The second week of the Winter Olympics is in the books and we’re rapidly closing in on the closing ceremonies. There are just a few more medals to hand out over the course of the weekend before things wrap up early Sunday morning, or for those of you that aren’t morning people, Sunday night when the ceremony is aired on tape delay. So, with plenty of action in the books, lets take a look back at this past week’s notable moments.
USA Women’s Hockey Beats Canada To Take Gold
The last three times that the Team USA women’s hockey team has reached the gold medal game in the Olympics, they’ve been felled by Canada. It happened in 2002 in Salt Lake, 2010 in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi. The women once again advanced to the gold medal game this year and were faced with their familiar foe. However, this time, things would be different.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the first, with a goal from Hilary Knight. Canada responded with a pair of goals in the second period before Monique Lamoureux-Moronado scored with 6:21 left to tie the game and send it to overtime. Neither team was able to end it in the extra sessions which sent the game to a shootout and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson made Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados look silly with a deke she dubbed “Oops I did it again” to score the game-winner in the sixth round of the shootout.
The goal earned the Americans a 3-2 win, avenging both a loss earlier in the tournament to the Canadians, and the past Olympic losses as well. The last time the U.S. women took gold in the Olympics was at the first women’s tournament at Nagano in 1998.
USA Curling Gets Shot At First-Ever Gold Medal With Winning Streak
After six games of the round robin schedule in men’s curling, the Americans sat at 2-4 needing a near-miracle run to have a shot at a medal. And, they got it. Starting on Monday, the Americans ripped off wins against Canada (9-7), Switzerland (8-4) and Great Britain (10-4), to qualify for the elimination stage. At that point, the U.S. squared off with Canada once again, defeating the Canadians for the second straight time (5-3). With that win, the Americans are guaranteed a medal for just the second time in the event’s history (the men took bronze in the 2006 Turin Games). They’ll play Sweden for the gold on Saturday.
Lindsey Vonn Closes Olympic Career With Bronze
The past several years have been trying times for Vonn as she made her comeback from a devastating crash that forced her out of the 2014 Sochi Games. At age 33, she admitted these are likely to be her last Olympics, and if they are, she went out with a medal. Vonn put up a solid run in the downhill to earn bronze in the event. She fell just short of the podium in the Alpine Combined finals a day later, but still, her legacy as the best women’s alpine skiier ever is complete. Congrats to Vonn on a tremendous career.
Kikkan Randall, Jessie Diggins Earn U.S.’ First Cross Country Skiing Medal
The United States has never been particularly strong in the cross country skiing events, with zero Olympic medals to our credit heading into the 2018 Games. That trend continued through the first eight events within the discipline, the U.S. hadn’t reached the podium. Then came the Ladies’ Team Sprint Free final.
In one of the more entertaining finishes you’ll see, American Kikkan Randall (above right) stretched her right ski across the line just 0.19 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla to win the gold. For Randall, it’s a fantastic story, as this is her fifth Olympics, having competed in every one since 2002 at Salt Lake, without winning a medal.
Medal Count Update
After two weeks of Olympic action, the medal race is winding down. There are only a few medals left to hand out over the course of the weekend, so we have a pretty good idea who’s going to end up where in the overall medal count.
Norway is well ahead in the overall count with 37 medals total, 1o ahead of the second place country in that regard, Canada. They’re also tied for first with Germany in the chase for the most gold medals with 13. Here’s a look at the Top 4 in each of the standings.