PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
American figure skater Nathan Chen has rallied from a fiasco of a short program with a historic free skate at the Pyeongchang Olympics that included an unparalleled six completed quadruple jumps.
The 18-year-old Chen, a two-time U.S. champion, succumbed to the pressure and massive expectations in Friday’s short program. He fell on all of his jumps in the short, plummeting to 17th place out of 24 to advance to the free skate.
But in the free skate he nailed virtually every element. He even tried a sixth quad, a loop, but put his hands down on the ice. Still, his 126.86 points for technical virtuosity put him in another stratosphere, and his 215.08 points for the free skate were a personal high.
Chen was guaranteed to rocket up the standings with a 297.35 total, perhaps into the top 10.
Vincent Zhou has been overshadowed during the Pyeongchang Olympics by teammates Adam Rippon and Nathan Chen.
But the youngest member of the U.S. figure skating team is smart and funny. And after a terrific short program, he has a chance to finish in the top 10 at the Winter Games.
The openly gay Adam Rippon has become a media darling, combining excellent skating to help the U.S. win team bronze with an unfiltered approach to interviews. The talented Nathan Chen had been tipped as a gold medal favorite until everything went awry during his short program.
Together, they had held the spotlight until Zhou landed the first quad lutz in an Olympic event, and put together the best short program of his career to briefly take the lead.
He wound up 12th among 30 skaters, easily qualifying for the free skate.
Make no mistake, Zhou is trying to finish as high as possible during these Olympics. But he also knows the next Olympics could be more his time, the moment when everything aligns and he contends for a medal.
Some fret that the world is falling apart. But talk to curlers and their fans at the Pyeongchang Olympics and they’ll say that curling may be the perfect antidote to our troubled times. Curling’s rules dictate that players treat their opponents with kindness.
There is no need for referees, because curlers police themselves. And the winners generally buy the losers a beer. Curling enthusiasts say society has much to learn from this inclusive and honorable sport.
In the 500 years since curling was conceived on the frozen ponds of Scotland, it has remained largely immune to the cheating controversies and bloated egos common in other sports. This is thanks to what is known as ”The Spirit of Curling,” a deeply ingrained ethos that dictates that curlers conduct themselves with honor and adhere to good sportsmanship.
It’s not that curling isn’t competitive. Like every other Olympian in Pyeongchang, curlers all want the gold – just not at the expense of their integrity.
Japanese sensation Yuzuru Hanyu heads into the free skate at Gangneung Ice Arena aiming to become the first men’s figure skater to defend his Olympic title since Dick Button in 1952.
Hanyu set an Olympic record with 111.68 points during his mesmerizing short program Friday, and he carries a roughly four-point lead over Spain’s Javier Fernandez into Saturday’s free skate.
Shoma Uno could give Japan another medal. He was third with 104.17 points in his short program.
American skater Nathan Chen is trying to bounce back from a dreadful performance that left him well out of medal contention. His teammates, Adam Rippon and Vincent Zhou, are also in action.
Lindsey Vonn’s first race at the Pyeongchang Olympics is the latest to be delayed because of strong winds.
The start for the women’s super-G has been pushed back by an hour to Saturday at noon local time (Friday at 10 p.m. EST).
Vonn was drawn to be the first racer down the hill at Jeongseon Alpine Center.
She won a bronze in the super-G at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where she also won a gold medal in the downhill. The 33-year-old American missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics after surgery on her right knee.
Earlier in the week, the women’s giant slalom and the men’s downhill were rescheduled because of high winds.
More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org