PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — For a woman with an Olympic gold medal sitting at home, Maddie Bowman sure took her share of grief over the past four years.
She did tougher tricks than anyone — thus, the halfpipe gold medal — but in pockets of the sometimes (nit)picky world of freeskiing, she wasn’t considered all that great a champion.
The main complaint: She lacked style.
Style might be best defined as the cool grabs of the snowboards and skis, and the creative lines and tricks the athletes perform on the rails of the slopestyle course. A deft touch in those areas can turn a high-flying acrobat show into a true work of art.
“My mom doesn’t (care) about my grabs,” Bowman said, a nod to the fact that the casual viewer won’t notice much of what the aficionado considers mandatory. “But to our sport, and as a person of this sport, it’s super important.”
Bowman concedes the criticism, some of it spelled out starkly in a 2015 piece , hurt her.
Read the rest of the story and watch video, streams at NBCOlympics.com
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
Two-man? Check. Four-man? Double check. Francesco Friedrich piloted his German sled to gold in the four-man bobsled, becoming the sixth pilot to win gold in both the two- and four-man bobsled in the same Olympics on the final day of competition in PyeongChang.
After tying with Canada’s Justin Kripps in two-man, Friedrich made no doubt in four-man, sliding to a dominant win. The German sled was clear of second by 0.53 seconds. And in second? Another tie on the bobsled course — just like the tie for gold in two-man. South Korea and Germany shared the silver medal.
NBCOlympics.com: Remembering team USA bobsled star Steve Holcomb
South Korea’s medal was historic. Won Yun-Jong delivered for the home nation, bringing the country its first medal in the bobsled. Yun Sung-Bin won the country’s first medal in a sliding event by taking gold in skeleton earlier in the games. Germany’s Nico Walther piloted the sled that tied.
Codie Bascue piloted the top American sled to a ninth-place finish. Nick Cunningham and Justin Olsen improved in Runs 3 and 4 to finish 19th and 20th, respectively.
Gold: Germany (Friedrich sled)
Silver: South Korea (Won sled)
Silver: Germany (Walther sled)
Read the full recap and watch bobsled highlights by clicking here