It’s hard to know who’s happier that the U.S. men’s Alpine team finally won a medal at these Games, NBC or the U.S. men’s Alpine team. In any case, Andrew Weibrecht was a surprising silver medalist — just as he was four years ago — and Bode Miller tied for the bronze to become the oldest American (at 36) to win an Alpine medal. His six medals are the most for a U.S. skier.
Miller shared the bronze with Canada’s Jan Hudec and last but really first, Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud won gold.
Skiing medals give NBC a lot to chew on in prime time, but like every sales pitch on TV, wait, there’s more! The ice dancing got underway with the short program, and with Americans favored for the gold, it’s like Christmas came 10 months early — or two months late — for NBC.
As expected, Charlie White and Meryl Davis took the lead with a flawless performance, setting a world-best mark of 78.89. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, the gold medalists four years ago in Vancouver, were second. Madison Chock and Evan Bates stand in eighth, and fellow Americans Maia and Alex Shibutani are ninth.
Lindsey Jacobellis, with a closet full of Winter X Games awards at home, could have won her first Olympic medal Sunday in snowboard cross, or she could have crashed. Either way, she’s news after her mistake in 2006 cost her the gold medal and gave her a strange place in Olympic history. Sadly for Jacobellis, this tale did not get a happy ending.
Instead, a newcomer emerged: 21-year-old Faye Gulini, whose finished fourth behind the Czech Republic’s Eva Samkova, Canada’s Dominique Maltais and France’s Chloe Trespeuch.
The two-man bobsled got underway with the first two runs; it concludes Monday with two more. Russia-1, driven by Alexander Zubkov, leads Switzerland-1 by .32 seconds, with USA-1 (Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton) in third another .04 behind. USA-2 was in third place after the first heat but dropped to 11th after the second run, two spots ahead of USA-3.
Russia has not won a gold medal in the two-man since 1988.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Netherlands swept the podium in speedskating. In fact, the Netherlands took the top four spots in speedskating. This time it was the women’s 1,500 meters, and the order of finish was Jorien ter Mors (in an Olympic-record 1:53.51), Ireen Wust, Lottie Van Beek and Marrit Leenstra. On another day, you might be able to scramble those names, but probably not those results. Orange really is the new black.
Ter Mors not only took gold, she also could become the first to win short- and long-track speedskating medals in the same Olympics. She was fourth in the short-track 1,500 Saturday but has another chance Tuesday in the 1,000 short-track event.
Heather Richardson was the top finisher among the Americans, in seventh.
And as always, it’s a fair gamble that you’ll see some men’s hockey, even if it’s not on the schedule. The Russians needed a shootout to beat Slovakia, and the United States easily beat Slovenia to win Group A and automatically advance to the quarterfinals.