Shaun White was aiming to become the first American man to win three Winter Olympic golds in an individual event.
Instead, he got a Sochi Shock.
After a tough first run in today’s snowboard halfpipe final, White rebounded with a solid second run. But it wasn’t enough to put him on the podium, and the gold medal went to Switzerland’s Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov.
The stunning result was one of eight medal events that went down today on Day 4 of these Games. Here were the others:
- Biathlon: Women’s 10km pursuit – Susan Dunklee of the U.S. finished 18th after contending for a medal late into the event, which was won by Belarus’ Darya Domracheva.
- Cross-Country Skiing: Women’s individual sprint – Gold medal threats Kikkan Randall (Team USA) and Marit Bjorgen (Norway) both failed to make the final, but Randall’s U.S. teammate, Sophie Caldwell, managed to get in the main event that was won by Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla.
- Cross-Country Skiing: Men’s individual sprint – Norway’s dominance continued as Ola Vigen Hattestad took the gold in the men’s sprint final. Keep an eye on OlympicTalk later tonight for more on this event.
- Freestyle Skiing: Women’s ski slopestyle – In the Olympic debut for the discipline, Canada’s Dara Howell was victorious while Devin Logan of the U.S. grabbed the silver. But the day was marked by another bad crash, this time involving one of Howell’s teammates, Yuki Tsubota.
- Luge: Women’s singles – Erin Hamlin gave the U.S. its first-ever Olympic luge medal in singles competition, taking the bronze behind Germans Natalie Geisenberger (gold) and Tatjana Huefner (silver).
- Ski Jumping: Women’s normal hill individual – Carina Vogt of Germany took the inaugural Olympic women’s ski jumping gold, while Japanese star Sara Takanashi and the U.S. trio of jumpers were unable to medal. The event (which started with Sarah Hendrickson taking the first jump) was highly anticipated by many, including some of Team USA’s athletes.
- Speed Skating: Women’s 500m – Heather Richardson was unable to end the U.S. women’s medal drought in today’s 500m race, won by South Korea’s Lee Sang-Hwa for the second straight Olympics.
Individual figure skating competition also got underway today with the pairs’ short program. Russia’s duo of Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov posted a world-record score, while the U.S. pairing of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir notched a personal-best score. However, Castelli/Shnapir were bumped down to ninth by the end of the night; the second American pairing, Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, finished 14th…
A big contender in the women’s downhill, Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather, has confirmed that she is out of the Olympics following a training crash on Sunday that left her with bone bruises at her shin and knee. That may increase the medal chances in this event for Team USA’s Julia Mancuso, who topped the downhill portion of Monday’s super-combined before finishing with the bronze. The final training day before Wednesday’s medal event was scratched due to warm temperatures causing deep ruts to form on the course…
Finally, viewers of tonight’s NBC Olympics primetime coverage won’t be seeing familiar host Bob Costas, who’s handed over the reins temporarily to TODAY’S Matt Lauer while he tries to recover from an infection that has now spread to both of his eyes. Naturally, we wish Bob (and Matt) the best.
MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 11
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Norway – 4/3/4 – 11
2. Canada – 4/3/2 – 9
3. Germany – 4/1/0 – 5
4. Netherlands – 3/2/3 – 8
5. United States – 2/1/4 – 7
6. Switzerland – 2/0/0 – 2
7. Russia – 1/3/3 – 7
8. Austria – 1/3/0 – 4
9. France – 1/0/2 – 3
T-10. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Korea – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Poland – 1/0/0 – 1
T-10. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
14. Sweden – 0/3/1 – 4
15. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
16. Slovenia – 0/1/2 – 3
T-17. Italy – 0/1/1 – 2
T-17. Japan – 0/1/1 – 2
T-19. China – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
T-21. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-21. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1