Live: Winter Olympics, day four
Australia’s cross country skiing and snowboarding stars will be hoping to follow Matt Graham’s lead by adding to the country’s medal tally on Tuesday.
MATT Graham won Australia’s first medal of the Winter Olympics when he secured silver in the men’s moguls in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
His score of 82.57 put him ahead of Japan’s Daichi Hara, who claimed bronze, and behind Canadian gold medallist Mikael Kingsbury.
There’s plenty of skiing and short track speed skating action on Tuesday, while the curling mixed doubles finals also take place later tonight.
Aussies Jessica Yeaton, Casey Wright and Aimee Watson all take part in the ladies’ sprint classic cross country skiing event, while Phil Bellingham does the same on the men’s side.
Emily Arthur will be going for gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe final and Scotty James is on show alongside Kent Callister and Nathan Johnstone in the men’s qualifiers of the same event.
Arthur falls as Kim claims gold
Emily Arthur stacked an attempted 900 in her second run of the snowboard halfpipe final. She had the rotations but couldn’t stick the landing.
Arthur went to ground again in her third run as she stacked a backside 540, but she’ll look back with fond memories after completing her first ever 900 air in competition. She succeeded pulling off the air she just failed to land in her second run.
Medical staff attended to Arthur after her fall, which gave her a bloody nose, but she got up gingerly and walked to the side.
Chloe Kim wasn’t as smooth on her second outing, just botching a 1080 air as she missed a grab that hampered her rotation, but she returned with a vengeance in the third to cap off her gold medal winning performance with a freakish show that earnt her an incredible score of 98.25.
She nailed back-to-back 1080 airs in her third run
“It’s off the charts,” one Channel Seven commentator said before his colleague added: “Women’s snowboarding has gone to a whole new level.”
China’s Liu Jiayu was second (89.75) and American Arielle Gold was third (85.75).
The 17-year-old Kim — who qualified for the Sochi Olympics as a 13-year-old in 2014 but was deemed to young to compete — justified her favourite tag with a scorching opening run that left viewers in awe and competitors eating her dust.
He nailed a near-flawless run, scoring a stunning 93.75 from the judges. Unsurprisingly, the world was fawning over Kim.
Before her final run Kim had her phone handy, tweeting mid-competition as she has done earlier in the program.
Arthur gets underway
Emily Arthur scored 48.25 in her first of three runs of the ladies’ halfpipe final.
It was a clean start from the Australian as she warms up for what will hopefully be more explosive second and third efforts.
If she wants a gold medal she’ll have to take down American teenager Chloe Kim, who is the raging favourite in the event.
Japanese athlete’s doping allegation
Japanese short-track speed skater Kei Saito has tested positive for doping at the PyeongChang Olympic Games, Kyodo news agency said, citing multiple sources.
Saito, 21, failed an out-of-competition test in the lead-up to the Games, the agency said, citing unnamed sources.
If true the positive doping test would be the first ever returned by a Japanese athlete at a Winter Olympics, Kyodo added.
It said the Japanese Olympic Committee had scheduled a press conference Tuesday to address Saito’s adverse finding.
Saito has reportedly accepted a provisional suspension and has left the Olympic village.
Games organisers said they had no information on the doping report and the International Olympic Committee said it was not responsible for doping cases, referring the matter to the Independent Testing Authority, a new anti-doping body.
Saito, a human biology student whose sister Hitomi is also competing in PyeongChang, was a member of Japan’s 3,000m relay team that finished third at the 2013 and 2014 world junior championships.
Tattoo mystery solved
All eyes were on Mirai Nagasu on Monday in PyeongChang when she became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics.
A lot of those eyes also drifted to a dark strip that read “USA” in big, bold letters on the inside of her right leg — and the theories started flying.
Some viewers believed Nagasu, competing in her second Olympics, was sporting a tattoo visible underneath her short, red dress.
It was soon revealed the design was in fact temporary and aiding Nagasu’s stellar performance. Kinesio Tape, which says it provides pain relief to athletes and has been spotted on Olympians like beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor and NBA players like James Harden, took credit for the look in a tweet posted to its account following her performance.
“Everyone is wondering, but that’s no tattoo on @mirai_nagasu’s leg, that’s #KTTape PRO USA tape!” it read.
Nagasu soon followed with confirmation.
Nagasu, who earned a personal-best score of 137.53 in the competition, helped Team USA to a bronze medal in the women’s free skate competition. Canada took home the gold and the team of Olympic athletes from Russia the silver.
— Hannah Withiam, New York Post
Olympic hypocrisy an American ‘embarrassment’
US sports writer David Meeks has ripped into vice president Mike Pence for his Olympic snub, accusing him of soiling America’s reputation on the global stage.
Pence refused to stand when the unified Korean team walked out during the opening ceremony in PyeongChang in protest of the oppressive North Korean regime led by dictator Kim Jong-un.
Meeks said it was an “embarrassment” he didn’t stand because the delegation also contained athletes from South Korea, one of America’s strongest allies, and he was critical the moment was politicised in “petty” fashion.
“By declining to stand and recognise athletes of the Korean unified team as they walked together during the opening ceremony, Pence not only offended the host country, he sent a message that to the Trump administration, not even common courtesy matters more than childish politics,” Meeks wrote for USA Today.
“We all know North Korea is a dictatorship, but South Korea is among our strongest allies. Do they count? The people here are wonderful. Americans are respected and embraced in this country; it would seem a small gesture for a visiting vice president to return the same respect.
“America should always strive to set an example for others. Sometimes that means rising above pettiness, taking the high road of proper respect over mean-spirited grandstanding.”
Meeks also highlighted the irony of Pence staying seated in PyeongChang after he walked out of an NFL game last season because he was offended by protesting players who refused to stand for the national anthem.
“That he saw nothing hypocritical in his behaviour in South Korea only underscores how tone deaf this administration is in representing the United States abroad,” Meeks wrote.
Star’s Olympic middle finger?
Give this guy the gold for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Dutch short-track speed skater Sjinkie Knegt sparked controversy after he appeared to flip the bird when he came in second place during an Olympic event.
It’s the second time he’s been accused of making the one-finger salute after a competitor bested him.
Photos show Knegt posing with South Korean gold medallist Lim Hyo-jun — who edged him out in the men’s 1500m final by just .07 seconds — and Russian bronze medallist Semion Andreyevich Elistratov following the race.
Knegt is gripping a plush toy of PyeongChang Olympics mascot Soohorang in his right hand, but his middle finger is extended straight out — even though all his other fingers are holding the toy tiger.
He claimed during a medal ceremony Sunday that the gesture was “not intended”.
“I just looked very bad in the photo, but it was not on purpose. I was just holding the medal,” he said, according to the Korea Times.
Knegt was disqualified from the Sochi Winter Olympics’ 5000m relay in 2014 because he flipped two birds at rival Viktor Ahn after the Russian beat him during a qualifying event.
— Max Jaeger, New York Post