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Shiffrin Wins Giant Slalom Gold

Shiffrin1

It took a few days, but the wait was very worthwhile as Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) won the giant slalom gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games Thursday.

After three days of howling winds at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre that first postponed the giant slalom – originally scheduled for Monday – then Wednesday’s slalom event, racers were finally greeted with sunshine and a hard-fast course.

“I skied well,” Shiffrin said after the first run in which she finished second to Italy’s Manuela Moelgg by 0.02-seconds. “I skied loose and I put some of my good skiing from training in there. But I also feel like I can go a little bit harder and there’s nothing to hold back for on the second run. That’s the nice thing about the Olympics – you don’t hold back!"

Indeed, she held nothing back in the second run, posting the fastest time to move atop the leaderboard and put all the pressure on Moelgg, which was too much for the Italian as she slipped to eighth. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel won the silver, while Italy’s Federica Brignone won the bronze.

“I feel like my best was good enough today," said Shiffrin after her win. "To have an opportunity to win a medal at the Olympics at all is incredible, so for me, today was special. After Sochi, I set a goal that I wanted to come to the next Olympics and I wanted to be one of the best giant slalom skiers in the world. It’s never easy, and I put a lot of fight into the second run, and it feels incredible.” … READ MORE / RESULTS

Bennett Leads Team USA in Downhill
Racing under bright sunshine and on a perfect track, Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) led Team USA in the downhill, finishing 16th, at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games Thursday.

“I treated this run like any other run," Bennett said. "I just didn’t perform the way I wanted. I will use this run to move forward, over the next four years, and I will be ready for the next Olympic Winter Games.”

Aksel Lund Svindal won Norway’s first-ever downhill gold. His countryman Kjetil Jansrud won the silver medal. Switzerland’s Beat Feuz won the bronze.

"I am super happy how I approached today and how I skied," said Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah), who was 20th. "I was skiing at a really high level and I am proud of that. Some things happened with the wind and made it very difficult for anyone in the middle of the pack to break the top 10. I have no control over that so I am just happy how I executed my run."

Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.), who replaced Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, N.Y.) after he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Wednesday’s downhill training, was 23rd. Wiley Maple (Aspen, Colo.) made his Olympic debut and finished 30th. … READ MORE  RESULTS

FREESTYLE
McKinnon, Olsen Advance To Finals

After missing out on the top six in the first round of qualifications, Kiley McKinnon (Madison, Conn.) and Madison Olsen (Park City, Utah) found redemption in the second round of qualifications, finishing fifth and sixth to advance to Friday night’s medal round. Both McKinnon and Olsen landed a full, full and scored 87.88, with McKinnon taking the higher end of the tie breaker. Both athletes had to wait until the final competitor to see if they had secured their spots.

“I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through, but to make it really means a lot to me,” said Olsen. “It’s a lot to wait and see if your score is going to hold, but I did the best I could and I made it through.”

“I didn’t have the best first jump, so I knew I had to go out there and do the best second jump I possibly could to make it in,” said McKinnon. “After that, it was a waiting game. That final moment when I knew was a huge relief.”

Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, Va.) competed two triple jumps, a full, full, full and a lay, full, full, but was unable to land cleanly and missed out on finals.

The medal round kicks off on Friday at 8:00 p.m. KT / 6:00 a.m. EST.

CROSS COUNTRY
Diggins Just Seconds Away From A Medal

Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) finished fifth in the women's 10k freestyle Thursday afternoon at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Center.

Diggins was in contention for a medal, positioned in third place at the 6.2km and 8.4km intervals, but fell back over the final portion of the race to finish in 25:37.7, 3.3-seconds away from a podium finish.

“To be that close and to ski with the best in the world is so awesome and I could not have gone any harder, I don’t know where I would have found those seconds,” Diggins said. “I pushed my body way passed my limit and that’s a really good feeling to know I gave it my all and I am really proud of my race.” … READ MORE / RESULTS

Men’s 15k Freestyle Friday
The men’s 15k freestyle takes place Friday at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Center starting at 3:00 p.m. KT / 1:00 a.m. EST. Starting for Team USA is Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.), Noah Hoffman (Aspen, Colo.), Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska) and Tyler Kornfield (Anchorage, Alaska).


SNOWBOARD
Baumgartner Fourth, Dierdorff Fifth in Snowboardcross

Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) and Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) battled through multiple crash-filled heats to race in the medal round of men’s snowboardcross at Phoenix Snow Park on Thursday.

Both finished just off the podium in fourth and fifth. It was a career-best Olympic finish for Baumgartner, a three-time Olympian, and an impressive showing for first-timer Dierdorff.

Baumgartner and Dierdorff rode in the same semi-final heat and both suffered crashes midway down the course. Both were able to get back up and, due to other crashes, crossed the finish line in second and third to make the big final.

“From when I was 12 years old starting this sport, I've always been told that the race is never over - when you go down you get back up and finish,” said Dierdorff. “That paid off today and I got into the final heat of the Olympics.” … READ MORE / RESULTS

Women’s Snowboardcross Friday
Four-time Olympian and 2006 silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) leads Team USA in the women’s snowboardcross event kicking off with the qualifying rounds Friday at 10:00 a.m. KT / 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday. Joining Jacobellis will be Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City) and Meghan Tierney (Edwards, Colo.). Rosie Mancari (Anchorage, Alaska) was also scheduled to start, but suffered and injury in training and will not compete.
START LIST
Women’s snowboardcross

HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15
NBC

3:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Women's 10k freestyle cross country
8:00 p.m.-12:30 a.m. - Women's snowboardcross finals (live), women's freestyle aerials, women's 10k freestyle cross country

NBCSN
11:00 p.m.-2:40 a.m. - Men's 15k freestyle cross country (live)

Olympic Channel: Home Of Team USA
5:00-7:00 a.m. - Medal Ceremony (live)
12:00-12:30 p.m. - Winter Olympics Daily with Jimmy Roberts

NBCOlympics.com - Live Streaming
8:00-9:50 p.m. - Women's slalom first run (Friday)
8:00-9:25 p.m. - Women's snowboardcross seeding
9:00-11:10 p.m. - Men's alpine super-G (Friday)
10:15-11:15 p.m. - Women's snowboardcross finals
11:15 p.m. -12:15 a.m. - Women's giant slalom second run (Friday)
1:00-2:50 a.m. - Men's 15k freestyle cross country (Friday)

FRIDAY, FEB 16
NBC

3:00-5:00 p.m. - Men's 15k freestyle cross country, men's large hill ski jumping
8:00-12:00 p.m. - Women's super G (live), women's aerials finals

12:35-2:00 a.m. - Women's slopestyle skiing finals

NBCSN
10:45 a.m.-2:00 p.m. - Men's large hill ski jumping

Olympic Channel: Home Of Team USA
5:00-7:00 a.m. - Medal Ceremony (live)
12:00-12:30 p.m. - Winter Olympics Daily with Jimmy Roberts

NBCOlympics.com - Live Streaming
1:00-2:50 a.m. - Men's 15k freestyle cross country
6:00-7:20 a.m. - Women's aerials finals
7:30-8:40 a.m. - Men's large hill ski jumping qualifying
8:00-9:40 p.m.- Women's slopestyle skiing qualifying (Saturday)
9:00-10:55 p.m.- Women's super-G (Saturday)
11:00-12:35 a.m. - Women's slopestyle skiing finals (Saturday)

SATURDAY, FEB. 17
NBC

3:00-6:00 p.m. - Men's freestyle aerials, women's 4x5k relay.
8:00-11:00 p.m. - Men's giant slalom first run (live), men's ski jumping large hill
11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. - Men's giant slalom second run (live), men's slopestyle skiing finals

NBCSN
7:10-10:30 a.m. - Men's freestyle aerials
10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - Women's 4x5k cross country relay
1:30-5:30 p.m. - Men's large hill ski jumping
7:00-10:10 p.m.- Men's slopestyle skiing (live)

Olympic Channel: Home Of Team USA
5:00-7:00 a.m. - Medal Ceremony (live)
12:00-12:30 p.m. - Winter Olympics Daily with Jimmy Roberts

NBCOlympics.com - Live Streaming
4:30-5:45 a.m. - Women's 4x5k relay
7:30-9:15 a.m. - Men's large hill jump
8:00-10:05 p.m. - Men's slopestyle skiing qualifying (Sunday)
8:15-10:20 p.m. - Men's giant slalom first run (Sunday)
11:15 p.m.-12:50 a.m. - Men's slopestyle skiing finals (Sunday)
11:45 p.m.-1:45 a.m. - Men's giant slalom second run (Sunday)

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