Tuesday in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Olympics has already been jam-packed with excitement as Eileen Gu won the first-ever Olympic gold in freeski big air and Ryan Cochran-Siegle earned silver in the men’s Super-G, 50 years after his mom won a slalom gold.
In figure skating, the U.S. team lost one of its biggest stars Monday morning when Vincent Zhou withdrew from competition after testing positive for COVID-19. But three-time world champion Nathan Chen will start his quest for individual gold in the men’s short program. Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu began with a major error, but 2018 silver medalist Shoma Uno excelled.
If you’re on the East Coast, drink some extra coffee to stay up late — because it’s rivalry time in Beijing: Canada vs. Team USA in women’s hockey.
Despite dominating play for most of the first period, the U.S. left for intermission down 1-0 to archrival Canada. The Americans buzzed the Canadian zone for nearly 10 minutes, twice hitting the post with shots. But a cross-checking penalty on Team USA’s Caroline Harvey led to a power-play goal by Canada’s Brianne Jenner, scoring at 14:10 of the first period on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Sarah Fillier and Marie-Phillip Poulin. The Americans had a 14-3 shot advantage when Canada scored, and finished the period with a 16-5 shot advantage.
We’ve got updates on all the action here:
Gu becomes the first Olympic champion in freeski big air
By landing two of the biggest tricks in women’s freeskiing, Eileen Gu captured the win in the sport’s Olympic debut in Beijing. In fact, only two women in the world, Gu and Tess Ledeux of France, have ever landed 1620 spins in a freeskiing contest and both did so Tuesday to go 1-2 in big air finals. Gu had never landed the trick in competition. When she did so on her third jump, she screamed, skied to the bottom of the landing and dropped to her knees.
“I’m not crying,” Gu said into the television camera. “I’m definitely not crying.” Gu’s third-run score saw her jump into first place above Ledeux, who had landed the double cork 1620 on her first run. When Gu saw the score, she grabbed her helmet and fought back tears. She took off her skis and bowed to the crowd. Then she waited. In her third and final attempt, Ledeux, who won the X Games big air event for the third time just a few days before flying to Beijing, threw a massive switch 1440, but landed on one ski and was unable to reclaim the lead. Swiss skier Mathilde Gremauld finished third. Darian Stevens, the only U.S. skier to make the final, finished 11th.
EILEEN GU WITH A MASSIVE FINAL RUN!!
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) February 8, 2022
Born in San Francisco to a Chinese mother and American father and raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, Gu opted to compete for China at these Games. With the win, Gu ties China’s gold medal haul (3) from the Pyeongchang Olympics — and that’s with two events left to compete: freeski slopestyle and halfpipe.
“That was the best moment of my life. The happiest moment, day, whatever — of my life. I just cannot believe what just happened,” she said after. — Alyssa Roenigk
Two-time gold medalist Hanyu makes costly mistake early
Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning two-time Olympic champion, made an extremely uncharacteristic mistake in the much-hyped showdown between him and Nathan Chen. He was supposed to do a quad salchow for his opening jump and instead popped it — meaning he registered zero points for that element. He was graceful and majestic as always throughout the rest of the skate but scored only 95.15 points. He was visibly upset as he left the ice. — Elaine Teng
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu currently sits in second place in the men’s singles short program.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 8, 2022
Men’s downhill is back on the podium
Fifty years after his mother, Barbara Ann, won a slalom gold in the 1972 Sapporo Games, Ryan Cochran-Siegle wins silver in the men’s Super-G after a 1:19:98 run. After charging to the finish, Cochran-Siegle said “What’s up, Vermont? I hope it holds,” to the camera.
Cochran-Siegle, 29, and in his second Olympics, was in the lead when he went past the third checkpoint of the men’s downhill event, but finished four-hundredths of a second behind Austria’s Matthias Mayer, who defended his Olympic title. Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde picked up bronze.
Cochran-Siegle is the sixth member of his family to compete in an Alpine event at the Olympics. At the 2018 Olympics, the U.S. men’s alpine team failed to make the podium for the first time in 20 years. — Aish Kumar
Take a bow, Donovan Carrillo
Already the first Mexican figure skater to compete in the Olympic Games in 30 years, Donovan Carrillo made even more history for his country on Tuesday by becoming the first skater from his…