Olympic Precap: No Stopping Norway

Via @Olympics

(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: Sunday, February 18th

We are officially into the final week of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and that means some disciplines will be starting to wrap up their Olympic competition in the coming days but there will still be plenty of medals to hand out before the Games come to a close.

Already with a substantial lead a top the medal table, Norway continue to pile on the hardware Sunday and it began in a sport they have dominated since they stepped foot in South Korea, cross-country skiing.

It was time for the men’s 4x10km relay and like their women counterparts, the Norwegian men’s team pulled away down the home stretch to lock up the gold medal. Anchored by Johannes Klaebo, Norway battled back from a rough start to overtake the rest of the field in the end.

Coming home in silver position was the team representing OAR who hung with Norway for most of the race but faded late down the stretch. France put together a strong performance from start to finish for the bronze.

Building off their early gold, Norway continued racking up medals but had to settle for bronze in the men’s 15km mass start biathlon event. A combination a cross-country skiing and shooting, Europeans mainly dominate the discipline and today was no different.

An earlier gold in the men’s 12.5km pursuit already made the 2018 Games a success forย  France’s Martin Fourcade but he doubled down with a second gold in the 15km mass start. Falling behind early thanks to a shooting penalty and brief fall, Fourcade battled back and pulled away from everyone besides Germany’s Simon Schepp.

The two athletes stayed together and went into a full on sprint down the last few hundred meters. Fourcade and Schepp hit the line at the same time, prompting a photo finish that showed Fourcade’s boot crossing the line just the blink of an eye before Schepp, giving Fourcade his second gold in less than a week.

Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen crossed the line in third to claim the bronze.

Freestyle skiing completed the more traditional portion of its Olympic schedule with the men’s aerials final where the United States had an unexpected medal contender in Jonathon Lollis. Unfortunately, Lollis could not pull off a repeat effort of his qualifying jump and was eliminated in the second round.

Down to six jumpers in the final round Oleksandr Abramenko of the Ukraine landed his run perfectly, scoring a 128.51 to win the gold medal. This was Ukraine’s first medal in PyeongChang, becoming the 26th country to win a medal at these Games.

Chinese skier Jia Zongyang just missed the gold by 0.46 and had to settle for the silver medal. Ilia Burov of OAR rounded out the podium with the bronze.

The fastest event in long track speed skating is the 500m races and on Sunday it was the women’s turn to take center stage. For all the success the Dutch have had on the long-track in PyeongChang, they were unable to medal on this day.

Gold medal favorite Nao Kodaira of Japan lived up to expectations and blew away the field to win her first career gold medal. Kodaira won silver in the women’s 1,000m race last week and has not been defeated in a 500m race in two years.

Lee Sang-Hwa gave the home crowd a reason to cheer as the South Korean skater finished in second place to claim silver. Karolina Erbanova of the Czech Republic won bronze.

Brittany Bowe was the highest finishing American in fifth, 0.19 off a podium spot.

As has been the case everyday of the Olympics, there was plenty of non-medal action to take in. Here’s what you may have missed:

  • Bobsled competition kicked off with the first two runs of the men’s 2-man race. Germany holds the early advantage with two runs to go.
  • Curling round robin play continued as the medal rounds inch closer. The U.S. men’s team dropped an 8-5 decision to Norway. The U.S. women bounced back with a 7-6 win over Denmark.
  • Men’s ice hockey wrapped up group play. The Czech Republic defeated Switzerland to win Group A and Sweden knocked off Finland to claim Group C. Knockout rounds begin tonight.
  • Women’s ice hockey began their semifinal round. The U.S. women booked their spot in the gold medal game with a 5-0 victory over Finland.
  • On the long-track, the men’s team pursuit race began with the quarterfinals. South Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, and New Zealand advanced to the semifinals.
  • Second training run for the women’s downhill went off and gold medal favorite Lindsey Vonn posted the third best time.
  • Figure skating resumed after a day off with the ice dancing short program. American teams Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue and Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani sit third and fourth respectively.
  • The halfpipe is open once again, this time for the women’s freestyle competition. Three Americans qualified for the finals later tonight.
  • Snowboarding Big Air made its Olympics debut with the women’s qualifying runs. Slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson was the top qualifying American.

Here’s What’s Next: Monday, February 19th

Monday is a holiday here in the United States which and that means many will have the day off and if you don’t then you should consider calling in sick because there will be plenty of Olympic action to take in.

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

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 2.24.10 PM.png
Via CBS Sports

(Medalย events denoted.)

Hopefully you get to benefit from the holiday and have Monday off because there is plenty of Olympic actions that you will not want to miss.

Here’s what to keep an eye on:

  • Snowboarding Big Air makes its Olympic debut with the women’s qualification runs. If you’ve never seen Big Air make sure to check it out.
  • Both the men’s and women’s U.S. curling teams are in action as they make a push for the medal rounds.
  • Ski jumping wraps up Olympic competition with the team event off the large jumping hill.
  • Bobsled awards its first medals in the men’s two man race. The final week is filled with bobsled action so check it out.
  • Speed skating returns to the long-track for the men’s 500m.
  • Canada faces OAR in the second women’s ice hockey semifinal.
  • Figure skating awards more medals after the free skate of the ice dancing competition.
  • Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin return to the slopes for women’s downhill training.
  • Freestyle skiing begins a busy final week with the women’s halfpipe final.
  • Men’s U.S. ice hockey begins the knockout rounds against Slovakia.

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 Sunday’s action:

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 1.53.15 AM.png
Via NBCOlympics.com

Norway stays on top handily with two medals on Sunday. They also matched Germany’s gold medal total with 9. OAR hops into the top five at the expense of the United States but OAR is still searching for their first gold medal. United States does not win a medal for the third time this Olympics.

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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