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Six nations to make Winter Olympic debuts in PyeongChang

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Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore will make their Winter Olympic debuts in PyeongChang.

The athletes:

Klaus Jungbluth Rodriguez, Alpine Skiing (Ecuador)
Shannon Ogbani-Abeda, Alpine Skiing (Eritrea)
Albin Tahiri, Alpine Skiing (Kosovo)
Jeffrey Webb, Alpine Skiing (Malaysia)
Julian Yee, Figure Skating (Malaysia)
Seun Adigun, Bobsled (Nigeria)
Ngozi Onwumere, Bobsled (Nigeria)
Akuoma Omeoga, Bobsled (Nigeria)
Simidele Adeagbo, Skeleton (Nigeria)
Cheyenne Goh, Short Track Speed Skating (Singapore)

The International Olympic Committee has short bios on most of the athletes here.

The most pre-Olympic attention fell on the Nigerian bobsledders, all former NCAA track and field athletes who trained bobsled in Texas.

One of Onwumere and Omeoga will not compete in PyeongChang since only one brakewoman is allowed to compete. The current Olympic entries list has Omeoga entered as Adigun’s brakewoman.

Nigeria owns 25 Summer Olympic medals, making it the third-most successful Summer Olympic nation yet to compete in a Winter Games (Cuba, Indonesia), according to Olympic historians known as the OlyMADMen.

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USA wins gold in men’s curling

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For the first time in history, the United States won the Olympic gold medal in curling.

A week ago, it didn’t seem like that would happen. Sitting at 2-4 and with a game against behemoth Canada coming up, John Shuster captained the United States to three consecutive wins (over Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain) to squeak into the semifinals. From there, they took down Great Britain before completing the run against Sweden in the gold medal game.

Tied at 5-5 in the eighth end, Shuster was able to hit both of Sweden’s rocks out of the house, giving the United States an incredible five points and a 10-5 lead heading into the ninth.

NBCOlympics.com: Watch: Team USA scores five points in eighth end

After that, it was all about protecting the lead. Just a few minutes later Swedish skip Niklas Edin conceded the game, and it was the United States standing on top of the podium for the first time ever in the sport of curling.

Click here to read the full recap from the gold medal game 

Ester Ledecka first woman to win gold in two sports at same Winter Olympics

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One week after shocking the world by winning a gold medal in Alpine skiing, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic strapped back into a snowboard and won a gold medal in her primary sport.

Ledecka, the No. 1 ranked athlete in women’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding, qualified for the finals of that event with the fastest time, then won four consecutive head-to-head races to claim her second gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics.

With the win, Ledecka is the first woman to win gold medals in two different sports at the same Winter Olympics.

Results: Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom

Gold: Ester Ledecka (CZE)
Silver: Selina Joerg (GER)
Bronze: Ramona Hofmeister (GER)
4. Alena Zavarzina (OAR)
5. Benjamin Karl (AUT)
6. Stefan Baumeister (GER)
7. Roland Fischnaller (ITA)
8. Edwin Coratti (ITA)

Click here to catch up on all of the snowboarding action from PyeongChang