Next up was snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who defended her gold in a weather-shortened women’s slopestyle. She screamed in joy to start what amounted to a second-run victory lap and rode into the finish area to collect her hardware. “Two gold medals?” she said. “I was tripping with one.”
Weather nixed Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympic debut yesterday, with high winds postponing Alpine skiing for yet another day. Skiers will try to take the slopes again tonight for the men’s Alpine combined. American Ted Ligety hopes to win his second Olympic medal in the event, this time as an underdog. The downhill portion starts at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
The rest of prime time isn’t as packed as yesterday, but it’s no less star-studded. The highlight is undoubtedly the women’s snowboarding halfpipe final (9 p.m. on NBC). Seventeen-year old sensation Chloe Kim handily won the qualifier, while five-time Olympian Kelly Clark squeaked into the final. The other two Americans in the field also qualified.
On Tuesday morning, watch Americans Maame Biney and Shani Davis in speedskating, Erin Hamlin in luge and a U.S. women’s cross-country team that’s on a hot streak.
Before PyeongChang, only two women had landed a triple axel in Olympic competition: Midori Ito (1992) and Mao Asada (2010, 2014), both of Japan. Last night, American Mirai Nagasu became the third.
The United States’ team figure skating bronze was a repeat from Sochi. Last night’s skaters for the Americans were Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu and the Shibutani siblings. All three entries rose to the occasion — “I couldn’t have been more into that,” NBC commentator Johnny Weir said at one point.
Fifteen-year old Alina Zagitova led the Olympic Athletes from Russia to a silver. The Russian flag, however, is banned from PyeongChang, and the team accepted the medal under the Olympic banner. Canada’s victory finally gave Patrick Chan an elusive gold.
The increasingly infamous PyeongChang winds were a big factor in the women’s slopestyle. The gusts delayed the start for more than an hour and limited the event to three runs. While American Jamie Anderson was able to pull off a dazzling run for gold, other competitors were clearly affected by the crosswinds (one rider was stopped in her tracks). Rounding out the podium were Canada’s Laurie Blouin (silver) and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland (bronze).
Medal favorite Heather Bergsma of the United States started fast in the women’s 1,500-meter speedskating event but faded on the last lap. She ended up eighth. Fellow American Brittany Bowe was three spots ahead in fifth. The Netherlands’ Ireen Wust won to become the most decorated Dutch Olympian of all time (10 medals, five golds).
Three Americans made it to the men’s mogul finals: Troy Murphy, Bradley Wilson and Casey Andringa, who is in PyeongChang despite steep odds. Only Andringa advanced to the third run, where he finished fifth. Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury won the gold.
In other medal events, Norwegian Maren Lundby was victorious in women’s normal hill ski jumping. In biathlon, Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier won the women’s pursuit. Favorite Martin Fourcade of France won on the men’s side after a disappointing finish a day earlier.
The unified Korean women’s hockey team had another rough day on the ice. The Koreans lost to heavily favored Sweden, 8-0.
Four years ago, Chloe Kim qualified for the Sochi Games but was under the age requirement. Now she’s 17 and the PyeongChang favorite. Kim also has some talented teammates in Maddie Mastro and three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, so multiple U.S. medals aren’t out of the question. The final run should air at 9 p.m. on NBC.
American snowboarder Shaun White makes his PyeongChang debut in men’s halfpipe qualifying, After coming up empty-handed in Sochi four years ago, he hopes to find the podium in his fourth Olympics. He won the event in 2006 and 2010. Qualifying starts at 11 p.m.
In Alpine skiing, watch for Austrian Marcel Hirscher to potentially win the men’s combined. Despite being the most dominant men’s skier in the world for nearly a decade, he has never captured an Olympic gold. Ted Ligety will be an underdog for the United States. The downhill portion of the event starts at 9:30 p.m., with the slalom run spilling into early Tuesday morning (1 a.m.).
The men take the long-track oval in the 1,500 meters, where Americans Shani Davis and Joey Mantia will make their PyeongChang debuts. Davis has two silver medals in the event (2006, 2010), but watch for Dutch dominance this time around. The Russian favorite, Denis Yuskov, was barred as part of that nation’s doping scandal.
Also be sure to check out the cross-country sprint races, both men’s and women’s. The American women are particularly strong this year (Sophie Caldwell is currently ranked third in the world), and if they medal, it would be their first. The events start at 3:30 a.m. and, with multiple rounds, run most of the morning.
American luger and flag bearer Erin Hamlin takes to the ice Tuesday morning. She brought home a bronze from Sochi four years ago, and sits 5th after the first two runs. Run 3 starts at 5:30 a.m. on NBCSN, with the final run to follow.
One last medal event to know about: Canada takes on Switzerland in curling mixed doubles gold (6:05 a.m.).
Also Tuesday morning, the U.S. women’s hockey team continue its hunt for an elusive gold medal when it faces the Olympic Athletes from Russia. That game starts at 7:10 a.m. on NBCSN.
Throughout the Games, we will occasionally bring someone in to help us better understand the Olympics. Today: Barbara Ann Cochran.
Cochran won slalom skiing gold for the United States at the 1972 Sapporo Games by a mere .02 seconds. It’s the slimmest winning margin in the event’s Olympic history. She now coaches other skiers on the mental side of the sport.
With Alpine skiing hopefully getting underway tonight, we caught up with Cochran to talk about the mental fortitude it takes to win gold and how she advises athletes to get there. She has worked with six Olympians at the PyeongChang Games. That doesn’t include her own son, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who is scheduled to race in Monday night’s combined (9:30 Eastern on NBC).
Q: How did you handle the mental pressure in 1972?
I knew I was capable of winning. Then it was a matter of managing my emotions while I was at the Olympics.
I won the first run by three hundredths of a second, and I feel like I started to choke for the second run because I was thinking about the wrong things. I started to focus on the future and [got] really, really nervous. I remember as I was inspecting the course for the second run, I started to think, “Come on [Barbara Ann], you’ve got to change how you’re thinking because right now, this is not working.”
Q: How have the pressures changed since when you raced?
It’s a lot different than when I was competing. When I was doing it, we had no sponsorship. We were amateurs, [so] we didn’t receive anything.
Q: As TV viewers, what should we watch for in athletes to get a sense of how they might be feeling?
When they’re getting ready for the competition, they need to be somewhat relaxed. If you see the tenseness in their body, they’re not going to do well. If they’re looking like they’re really enjoying the whole experience of it, that would be a clue that they’re probably in a good state. If you see someone that’s not happy, they are kind of struggling.
I’ve seen a huge difference in Ryan, my son. This year, he seems so much happier.
It’s hard to say. I’m sure [Mikaela Shiffrin] is feeling a lot of pressure because she’s so outstanding. People are gunning for her. She’s the person to beat. And I think that’s an entirely different pressure than being a youngster.
I’ve been really impressed with Hirscher. The mental piece that it’s life or death for them . . . I don’t get that with Hirscher. I really like what I’ve seen mentally from him.
This interview has been edited.
3-5 p.m. Men’s freestyle skiing, moguls gold; women’s ski jumping, normal hill gold; women’s luge, singles
8-11:30 p.m. Men’s skiing, combined downhill (LIVE); women’s snowboarding, halfpipe gold (LIVE); men’s snowboarding, halfpipe (LIVE); women’s speedskating, 1,500 gold
12:05-2 a.m. Men’s skiing, combined slalom gold (LIVE); men’s snowboarding, halfpipe (LIVE)
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Women’s ski jumping, normal hill gold; men’s biathlon, pursuit gold; women’s speedskating, 1,500 gold
11:30 p.m.-2:40 a.m. Men’s snowboarding, halfpipe (LIVE); mixed doubles curling, bronze
5-8 p.m. Mixed doubles curling, semifinal
3-5 p.m. Men’s speedskating, 1,500-meter gold; women’s luge, singles gold; cross-country, men’s and women’s sprint gold
8-11:30 p.m. Figure skating, pairs short program (LIVE); women’s skiing, slalom first run (LIVE); men’s snowboarding, halfpipe gold (LIVE)
12:05-1:30 a.m. Women’s skiing, slalom gold (LIVE); short-track speedskating, women’s 500 gold
2:40-5 a.m. Women’s hockey, Canada-Finland (LIVE)
5-7:10 a.m. Women’s luge, singles gold; cross-country, men’s and women’s sprints
7:10-9:30 a.m. Women’s hockey, U.S.-OAR (LIVE)
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Men’s speedskating, 1,500 gold; women’s luge, singles gold; cross-country, men’s and women’s sprint gold
12:30-4:30 p.m. Short-track speedskating, women’s 500 gold
7-10:10 p.m. Figure skating, pairs short program (LIVE)
10:10 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Women’s hockey, Sweden-Switzerland (LIVE)
12:30-2:30 a.m. Men’s curling, U.S.-South Korea
5-8 p.m. Mixed doubles curling, gold