Dangerous conditions lead to safety concerns, plus Olympic LGBT history: Winter Olympics Recap

USA’s Jamie Anderson won gold in the Women’s Slopestyle, although the event was disrupted by dangerous conditions

 

The weather played its part for the 2nd time in PyeongChang. This time it didn’t halt all events, but it might have ruined them.

The Women’s Slopestyle eventually got underway after an hour delay, but questions were quickly raised over the safety of the riders as there was crash after crash.

Ski Jumping, Curling, Figure Skating and Biathlon all took center stage as six golds were up for grabs.

Here’s a look back at some of my best moments from Day 3. Ranging from my weird inside thoughts from the day to highlights from Team GB, along with my personal highlight from the day’s action.

 

Top 3 Weird Inside Thoughts From Day 3

  1. I am starting to actually dive into the world of Long Distance Speed Skating.
  2. How heavy is the gun in Biathlon? I would struggle carrying that for 15km.
  3. Why has it taken so long for women to be able to compete in Ski Jump?

 

Weather Stops GB’s Fuller

The windy conditions in the Women’s Slopestyle final halted Aimee Fuller’s chances of landing a good run to get in the medal positions.

Because of Katie Ormerod’s departure from the Games due to injury, Aimee was Team GB’s only hope in the event

After yesterday’s heats were cancelled, all athletes advanced to the final and had two runs to win a medal.

The wind was no friend to the event again, and only nine out of 52 runs down the course were clean. The event began with crash after crash and it fast became clear that whoever landed a safe ride would be in for a chance of a place on the podium.

It was essentially now a lottery.

Aimee backed off her first run due to the high winds, and after going all out on the second ride she wiped out.

A horrible sight, but it reflected what was a disappointing event, and day, for women’s snowboarding.

After the success of the Men’s Slopestyle on Sunday, and the huge leaps and bounds that the women’s sport has taken in the last four years, the decision to allow the event to go on in high winds received huge backlash.

The biggest success from today is that none of the athletes sustained major injuries, one can only imagine the headlines if that had happened.

I am gutted for Aimee. There was a lot of pre-games hype around her chances, and for the wind to get in the way of what could have been a special top 10 result for her is a massive shame.

USA’s Jamie Anderson won the gold with a visually satisfying ride down the course. A well deserved gold in an event surrounded by controversy.

Elsewhere, Team GB’s Skeleton team showed signs of promise after Laura Deas, Lizzie Yarnold and Dominic Parson all got top 3 finishes in training, with Laura and Dominic topping the list on their second runs.

With them looking in-form and Elise Christie looking fast on her skates, Team GB could potentially meet their goal of five medals.

 

What’s Been Awesome

Eric Radford became the first openly gay athlete to win a Winter Olympic medal.

The Canadian figure skater won gold in the Team Figure Skating Event.

USA’s Adam Rippon, who became the first openly gay athlete to reach the Olympics, won bronze in the event as well.

This is such a fantastic headline for the Olympics. After 2017 being a landmark year for LGBT rights, it’s just another step in the right direction for sport to become a more welcoming and accepting environment for gay athletes.

It has opened up an environment where people feel like they can reach the top and without feeling like they have to hide behind a facade.

A fantastic headline!

 

Headline of the Day

Women competed in the Women’s Normal Hill Ski Jumping for only the second time in Olympic history, as Norway’s Maren Lundby grabbed the gold with the final jump of the night.

I found myself asking the question, why has it taken so long?

A great event and a really tense finish. Maren is top of the World Cup rankings and jumped an incredible 110m, 1 metre short of the Women’s hill record to get the win.

 

Personal Highlight

Long Distance Speed Skating finally grabbed my attention today as Ireen Wust became the most successful Olympian of all time as she won the 1500m Speed Skating title.

Before the event I came across A New York Times Magazine article about the hidden drama of speed skating (Click here to give a read) and I found myself more compelled than ever to give the sport a chance.

The article was more than right. The sport is really enticing. Today’s event was a race against the clock. Wust set a blistering time, and there were 6 skaters that had the opportunity to beat her time.

One by one they failed, some going for the big start, some for the strong finish, but all failed to emulate Wust’s momentous ride.

Such a simple but beautiful sport. I think I am in love.


Watch out tomorrow for Elise Christie’s first chance of getting a medal as she competes in the QF’s of the Women’s 500m Short Track. 17-year-old Chloe Kim also goes for the gold in the Women’s Halfpipe. Iain will be back with more of my thoughts and musings from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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