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.
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.