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EagleVail’s Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait yet another day to get her 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics underway as the women’s slalom was postponed to Friday (Thursday night in in the U.S.) due to more high winds.
Now she’ll hopefully kick things off with the already once-postponed giant slalom Wednesday night (Thursday in Korea) — an event she finished fifth in at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Wednesday in South Korea she was hoping to defend her 2014 gold medal in slalom, but the winds would not cooperate.
Three of the first four alpine skiing events have been postponed due to intense winds. The most postponed alpine skiing events in Olympic history occurred at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics when five of the 10 medal events were postponed.
Even with the winds, Eagle’s Jake Pates wound up eighth in the historic men’s snowboarding halfpipe competition Tuesday night (Wednesday in Korea) — an event won in remarkable fashion on his third and final run by three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White. Pates, 19, scored a very respectable 82.25 on his second run to finish in the same position he qualified in the night before.
But it was all White all the time as the legendary rider who first medaled as an 18 year old at the 2006 Torino Winter Games stomped his final run for a score of 97.75, edging Japan’s Ayumu Hirano. White set a slew of records with his victory. Here’s a release from the U.S. Olympic Committee:
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Snowboarder Shaun White today made history by securing the 100th gold medal for Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games. The milestone highlights Team USA’s sustained competitive excellence, dating back to the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
On the fifth day of competition in PyeongChang, White won his historic third Olympic gold medal in the halfpipe (2006, 2010, 2018). His previous gold medals were Team USA’s 71st and 83rd. In the Team USA history book, his three gold medals put him second among men only to long track speedskater Eric Heiden, who holds the record with five.
White becomes the first snowboarder ever to win three Olympic gold medals and is the first American man to win gold medals at three Olympic Winter Games. He also now holds the U.S. record for the most years between gold medals (12), topping Ted Ligety’s previous record of eight.
The first-ever gold medal awarded at the Olympic Winter Games was won by U.S. long track speedskater Charley Jewtraw on Jan. 26, 1924 in the 500-meter.
“Each and every one of the 100 times we have heard our national anthem play in Olympic Winter Games competition has been a truly unique and special moment,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “These medals have spanned nearly 100 years and showcase the dedication to excellence that is central to Team USA and the entire U.S. Olympic family. Today the USOC joins our athletes, National Governing Bodies, sponsors, donors and American fans in celebrating yet another incredible performance that rightfully earns a place in Team USA and Olympic history.”
Team USA entered the PyeongChang Olympics with 96 gold medals in winter competition. White’s podium-topping performance marked the fourth of the Games for the Americans, all in snowboarding (Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson, Chloe Kim and White).
The 100 gold medals have come from the following sport disciplines (10):
Norway currently leads the all-time list with 121 gold medals, ahead of the U.S. (100) and Germany (92).
A comprehensive Team USA History Book can be found here.