From Lindsey Vonn to figure skating's "Cinderella story," big air snowboarding and lots of ice hockey, there should be no shortage of must-see action on Day 11 of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
Italy’s Goggia Wins Gold, Vonn Takes Bronze in Women’s Downhill
Italy’s Sofia Goggia held off a strong field to win gold in the women’s downhill, while Team USA’s Lindsey Vonn took bronze, finishing 0.47 seconds behind her rival.
“I gave it my best shot,” Vonn said through tears after the race. “And I’m so proud to have competed with so many amazing girls.”
Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway won silver, finishing 0.09 seconds behind Goggia.
Vonn’s bronze-medal finish makes history: At 33, she is the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games. She will ski again in the combined on Thursday (Wednesday night in the U.S.), going up against teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, who won gold in these Games in the giant slalom.
Team USA’s Alice McKennis finished fifth, Breezy Johnson finished seventh and Laurenne Ross finished 15th.
Russian Skaters Deliver in Women’s Short Program
Women’s figure skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics was billed as a showdown between Olympic Athletes from Russia Evgenia Medvedeva and Aliona Zagitova, and they delivered Wednesday at Gangneung Ice Arena.
Here are the U.S. ladies to watch:
Zagitova set a new short program record with her score of 82.92 to slide into first place, ahead of Medvedeva by 1.31 points. If the 15-year-old Zagitova holds on to the top spot through Friday’s free skate, she would become the second youngest women’s figure skating gold medalist behind Tara Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic champion.
Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond was in third place after the short program with 78.87 points.
All three Americans to skate in the short program planned to open their routine with triple jumps, and all three stumbled. Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu each fell all the way to the ice — Tennell on a triple lutz to triple toeloop combination, and Nagasu on a her trademark triple axel — while teammate Karen Chen placed a hand on the ice to brace herself coming out of a triple lutz.
The Return of Red Gerard and the Debut of Men's Big Air
Red Gerard already has one gold medal in snowboarding, on Tuesday he goes for a second in the men's big air snowboarding event. Big air is new to the Winter Olympic Games, parallel slalom was removed from the program.
The 17-year-old Gerard made a name for himself winning the United States' first U.S. gold medal of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, he's the second straight American to win men's slopestyle.
On Tuesday, we'll find out if that snowboarding backyard at his family's home in Colorado gives him the winning edge in big air.
How to Watch: Men's big air qualifying starts at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be shown during NBC's primetime coverage of the Olympics. Click here to watch on digital.
Texas Connects Us to the Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team Making Olympic Debut for Africa
Nigerian women's bobsled team – made up of Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere – are all American-born, first-generation Nigerian immigrants who will represent the African nation in its Winter Olympics debut.
"Just because you don't know what it means to see snow or to understand temperatures that are equivalent to ice, that doesn't mean you have to shy away from it," Adigun said. "That's what Africa is representing — that we can take those risks and still be able to compete with the best in the world."
Not that it's not cold, Onwumere concedes, laughing. The Texan in her is shivering, but the Olympian is ready.
"Honey, it's super cold!" Onwumere said. "But we're here for the Winter Olympics. This is what we expected. We welcome it. We want it to be a little warmer, but we're fine with how it is."
The women formed the team in 2015, and completed the majority of their training in Houston with a hand-made wooden sled named ‘Maeflower.’ They even used GoFundMe to raise the money to compete and qualify.
For Adigun, her roots are as important as her birthplace, she also competed as a track athlete for Nigeria in the 2012 London Games.
"Although we're American, we're also Nigerian," Adigun said." We're actually Nigerian first. That's the one culture that we know, that we were raised to respect and understand. To show people that it's okay to be both and it's okay to represent where you're from is a powerful message that, hopefully, we've been able to translate."
Besides being the first women's bobsled team from Africa, the team made headline last week when their coach quit and threatened to take the sled she leased with her. Luckily, the Jamaican beer brand Red Stripe stepped up to pay nearly $50,000 so the team could buy their sled and equipment from their former coach.
Jamaica has sent six men's teams to the Olympics, including the squad that inspired the movie 'Cool Runnings' – not surprisingly the Nigerian women’s path to the Olympics has been compared to the Jamaican men’s bobsled team.
They are in 18th place out of 20 after two heats. Heats 3 and 4 happen early Wednesday morning.
How to Watch: Watch women's bobsled heats 1 and 2 on digital platforms. Highlights will be shown during NBC's primetime Olympic coverage which starts at 7 p.m. Heats 3 and 4 happen Wednesday early morning.
More:Cool Runnings: Nigeria | 3 Women Make Nigerian History With Olympic Bobsled Team | Nigeria's Simidele Adeagbo on Her First Winter Olympics | Red Stripe Buys Jamaican Team Bobsled After Coach Quits
Men's Hockey Quarterfinals
Team USA can put a disappointing preliminary round in the rearview mirror by clinching a quarterfinal berth with a victory against Slovakia.
The U.S. has shown flashes of great play, most notably from rising college stars Jordan Greenway and Ryan Donato, but the squad will have to regroup after a comprehensive 4-0 loss to the Olympic Athletes from Russia last time out.
A rematch against Slovakia—the only team the U.S. has beaten so far—could be just what the doctor ordered, but the first meeting was no cakewalk, ending in a narrow 2-1 American victory.
How to Watch: Click here to watch the first quarterfinal live. The action starts at 9:10 p.m. CT. Catch the second one right here at 1:40 a.m. CT Wednesday, followed by the third (watch live here) and fourth (watch live here) quarterfinals at 6:10 a.m. CT Wednesday.