Year in Review: Jordan Jovtchev proves age ain’t nothing

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OlympicTalk’s writers recount some of their favorite moments from the 2012 London Games. 

The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team was the overall youngest team competing in London this year and by almost all accounts, the most exciting. However, there were a few athletes on the floor who proved age is in fact, just a number.

Perhaps the most memorable of them was Jordan Jovtchev. At first glance of Jovtchev and his full head of grey hair he could easily be mistaken as the coach for team Bulgaria. Wrong. He’s a hardcore, superhuman, badass athlete who puts to shame believers of the mindset that most gymnasts careers can only last one Olympic cycle.

London marked Jovtchev’s record breaking sixth Olympics (again, sixth). The 39-year-old owns four Olympic medals and, in addition to being Bulgaria’s star gymnast, is also the president of the country’s gymnastics federation, conducting his business while on his cell phone… while training on the rings (file under: overachiever).

Yet the forecast for London was merely to be a farewell tour, with expectations incredibly low.

So low in fact that during the opening ceremonies a night almost all gymnasts choose to sit out because they have to compete the next day, Jovtchev chose to walk in the march of nations, with good reason, he was selected to carry the flag for Bulgaria.

The next day, during qualifications, Jovtchev stunned everyone when he qualified for the event finals on his signature apparatus: the still rings. What was supposed to be the last ever performance turned into an encore that had fans and media going wild. But Jovetchev can’t be bothered with such fuss. His response was more understated.

“I’m tired now. I didn’t even hope I would make the final, I just told Kras ‘I’m finished’ and now I’ve got to go again.” Awesome.

Jovtchev competed his set in the ring finals, and while a fifth Olympic medal was out of reach for the veteran, his final salute to the judges was met with one of the loudest ovations from the crowd. Oh wait, did I mention that he competed throughout the Games with a partially torn bicep and a fractured wrist?

Take notes, youngsters.

All of the figure skating firsts from PyeongChang 2018

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History was made in PyeongChang in all sorts of ways, but the U.S. figure skaters put their name in the books at these Winter Games.

Here’s a look at all the ways figure skaters from Team USA pushed the sport forward in 2018.

Nathan Chen is the first skater to hit five clean quads in a free skate at the Olympics

Nathan Chen was disappointed in his short program, where he took a few unexpected tumbles. With medal contention seeming out of the picture, Chen was able to freely skate without pressure.

Despite missing his first quad attempt, Chen nailed the subsequent five to move all the way up to fifth place.

Mirai Nagasu is the first U.S. woman to do a triple Axel at the Olympics

It was this moment that really put the Americans in medal contention for the team event. A move rarely done by any competitors at all, Nagasu laid it all on the line and perfectly executed her triple Axel.

Watch all the figure skating firsts by clicking here 

Germans dejected after coming so close to gold medal

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The Germans stood on the ice scowling as the Russians celebrated a gold medal that was so nearly theirs.

How close?

Recap: OAR def. GER 4-3 (OT) 

They were 56 seconds away from Olympic gold before losing 4-3 to the “Olympic athletes from Russia” in overtime Sunday. After no one outside their locker room gave them a chance in a tournament where the NHL stars stayed away, the Germans came within a minute of clock time from gold for a country playing in the men’s final for the first time.

“I think if you are that close, you are disappointed right after,” forward Gerrit Fauser said. “But it will take a few hours to realize what we have done here. Obviously it is a big success for Germany, but right after a loss, when it is a close game like that, it is tough.”

Click here to read the full story and watch highlights from the gold medal game