Finally, after several days of weather delays, the premier sport finally got underway. The alpine skiing events kicked off with the men’s combined and just to add to the excitement, two of the first three skiers crashed spectacularly.
Not to be outdone, women’s luge got into the act as well. Emily Sweeney of the US took turn 12 wrong which resulted in her being violently thrown from her sled. It was a terrifying crash, but one that she remarkably walked away from without any broken bones.
We joke about the death defying nature of winter sports, but when a crash actually happens, it’s a sober reminder that these are people hurtling down those mountains. Crashes are cool when no one gets hurt.
Despite alpine skiing making its debut, snowboarding’s halfpipe stole the show. More specifically, Kim Chloe did. Forget about how adorable the seventeen year old is, and how she used her win as an opportunity to stan for pineapple on pizza (gold medal or no, she’s wrong).
Her dad, an immigrant from Korea, proclaimed that her daughter is his American dream. He also exhibited Olympic level peak dad skills, of which I am copiously taking notes. Seriously, he texted her right before her big run, cheered louder than anyone to show support/embarrass her, made an endearingly crappy sign, and then talked about the importance of school in the wake of her win. Way to Dad it up, Jong Jin Kim.
What is so great about Kim Chloe, other than her Daddest of Dads, is that she already had won the gold medal before her final run. Her first run scored a 93.75, a mark which stood up to all challengers. China’s Liu Jiayu’s 89.75 won silver, but that was her second run. The best third run was bronze medalist Arielle Gold, scoring an 85.75.
With the gold medal already in the bag, Kim went out and put down a staggering 98.25 to celebrate. Just to show everyone who is boss. She didn’t have to, she just wanted to.
It’s like watching a young Shaun White. White was an adorable red-headed moppet eight years ago, also throwing down sick tricks and big scores when he didn’t need to, all to the delight of the crowd. As an older, more mature White took the board, he could see the next generation taking his place.
The men’s halfpipe was only in the prelim phase, but White maybe took some inspiration from Kim. He went out on his first run, did the usual amazing flips and big air, and scored a 93.25, far more than he needed to qualify.
However, during the second run, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano and Australia’s Scotty James both had the temerity to beat his score. So, even though he had already qualified and this run wasn’t even for a medal, Shaun White put down another spectacular show, scoring a 98.50 for the day’s top score.
Chloe Kim may be wise in the ways of the Force, but she is still a Padawan to White’s Jedi Master.
Tonight’s Medal Events
I can’t make any guarantees of what I will be watching, but I will try to list the medal events for y’all so you can plan your cord-cutting watch schedule appropriately. All times are Central, according to olympics.org, but take them with a grain of salt. Start times have been accurate give or take a half an hour
8:30 PM Men’s snowboard halfpipe
10:45 PM Women’s slalom
2:45 AM Men’s normal hill/10km Nordic combined
4:00 AM Women’s 1000m speed skating
5:05 AM Women’s 15km biathlon
6:30 AM Men’s doubles luge
Also, men’s hockey and men’s and women’s curling begins! NBC will likely show you 3 hours of pairs skating on the main network, so be forewarned. You could always watch a replay of this morning’s women’s hockey game between USA and The Country Formerly Known As Russia.