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US Wins First Gold Medal of Beijing Winter Olympics

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United States’ Lindsey Jacobellis celebrates after winning a gold medal in the women’s cross finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The United States secured its first gold medal of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Wednesday when Lindsey Jacobellis won the women’s snowboard cross competition.

The 36-year-old Jacobellis has been the dominant figure in the short history of the sport, but has come up short in her quest for Olympic gold since her debut at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. She was heading to a certain gold medal at the Turin Games when she slipped and fell attempting a flashy move during a jump on the final leg of the race, forcing her to settle for the silver medal.

From left silver medalist France's Chloe Trespeuch, gold medalist United States' Lindsey Jacobellis and bronze medalist Canada's Meryeta O'Dine celebrate during the venue ceremony for the women's snowboard cross at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
From left silver medalist France's Chloe Trespeuch, gold medalist United States' Lindsey Jacobellis and bronze medalist Canada's Meryeta O'Dine celebrate during the venue ceremony for the women's snowboard cross at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Chloe Trespeuch of France won the silver medal Wednesday, while Canada’s Meryeta Odine took home the bronze.

Jacobellis’s win came hours after U.S. skier Mikeala Shiffrin, the most dominant women’s Alpine skier of her generation, endured another shocking failure in her quest to add to her Olympic gold medal collection. Shiffrin was just seconds into her first run in the women’s slalom competition when she missed a gate and skied off the course, resulting in her disqualification, and sat despondent and dejected on the side of the course for several minutes.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia took the gold medal in the women’s slalom, with Katharina Leinsberger of Austria taking the silver medal and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland winning bronze.

Also Wednesday, Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won their third straight gold medal in the luge men’s doubles title. They completed two runs in 1 minute, 56.653 seconds, fending off German teammates Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, winners of the silver.

Germany has won three of the four luge events to be held at the Olympics. Johannes Ludwig previously won the men’s luge title and Natalie Geisenberger claimed the women’s luge gold. The four will try to sweep the luge competitions in the relay.

Norway’s 21-year-old Birk Ruud won the gold medal Wednesday in the men’s freestyle big air competition, with American Colby Stevenson taking home the silver medal, six years after suffering massive injuries in a near-fatal automobile crash, including a fractured skull. Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut won the bronze medal.

In skating, South Korea’s Hwang Dae-heon won the men's 1,500 meters, the country’s first short track speed skating medal in the 2022 games, despite its dominance in short track competition. Hwang finished a tight race in two minutes 09.219 seconds, defeating Canada's Steven Dubois by 0.035 seconds, the tip of a blade. Russian skater Semen Elistratov won the bronze.

Hwang captured the gold after being eliminated in the semi-finals of the 1,000 meters on Monday following a disqualification. South Korea had not won a medal in three previous events at the Capital Indoor Stadium, alleging their lackluster results were due to biased refereeing.

Vinzenz Geiger of Germany claimed the gold in the men’s individual normal hill Nordic combined event. Geiger overcame a 1-minute, 26-second deficit to cross the finish line first in a 10K cross-country race. Norway’s Joergen Graabak finished eight-tenths of a second later to claim the silver. Lukas Greiderer of Austria won the bronze after beginning the cross-country skiing part of the competition in second place.

Japan’s Ryota Yamamoto jumped 108 meters and accumulated 133 points in the first part of the competition, but his performance faded halfway through the strenuous cross-country race.

American snowboarders Shuan White and Chloe Kim both qualified to advance to the finals of the men’s and women’s halfpipe competition, respectively. The 35-year-old White, a three-time gold medalist, is competing in his final Winter Olympics, while the 21-year-old Kim is seeking to defend the gold medal she won at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang.

Five female ski jumpers have been disqualified from the Beijing Olympics after the International Ski Federation (FIS) ruled that their suits were too big.

Katharina Althaus, of Germany, soars through the air during a women's normal hill ski jumping training session at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Katharina Althaus, of Germany, soars through the air during a women's normal hill ski jumping training session at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Germany’s Katharina Althaus, Silje Opseth and Anna Odine Stroem of Norway, Japanese jumper Sara Takanashi and Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz were all disqualified from taking part in the inaugural mixed team event, which featured teams with two women and two men each.

Althaus denounced the FIS decision, saying they “destroyed women’s ski jumping.”

Slovenia won the gold medal in the event, with the Russian Olympic Committee team winning silver and Canada the surprise bronze medal winners.
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