News for Dummies: 2018 Winter Olympics Edition

Leah Johnson, News Editor

Hidden in the success of the 2018 Olympics were a few unforgettable moments in some little-watched events. In the mixed doubles curling event, which follows the rules of normal curling, but is played by a team of one man and one woman, there was some controversy over the movement of the rock. The Norwegian team claimed that the Chinese team illegally removed the rock from play and that it needed to remain in bounds. The Chinese team believed the rock slid out of play, and therefore needed to be removed. There are no refs in curling, therefore the teams had to figure it out themselves and surmount the language barrier that prevented them from easy communication. Eventually the Norwegian competitors turned to the crowds and asked their opinions. The crowd consensus was that the rock was in, therefore it was put back into play and the game re-commenced.

Another highlight from the Olympics was in the Men’s’ Skiathlon. For those unfamiliar with the sport, it follows a group of over 60 athletes skiing for 30 Km cross country. The track is not just flat or downhills though, it involves epic climbs up inclines all the while on skis. Norway is famous for their prowess in this event and were expected to take most, if not all, medals. However, there was an accident in the outset of the race, where Simen Hegstad Krueger, who had a good chance for a medal, fell over and had to wait for other skiers to pass him before he could continue. Ending in the back of the pack of over 60 skiers, many believed that Krueger’s chance at a medal was over. However, as the race progressed, he slowly worked his war forward to the front, scaling hills at incredible speeds and making the most of the down hills. As the race neared to a close, he made his way to the leader pack and eventually surpassed them to take gold.

Seventeen year-old from California, Chloe Kim won the US a gold medal in the snowboarding halfpipe, with an exceptional final score of 98.35, as reported by NBC. The maximum score is a 100 and the next closes score was 89.75. Kim led the competition early on and by the time her final run came around her gold medal was secure. The final lap ended up being a victory run for Kim, who decided to make the most of it and attempted a trick that had eluded her in previous runs. The trick was back to back 1080s, which has only been successfully completed by a few number of snowboarders. According to NBC, which reported coverage of the event, Kim expressed that she was happy to win a medal for the US but was also happy to win it in her parents home country.

Mirai Nagasu, a figure skater for team USA, helped the US win bronze in the team event, as reported by NBC. She was bumped from the team for the Sochi Olympics and was looking forward to competing in PyeongChang. The most notable part of her performance in the team figure skating even was that she became the first US woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics.

The very first gold medal won for team USA this winter Olympics was by 17 year old Red Gerard from Rocky River Ohio in the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle event. In addition to the celebration on being the first gold medalist, Independent reported that the snowboarder had stayed up late the night before watching Netflix and overslept his alarm in the morning. His roommate eventually woke him up and Gerard had to sprint to the course to make it in time for finals. This drew commentators to wonder if he would have missed finals if it hadn’t been for his roomate.