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Previewing the final week in PyeongChang

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The Olympics have already provided some remarkable storylines. From Shaun White redeeming himself in the men’s snowboard halfpipe, to John-Henry Krueger ending the U.S.’s medal drought in short track, memorable storylines have certainly developed.

The international field, too, has certainly had its own flair for the dramatic. Look back at Ester Ledecka, a snowboarder, stunning the world by winning the alpine skiing super-G. Or look at Simen Hagsted Krueger’s improbable comeback to win the men’s cross-country 30km skiathlon.

Here at OlympicTalk, we’ve compiled six of the best events that are still to be featured in PyeongChang. There are more storylines to be written, more heroes to emerge, and plenty of heartbreak to be endured.

Ladies Downhill: Feb. 21 (9:00p.m. EST / 6:00p.m. PST)

Lindsey Vonn has hinted that this will probably be her last Olympics. The downhill is her best event, and she’ll surely be looking to fix the mistakes that she made on the slalom. She’s even started the competing in the training runs. Cheeky as ever, Vonn admitted to playing “mind games” with her competitors, allowing them to best her training run times. She doesn’t want to win training; she’ll save that for when it actually matters.

It’s been a long road for Shiffrin these past several years, having to pull out of Sochi because of a knee injury. She’s returned in good form, though, despite that disappointing performance in the giant slalom.

With Mikaela Shiffrin pulling out of the event, all eyes will be on Lindsey Vonn as she attempts to become the undisputed queen of the downhill.

Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Match: Feb. 22 (11:10p.m. EST / 8:10p.m. PST)

The United States and Canada have met in three of the past four gold medal matches at the Olympics, and Canada have won all three of those meetings. The 2014 gold medal match was heart breaking for the Americans in particular, losing in overtime.

The Americans have made it abundantly clear that not a day has passed since they lost that game, and we got to see some of that anger when these two teams met in the group stages. Canada came on top of that one, 2-1, but it was by far the highest quality game and also the most physical.

There is no clear favorite in this game, no telling what the scoreline will be. The only known certainty is that it will be the most physically demanding game that either of these teams will play.

Figure Skating, Ladies Singles: Feb. 21, 23 (8:00p.m. EST / 5:00.m. PST) 

Mirai Nagasu already made history in the team event when she became the first American woman to land a triple Axel. With the ladies singles event coming up, her focus looks razor sharp. She faces stiff competition for the gold, though.

To get a glimpse into what the ladies singles event could hold, look at the team event earlier in these Games. The athletes from OAR and Canada are going to be fighting amongst themselves for the medal haul. Yevgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova won both of their skate programs, with Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman finishing third in theirs.

Speed Skating Mass Start: Feb. 24 (6:00a.m. EST / 3:00a.m. PST)

Making its debut on the Olympic stage, the Mass Start is sure to be a thrilling conclusion to the speed skating competition. Up to 16 athletes compete at a time, pushing each other out of the way to win those sprint points. Short track is unpredictable because of the four skaters who are all jostling for that inside lane. What happens then when you add 12 more to the field?

The Koreans love speed skating, and they’ll certainly create the buzz during the Mass Start. Just listen to the roar from the crowd whenever a Korean skater makes a move for the front.

Click here to read more on the Mass Start 

Cross-Country Men’s 50k Mass Start: Feb. 24 (12:00a.m. EST / 9:00p.m. PST)

This event may not have any Americans in this event (at least any who have any chance at a medal), but that doesn’t mean you should skip this event. These skiers will be in the thick of it for approximately 30 tortuous miles. Cross-country skiers literally collapse at the end of a 10km or 15km race. How could they possibly go on for another 40km?

So who are the favorites? “Super” Dario Cologna is probably the man to beat as he has one a couple of Olympic gold medals already, but the Norwegians did sweep the men’s 30km skiathlon. Simen Hegstad Krueger has been the standout athlete for Norway this season, and Denis Spitsov has been performing well for OAR.

Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game: Feb. 25 (11:10p.m. EST / 8:10p.m. PST) 

Okay, so we don’t know who’s going to be in the final yet. As things stand the quarterfinals haven’t even begun. OAR are still the favorites, but Sweden are sitting in the no.1 seed in the bracket stage.

The men’s hockey final has always proven to be a memorable way to end the Olympics. Canada and Sweden have traded the gold medals the past few years. There aren’t any NHL players this time around, though, and that’s already provided for some surprising resutls.

Final World Cup Alpine skiing races canceled

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ARE, Sweden (AP) — Viktoria Rebensburg won her third season title in the giant slalom on Sunday without hitting the slopes at the World Cup finals.

Strong winds forced the cancellation of the season-ending GS while the German skier led the standings by 92 points from world champion Tessa Worley of France, who won the title last season. With a win worth 100 points, Rebensburg was a strong pre-race favorite to wrap up the title.

The last men’s slalom was also canceled, but that didn’t affect the final standings because Marcel Hirscher had already locked up the overall and discipline titles two weeks ago.

Both races were called off shortly before their respective starts as gusts made conditions on the hill potentially unsafe for the skiers. According to FIS rules, events at World Cup finals cannot be rescheduled.

Rebensburg, the Olympic GS gold medalist in 2010, also won the World Cup GS title in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

“It’s really something special. It’s been a few years now since my last globe. I am very proud that I managed to win it again,” said Rebensburg, who struggled with injuries in recent seasons.

She ruptured ligaments in her left knee three years ago and fractured the tibial plateau in her right leg just before the start of last season.

“Every globe has a special meaning but this one is more emotional because of the time in-between,” Rebensburg said. “I know what’s behind winning a globe. You have to be consistent throughout a whole season.”

In the overall standings, Rebensburg finished third behind winner Mikaela Shiffrin and runner-up Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.

Shiffrin, who had secured her second straight overall title last week, wrote on Twitter that she agreed with the decision to call off the last event of the season.

“Ahhhhhhh shoot! The race is canceled! But it’s really windy up here so probably a good call,” the American said.

Shiffrin finished the season on 1,773 points, 130 more than last season when she won her maiden overall title. Holdener was the only other skier to gather more than 1,000 points this season — 1,168.

The men’s overall champion also applauded the cancellation.

“If you see the wind and how the slalom gates are moving, you don’t have to talk about a fair race or a quality race,” said Hirscher, who missed out on the chance to set a World Cup record by winning his 14th race of the season.

“That’s not the important thing,” he said. “It’s the right decision.”

After the cancellation of the women’s race, Manuela Moelgg announced her retirement after 18 seasons on the circuit. The Italian veteran secured 14 podiums, including three third-place finishes this season, but failed to win a race in 283 World Cup starts.

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Declan Farmer heroics lift U.S. to Paralympic hockey title in OT (video)

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Declan Farmer tied the Paralympic hockey final with 37.8 seconds to play, then scored the golden goal 3:30 into overtime to lift the U.S. over Canada 2-1 for gold on Sunday.

“It’s all a blur at the moment,” said Farmer, a 20-year-old Princeton student, “but when it comes back I will remember this day for the rest of my life.”

Farmer’s heroics gave the U.S. a third straight Paralympic title. No other nation has won two Paralympic golds in seven total tournaments.

The U.S. also finished the Winter Paralympics with the most medals (36) and most gold medals (13) for the first time since Albertville 1992.


When Farmer made a move seconds before scoring the tying goal, with the U.S. having pulled goalie Steve Cash, teammate and captain Josh Pauls thought to himself, “This is Declan Farmer time.” Farmer’s goal was the first allowed by Canada at the tournament, the shutout streak ending after 224 minutes.

Thirty seconds earlier, Canada’s Rob Armstrong had a chance to clinch gold on the empty net, but hit the post from an angle.

Farmer tallied a tournament-leading 11 goals and 17 points in his second Winter Games. His 14 career Paralympic goals are a U.S. record.

Last year, Farmer broke U.S. records for most goals (12) and points (18) at a world championship tournament, though Canada beat the U.S. in that final. He was born a bilateral amputee and started playing sled hockey at age 9.

Cash, who stopped 11 of 12 Canadian shots for his third Paralympic title, told Farmer after Sunday’s game that he was his hero.

“He’s the best overall sled hockey player to ever play the game,” Cash said, according to

The U.S. dedicated its tournament to its 2014 Paralympic coach, Jeff Sauer, who died of pancreatic cancer in February 2017.

“Coach Sauer is watching over us,” Farmer said.

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