2018 OLYMPICS | Kim wins 1st gold; Hirscher breaks through


PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — It was a day for all ages at the Winter Olympics.

A few hours after 17-year-old Chloe Kim dominated the women’s halfpipe snowboarding final on Tuesday, 28-year-old Marcel Hirscher, a six-time overall World Cup champion, won the men’s combined at the Pyeongchang Games.

Other events with medals scheduled to be awarded include the men’s and women’s cross-country sprints, curling mixed doubles, women’s luge singles, men’s 1,500-meter speedskating and women’s 500-meter short-track speedskating.

Four years after being too young to make the Olympic team in Sochi despite having the talent and scores to do so, Kim performed like a seasoned veteran in South Korea.

Kim, from Torrance, California, put up a score of 93.75 on the first of her three finals runs and then topped that with a near-perfect 98.75 on her last run — having already wrapped up her first Olympic gold.

“I knew that I did put down a really good first run,” Kim said, “but I was also like, ‘I can do better than that. I can one up myself.”’

Liu Jiayu finished second with 89.75 to become the first Chinese snowboarder to medal at the Olympics. Kim’s teammate, Arielle Gold, overcame a dislocated shoulder during training to earn a bronze.

In Jeongseon, Hirscher’s combined two-run time was 0.23 seconds faster than silver medalist Alexis Pinturault of France. The Austrian is a three-time Olympian who had previously won only a silver medal despite never finishing below fifth in any race.

“I’m super happy because now this stupid question has gone away, if I’m thinking that my career is perfect without a gold medal,” Hirscher said. “Now the question is zzzzzzit — deleted.”

Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France took bronze, 1.02 behind Hirscher.

Hirscher isn’t done, either. He’ll be the favorite in his top two events of slalom and giant slalom, which will be raced in nearby Yongpyong.

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