It wasn’t a great night for U.S. hockey, but the sun does always shine in the morning.
This morning it was brought courtesy of Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins. The pair broke a 42 year medal drought for the United States in cross-country by winning gold in the women’s relay sprint. The American duo were able to outmuscle competitors far more decorated than they, including 14-time Olympic medal Marit Bjoergen.
The men’s curling team also had a positive morning, capping off an improbable comeback by stomping Great Britain 10-4 in the final draw of round robin play. The U.S., who were at one point 2-4 in the competition, won three consecutive games to launch themselves into the medal rounds.
Continue reading below to catch up on the rest of the happenings around PyeongChang.
Cross-Country: Diggins, Randall, Bjoergen make history
Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the USA’s first-ever women’s cross-country medal (and second man or woman) tonight, winning the gold in the women’s relay sprint. They kept within the leading pack of skiers in each leg, and it was an emphatic final sprint by Diggins to clinch an historic gold for the U.S.
Speaking of history, Norway’s bronze medal in the women’s sprint relay brings Marit Bjoergen’s Winter Olympic medal count to 14 total, officially making her the most decorated Winter Olympian ever.
Speed Skating: U.S. win bronze in women’s pursuit
After they lost to the Netherlands in the semifinals on Monday, the U.S. were placed in the bronze medal meeting against Canada.
The Americans got off to a flying start, leading Canada by 1.55 seconds in just the first lap. They continued their pace to push that gap all the way up to 3.35 seconds at the halfway point before they started tiring.
Canada made a strong effort to capitalize on the Americans’ tired legs, and the U.S. nearly collided with each other in the final turn, but Team USA managed to win the bronze by .44 seconds.
Japan took the gold medal over Ireen Wurst and the Netherlands to win the gold, setting a new Olympic record in the process.
Curling: USA sneak into semifinals with win over Britain
Well, just look at that table run. The U.S. men’s curling team continue their improbable medal charge by defeating 2014 silver medalists Great Britain in eight ends.
That makes it three wins in a row now for the USA, who were once in big trouble at 2-4 in group play. Since then, they’ve picked up good wins over Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain.
With the victory, the USA have jumped past Great Britain and Switzerland to land third in the table. Britain and Switzerland, meanwhile, must play a tie-breaker to decide which team will play against Sweden in the other semifinal.
USA def. GBR 10-4
KOR def. JPN 10-4
NOR def. SWE 7-2
Hockey: Finland win bronze
Finland won the bronze medal in the women’s tournament, defeating OAR 3-2. Finland looked to be in firm control of the match early on, building up to a 2-0 lead one minute into the second period. The Athletes from Russia managed to make a game of it, though, halving the lead just a minute later. This is Finland’s first Olympic medal since 2010.
On the men’s side, OAR cruised into the semifinals with a 6-1 trouncing of Norway. They go on to Face the Czech Republic, who defeated the United States in a shootout on Wednesday evening.
Bobsled: U.S. sitting in second, fourth leading into final run
Two U.S. teams are in medal contention in the women’s bobsled after three runs. Elana Meyers-Taylor and Lauren Gibbs are currently behind first place Germany by .04 seconds. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans are sitting outside the medal positions in fourth, behind third-placed Canada by .05 seconds.
Freestyle Skiing: Leman wins gold on wild day
In a competition that featured some pretty scary crashes, Canada’s Brady Leman took the gold after leading the entire stretch of the final race. There were six crashes total in the men’s ski cross competition, including two in the opening seeding runs.