“2018 Winter Olympics”

Abby Black, Staff Writer

The 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Game is being held at PyeongChang, South Korea on February 9th-25th.  This event will include more than 2,800 athletes and more than 85 countries.  It will also include 7 sports with 15 disciplines, 102 medal events, 12 venues, and 3 zones.  We are believed to be the best in skiing.  Two skiers who are expected to do well at the Games are Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin.  Vonn has nearly set a record with 86 World Cup wins.  She has put her main focus on the Games for now.  Shiffrin won the gold medal in slalom in 2014.  She has been said to be the best slalom skier and is a favorite to win gold.  Maia and Alex Shibutani are ice dancing siblings who have won three World Champion medals.  They are expected to do well.  The 2014 Olympic Games gives a good example of how well we might possible do this year.

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the USA finished second in medal count (28) falling only to Russia (33).  They also finished fourth in the gold medal count race which is unusual for the US as they are the second most successful country in the Winter Olympics trailing Norway in all time gold medals and total medals.  The US, however, was able to grab 9 gold medals with Sage Kotsenburg, Jamie Anderson, Kaitlyn Farrington, Joss Christensen, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, David Wise, Ted Ligety, Maddie Bowman, and Mikaela Shiffrin.

  • Gold Medal #1: Sage Kotsenburg, Snowboard Men’s Slopestyle (February 8)

-Kotsenburg won two silver medals previously in the Winter X Games.

  • Gold Medal #2: Jamie Anderson, Snowboard Ladies’ Slopestyle (February 9)

-Anderson won eight medals in the Winter X Games with four of those eight being gold

  • Gold Medal #3: Kaitlyn Farrington, Ladies’ Halfpipe

(February 12)

-Farrington was a surprise gold medalist.  In order to win gold, she had to outperform three other halfpipe gold medalist: Americans Kelly Clark (2002), Hannah Teter (2006), and Australian Torah Bright (2010).

  • Gold Medal #4: Joss Christensen, Men’s Ski Slopestyle

(February 13)

-Christensen beat out Team USA members Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper with two runs of 95.8 and 93.8.  These were the highest scores of the competition.

  • Gold Medal #5: Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Ice Dancing

(February 17)

-They were the only multiple person or team gold medalists won by the US.  Americans have never won gold in Ice Dancing before.

  • Gold Medal #6: David Wise, Men’s Ski Halfpipe (February 18)

-Wise won three consecutive gold medals in 2012, 2013, and 2014 in the Winter X Games Superpipe Freestyle Ski competition.

  • Gold Medal #7: Ted Ligety, Men’s Giant Slalom (February 19)

-Ligety was a combined gold medalist in Torino in 2006.  He did not, however, make podium at the 2010 Vancouver Games.  He won gold with a mere .48 of a second over France’s Steve Missillier with a time of 2:45.29.

  • Gold Medal #8: Maddie Bowman, Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe

(February 20)

-Bowman won gold with an 85.80 which was just enough, .40, over France’s Marie Martinod.  She also won back to back gold medals in the Winter X Games Superpipe Freestyle ski competition.

  • Gold Medal #9: Mikaela Shiffrin, Ladies’ Slalom (February 21)

-Shiffrin was the final gold medalist and the youngest slalom winner at the Winter Olympics at 18.  She beat Marlies Schild of Austria by .53 of a second.  She also already won the Ladies’ Slalom in 2013 World Championships at 17.