China broke through at the world beach volleyball championships as Xue Chen and Zhang Xi became the first women’s pair from a country other than Brazil or the U.S. to win gold.
Xue and Zhang, the 2008 Olympic and 2011 world bronze medalists, beat Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe 18-21, 21-17, 21-19, winning on their sixth match point in the gold-medal match in Stare Jablonki, Poland, on Saturday.
“It is my dream,” Zhang said. “I’m dreaming. I’m so excited.”
Earlier Saturday, Americans April Ross and Whitney Pavlik lost the bronze-medal match to Brazilians Lili and Barbara 21-18, 21-15.
Ross and Pavlik’s loss means the U.S. will walk away from worlds with no medals for the first time since 2001. Ross now joins a new partner, three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings. They could debut at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., from July 22-28, broadcast on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports.
The men’s semifinals and finals are Sunday, when Brazilians Ricardo and Emanuel look to defend their title. NBC will have coverage from 2-3:30 p.m. ET.
Figure skating analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will host the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night in Primetime on NBC. The team, along with play-by-play partner Terry Gannon, made the announcement during Tuesday night’s broadcast of the ladies’ short program.
Lipinski, Weir and Gannon will commentate the pageantry from PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, which will feature the Parade of Nations, interviews, profiles, musical performances and more.
“Parades, K-Pop, fireworks, costumes, dancing – who better to host the world’s biggest party than Tara, Johnny and Terry,” Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production and Programming, said in a press release.
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It must be an incredible feeling to share the Olympic experience with your twin sister while skating next to one another on the same team. But, how many sets of twins can say they each had a game-changing moment to help their team capture a gold medal for the first time in 20 years?
NBCOlympics.com: Gold at last: U.S. women beat rival Canada in epic shootout
The Lamoureux twins are in elite company as they both shined individually while helping the U.S. defeat Canada in the women’s hockey gold-medal game.
“I’m digging the new necklace I got today,” Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said. “It is been a dream to do this, side by side. We have pushed each other since we were little and our brothers have kicked our butts along the way.”
Jocelyne, tasked with shooting in the first round of extra innings, performed a highly-skilled maneuver en route to scoring the eventual shootout-winning goal. No. 17 skated in all alone, faked to her backhand as Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados slipped, then confidently slid the puck into the back of the net.
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