Lily Zhang couldn’t help the U.S. to its first Olympic table tennis medal in London two years ago. But the 18-year-old came through in Nanjing on Wednesday, becoming the first American to win a table tennis medal at the Youth Olympics.
She won bronze in women’s singles, losing the first game to Japan’s Miyu Kato but coming back to take the match 4-2. The dominant Chinese claimed both women’s and men’s golds.
“I’m floating,” Zhang told TeamUSA.org after her victory.
Zhang is the first American to compete in the Olympics and then compete in the Youth Olympics.
Zhang, who speaks Chinese and is set to start a college career at California, also won her singles opener in the mixed team event Wednesday. The U.S. dropped the group-stage match to Chinese Taipei 2-1, though. The group stage continues Thursday.
The Youth Olympics continue with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Thursday.
Youth Olympics broadcast schedule
The Olympic Athletes from Russia triumphed in the no-NHL tournament where they were favored, winning the men’s hockey gold medal at a Winter Olympics where they couldn’t even be called Team Russia, use their colors or celebrate while listening to their anthem.
Kirill Kaprizov scored the game-winner as “Team Olympic Athlete From Russia” came back to beat underdog Germany 4-3 in overtime Sunday in an instant classic that saved a men’s tournament lacking buzz not only in South Korea but back in North America, where the NHL season went on during the games for the first time since 1994.
It’s the first Russian gold medal in hockey since 1992 in Albertville when the team also played under a neutral flag as the Community of Independent States. Russian flags — the team barred from using them by IOC sanctions for state-sponsored doping — hung behind the bench as the team awaited their gold medals.
NBCOlympics.com: Canada defeat Czech Republic to win bronze in men’s hockey
Constantly saying it doesn’t matter that they had to wear nondescript red and white uniforms that lacked the Russian Coat of Arms, players gave the Russians their second gold and 17th total medal of the Olympics.
Russian goal song “Those Were The Days” blared over the Gangneung Hockey Centre speakers as fans clad in red, white and blue and holding flags celebrated. They later sang the national anthem as the medal ceremony got under way.
Without the pressure of racking up points to land on the medal podium, the figure skating exhibition gala is a chance for the athletes to express themselves. There aren’t rules about jumping sequences, and instead, skaters can use props and silly concepts, if they want.
Figure skaters who win medals at the Olympics are typically among the invite list, plus up-and-coming skaters from the host country and other fan favorites.
Here are some of the best performances of the evening:
Ice dance bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani reprised last season’s “That’s Life” short dance by Frank Sinatra featuring Jay-Z for this year’s exhibition.
Ladies’ gold medalist Alina Zagitova performed her “Priestess of Fire” exhibition, which included a fake candle prop glowing on the ice.
Watch performances from the figure skating gala by clicking here