2022 Winter Olympics: U.S. women’s hockey rules ice on Day 1

The 2022 Winter Olympics are in full swing after the first wave of medal events took place on Saturday.

The Opening Ceremony commenced Friday from the Beijing National Stadium, followed by a spectacular showing from Team USA on Day 0.

Six medals were up for grabs in Saturday’s official Day 1, with the first gold going to Norwegian cross skier Therese Johaug, who won the 15-kilometer skiathlon.

Norway won two gold medals on the day, which is hardly surprising, being the most decorated nation in the history of the Winter Games. Slovenia, Italy, Canada and the Russian Olympic Committee also each have two medals, while host nation China took its first gold of the Games.

The U.S. has been shut out so far, but there were some developments that could set up a haul of hardware down the line, not the least of which was another dominant showing from the U.S. women’s hockey team, which defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 5-0.

Here are some of the top moments and highlights from Day 1:

Team USA, women’s hockey

The U.S. opened the Winter Games by upsetting Finland, 5-2, on Day 0, but the defending Olympic gold medalists took a huge hit when star forward and assistant captain Brianna Decker suffered a serious leg injury just moments into the match.

The loss didn’t slow down the Americans against the ROC, as they breezed to a 5-0 victory in a feisty matchup on Saturday morning (ET). Five different U.S. players scored, with Savannah Harmon breaking the ice midway through the first period off of a gorgeous no-look dish from Hillary Knight.

With Decker out, other players stepped up, with Grace Zumwinkle and Jesse Compher both notching their first Olympic goals.

It was a truly dominant performance, with the U.S. outshooting the Russians 62-12. If not for the efforts of ROC goaltender Maria Sorokina, the score might have been much more lopsided.

Jamie Anderson, snowboarding

Anderson is arguably the world’s most successful female snowboarder of all time, as the 31-year-old California native is a seven-time X Games gold medalist and two-time defending Olympic champion in slopestyle. She won the sport’s debut at the 2014 Sochi Games and followed that up with gold in Pyeongchang in 2018.

On Saturday, she breezed through qualifying at the picturesque Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, ultimately qualifying fifth among 12 finalists. They’ll battle for gold on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Beijing time (8:30 p.m. ET Saturday night).

Here is Anderson’s qualifying run.

Therese Johaug, cross country skiing

The skiathlon is a cross country ski event that combines both classical and freestyle skiing techniques. After a mass start, skiers competed in the first half of the racing using the classical technique, then switched skis to race using the freestyle technique to the finish line. The women raced back-to-back 7.5-kilometer legs.

Johaug fought wind and frigid temperatures to win by skiing away from a chase group of four. Russian athlete Natalia Nepryaeva, the current overall World Cup leader, pulled away from the group on the last climb to take the silver. Teresa Stadlober of Austria followed just behind for the bronze medal.

Team USA, curling

After starting the mixed doubles Olympic curling tournament 1-2, the United States scored a much-needed victory over Sweden, 8-7, on Friday to push its record to 2-2. The round-robin portion of the tournament continued Saturday as the U.S. returned to the ice.

The U.S. duo of Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys had an up-and-down day, first edging China 7-6, before falling to Canada 7-2. That leaves them 3-3 in round-robin play and fifth overall in the standings with their final three matches against the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Great Britain.

Team China, short track speed skating

Host nation China won its first gold of the Beijing Games, emerging victorious in the mixed team relay at short track speed skating, the event’s Olympic debut. Wu Dajing edged Italy’s Pietro Sighel by .016 seconds — or half a skate blade — to claim gold on Saturday night. Hungary earned bronze.

The United States appeared to advance to the final after finishing second in its semifinal heat. However, it was penalized following a lengthy review for blocking an infield skater. Third-place China moved on to the final instead and took advantage of the opportunity.

Walter Wallberg, moguls

Walter Wallberg of Sweden dethroned the so-called King of Moguls to take home the gold in the freestyle skiing men’s moguls.

The Swede looked almost in shock when his score of 83.23 flashed on the scoreboard, edging that of defending Olympic champion Mikael Kingsbury of Canada. Wallberg picked up points for his speed over the smooth and technical skiing style of Kingsbury, who ended up with silver.

Wallberg’s surprise victory interrupts the men’s moguls dominance of Team Canada, which had won the event in the last three Winter Games. This was the 21-year-old’s first major win.

Nineteen-year-old American Nick Page, competing in his first Olympics, finished fifth with this impressive run.

Irene Schouten, speed skating

The first speed skating discipline of the Winter Olympics was the women’s 3000-meter race, and it was dominated by Dutch skater Irene Schouten, who broke a 20-year-old Olympic record. Skating in the last of 10 pairs, Schouten turned in a blazing final lap to post a winning time of 3 minutes, 56.93 seconds.

That broke the previous Olympic mark of 3:57.70, set by Germany’s Claudia Pechstein at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida held on for the silver in 3:58.06. The bronze went to Canada’s Isabelle Weidemann in 3:58.64.

American Mia Kilburg, a 32-year-old Florida native who won the event at the U.S. Trials, finished 19th.

Ursa Bogataj, ski jumping

Slovenia’s Ursa Bogataj took Olympic gold in women’s individual normal hill ski jumping, floating 100 meters (328 feet) with 121 points on the final jump.

Katharina Althaus of Germany earned silver for the second straight Olympics and Bogataj’s fellow Slovenian Nika Kriznar took bronze. Japan’s Sara Takanashi had entered as one of the favorites, but finished fourth. This was the third time women had jumped for gold in the Winter Olympics. American Anna Hoffmann did not qualify for the final.

Team Norway, biathlon

The first biathlon event at the Winter Olympics kicked off with the mixed 4x6km relay, just one of nine mixed biathlon events included in the Games. Norway won gold, beating France and the Russian team in the first biathlon event of the Beijing Olympics.

The U.S. mixed relay team of Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Sean Doherty and Paul Schommer finished seventh. The U.S. has never won a medal in biathlon, a sport that combines cross country skiing and shooting. It is the only Winter Olympic sport in which the Americans have been shut out.


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