Early Olympics Update

By Natalie Heavren, Staff Writer

The United States is in fifth place in the 2018 Winter Olympics medal count with seven total — four gold, one silver and two bronze as of Feb. 13. Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Canada are the four countries that remain ahead.

Five of the American medals have come from the many snowboarding events, including all four of the golds and one of the bronzes.

Shaun White won his third career gold in the men’s halfpipe event. White previously won the gold at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and his second in Vancouver, Canada during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Jamie Anderson also won her second career gold medal in ladies’ slopestyle four years after she won her first gold medal in the 2014 Sochi Games. Anderson’s teammate Arielle Gold also won a bronze medal in the ladies’ halfpipe event despite suffering from a dislocated shoulder.

Team USA’s Red Gerard and Chloe Kim are both 17-year-olds competing in their first Olympics, and both took home the gold in their respective events: men’s slopestyle and ladies’ halfpipe.

Gerard’s medal was not without some chaos. He overslept the morning of his event after staying up late watching Netflix the night before, then couldn’t find his jacket and had to borrow his roommate’s, which was two sizes too large for him. Gerard still managed to become the youngest American athlete to win a snowboarding gold medal and the first medalist for Team USA in this year’s games.

For U.S. team member Chris Mazder, the third time was the charm. Competing in his third Olympics, he finally made it to the podium, winning silver in the men’s single luge competition. Mazder became the only non-European athlete to win a medal in the event.

Team USA also won a bronze medal in the team figure skating competition. Mirai Nagasu led the team, who became the first American woman — and only the third female athlete ever — to successfully complete a triple axel at the Winter Olympics in her women’s free skate performance.

The 2018 Winter Olympics have already been full of surprises, including some disappointments for Team USA. The United States’ men’s hockey team came out of the gate strong against the Slovenian team, and led 2-0 going into the third period. However, Slovenia came back and the game went to overtime before ending in a 3-2 loss for Team USA. This isn’t the end for the American team though, as group play continues through Sunday, Feb. 18.