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Alysa Liu, the youngest member of the U.S. figure skating team and youngest member of Team USA in Beijing finished eighth overall Tuesday recording a score of 69.50 in women’s figure skating – the highest score among American women. Mariah Bell finished 11th while Karen Chen placed 13th.
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was cleared to compete in the short program after a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. After a banned heart medication was flagged in a test Valieva took two months ago, the CAS ruled that the 15-year-old Valieva, is a “protected athlete” because of her age, allowing her to compete.
(Looking for updates from Wednesday’s events? We’ve got you covered.)
Skiing in her first-ever Olympic downhill, Mikaela Shiffrin completed her run well off the pace in the event at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Shiffrin posted a time of 1:34.36, over two seconds off the gold medal run by Switzerland’s Corinne Suter. The two-time Olympic gold medalist, who skied out in the giant slalom and slalom, is still planning to compete in all five individual disciplines.
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MEDAL COUNT: How each country is performing at the Winter Games
Russian phenom Kamila Valieva took the ice Tuesday amid international controversy after testing positive for a banned heart medication called trimetazidine. She was provisionally suspended, then reinstated upon appeal, allowing her to compete despite differing opinions between the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the International Olympic Committee.
Valieva, 15, twisted off-axis on the first of her three jumps – the notorious triple axel – and touched the ice on her descent. But she landed the other two jumps, scoring 82.16.
BEIJING — Skating first in the final group, American Karen Chen fell on a planned triple loop jump in the second half of her program, grimacing with frustration as she left the ice.
Chen’s score of 64.11 on Tuesday was slightly lower than her short program score in the team event earlier this month, which was 65.20. She also fell in that program.
Chen, 22, went on to skate a redemptive long program as Team USA won silver in the team event.
The only returning Olympian of the three American women in the field, Chen placed 10th at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
— Tom Schad
BEIJING — Alysa Liu barely stopped smiling Tuesday, from the moment she took the ice for her Olympic debut to the moment she left.
Though she didn’t attempt the notoriously difficult triple axel, which has helped distinguish her from her compatriots, Liu turned in a clean, energetic performance in her short program, recording a score of 69.50.
With only eight skaters left to compete, the California native was sitting in second place behind only Wakaba Higuchi of Japan.
Liu, 16, is not only the youngest member of the U.S. figure skating team, but also the youngest member of Team USA in Beijing, period. A two-time national champion, she was favored to win a third title in January but tested positive for COVID-19 in between the short program and long program, forcing her to withdraw.
— Tom Schad
Fifteen-year-old Russian skater Kamila Valieva has seen the support of her country despite being the center of a doping controversy.
Billboards in Moscow have popped up with the message, “Kamila, we are with you!”
“It is very nice, in such a difficult time, this support is very important to me,” Valieva said, according to a report in the Russian newspaper Pravda. “I thought I would be alone, but my close people will never leave me.”
BEIJING — Mariah Bell became the oldest American woman in 94 years to compete in Olympic figure skating on Tuesday night, when she took the ice for her short program.
Bell, 25, fell on the second part of her triple flip-triple toeloop combination at the beginning of her program but landed her next two jumps to record a score of 65.38, which was good for second place at the time.
Bell, who won the most recent national championships, was the first of three American women to take the ice Tuesday. Alysa Liu was set to skate at 8:18 a.m. ET, followed by Karen Chen at 8:46 a.m. ET.
— Tom Schad
The U.S. qualified all three men for the aerials finals on Wednesday.
Chris Lillis of Pittsford, N.Y. and Eric Loughran, of Pelham, N.H. both qualified on their first jumps while Justin Schoenefeld of Lawrenceburg, Ind. got through on his second jump.
Loughran was in fourth position after a Back Full-Double Full-Full while Lillis sat in sixth position with a Back Double Full-Full-Full.
Schoenefeld used a higher degree of difficulty Back Double Full-Full-Full on his second jump to get himself in to the medal round.
Four days ago Schoenefeld and Lillis helped the U.S. mixed aerials team win gold for the over the favored Chinese with Ashley Caldwell. Schoenefeld was the first athlete from the state of Indiana to win a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games.
— Lori Nickel
The U.S. picked up one medal overnight, a bronze in men’s team pursuit. Here’s what else you missed overnight Tuesday while you were sleeping:
BEIJING — After the last three weeks, hurtling down the mountain was the easy part for Sofia Goggia.
The Italian won the silver medal in the downhill Tuesday, just 23 days after a crash in the super-G race in Cortina left her with a partially torn cruciate ligament in her left knee and a “minor fracture” in her fibula. She didn’t get back on skis until Feb. 4.
“This is why I have so much effort, because I wanted an outcome like this one today,” Goggia said. “Of course sometimes things don’t work as you want to, but I really gave everything I could. … This is why I’m really grateful and glad for this medal.
“I couldn’t have done more than this today.”
Goggia won the downhill gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018, and was heavily favored before her crash to repeat. She had won all but one of her last nine races, and leads the World Cup standings.
But the crash left Goggia uncertain if she’d even be able to compete at the Beijing Olympics. She rehabbed relentlessly, ditching her crutches three days after the crash so she wouldn’t lose her fitness, and working in the gym and the pool.
She arrived in Beijing on Feb. 7. She hoped to do the super-G, but decided after training runs that she wasn’t ready. After the first downhill training run, Goggia said she wasn’t concerned with the result, that just doing the race would be a victory.
“I just said to myself, `I’m here, let’s play, let’s do everything,’” she said.
Goggia was in first place when she crossed the finish line. She let out a loud and long scream, then kissed a TV camera. Switzerland’s Corinne Suter, who is second in the downhill standings, bumped her to second, but it couldn’t dampen Goggia’s happiness.
Goggia’s Italy teammate Nadia Delago won the bronze medal.
“It’s still a medal. It’s still a great medal,” Goggia said. “It’s an unbelievable medal because of the condition of the last 20 days.”
— Nancy Armour
It was no world record for the United States in the men’s speedskating team pursuit, something the Americans accomplished at the world championships in Salt Lake City two months ago.
A bronze medal in Beijing will do, though.
Joey Mantia, 36, paced the team against speedskating legend Sven Kramer (nine Olympic medals, four gold) over the eight laps as the Americans outlasted the Netherlands with a time of 3:38.81. Meanwhile, the Dutch switched leaders on and off throughout the race. For Mantia, a native of Ocala, Florida, it’s the first medal of his career in his third Olympics.
Canada defeated Russia in the A final to win gold.
In the B final, Mantia replaced Ethan Cepuran, who skated for the U.S. in the semifinal. The decision to not include Mantia in both heats was perplexing to some in the speedskating community, who felt not rolling with him against Russia in the semifinals was a case of the Americans failing to deploy their best lineup. Casey Dawson and Emery Lehman competed in both heats to earn the first medals of their careers as well.
Dawson arrived in Beijing later than planned due to a COVID infection weeks before the Olympics. He landed within two days of his first race, except his skates didn’t make it, forcing the 21-year-old to race the 1,500 meters on a borrowed pair. Dawson finished second-to-last (28th), while Mantia came in sixth in the individual event.
It’s the second U.S. speedskating medal at the Games; Erin Jackson made history by becoming the first Black woman to win an individual gold in the Winter Olympics, winning the women’s 500 meters on Sunday.
— Chris Bumbaca
BEIJING — The most-anticipated figure skating short program since the 1994 Tonya-Nancy scandal begins Tuesday at 6 p.m. Beijing time (5 a.m. ET).
But the show really starts at 9:52 p.m. local time (8:52 a.m. ET). That’s when 15-year-old Russian gold-medal favorite Kamila Valieva takes the ice for her two-minute, 40-second short program.
She was expected to dominate the competition, but that was before she became perhaps the most infamous athlete on earth due to a positive drug test that has rocked these Games.
Now the question is: how will Valieva deal with the immense pressure she is under? She shared an emotional moment with her controversial coach, Eteri Tutberidze, after practice Saturday.
Will she steel herself against the onslaught of worldwide athletic condemnation and perform as she did in the team event, when she became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in an Olympic figure skating competition?
Or will the pressure get to her? Will she make mistakes or even worse, crumble under the intense glare of the spotlight?
American Karen Chen, who won the silver medal with the U.S. team earlier in these Games, skates right before Valieva in the final group. Mariah Bell is three groups earlier and Alysa Liu is in the second-to-last group.
One thing is certain: whatever happens, viewership of Valieva’s short program will pale in comparison to the number of people who watched Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan skate their short programs in February 1994. TV ratings for that night of the Olympics on CBS soared to 48.5, meaning almost half the nation watched an event that was tape-delayed, in which everyone already knew the result.
— Christine Brennan
BEIJING – The U.S. women’s curling team was on the verge of taking down the unbeaten Swiss team Tuesday and putting itself in prime position to make the medal round.
Instead, after a disastrous ninth end that led to a 9-6 loss to Switzerland, the Americans slipped to 4-3 and will be in a five-way fight for the last two spots as the round robin portion of the competition winds down. They will finish out with head-to-head games against two of those teams in Canada and Japan, which also have three losses.
The Swiss team has not lost yet at these Olympics, but the U.S. put them under a ton of pressure after scoring two points in the eighth end for a 6-4 lead. Unfortunately for the Americans, they made a mess of the ninth end after the Swiss set up the board with two stones in the house and multiple guards.
Both vice-skip Nina Roth and skipper Tabitha Peterson had takeout opportunities that would have limited the damage to one or two points, but they just missed their targets, opening the door for Switzerland to put together a big end. Swiss skipper Alina Paetz was easily able to knock the only American stone out of the house with the hammer, instantly flipping a two-point deficit into a two-point lead.
The U.S. has made the medal round just once since curling was re-instated as an Olympic sport in 1998, losing in the semifinals of the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.
— Dan Wolken
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Alex Hall likes to keep an open mind as one of the best freeskiers in the world.
So when he got to Genting Snow Park in the snowy mountains of the Beijing Winter Olympics, he wanted to try every rail, go on every jump and angle and look at every possibility of the slopestyle course first before deciding on his run.
On Tuesday, for his first and second qualification runs, Hall then unveiled a new creative angle: he took the middle of the slope on the second jump feature, which he didn’t see from any other skier – or snowboarder for that matter. He looked like he was a skipping stone thrown over water, grazing the slope with two aerial moves on both sides. It was graceful and a move he’s been trying for a couple of days and finally dialed in.
“It’s been really scary to figure out but I am a little more confident on it now,” said Hall. “Still a little scared of it but I figured I’d go for it and hope that it worked out – and it did.”
In more technical terms, it’s a switch left seven to nose butter, to switch left 5 with a Japan grab. And it helped him earn him a qualifying score for the finals on Wednesday.
“I’m always looking for something creative, something that will bring me joy,” said Hall, who advanced with U.S. teammates Nick Goepper and Colby Stevenson. “If I can do that in competition skiing and a big stage like this, at the Olympics, that’s kind of the cherry on top.”
“It’s a really free sport, you can express yourself exactly how you want. That’s also my personality; that stuff doesn’t really work out for me when I’m too regimented and too serious about everything.”
– Lori Nickel
BEIJING – Su Yiming is well-known throughout China as a child actor, but he’s never put on a better performance than in Tuesday’s snowboard big air finals.
Just 17 years old, Su landed both frontside and backside 1800s – the latter with a triple cork, or three vertical flips – to easily win the gold medal in front of the home crowd.
Norway’s Mons Roisland took the silver medal, while Canada’s Max Parrot snagged the bronze with two good runs after crashing on his first attempt.
After the first run, it looked like American Chris Corning might have a shot at a medal when he landed a massive backside quad cork 1800, earning him a score of 92. Corning said he had been struggling in practice with his mental focus and was surprised to be able to land that trick.
“I was like 0-for-3 in X-Games (with that trick) so I was super happy about that,” Corning said. “I put it down about as perfect as I can.”
But after failing to land a frontside 1440 on his second jump, he tried again on his third. Though Corning executed it well, it didn’t have nearly a high enough degree of difficulty to get on the podium given the level of competition. He ended up in seventh place.
For American Red Gerard, the slopestyle gold medalist in 2018, big air has never been his favorite event. With some help from his competitors, he was in position to potentially medal after landing a solid triple cork backside 1620 with his third jump. But Gerard didn’t get quite enough help and ended up fifth.
“I was very happy I was able to land two runs,” Gerard said. “Just to be in this final was something crazy, definitely a big day for snowboarding with how many spins that were going on. I just didn’t know what to fully do trick-wise, whether to keep it chill or try to push it and go for a way bigger trick. I ended up keeping it chill and I’m quite happy with it honestly. I don’t know if I was fully ready to go 18 and 19 right now.”
— Dan Wolken
BEIJING — Attorneys for Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva argued that the banned substance trimetazidine entered her system through a medication that her grandfather takes, a member of the International Olympic Committee confirmed Tuesday.
In a scrum with reporters after the IOC’s daily press briefing, a reporter asked IOC member Denis Oswald if the IOC was aware of the explanation that Valieva, 15, offered to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in an appeal hearing earlier this month.
“I was not in this hearing,” Oswald said. “Her argument was this contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking.”
The crux of Valieva’s defense had been previously reported Monday by The Dossier Center, a website run by exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The website said it obtained audio of Valieva’s hearing with RUSADA, which it said lasted only 90 minutes.
According to The Dossier Center, Valieva’s attorney, Anna Kozmenko, argued in the hearing that trimetazidine entered the 15-year-old’s body accidentally, through a contaminated product. She also argued in the hearing that the product likely belonged to Valieva’s grandfather, who takes trimetazidine for heart issues, according to the website.
— Tom Schad
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Maggie Voisin couldn’t feel her brother’s dogtag move as she slid, flipped and spun her way down the Olympic slopestyle course.
Though it was tucked under many layers as Voisin competed in her third Games, the 23-year-old knew it was there both to remind her of the brother she lost just more than a year ago and of the lessons she’s learned since.
So the veteran freeskier knew to be grateful even as she finished just outside the podium for a second Olympics. The only American in the final at Genting Snow Park on Tuesday, Voisin finished in fifth.
“That really changes the way you look at life. The fact that I am here at the Olympics getting to do what I love, you’ve got to be grateful and appreciative every day,” she said. “That’s how my brother lived his life.”
Michael Voisin, a second lieutenant in the Army, died by suicide in January 2021. His death devastated Maggie Voisin, sending her into a grieving process that prompted her to take time away from training.
To come back in the Olympics – to briefly sit in bronze medal position – was something to be grateful for.
“I thought about him every moment, every run,” she said, “and I know that I made him proud.”
Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud, the silver medalist four years ago, won gold, narrowly beating out China’s Eileen Gu for silver. Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru won bronze on her safety run, seeing her ski pop off at the end of her second run that likely would have scored higher.
Voisin was in bronze-medal position after her second run only to get bumped by Gu and Russia’s Anastasia Tatalina.
— Rachel Axon
BEIJING — The father of United States women’s figure skating Olympian Alysa Liu is not happy with the decision that allowed Kamila Valieva to continue competing at the Beijing Olympics despite testing positive for a banned substance Dec. 25.
“She tested positive for a banned drug. What’s not clear about it? She should be out,” Arthur Liu said, according to the Associated Press. “That is as simple as that. What kind of message are they sending to millions of young boys and girls in sports — particularly figure skaters? That cheaters are allowed to compete in the Olympics, the holiest competition on the planet. It totally destroys the Olympic spirit.”
The figure skating world, and Olympic movement at large, has been ablaze with criticism after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) determined that Valieva could keep competing at these Games.
Arthur Liu said he’s avoided giving his daughter medicine while sick to avoid a positive test, and was critical of Valieva’s controversial coach, Eteri Tutberidze. He also expressed regret of having his daughter compete in figure skating.
“I just simply can’t believe the ‘irreparable harm’ to her,” he told reporter Kalyn Kahler. “How about the irreparable harm to other clean athletes? You are depriving them.”
— Chris Bumbaca
On a team filled with stars, U.S. women’s hockey forward Hilary Knight is probably the most popular.
She has the endorsements, including with Visa and Ralph Lauren. She has posted on TikTok daily from Beijing. But U.S. coach Joel Johnson says to not pay attention to that side if Knight. He prefers to focus on who she is behind the scenes – a soft-spoken, quiet, intense leader off the ice.
“The one that people look to when they’re not sure where to look. The one who people trust in when they’re not sure who to trust,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports. “I think the impact she has on her teammates is so meaningful.”
Knight already tied the U.S women’s hockey record for most Olympic selections with four, and with another medal now assured in Beijing — Team USA will play archrival Canada for gold — Knight’s hardware count (four) will be also tied for most all time.
“Consistency kills,” Knight, who won gold in 2018 and silvers in 2010 and 2014, told USA TODAY Sports before departing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
At these Beijing Games, Knight has been a model of “consistent” production. She’s recorded at least one point in five of six games and leads the team with nine points overall. And if the U.S. wins its second consecutive gold, it will be hard to find someone in USA hockey history whose résumé matches that of Knight.
— Chris Bumbaca
Why are Olympic skiers in Beijing wearing tape on their faces?
While watching the women’s downhill, it’s hard not to notice the blue tape on the faces of many of the skiers.
Athletes in Beijing are using KT Tape to protect their skin from the freezing cold temperatures, but the CEO of KT Tape Greg Venner warns that the tape isn’t clinically tested for faces.
The KT Tape that athletes are putting on their faces is normally used as an elastic sports tape to provide support for muscles, ligaments and tendons to allow for full range of motion. The tape is sponsored and used by several athletes in the Beijing Winter Olympics as well as the summer Olympics season.
There’s no precedent for using the tape on faces or evidence that it protects people from the cold, and Venner says that athletes should be careful about using the tape on the delicate skin on their face.
“We’ve seen KT Tape used as protection against the wind in winter sports over the years, so although it isn’t a clinically approved usage, we appreciate the ingenuity. KT Tape doesn’t endorse the use of kinesiology tape on the face as it isn’t clinically tested,” Venner told USA TODAY. “However, we certainly applaud the creativity – we are proud to support Team USA!”
— Michelle Shen
BEIJING — Consider this preparation for the Alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin raced the downhill for the first time at an Olympics on Tuesday. She didn’t win a medal – she finished in 18th place, 2.49 seconds behind gold medalist Corinne Suter from Switzerland – but it gives her more experience on the course ahead of Thursday’s combined, which features a run each of downhill and slalom.
Unlike her first few races in Beijing, Shiffrin was not expected to get a medal in the downhill.
But she had hoped to do all five individual races at the Beijing Olympics, something she couldn’t do four years ago after weather-related delays upended the schedule.
Expected to contend for multiple medals in Beijing, Shiffrin has instead had a tough time. The two-time Olympic champion skied off the course five gates into the first run of both the giant slalom and slalom, her two best events, and was ninth in the super-G.
— Nancy Armour
BEIJING – It’s come down to crunch time for the U.S. men’s curling team. With three matches to go in round-robin play entering Tuesday and a 3-3 record, winning out would almost surely guarantee a place in the semifinals.
Team Schuster took care of business in the first of those matches and defeated Switzerland 7-4. The Americans were tied with the Swiss for fourth place; the top four teams advance to the semifinals. The U.S. lost the first end, but battled back to take a 2-1 lead at the end of the second. Clutch shooting in the seventh and ninth ends helped secure the victory.
For the U.S., friendly scheduling will be a boon. The final two games of the round-robin are against the bottom two teams in the standings, Italy (later Tuesday) and Denmark (Thursday). In other good news, Russia – another team that entered 3-3 and tied for fourth – lost to Norway 12-5. That means the U.S. is currently in sole possession of fourth place to give them some room for error, depending on how the tiebreakers shake out.
A loss to Canada earlier in the tournament dropped Schuster and Co. to 2-3. But like they did four years ago in Pyeongchang, the Americans appear to be capturing momentum when it matters most.
— Chris Bumbaca
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – That it was expected made it no less remarkable.
Eileen Gu claimed her second freeskiing medal during these Beijing Olympics, setting her up for the unprecedented three medals she’s aiming for by the end of the week.
Needing to put down a big run to get in contention, Gu landed a double cork on her second to last jump, followed by a 900 to get on the podium.
Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud took gold and Kelly Sildaru of Estonia won bronze.
Gu already claimed gold in big air’s Olympic debut last week.
The American-born teen is competing for her mother’s native China, a decision that has made her beloved here but also drawn criticism.
— Rachel Axon
BEIJING – The first female snowboarder to ever land a cab double 1260 in competition did it again when it mattered most.
Austria’s Anna Gasser, sitting in second place before her final run of the big air competition and needing to pull off a big trick to pass New Zealand’s Zoi Synnott-Sadowski for the lead, didn’t just land the 1260 Tuesday – she absolutely stomped it for a monster score of 95.5. It turned out to be more than enough for Gasser to win her second consecutive gold medal in this event.
As Gasser landed cleanly at the bottom of the Big Air Shougang, she put her hands to her head, almost in disbelief. Even for someone who has been dominant over the years in this discipline, pulling that off under such immense Olympic pressure was a tremendous feat.
Synnott-Sadowski, who won the gold in slopestyle earlier in these Olympics and also took the big air title at the most recent Winter X-Games, had a shot to one-up Gasser and steal back the title. But her attempt at a double cork 1260 failed as she came in a bit too steep on the landing.
The way the competition set up, with snowboarders being scored on their two best jumps out of three, paved the way for a big dramatic finish and encouraged the riders to try for huge tricks towards the end.
Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi, who was sitting in fourth place, even tried a triple cork on her final run in an attempt to make the podium. Though she didn’t quite land it, the other snowboarders rushed to congratulate her at the bottom of the hill for the audacious attempt.
At that point, the only question was how the top three would finish. After Japan’s Kokomo Murase missed on her third run, the path was cleared for Gasser to make one of the most dazzling runs of her legendary career.
American Hailey Langland, who squeaked into the final by a quarter of a point, was not able to land either of her first two tricks. Eliminated from medal contention, she took the safe route down the jump on her third try and settled for 12th place.
— Dan Wolken
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – On Monday night the American women qualified three for the finals and two in the superfinals of women’s aerials.
“And that’s a quarter of the field so we all came out here and we put down our best jumps,” said the youngest member of the team, Kaila Kuhn, 18. “We really showed there’s a great future for the U.S. team.”
It spoke to the strength of the women’s Team USA and the team in general.
“I think the hard work that we’ve all put in – in the last few years, and Vladimir Lebedev became our head coach, that was a new shift for me as well,” said bronze medal winner Megan Nick Monday night. “And so that has really helped some of the athletes who have worked with him.
“But all around just having Ashley Caldwell on the triple and being such a great role model for how we can keep pushing our ability and our degree of difficulty has been really beneficial.”
Lebedev was born and raised in Uzbekistan, earned a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, and his uncle was president of the Uzbekistan Ski Association.
When Lebedev took over in 2019, he immediately set his sights on the new Team Aerials event, which debuted here at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, and which the Americans won. Caldwell was the woman on the mixed team which earned her a gold medal.
Nick’s bronze is the first medal for the U.S. women’s individual aerials in 24 years; Nikki Stone was the last to medal, at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, with gold.
“I know that interest in our sport in the U.S. has been dwindling,” Nick said, “so I just hope that our gold in the mixed team event and this medal – and hopefully another medal in the coming days – inspires kids around the nation to consider starting aerials.”
— Lori Nickel
Shortly after the Court for Arbitration in Sport issued its ruling allowing Russian teenager Kamila Valieva to compete in the women’s figure skating competition despite a positive drug test in December, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee issued a strong statement in opposition.
“We are disappointed by the message this decision sends,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said. “It is the collective responsibility of the entire Olympic community to protect the integrity of sport and to hold our athletes, coaches and all involved to the highest of standards.”
That rebuke was mild compared to what other skating stars had to say. For example, NBC commentator and former U.S. Olympian Johnny Weir called the decision “a slap in the face to the Olympic Games, to our sport and to every athlete that has ever competed at the Olympics clean.”
Team USA finished second to Valieva and the Russians in the team figure skating competition earlier in the Games. Valieva will be the gold medal favorite when the women’s individual competition begins on Tuesday.
As you’re watching maybe you’re like us, thinking: What was that move for? Why did they do that? And what is with all the sweeping?
Well we’ve got you covered. Here’s a reminder of the rules of curling and more information about the event’s schedule at the Winter Olympics.
BEIJING — Looking for a reason to stay up late? Mikaela Shiffrin is racing the Olympic downhill for the first time.
The downhill begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday Beijing time, so 10 p.m. Monday night on the East Coast. No doubt NBC was pleased with Shiffrin’s decision.
Shiffrin didn’t do the downhill at her previous two Olympics. She’d hoped to race it at Pyeongchang in 2018, but weather-related delays disrupted the schedule and she didn’t have enough time to train. Though she hadn’t been on downhill skis since December until the first training run Saturday, Shiffrin has decided to do the race.
“It’s going to be intense and a little bit of nerves but in general I think it’s going to be really cool to be able to race,” she said. “One of my biggest goals coming here was to start in every event. At least that dream may still be alive.”
Shiffrin is 12th on the start list, just in front of reigning Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia. Alix Wilkinson starts 21st and Keely Cashman will go 26th. The final American, Jackie Wiles, will start 30th in the 36-skier field.
It’s cold at the National Alpine Skiing Centre; the temperate forecast for the start of the race is minus-7 degrees. But it’s clear and sunny with light winds, so good conditions for a downhill race.
— Nancy Armour
There’s no great need or demand for permanent venues to host a sport as niche as big air, but the Chinese went ahead and did it anyway. It is a towering, dramatic structure rising above a former industrial park where they used to mill steel, flanked by cooling towers that evoke images of nuclear winters moreso than the Winter Olympics.
And yet it might just be the best idea the Chinese have had at these Beijing Games, writes USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken.
But are those towers really part of a nuclear power plant, as many social media posts have suggested?
A USA TODAY fact check reveals they’re actually industrial cooling towers from a now-closed steel mill.
BEIJING — Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
In a momentous decision, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Monday in favor of the Russian figure skating superstar and the country’s anti-doping agency, dismissing the provisional suspension that Valieva, 15, would have otherwise faced after she tested positive for a banned heart medication.
The CAS panel reasoned that the six-week delay from the time Valieva’s sample was collected to the time she was informed of the positive result was “not her fault” and noted her special status as a “protected person” under world anti-doping rules, because she is not yet 16.
– Tom Schad
After a stellar day for American women, the USA has moved into third place all by itself in total gold medals at the Beijing Olympics with seven.
Bobsledders Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor took gold and silver in the monobob, while first-time Olympian Megan Nick won a bronze in women’s aerials and the ice dancing team of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue also won bronze.
The Norwegians also lead the way with nine golds. Germany is second with eight.
The U.S. women’s hockey team is headed to the gold medal game.
Team USA will seek its second straight Olympic gold against Canada (11:10 p.m. ET Wednesday). The U.S. and Canada have faced each other in six of the seven Olympic women’s hockey finals. Canada has won gold four times.
“You know, I think it’s wonderful hockey. It’s the most beautiful rivalry in sports,” forward Hilary Knight said after scoring a goal and adding an assist in Monday’s win. “It gets the best and the worst out of both of us at the same time. And it’s just a wonderful game.”