Pyeongchang: America’s Recap

Megan Curling, Editor in Chief

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Every time the Olympics come around, fans are eager to watch their favorite athletes and favorite sports on the most prestigious global scale. However, with busy schedules and a 14 hour time difference, you might have missed some things along the way. So, with the closing ceremonies occuring earlier today, here is Pine Whispers’ official Olympic wrap up of the United States performance.

To preface, yes, there were two training days on February 7 and 8 but along with all other strictly training events, they will not be discussed here.

Friday, February 9

Starting off the official events with a rocky start in my namesake sport, the U.S. mixed doubles team lost to both Switzerland and South Korea during the Round Robin curling events. Later in the day the US continued to just miss redemption on the ice skating rink with Nathan Chen coming in a surprising fourth in the men’s single short program and popular husband and wife short program pair, Scimeca and Chris Knierim also came up short in fourth, a distant six points behind the third pair. In qualification one of the moguls, three women and one advanced into the final run for the country. That night, the Olympics were officially opened by Korean president Moon Jae-in in a ceremony centered around peace and passion with five children leading the festivities to both represent the Olympic rings as well as the elements of nature accompanied by animals and a cast of 2,000 people. Luger Erin Hamlin led the country as flag bearer of the team who wore tasteful red white and blue Ralph Lauren sweaters, skinny jeans, belts, bandanas, moccasin mittens, jackets, hats, and boots.

Saturday, February 10

Again, the mixed doubles team lost to China in the morning but redeemed themselves in another Red Robin curling match with a 10-3 win over Norway. Women’s biathlon athletes finished in 51, 61, and 86 places in the 7.5 km sprint and Jessica Diggins just missed the podium finishing fifth in the 7.5 km cross country skiing event followed by Americans finishing in 34, 40, and 58 out of 60 competitors. Kevin Bickner finished in 18 out of 30 in the men’s individual ski jump. Two men failed to qualify for snowboard slopestyle and two women failed to medal in the 3,000m speed skate.

Sunday, February 11

Men lost in both the 10km biathlon spring and cross country skiing along with the mixed doubles losing again in Red Robin curling to Finland. Siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani placed second in the team ice dance short dance but were alone in skating success with Tennell and the Knierim siblings coming up short by two places in the single short program and team free skate, respectively. The women’s hockey team delivered a shocking win over scandinavian country, Finland to advance 3-1. On top of that exciting win, Redmond Gerard won the men’s snowboard slopestyle ahead of Canadian favorites, Parrot and McMorris.

Monday, February 12

Athletes failed to medal in the men’s 12.5km biathlon, men’s moguls, 1500 women’s speed skate, and women’s individual ski jump but were redeemed by siblings Shibutani and Shibutani won silver in the team free ice dance with a 112.01 and Jamie Anderson getting gold in the women’s snowboard slopestyle.

Tuesday, February 13

The women’s hockey team won big again 5-0 over the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). Athletes failed to medal in men’s alpine combined slalom, ladies cross country ski sprint, individual women’s luge, and men’s 1500m speed skate. However, the most exciting win of the day was fan and X Games favorite, 17 year old Chloe Kim became the youngest woman snowboarder to win an Olympic gold with her 98.25 halfpipe followed by Americans Arielle Gold and Kelly Clark in third and fourth.

Wednesday, February 14

The men’s curling team won their first Red Robin against Korea but were followed by a women’s loss to Japan. The men’s ice hockey team also lost to Slovenia in the preliminary round, 3-2. The Knierim couple also came up short in the pair short program along with losses in the doubles luge and 10km cross country nordic combined. However, possibly the most exciting win of the entire games, coming off of an awful almost career ending injury in New Zealand in late 2017, all time American favorite, snowboarder Shaun White took home gold in the men’s halfpipe with a redeeming 97.75 final run becoming the snowboarder with the most Olympic gold medals, as well as taking home the country’s 100th Winter Olympic gold.

Thursday, February 15

Following a failure to medal in the men’s downhill alpine, Mikaela Shiffrin brought home to gold for the women’s downhill alpine. Both the men’s and women’s individual biathlon athletes missed the podium as well as the ladies 10km cross country skiing and Knierim couple again in the pair free skate. The women’s hockey team took their first loss to Canada as did the men’s team luge relay and the women’s Curling team to Switzerland, though they later in the day beat Great Britain as the men’s team lost to Italy and the country again failed to medal in the men’s snowboard cross.

Friday, February 16

Men’s hockey came back to beat Slovakia 2-1 and the men’s curling team beat Denmark as well. However, US athletes failed to medal in the follow sports: men’s super-g, women’s slalom, men’s 15km free cross country ski, men’s skeleton, women’s snowboard cross, and women’s 5,000m speed skate, making for a pretty unsuccessful day for team USA.

Saturday, February 17

Women’s curling started off the day with a nail biting 7-6 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia but later lost to Canada, both in the Red Robin rounds. The men’s hockey team did not have as much luck against the OAR, losing 4-0 in a preliminary game. The one American medal for the day came from John-Henry Krueger’s silver in the men’s 1000m short track speed skate. Lindsey Vonn’s disappointing sixth place in the women’s super g was followed by inability to medal by athletes in the other six events in which they competed.

Sunday, February 18

The day was peaked by Nick Goepper winning silver in the men’s ski slopestyle, but was undercut by a sad twelfth place finish by American favorite Gus Kenworthy, who became famous for being the first openly gay action sports athlete after coming out as gay in his ESPN profile and also, for staying almost a month after the games ended in Sochi to rescue dogs in last winter Olympics. Other than that, the men’s curling team took two Red Robin losses along with team losses in the other two other events our country competed in.

Monday, February 19

A rather quiet, yet successful day in Pyeongchang, American athletes only competed in five medal events. While pairs failed to medal in two man bobsleigh and 500m speed skate or to advance in pairs short program skating, both women’s and men’s curling teams came back with wins over Denmark, China, and Canada in Red Robin rounds followed by the women’s hockey team’s 5-0 win over Finland in the semifinals.

Tuesday, February 20

Aside from a failure to medal in the 10km nordic combined men’s event, the mixed biathalon a  women’s curling team loss to Korea, the US had a very successful day today. Starting off, the men’s curling team found success in their Red Robin against Switzerland. The Shibutani siblings also did very well, getting bronze in the free ice dance, closely followed by Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Another bronze and fourth performance came from our country in the women’s ski halfpipe with Brita Sigourney followed by Annalisa Drew. Following Monday’s women’s hockey win, the men’s counterpart beat Slovakia 5-1 in their respective semifinals.

Wednesday, February 21

Team USA had a moderate day heading into the end of the Olympics with a lack of medals in the men’s team freestyle ski sprint, women’s curling, and a disappointing 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic by the men’s hockey team. Opposite the loss, the legendary women’s skier, Lindsey Vonn took home the bronze in downhill, her last Olympic even ever. Bronze medals were also won in women’s bobsled, a win over Great Britain for the men’s curling team, and an impressive gold in the women’s team spring cross country skiing.

Thursday, February 22

With losses in three different speed skating events, biathlon, and men’s alpine, the day started off a huge miss but was redeemed by HUGE wins. To sum it up, Shiffrin won silver in alpine slalom, David Wise and Alex Ferrerira took gold and silver in the men’s ski halfpipe, and Jamie Anderson won silver in the women’s snowboard big air. On top of it all, the men’s curling team advanced to the finals with a 5-3 win over Canada while the women’s hockey team took a massive title over Canada as well.

Friday, February 23

With only two days left in competition, the US had a rough day with losses in men’s 4×7.5 biathlon relay, women’s single free skate, and men’s 1000m speed skate, an event that seventh place Shani Davis set the record for in 2009.

Saturday, February 24

The alpine team failed to advance to finals and to medal in men’s 50km cross country skiing, and both speed skating and giant slalom events. However, Americans took the second, fourth, and fifth spots in men’s snowboard big air and the men’s curling team brought home a big win with the gold medal over Sweden in the finals.

Sunday, February 25

In the final day of competition, the men’s four person bobsled team just missed the podium, coming in fourth. The games were wrapped up by the traditional closing ceremony opened by Korean rock band Jambinai and followed by all 92 flag bearers with the thousands of athletes following behind without distinction of country. IOC President Thomas Bach officially closed the games with the ceremony ending in the 2022 host performance of “See You in Bejiing”


Although this year’s US performance was the worst in a winter games since the 1998 Nagano with only 23 medals, the men’s curling team won their first gold and the country medaled at least once in 11 sports, more than any other country this year.