Image: EXO, who will perform at the closing ceremony (see below).
What happened at PyeongChang 2018 on Saturday:
22-year-old Ester Ledecka became the first woman to win gold in two different sports in one Olympics, as the Czech added a parallel giant slalom snowboarding medal to the super-G title she claimed earlier in the week. Switzerland’s Nelvin Galmarini won gold in the men’s event.
South Korea’s Lee Seung-Hoon claimed the final speed skating gold medal of PyeongChang 2018, beating Belgium’s Bart Swings and the Netherlands’ Koen Verweij in the men’s mass start. Japan’s Nana Takagi won the women’s event, while South Korea claimed another home medal as Kim Bo-reum finished with silver.
Canada’s Sebastien Toutant’s first two runs were enough to give him the highest score in the men’s big air snowboard final, making him the first Olympic gold medallist in one of the debut events on the schedule in 2018. Another successful new entry was the Alpine team event, which saw Switzerland defeat Austria 3-1 to win gold in the big final.
Iivo Niskanen of Finland is the gold medallist in the 50km mass start classic cross-country, finishing the strenuous course in 2:08:22.1. OAR’s Alexander Bolshunov was the only skier in sight behind him, coming in 18.7 seconds later to win silver. The next skiers didn’t come through the finish line until more than two minutes later.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH ON SUNDAY 25TH FEBRUARY 2018
1. We’re saying farewell to PyeongChang 2018: The last day of the 2018 Winter Games has arrived, as the competition will be ushered out in grand style at the closing ceremony (20:00 local time – PyeongChang Olympic Stadium). Organisers have not revealed too much about the festivities, except for the fact that K-pop stars EXO and CL will be headline acts. Director of ceremonies Oh Jang-hwan did say that, “the theme for the Closing Ceremony is ‘Next Wave.’ It will have a festival atmosphere to recognise and celebrate the athletes’ hard work and achievements at the Games. We have created a show that looks towards the future; it includes quite a lot of traditional Korean humour and fun elements to add to the party feel.”
2. Germany’s best men’s hockey finish ever: The lack of NHL players in the Olympics was certainly likely to create to some surprises in this year’s men’s hockey tournament and that’s been proven to be true, as the German team surprised Canada to advance to Sunday’s gold medal game (13:10 local time – Gangneung Hockey Centre). Regardless of the result, this Germany team will already set a precedent as no German hockey team has ever finished better than the bronze at the Olympics.
3. ‘Curl’s Day’ Koreans go for gold: The South Korean women’s curling team have sent the home crowd curling crazy after an amazing run to the final. The team prefer to be called ‘Curl’s Day’ after K-Pop group ‘Girl’s Day’, rather than the “garlic girls” tag they have picked up. That was due to their origins from a garlic-producing region of the country. But they think that name stinks! They’ll face Sweden in the gold medal game (9:05 local time – Gangneung Curling) in a rematch of a round robin game in which the Koreans narrowly won 7-6.
4. A fifth medal for Marit Bjorgen?: The 37-year-old Norwegian cross country skier has already had an epic Olympics, medalling in all four races she’s competed in. She’s up to 14 total career Olympic medals, the most ever in Winter Olympic history, and has a chance to add one more in the ladies’ 30km mass start classic on Sunday (15:15 local time – Alpensia Cross Country Centre).
5. One last bobsleigh event: The final two heats of the four-man bobsleigh (9:30 local time – Olympic Sliding Centre) will wind down the sliding events on Sunday. Three German teams are currently among the top five after the first two heats, although the top German team has already built a 0.29 second lead over the second-placed team from South Korea. That’s a decent margin in a sport where medals are often decided by less than that.