Golden Storylines from Lackluster Games

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang wrapped up on Sunday, closing the Olympics until the Tokyo Games in the summer of 2020.

The Americans’ medal haul was underwhelming as compared to other Olympics, finishing with 23 medals, good for fourth in the medal table. Despite the less than predicted medal count, there were still plenty of great moments at the Olympics.

Women’s hockey breaks Canada’s streak

In five of the six gold medal games in the Olympics, the Americans and Canadians have faced off. The inaugural event went the way of the Americans. Canada responded with four straight golds, three over the Americans and one over the Swedes.

In Sochi four years ago, it seemed like the Americans had the Canadians’ number in the final, but a 2-0 lead with just over three minutes to go was not enough. The Canadians unleashed a smash-and-grab job to skip away with the gold.

In PyeongChang, the storyline was set to repeat. The Americans hopped out first before Canada reversed the lead.

One bad line change killed the hopes for Canada to win in regulation. Monique Lamoureux-Morando skated in all alone on a swift counter attack to tie the score at 2-2.

The final six minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime couldn’t decide the winner. Instead, the perfect-imperfect way was used — the shootout.

After five shooters aside failed to separate the two sides, 30 seconds decided 80 minutes of hockey.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson put the Canadian goalie on skates and slid home the American advantage. Twenty-year-old Maddie Rooney made the stop at the other end, and the 20-year wait was over. The event of the Olympics became an instant classic.

Cross-country skiing breaks drought

The American cross-country ski team had never gotten gold in Olympic history. That was until Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall held off Sweden and Norway in the team sprint.

Each woman did three laps, alternating on each lap. On the penultimate lap, Randall stuck with the two Scandinavian leaders, handing off to Diggins with a medal all but guaranteed.

The three-way battle stayed heated around the course and back into the stadium for the final sprint to the line. Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla faded in the final 100 meters, leaving Diggins to dig back a slight advantage to Sweden’s Stina Nilsson.

Diggins made the pass with 25 meters to go and stretched to win the first gold for the USA in cross-country.

Americans dominate the “X Games” events

The halfpipe in PyeongChang was very nice to Americans. Four events took place in the halfpipe, and the U.S. took home three golds, a sliver and a pair of bronzes.

Chloe Kim, between her tweets about food, stomped the field in women’s snowboard halfpipe and was followed by Arielle Gold in third. Shaun White needed a clean final run on the men’s side, and he delivered.

The Americans finished first and second with David Wise and Alex Ferreira in the men’s skiing halfpipe, and Brita Sigourney took home a bronze for the women.

On the slopes, it was more hardware for the U.S. Red Gerard claimed the first gold of the games for the Americans, and then proceeded to be an American teenager by losing his jacket and oversleeping. Jamie Anderson took home gold for slopestyle and added silver in big air.

Nick Goepper also took a silver from the slopes in South Korea.

At the end of the games, these X Games athletes took home a large haul for the U.S., salvaging what could otherwise be considered a poor showing for the Americans.

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