Olympic Precap: Germany’s Big Day

Via @NBCOlympics

(Note: Due to the time difference between South Korea and the United States, all events will be listed by the day they are being aired in the United States.)

The Olympics Precap is a daily post that will serve as a recap and preview of the action in PyeongChang.

Here’s What Happened: Wednesday, February 14th

Weather has wreaked havoc so far on a number of events at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, forcing delays to most of the alpine skiing events to this point.

Once again on Wednesday, more medal events fell victim to the harsh conditions and had to be delayed to a later date. The men’s 20km biathlon and women’s 15km biathlon could not go off as planned and will be rescheduled to Thursday.

Luckily for organizers, some events are held indoors and have been able to take place without having to worry about high winds or snow interfering.

Long-track speed skating is one of those events who doesn’t have to worry about weather and that has been great news for The Netherlands who have continued their stranglehold on the track.

That strong Dutch tradition continued on Wednesday with another gold on the long-track in the women’s 1,000m race thanks to Jorien ter Mors.

Coming off two gold medalsย  in Sochi, ter Mors added to her long-track legacy with a third career gold medal on Wednesday in the 1,000m. It was not a particularly close race, with ter Mors easily taking gold over Japan’s Nao Kodaira by a quarter of a second. Kodaira was comfortably the silver medal winner in front of her Japanese teammate Miho Takagi who won bronze.

American Brittany Bowe just missed out on a podium spot, finishing in fourth place.

What events are held outside went off without a hitch on Wednesday and it was the Germans who capitalized with three of a possible six medals handed out.

First in Nordic combined, German Eric Frenzel erased a small time gap from the ski jump portion and won the cross-country leg to claim the gold medal. Akito Watabe continued Japan’s strong day with a silver medal finish and Austria’s Lukas Klapfer took home the bronze.

Moving over to the Alpensia Sliding Centre, it was the final of the men’s doubles luge competition and as expected, the Germans reigned supreme.

The German team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt repeated their effort from Sochi and claimed a second straight gold with a victory in PyeongChang by almost a second. Austria followed up a gold in the men’s individual race with a silver in doubles on the backs of Peter Penz and Georg Fischler. Germany rounded out the podium with the team of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken taking bronze.

Through three luge events, the Germans lead the medal count with five in total.

Back to figure skating, the pairs free skate program took place and after five career Olympics and two bronze medals, Aljona Savchenko finally has her first career gold medal after her and Bruno Massot put together a score of 159.31 on the free skate to claim gold for Germany.

China’s pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong came up short by .43 and settled for silver. Canadian pair Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added to their team gold medal with the bronze.

After a delay earlier in the week, the men’s downhill race was ready to go under blue skies and calm winds in PyeongChang. Coming away with zero medals in Sochi for years ago, Norwegian alpine specialist Aksel Lund Svindal redeemed himself with a gold in the downhill. Svindal edged his Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud by just 0.12 seconds who took home silver. Rounding out the podium was world champion Beat Fuez of Switzerland who led briefly before being knocked off by Svindal.

This was Svindal’s fourth career Olympic medal and second gold medal. His previous three medals all came during the 2010 Vancouver Games.

After the downhill, alpine action switched back to the women’s giant slalom and all eyes were fixed on what Mikaela Shiffrin would do in her first race in PyeongChang. After sitting through days of delays, Shiffrin took to the slopes and delivered. Second after the first run, Shiffrin went out of the gate next to last and locked up the gold medal by 0.39 seconds.

Norway continued their strong Games with Ragnhild Mowinckel taking home the silver and Italy added to their medal haul with the bronze thanks to Federica Brignone.

The giant slalom is considered Shiffrin’s weakest event of all she had scheduled. She goes tomorrow in the regular slalom which she is the defending Olympic champion from 2014.

Her full schedule is below. You won’t want to miss her.

The day of events actually wrapped up early Thursday morning with the men’s snowboard cross. Big crashes helped put two Americans in the final but they came away empty handed as Pierre Vaultier of France took home gold.

Australian Jarryd Hughes hung on or silver and Spain broke into the medal with a bronze from Regino Hernandez.

Non-medal events also took center stage in PyeongChang. Here’s what you may have missed:

  • Women’s curling began round robin play. The United States women’s team dropped their opening game to Japan 10-5 but responded in their second game with a 7-4 victory over Great Britain.
  • Switzerland clinched Group B of the women’s ice hockey tournament with a 2-1 victory over Sweden to lock into the quarterfinals.
  • Men’s ice hockey group play began and two upsets highlighted the first day of competition. Slovenia upset the U.S. in overtime and Slovakia knocked off gold medal favorite OAR 3-2.
  • Skeleton held the first two runs of the men’s competition at the Alpensia Sliding Centre. Gold medal favorite Yun Sung-bin of host South Korea leads by a comfortable 0.31 seconds.
  • In a possible gold medal preview, U.S. and Canada faced-off in the final game of group play with Canada coming out on top 2-1 in a thriller. Both teams advanced to the semifinals where they will await their opponent.

Here’s What’s Next: Thursday, February 15th

We are now more than halfway through the work week but you still have to find time to catch some Olympic action while on the clock. Thursday has a lot going on that you will not want to miss.

Before we break down what to watch, here is Thursday’s schedule of events:

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 5.32.36 PM.png
Via CBS Sports

(Medalย events denoted.)

Work is very overrated so feel free to take an extra bathroom trip or an extended lunch to check in on all the happenings in PyeongChang.

Here’s what to keep an eye on:

  • Men’s snowboard cross goes off around midnight but you can catch the replay online or later in the day on television.
  • Women’s snowboard cross follows suit during primetime coverage on Thursday evening.
  • Men’s ice hockey group play continues with Group A games.
  • Luge relay holds its gold medal final.
  • More Dutch dominance on tap in the men’s 10,000m long-track final.
  • Biathlon and cross-country continue handing out medals in their respective events.
  • Men’s individual figure skating program begins with the short program. American Nathan Chen is one of the favorites to take home gold.
  • Curling round robin play continues on both the men’s and women’s sides.
  • Skeleton (face first luge) awards medals in the men’s competition. Yun Sung-bin of host South Korea is the gold medal favorite so it should be an incredible atmosphere during the final.
  • If weather permits, rescheduled alpine skiing events Men’s Super-G and Women’s Slalom should go off. This would take place during NBC primetime coverage.

You can catch any of these events live or on replay by tuning into the channels listed beside the event.

If you cannot get to a TV, head on over to NBCOlympics.com to stream live online or catch up on any replays you may have missed. You can also watch wirelessly on your smartphone by downloading the NBC Sports App.

Medal Table

A quick look at the medal table after Wednesday’s action:

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 2.12.59 AM.png
Via NBCOlympics.com

Norway remains on top but Germany closes gap after big day on the podium. The Netherlands holds steady thanks to another long-track medal. U.S.A. only gets a single medal but remains in top five, now tied for second in total golds. Japan makes big jump to sixth.

Keep up to date on everything Olympics right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Precap to cover what all went down and what else is to come in PyeongChang.

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