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Embrace the chaos: Wild short-track nights are a crowd pleaser

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea _ Less than five seconds into the first women’s 500-meter quarterfinal, one skater slammed into the wall and another was about to be disqualified.

In the very next race, a wipeout right before the finish meant Canada’s Kim Boutin slid to a second-place finish on her backside.

One race was so close that a winner wasn’t immediately listed and a photo finish was called. Turns out the Netherlands’ Yara van Kerkhof beat Great Britian’s Elise Christie by .002 of a second.

NBCOlympics.com: Arianna Fontana wins 500m gold

Welcome to the world of short-track speedskating, where the action’s fast, the music’s loud and 11-year-old American fan Sean Patrick O’Connor got exactly what he wanted.

The O’Connor family – including Pat, Joan, Justin, Sean Patrick and six-year-old Evan Anthony – wanted to see a handful of sports this February when they came to the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Besides hockey, the short track was high on their list.

It’s easy to see why. The demolition derby of the Winter Olympics is a crowd pleaser and immensely popular in South Korea. Gangneung Ice Arena was almost completely filled on Tuesday night and almost every single race – 17 in all – was an absolute nail-biter.

Read the rest of the story here, and catch up on the rest of the action around PyeongChang

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