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The U.S. men’s hockey team will try to reach the semifinals at the 2022 Beijing Olympics for the third time in the last four Olympics when it faces Slovakia on Wednesday (11:10 p.m. Tuesday ET).
(Looking for a recap of Tuesday’s events? We’ve got you covered.)
The Americans lost in the 2018 quarterfinals but beat Slovakia twice that year. The USA, using a young roster featuring many college players, went 3-0 in the preliminary round in Beijing.
Meanwhile, Americans Colby Stevenson, Alex Hall and Nick Goepper go for the gold in the men’s slopestyle freeskiing final. Stevenson took silver in big air last week. Goepper could become the first male skier to win all three medals in any freestyle discipline after claiming silver and bronze in the first two Olympic competitions in 2014 and 2018.
And in the men’s aerials finals, another American trio – Justin Schoenfeld, Chris Lillis and Eric Loughran – advanced for a chance at gold. Lillis and Schoenefeld teamed with Ashley Caldwell to help the U.S. win gold last week in the Olympic debut of mixed team aerials.
Figure skating has the night off (but NBC will re-air the women’s short program in prime time tonight). The women’s competition resumes Thursday with the individual free skate.
– Mike Brehm
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MEDAL COUNT: How each country is performing at the Winter Games
BEIJING — Mariah Bell became the oldest American woman in 94 years to compete in Olympic figure skating on Tuesday night, when she took the ice for her short program.
Bell, 25, fell on the second part of her triple flip-triple toeloop combination at the beginning of her program but landed her next two jumps to record a score of 65.38, which was good for second place at the time.
“I have very mixed emotions about it,” Bell said. “I am bummed with the mistake on the opening element, but I am happy how I came back with everything else. Ultimately, I just really enjoyed skating on Olympic ice.”
Bell, who won the most recent U.S. national championship, was the first of three American women to take the ice Tuesday. She ended up in 11th place heading into Thursday’s free skate.
— Tom Schad
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – The U.S. men have a chance to keep their medal streak alive in freeski slopestyle.
American Alex Hall led the way with the best score in the field in the first run.
Since the event was added to the Games in 2014, at least one American has medaled in each edition. In Tuesday’s qualifying at the Beijing Olympics, three qualified in the top six for today’s final.
Two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper qualified third, while Hall was fifth and Colby Stevenson was sixth.
“I still got a little bit left in the tank,” Goepper said. “I’m more relaxed than I was eight years ago. I just think that comes with experience and age.”
Goepper helped the USA start its streak, earning bronze in Sochi as part of a USA sweep in the event’s debut. Joss Christensen won gold in that competition, while Gus Kenworthy took silver.
Goepper, 27, also won a silver medal in Pyeongchang four years ago.
In addition to the field – Switzerland’s Andri Ragletti is the top-ranked skier in the world this year and qualified in first – Goepper will contend with his teammates for the podium.
Hall, a two-time Olympian, entered these Games fresh of a gold medal in big air and a bronze in slopestyle at X Games last month.
Stevenson, meanwhile, has an Olympic silver medal in big air from that event’s debut last week.
— Rachel Axon
BEIJING — For casual viewers, it can be what stands out.
For Olympic figure skaters, it can help pave the way to a medal.
The music behind a figure skating program plays critical roles on multiple fronts – setting the tone of a performance, shaping the choreography and, in some cases, even helping fuel the emotion of the skaters on the ice. It can be one song, or several stitched together. Something iconic, or relatively unknown.
“There’s a lot,” American pairs skater Brandon Frazier said, when asked about the process of selecting the music for a program. “We try to find music we relate to. That’s number one. We rely heavily on our choreographer’s opinion, on what they see us doing. … But all in all, when we’re skating to it, we have to feel it.”
There’s also the obvious: When you pick a song for a program, you’re signing up to skate to it almost every day, for months at a time.
— Tom Schad
Russian star figure skater Kamila Valieva was temporarily suspended after she tested positive for trimetazidine a month before she won the team event gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
But what kind of drug is trimetazidine? TMZ is a drug used to treat angina and other heart-related conditions. It works by increasing blood flow to the heart and limiting rapid swings in blood pressure. The drug is not approved for use in the United States.
Since 2014, it has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances and is categorized as a “hormone and metabolic modulator.” This is illegal for athletes to use both in and out of competition as it can increase blood flow efficiency and improve endurance.
Her lawyer argued Valieva had accidentally taken TMZ since her grandfather uses it for his heart issues.
— Gabriela Miranda
ZHANGJIAKOU, China — At least Nick Goepper can look forward to going back to the hotel to a nice warm home cooked … camp-style meal.
Open lid, add hot water, stir. Every day. Sometimes a few times a day.
After qualifying slopestyle finals with a strong run that started on the big house at the top of the slopestyle course and then ended with his final jumps – a switch double misty 1260 into a double cork 1080 on the quarter pipe jump into a double cork 1440 on the last jump – Goepper was feeling it.
Goepper, a two-time Olympic medalist, was the top American in Tuesday’s freeski slopestyle qualifying, in third, and advanced along with teammates Alex Hall and Colby Stevenson. The final is Wednesday.
– Lori Nickel
BEIJING — There is a California-born teenager competing for host China at the 2022 Winter Olympics receiving online hate, and it’s not free skier Eileen Gu.
Quite contrary to the adulation that Gu has received for embracing China, women’s figure skater Zhu Yi faced harsh online criticism in China after she fell during the women’s short program in the team event early in the Olympics.
Zhu, who moved to China last year after living the first 18 years of her life in southern California, crashed into the wall and finished last.
“In the beginning, (the comments) did hurt me a little bit,” Zhu said Tuesday. “Of course, I was able to just see it from a different light. And just use it to my own advantage.”
The performance dropped China from third to fifth. According to CNN, the hashtag “Zhu Yi Has Fallen” reached 200 million views on the social media website Weibo. Zhu, whose American name is Beverly, also had been criticized online for not speaking fluent Chinese.
On Tuesday, Zhu ended the individual short program ranked 27th out of 30, meaning she didn’t qualify for Thursday’s free skate.
— Chris Bumbaca
Heading into Wednesday’s action in Beijing, the United States is tied with Canada for fourth in overall medals with 17, after adding a bronze in the men’s speedskating team pursuit.
Veteran Joey Mantia paced Team USA as it outlasted the Netherlands in the bronze medal race, giving the 36-year-old Ocala, Florida, native the first medal of his career in his third Olympics.
Norway leads the total medal count with 26, including 12 gold. Germany is in second with nine gold medals, while the Russian Olympic Committee (20 total medals) and Germany (18) are just ahead of the U.S. and Canada overall.
Russian phenom Kamila Valieva took the ice Tuesday amid international controversy after testing positive for a banned heart medication called trimetazidine. She was provisionally suspended, then reinstated upon appeal, allowing her to compete despite differing opinions between the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the International Olympic Committee.
Valieva, 15, twisted off-axis on the first of her three jumps – the notorious triple axel – and touched the ice on her descent. But she landed the other two jumps, scoring 82.16.
She leads the women’s competition heading into Thursday’s free skate. The highest-ranked American in the field, Alysa Liu, is in eighth place.