Americans Christensen, Kenworthy and Goepper sweep slopestyle skiing

You missed quite a lot this morning, probably because a lot of you got to sleep a lot later than you usually do. Good for you! I wish, 30 years ago, someone would have pointed out I was going to work in a 365-day-a-year job that includes nights, weekends, holidays — and snow days. I might have gone in another direction.

Instead, I’m here to tell you that the Americans had a terrific day in slopestyle skiing — as in, a podium sweep. Joss Christensen won a gold, beating teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper. It was the fourth gold medal for the United States, all won at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Americans have swept the podium three times in Olympic history: men’s figure skating in 1956 and men’s halfpipe snowboarding in 2002.

On the cross-country course — where it seemed there was less snow than most of us will have to slog through today — Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk won the 10-kilometer classical cross-country race despite a broken bone in her left foot. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden took silver and Therese Johaug of Norway took bronze. Four-time Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen couldn’t keep up with Kowalczyk’s pace and finished fifth.

The gold was the second for Kowalczyk, who won the 30k classical in Vancouver four years ago. The two medals make her the winningest Winter Olympic medalist from her country.

Sadie Bjornsen was the top finisher among the Americans in 18th place.

After two of four runs in the women’s skeleton, Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold is in the lead, with American Noelle Pikus-Pace .44 seconds behind. Russia’s Elena Nikitina is in third and U.S. slider Katie Uehlander is fourth and well within striking distance of a medal as well.  The final two runs are Friday morning.

American Emily Scott failed to advance out the quarterfinals in 500 short-track speedskating.

In women’s hockey, Germany shut out Japan, 4-0. In men’s hockey, Finland beat Austria, 8-4. But the big games begin at 7:30, when the United States faces Slovakia (NBCSN) and Russia takes on Slovenia (MSNBC). Those of you lucky enough to be snowed in, let the channel flipping commence!

And if you’re snowed in and bored, watch the team luge relay at 3 p.m. (NBC). Trust me.

 

 

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Rick Maese · February 13