5 to Watch Recap: White Snags Gold, Shiffrin Postponed, Figure Skating Returns

Some of Team USA's biggest stars competed -- and won

History was made in Pyeongchang. 

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Shaun White's snowboarding reign is far from over as the Olympic veteran earned his Sochi redemption and more with an epic gold medal win in the men's halfpipe.

Mikaela Shiffrin's highly anticipated debut was delayed due to weather-related issues in the giant slalom event -- again.

And a darling moment on the ice for Addison's favorite figure skater Alexa Scimeca Knierim who, alongside her husband, advanced to the pairs free skate final. And all on Valentine's Day.

Here are five things you might have missed Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (CT):

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1. Back on Top: Shaun White Wins Halfpipe Gold

Team USA's Shaun White held off a strong field Wednesday and soared to victory in the men's halfpipe competition in Pyeongchang. White’s gold medal marks the 100th for Team USA in its history of competing at the Winter Olympics.

Japan’s Ayumu Hirano took the silver, while Australia’s Scotty James earned the bronze.

White earned gold in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010, but didn't even crack the top three in Sochi. That outcome haunted him at times before he hit reset last summer and pointed to South Korea.

In qualifying, White exhaled after putting up a 93.75 on his first run, ensuring a spot in the finals. He later topped his own score with a 98.5.

Full recap: Shaun White Wins Halfpipe Gold With Epic Final Run


Watch All Three of Shaun White's Gold Medal Runs

Shaun White Apologizes for Dragging American Flag

White Wins USA's 100th Winter Gold, Gets Grilled by Media

An Emotional Shaun White Watches His Gold Medal Halfpipe Run

Is an Olympic Skateboarding Medal Next for Shaun White?

PHOTOS: Shaun White Wins 100th Gold

Courtesy of Trevisan family via AP

2. The Knierims Advance to Pairs Figure Skating Final

Team USA’s lone entry in pairs’ figure skating, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, finished the short program portion of the competition in 14th place Wednesday morning at Gangneung Ice Arena. The score qualified them for the next stage, free skate, set for Thursday morning.

Skating to “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge!” the Knierims scored a 65.55 — 34.18 for their technical score and 31.37 for performance. They were the 13th of 22 pairs to skate, with the top 16 advancing to the final.

It has been a busy first week in Pyeongchang for the husband and wife team. As the only U.S. pair, the Knierims skated both the short program and free skate in the figure skating team event, in which Team USA took bronze.

Full recap: Olympic Pairs’ Figure Skating: Knierims Advance to Final


Alexa, Chris Knierim Soak Up the Moment on Valentine's Day

Alexa and Chris Knierim Seal Their Short Program With a Kiss 

Chris, Alexa Knierim Celebrate Valentine's Day at Olympics


3. Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympic Debut Postponed — for a 2nd Time

Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait a little longer to make her Pyeongchang debut.

She must wait to ski in her signature event, the slalom, after it was postponed Wednesday morning due to high winds. She was the youngest-ever Olympic slalom champion at the Sochi Games at age 18, and she's the first woman to win three consecutive slalom world titles in 78 years. Shiffrin hopes to become the first person to win the slalom gold medal twice in a row. She was initially set to make her Pyeongchang debut in the giant slalom race earlier in the week, but it was postponed due to dangerous winds.

The race has been moved to Friday, after the giant slalom race rescheduled for Thursday morning (Wednesday night in the U.S.).

Lindsey Vonn, another standout American skier, will not compete in the slalom.

Must-see: Olympian rides escalator in entirely new way -- and the Internet freaks out

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4. USA Men’s Hockey Gives Up 3 Late Goals in Shocking Loss to Slovenia

The U.S. men’s hockey team’s quest for a first gold medal since the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980 got off to a rough start Wednesday, as the Americans allowed Slovenia to come back from two goals down to win 3-2 in overtime.

American Brian O’Neill powered his team to the lead with a goal and an assist, but Slovenia got going early in the third period, when a deflected shot beat U.S. goalie Ryan Zapolski. Still losing with two minutes to go, Slovenia pulled its goalie to play with an extra attacker and soon had an equalizer thanks to captain Jan Mursak. Mursak scored again just 38 seconds into the sudden-death overtime. 

This Olympics is the first since 1994 not to feature active NHL players, which may have made the difference in the game — none of the Americans who played in Sochi are on the roster this year, while the Slovenian team was largely unchanged. 

But there’s a silver lining to the U.S.’s first day in action. The tournament favorites, the Olympic Athletes from Russia, lost their opener as well, falling to Slovakia 3-2 in regulation time. That means the U.S. is still above the Russians in the group standings.

Full recap: Team USA Falls to Slovenia 3-2 in Its Men's Hockey Opener

Must-see: Disappearing act: Puck finds referee's pocket

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5. #HamFam Returns, But Not Together This Time

Wisconsin's favorite brother-sister curling duo aren't done representing the U.S. just yet. Though they failed to make it to medal contention in the first-ever mixed-doubles event, the two began competing apart in the men's and women's teams. 

The U.S. men’s curling team got off to a good start after struggling the last two Olympics.

The men scored three points in two different ends on the way to an 11-7 win over Korea.

But it wasn’t the start the U.S. women’s curling team was hoping for. In the first game of the tournament, Japan stole two points in the first and second ends and three more in the third, putting the Americans in a hole they wouldn’t climb out of in a 9-6 loss.

Full recap: 

Men's Curling: US Off to Strong Start With Win Over Korea

US Women's Curling Team Comes Up Short Against Japan

Must-see: Who Is US Curler Matt Hamilton's Celebrity Doppelganger?

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