Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud took Olympic freestyle silver in the women’s ski slopestyle on Saturday, just a day after being taken to hospital after a concussion scare.
Gremaud, 18, underwent a CT scan and passed concussion protocols after falling and banging her head so hard in training that she appeared to suffer memory loss.
But she recovered to take silver behind fellow Swiss Sarah Hoefflin – who also hurt herself in training. Britain’s Isabel Atkin won bronze.
“I just know what they told me, (that) I was shocked and then we skied down. I was crying. I really don’t know what happened,” she said.
“I forgot everything about yesterday’s training until I got into the ambulance. I went to the hospital and got a CT scan and everything was all right.”
Switzerland’s team doctor German Clenin said Gremaud fell off a railing and hit her head, but was not unconscious. She passed concussion protocols despite having a slight headache on Saturday morning.
“I did neurological testing yesterday (and) this morning so I could give the ‘go’ this morning,” he said.
“It’s really important to watch and be careful with concussion and if there was a concussion, she wouldn’t compete today.”
Hoefflin said she had also had a tough week after falling and hurting both heels as she struggled with windy conditions in training.
“It’s been incredible. It was a pretty hard week for the whole Swiss team, especially for me. I didn’t have the best training and Mathilde and I have been having a couple of injuries,” Hoefflin said.
“We came out today and wanted to have the most amount of fun. We wanted to push ourselves and be a part of it. I am so honoured.”
Provided by AFP Sport
American prodigy Nathan Chen became the first figure skater to land six quads as he set an Olympic record in the free skate at the Pyeongchang Winter Games on Saturday.
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu clinched the title with compatriot Shoma Uno second and Javier Fernandez of Spain third.
Chen, 18, was out of contention for a medal after bombing on Friday in a nervy short programme that left him languishing in 17th place going into the decisive day.
But he hoisted himself into fifth place at the end after pulling off a remarkable free skate that earned him 215.08 points, one of the highest scores ever seen in the sport.
Chen did it on the back of six quads – four rotations in the air – breaking his own record of five set last year.
“I have been working on it for a while. It’s never really fully come together,” Chen said, adding that he decided to throw in the unprecedented sixth quad after his implosion a day earlier.
“I was like, ‘I already fell so many times (in this week), I might as well go out and throw everything down and see what happens.'”
Chen had been expected to be the main threat to Japanese favourite Hanyu, who retained his Olympic title in style.
But the young American got stagefright on the world’s biggest stage.
That at least meant that he was able to throw caution to the wind in his free skate to “Mao’s Last Dancer” by Christopher Gordon.
“After having such a disastrous short programme and being so low in the ranking than usually ever, allowed me to just completely forget about results,” said Chen, after living up to his nickname, “Quad King”.
“Just completely focus on enjoying myself out on the ice and getting rid of expectations helped a lot.”
Provided by AFP Sport
“Ice Prince” Yuzuru Hanyu clinched the first back-to-back men’s Olympic figure skating titles in 66 years on Saturday as snowboarder Ester Ledecka pulled off a major shock as she skied to women’s super-G gold.
Hanyu lost his balance twice in his free skate but a total score of 317.85 gave the peerless Japanese gold with room to spare over compatriot Shoma Uno and Spain’s Javier Fernandez.
America’s Nathan Chen had earlier become the first skater to land six quads in competition but despite his Olympic free-skate record of 215.08, it was only enough for fifth.
Hanyu, greeted by a shower of Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys, his mascot, air-kissed Uno and theatrically leapt onto the podium at the award ceremony.
The 23-year-old becomes the first man since America’s Dick Button in 1952 to take the title twice in a row – and into the bargain, wins the landmark 1,000th gold medal in Winter Olympics history.
Hanyu was back on the ice competitively for the first time since injuring his right ankle last November.
“My right foot really hung tough,” he said.
— Olympics (@Olympics) February 17, 2018
“I was so fortunate. I’m feeling gratitude. I was able to make a jump that I wanted to do with concentration. Anyway it was good.”
Meanwhile Ledecka of the Czech Republic pulled off one of the biggest surprises ever seen at the Games when she won the super-G, as American star Lindsey Vonn finished sixth.
Ledecka, favourite in the snowboard parallel slalom in a week’s time, clocked 1min 21.11sec to edge defending champion Anna Veith of Austria by one-hundredth of a second. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather took bronze.
Not only did Ledecka deprive Veith of what looked like a rare double, she pushed Vonn back into sixth spot, the American star paying the price for a massive error that saw her lose valuable time at the bottom of the course.
Ledecka was stunned and open-mouthed with disbelief.
“All the other girls didn’t risk a lot. There must be a lot of pressure on them. I was just trying to do my best run,” she said.
“I am so surprised about all of it. I’m really trying to win and do a good run every time, but I didn’t really realise that this really can happen.”
Vonn said the outcome was “definitely shocking.”
“She beat me in training in Lake Louise – that was also surprising.”
“I feel like in the Olympics a lot of things can happen, it’s not that she didn’t deserve it, but there’s a lot of pressure on the favourites.”
Jamaica’s women made their bobsleigh debut in their original sled, despite the donation of a new model from a beer company following a dispute with their former coach.
Later on Saturday, a USA team shorn of NHL stars take on Olympic Athletes from Russia in a classic encounter in the men’s ice hockey.
The teams that brought us the 1980’s “Miracle on Ice” are now meeting in the group stage, and after the NHL opted against releasing its players for the Games.
The Russians are also competing as neutrals after their national Olympic committee was banned over a systemic doping scandal.
South Korea’s Choi Min-jeong, 19, gets a second chance for gold in the women’s 1,500m after she missed silver following a disqualification in the 500m.
And Poland’s Kamil Stoch, double Olympic champion four years ago, lines up to defend his men’s large hill title after finishing a disappointing fourth in the normal hill.
Provided by AFP Sport