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The U.S. wracked up 5 gold medals at the Olympics this week. (photo via @nbcolympics)

The best moments from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, drew to a close Sunday, leaving behind a handful of memorable highlights over the two weeks of events.

From the U.S. toughing out a shootout to win gold in hockey and Elizabeth Swaney’s skiing run to eventful performances in figure skating, here are some of the highlights from the Winter Games.

U.S. women’s hockey claims gold in shootout win

The U.S. women’s hockey team defeated Canada 3-2 in a shootout to win its first gold medal since 1998.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored a beautiful goal before goalie Maddie Rooney stopped Team Canada’s Meghan Agosta to give the U.S. the victory. 

Comebacks, close calls and new names in figure skating 

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir claimed their third gold medal for Canada with a win over French duo Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron by less than one point in the ice dancing competition. Maia and Alex Shibutani from the U.S. earned bronze.

After setting a record in the short dance, Virtue and Moir danced to a medley of “El Tango de Roxanne” and “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge, ending their third Olympics with a new world record total score of 206.07. The two won gold with Team Canada earlier in the Olympics, and they previously won gold in Vancouver in 2010 and silver in Sochi in 2014. 

In the singles programs, Russian 15-year-old Alina Zagitova won her first gold, edging out compatriot Evgenia Medvedeva by just over a point.

Yuzuru Hanyu earned his second gold medal in men’s figure skating. Hanyu injured his ankle in November and had not competed since then.

In pairs, after four previous tries at the Olympics, Aliona Savchenko finally claimed gold, setting a world record in the long program with her partner, Bruno Massot. 

The tie for men’s two-man bobsled gold

Two teams took gold in the two-man bobsled final: Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz of Canada, and Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis of Germany. Both teams finished at 3:16.86. Something similar happened in 1998, when Canada and Italy tied for the gold medal. 

Jamaican women’s bobsled team makes history

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell became the first Jamaican women’s bobsled team in history to compete the Olympics. Thirty years ago, the four-man team made its debut for the country at the Olympics. 

A little more than a week ago, the women's coach, Sandra Kiriasis, left and took the team's sled with her. Jamaican beer company Red Stripe saved the day and sent the team a new sled.

A new way to achieve an Olympic dream

American Elizabeth Swaney, who was competing for Hungary, made waves on the internet after she completed two qualifying runs in the women's freestyle skiing halfpipe event without doing any tricks.

It turns out that was her goal the whole time. She crowdsourced to raise money and participated in enough World Cup events without falling to place 34th in the rankings. Because that wouldn’t have been enough for her to qualify for the U.S. team, she competed for Hungary because her grandparents were born there. 

She said it was her dream to compete in the Olympics — even if she placed last.

Why not both?

Ester Ledecka became the first person to compete in both snowboarding and Alpine skiing. She just so happened to grab gold in both of them.  

Curling and the rest of the U.S. Olympic gold medalists 

Team USA shocked Canada to make it to the curling finals and then beat Sweden 10-7 to earn the first-ever gold medal for the U.S. in the sport. Unfortunately, the team members didn’t get the correct medals right away: When the team members were given their medals, they said women’s curling instead of men’s.

The U.S. also had several other athletes win gold medals in their respective sports. To name a few: Shaun White returned for his fourth Olympics and won gold for the third time, his first since 2010. Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won the first-ever gold medal for the U.S. in cross-country skiing. Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the giant slalom. And who could forget Chloe Kim’s tweets about being hangry before earning her Olympic gold medal?

Now that the Olympics are over, we’ll have to wait another four years until Beijing to catch more Winter Olympic highlights.


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