WOMEN’S FREESTYLE SKIING
Caldwell’s risks don’t come with rewards
American freestyle skier Ashley Caldwell admits it: She loves the risk because she loves the reward.
On Thursday night at the Olympics, there was no prize for her daring.
The foremost envelope-pusher in the dangerous sport of aerials failed to cleanly land either of her triple-flipping jumps in qualifying. She failed to crack the top 12, and will watch Friday’s final from the sidelines. It’s a loss for her, but also for the sport, where Caldwell is the only jumper in the field who consistently tries triples, whether in qualifying or the final.
“When you seize the reward, everyone’s all happy, dandy, go-lucky,” Caldwell said. “And when you don’t, either it hurts, or it hurts ... physically or emotionally, and this is an emotional pain.”
Zhou lands first quad lutz in Olympics
Vincent Zhou became the first figure skater to land a quad lutz in Olympic competition when the 17-year-old American hit the four-rotation jump leading into a triple toeloop to open his short program.
Zhou first landed the quad lutz during his warmup, while he was waiting for the scores of France’s Chafik Besseghier to be read.
Zhou says he’s always attempted a difficult jump just before his program to get his legs under him, and that it was a quad salchow before he learned the quad lutz last year.
Austian Schairer breaks neck in crash
Markus Schairer of Austria is heading home for treatment after breaking his neck in a frightening crash during the Olympic men’s snowboardcross quarterfinals.
Schairer lost control in the air on the final jump of the treacherous downhill course on Thursday. He slammed into the snow on his back, sending his goggles flying.
MEN’S FREESTYLE SKIING
Kenworthy breaks thumb, but sees upside
Call it a good news-bad news scenario for Gus Kenworthy.
The outspoken freestyle skier broke his thumb in training on Thursday.
He tweeted out a picture of his X-Ray, along with one of his freshly casted hand and included this quip: “It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so ... Silver linings!”
Kenworthy, who came out as gay about two years after his silver medal win at the Sochi Games, has been openly critical of U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who was in South Korea for the start of the games.
Kenworthy has previously said he would not go to the White House as part of the traditional visit the U.S. Olympic team makes after the Olympics.