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Olympic men’s figure skating preview: Clean quads are the key

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Some of the top men’s figure skaters can already call themselves medalists at these Games. Team USA’s Nathan Chen, Canada’s Patrick Chan, and Mikhail Kolyada, an Olympic Athlete from Russia, will all contest the men’s event after making their 2018 debuts in the team event. In their quest for medals n the men’s event, they will face a bigger – and more competitive – field.

Here are some names to know before the event kicks off:

Nathan Chen, Team USA

Buzz about Chen: Chen is the only skater to master five different types of quads: toe loop, Salchow, flip, loop and Lutz. Combined with his improving artistic skills and Vera Wang-designed costumes, he is a threat for the podium… maybe even gold.

Adam Rippon, Team USA

Season so far: Rippon earned a bronze medal at his season opener in Finland and then captured silver medals at his two Grand Prix assignments in Japan and the U.S. He qualified for the Grand Prix Final, where he placed fifth. Then, he placed fourth at the U.S. Nationals; his body of work the past season was strong enough to place him on the 2018 Olympic team.

Vincent Zhou, Team USA

Credentials: 2017 world junior champion, 2018 U.S. national bronze medalist, 2017 U.S. national silver medalist

Buzz about Zhou: He is the youngest member of Team USA across all sports.

Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan
Credentials: 2014 Olympic gold medalist, 2014 and 2017 world champion, four-time Grand Prix Final gold medalist, four-time Japanese national champion

Read the full preview here and live stream men’s short program on NBCOlympics.com

Exhibition gala closes out figure skating program in PyeongChang

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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 

Double gold: Germany’s Friedrich wins 4-man bobsled

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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.

Results: 

Gold: Germany (Friedrich sled)
Silver: South Korea (Won sled)
Silver: Germany (Walther sled)

Read the full recap and watch bobsled highlights by clicking here