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The United States finally got on the board yesterday with its first gold medal of the Winter Games thanks to Lindsey Jacobellis, and Day 6 of the Olympics has the potential to be the best one yet for Team USA. Chloe Kim is the top qualifier and heavy favorite in the women's snowboard halfpipe final, and Nathan Chen carries a lead into the men's free skate. Later in the morning (U.S. time), mixed teams aerials makes its Olympic debut, and the U.S. men's hockey team plays ROC in its first game of the tournament. Stay tuned for updates throughout the night...
Like father, like son: Strolz wins gold in men's combined
Austria’s Johannes Strolz captured gold in the men’s combined event. Entering the slalom portion in fourth, the 29-year-old was over a half-second better in his run than silver medalist Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway. Canada’s James Crawford rounded out the podium, becoming the first from his nation to win a medal in the event.
Strolz secured the gold 34 years after his father, Hubert Strolz, won gold in the event at the Calgary Winter Games. The 29-year-old was not among those favored for a medal.
For the first time in Winter Olympics history, no Americans were entered to compete in the event.
Results: Alpine Skiing men’s combined
🥇 Johannes Strolz (AUT)
🥈 Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)
🥉 James Crawford (CAN)
— Stephanie De Lancey
Nathan Chen is an Olympic champion
The quad king finally delivered on the world's biggest stage.
Nathan Chen redeemed himself from 2018, winning gold in figure skating men’s singles with a spectacular closeout performance in the free skate. Skating to Elton John, Chen recorded a score of 218.63 in his long program for a total score of 332.60, maintaining the lead he had after the short program over Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama to win by over 20 points.
Japan claimed the next three spots, with Kagiyama recording silver with a score of 310.05 and Shoma Uno in bronze at 293.00. Yuzuru Hanyu, the defending gold medalist, finished outside the podium in fourth.
American Jason Brown finished sixth with a spirited performance.
Heading into the day with a lead, the pressure wasn’t as high on Chen as it was before his short program. But he delivered nonetheless to cap off a dream run in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Results: Men's Figure Skating
🥇 Nathan Chen (USA)
🥈 Yuma Kagiyama (JPN)
🥉 Shoma Uno (JPN)
— Eric He
Grotheer leads through two runs of men's skeleton
Germany’s Christopher Grotheer is off to a big lead through two runs of the men's individual skeleton. The two-time defending world champion has a 0.7 second cushion on the ROC’s Axel Jungk and a 0.75 second lead on China’s Yan Wengang.
Grotheer recorded a time of one minute flat on his first run and 1:00.33 on his second run, reaching a top speed of 129.4 kilometers an hour.
Latvia’s Martins Dukurs was third after the first run, but Yan’s time of 1:00.65 on his second run pushed him into bronze position at the midway point.
The final two runs will take place Friday at 7:20 a.m. ET.
— Eric He
U.S. women's curling starts off strong
The United States women's curling team started off action in the round-robin play with a dominant 9-3 win over the ROC, which conceded with three ends remaining.
Aided by a couple of ROC misses in the middle ends, the U.S. took a 6-1 lead into the sixth end. The ROC got two points back in the sixth, but the U.S. took advantage of the hammer in the seventh to score three and put the game out of reach.
The U.S. plays again at 1:05 EST against Sweden as round-robin action continues.
— Eric He
Chloe Kim wins gold in snowboard halfpipe
Entering as the heavy favorite, Kim went huge on her very first run, linking together a frontside 1080, cab 900, switch backside 540 and cab 1080. After landing that run, the relief was clearly evident in Kim's reaction, and her score, 94.00, put her into the lead by a wide margin.
Although no other rider would come close to knocking her out of the top spot, Kim decided to use her final two runs to push the progression of her sport anyway. She tried changing the third hit of her run from a cab 900 to a 1260 — a trick that has never been done in a women's halfpipe contest — and came close to landing the trick both times. Although she fell on both runs, Kim still walked away with the gold medal and offered a peek at where the future is headed in women's halfpipe snowboarding.
Results: Women's Snowboard Halfpipe
🥇 Chloe Kim (USA)
🥈 Queralt Castellet (ESP)
🥉 Sena Tomita (JPN)
— Shawn Smith