After a disastrous short programme that was marred by falls and poor executions, Nathan Chen returned to form in the free skate, where his score of 215.08 was the highest in Olympic history. He also made history by becoming the first skater to successfully land five of six intended quad jumps. His performance was enough to boost him from 17th after his short programme, to fifth overall. Although it was still not enough to put him on the podium, it was still a fantastic recovery from the previous day. CBC commentator Kurt Browning remarked that he was not skating for gold, but for pride. This was just Chen’s first ever Olympics, and he will certainly be a medal favourite in the next one as he further improves on his consistency.
On the podium for the same event, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu took home gold for the second straight Olympics after a solid free skate. He becomes the first skater to defend his title since American Dick Button won gold at the 1948 and 1952 Games. His fellow teammate Shoma Uno won silver while Spain’s Javier Fernández, a training partner of Hanyu, won bronze.
On the topic of historic performances, Czechia’s Ester Ledecká ski run in the Women’s Super-G was one for the ages, knocking off all medal favourites for gold. Ranked 49th prior to the event, her time of 1:12.11 was good enough to defeat defending champion Anna Veith of Austria by a hundredth of a second. Her unexpected victory was Czechia’s first gold medal in alpine skiing, and she has the potential to make more history as she is also a snowboarder. If she is able to win gold in the Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom, she will become the second ever woman to ever do so in two unrelated disciplines at the Winter Games.
In the same event, Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather won bronze, which was the country’s first medal since the 1988 Games.
Later that day, Canada’s Samuel Girard won gold in the Men’s Short Track 1000 metres while Canada’s Kim Boutin took bronze in the Women’s 1500 metres.
Two days before, Canada’s Ted-Jan Bloemen won gold in the Men’s Speed Skating 10,000 metres. The Netherlands’ Sven Kramer was denied of the gold again, finishing sixth. That same day, Canada also won silver in the Luge Team Relay. In the Pairs Event in figure skating, the Canadian pairing of Eric Radford and Megan Duhamel won bronze.
Above Photo: Nathan Chen reacts after finishing his free skate programme. (Aris Messinis, Getty Images)