nagasu’s performance helped Team USA win bronze in the team standings. She failed to land the jump in her individual short program on Tuesday, February 20. She finished in tenth place on Thursday, February 22.

Newcomers have been getting a lot of attention in this year’s games. Ester Ledecka started as a snowboarder, but competed in the Super-G skiing event. She even had to borrow the skies she used in the event from American Mikaela Shiffrin. According to the Washington Post, Ledecka finished her run 0.01 seconds ahead of Anna Veith from Austria, the leader at the time. She stated, “I was looking at the board and I thought, ‘Are they going to put a couple more seconds up there?’” On Tuesday, February 20, Russian Alina Zagitova broke the record for the highest score in the women’s figure skating short program. She scored 82.92 points, 1.31 points ahead of the gold metal favorite, Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva. On Thursday, February 22, both skaters competed in the free skate. Zagitova held the lead and won gold.

On Wednesday, February 21, The American team took home gold in the cross country skiing team sprint. The team, consisting of Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, finished 0.19 seconds ahead of second place. According to Olympics.org, This is the first medal that the U.S. has won in cross country skiing in 40 years. According to Sporting News, The bronze medalists in the same event included Marit Bjorgen. With this win, Bjorgen became the most decorated winter olympian ever with 14 medals.

Some honorable mentions include the American men’s curling team making it to the game for gold, the American women’s hockey team winning gold, and the American women’s bobsled team winning silver.

The PyeongChang Winter Games are set to end on Sunday, February 25.