It was an emotional day for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday.
After a quiet start in the Games, the U.S. picked things up this week with Nathan Chen’s world record-breaking performance on Day 4, Lindsey Jacobellis securing the country’s first gold medal on Day 5, and Chloe Kim’s jaw-dropping showing on Day 6.
And on Friday, American snowboarder Shaun White took his final ride as an Olympic athlete.
White finished fourth in the men’s halfpipe final on Friday morning in Beijing (8:30 p.m. ET Thursday), capping a 20-year career that spanned five Olympics. After his final run, an emotional White spoke to the media where he thanked his family, his fans and the love of his life: snowboarding.
As of Friday afternoon ET, Norway and Austria lead all countries with 14 medals, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee and Canada with 12 each.
The U.S. currently sits fifth in total medals, alongside Italy, with 10 — four gold, five silver and one bronze.
Here are some of the biggest moments and highlights from Day 7:
Shaun White, snowboarding
Team USA’s White narrowly missed out on the podium in the men’s halfpipe with a fourth-place finish.
White’s second run included a front-side double cork 1440 and his signature double McTwist 1260, which was good enough for the highest finish by an American rider in the contest.
The 35-year-old five-time Olympian had two solid runs before crashing out early in his third run, as he attempted the double cork 1440 combination that won him gold in Pyeongchang in 2018.
As he rode to the bottom of the pipe, he took off his helmet and held it high.
“It’s been a journey, I’m just so happy, and thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” White later said through tears. “Snowboarding, thank you. It’s been the love of my life … The future for me is so exciting, there’s so much I want to do in my life. So much to do, so much to live for, this is just the beginning for me.”
White ends his snowboarding career as a three-time Olympic gold medalist (Torino in 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and Pyeongchang in 2018). He’s also a 13-time Winter X Games champion and a six-time World Cup event winner.
It was Ayumu Hirano of Japan — the silver medalist in 2014 and 2018 — who took home the gold medal with two monster runs that included a triple cork, the first time the trick has ever been done at the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Kaishu Hirano set a world record with the air he got on his first trick of this halfpipe run.
Team USA, hockey
Since Olympic women’s ice hockey competition started in 1998, Team USA has advanced to the semifinals every single time.
And they’ve done it again.
After rolling through its first three contests of Group A round-robin play — Finland, the Russian Olympic Committee and Switzerland — the U.S. defeated the Czech Republic 4-1 in the knockout round of the women’s hockey tournament. With the win, Team USA advances to the semifinals to take on the winner of the upcoming Finland-Japan quarterfinal.
Despite the final score, the U.S. struggled finding the net against the Czechs, as goalie Klara Peslarova turned them aside time and again. In fact, the Czechs actually took a 1-0 lead in the second period on their first shot of the game. The U.S., which out-shot the Czechs 59-6, eventually got the offense going, however, scoring four unanswered goals to put the game away.
Team USA, curling
Team Shuster, the defending Olympic gold champions, defeated Great Britain in men’s round-robin play.
The US women’s curling team also came out victorious on Day 7, beating China 8-4 in round-robin play.
Team USA is tied atop the women’s curling leader board and remains undefeated in round-robin play. With the win, the Americans improved to 3-0 overall, good for an undefeated tie with Switzerland in the overall standings. The American squad features sisters Tabitha and Tara Peterson, Nina Roth and Becca Hamilton.
Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine skiing
After a tumultuous start to these Games, Shiffrin struggled once again. This time in the women’s super-G — Alpine skiing’s second-fastest discipline — final on Friday morning in Beijing (10 p.m. ET Thursday).
The 26-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist finished in ninth place with a time of 1:14.30.
Team USA, skeleton
Five-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender and college track star Kelly Curtis both completed heats 1 and 2 in women’s skeleton, finishing eighth and 18th, respectively.
In doing so, Curtis made history as the first Black Olympian, man or woman, to represent the U.S. in the sport.
Heat 3 will take place on Day 8 (Feb. 12) at 7:20 a.m. ET, followed by heat 4 at 8:55 a.m. ET.
Team USA, short track
American speed skaters Corinne Stoddard and Maame Biney placed third and fifth, respectively, in Final B of the women’s 1000-meter race.
Final A followed, where Team USA’s Kristen Santos narrowly missed out on the podium after placing fourth with a time of 1:42.745.
Elsewhere, Team USA’s Ryan Pivirotto snagged a spot in the upcoming men’s 500-meter quarterfinals.
The top-two finishers along with the top four fastest third-place times in each of Friday’s eight heats qualified for Sunday’s quarterfinal. That included the 26-year-old Michigan native, who took third in Heat 6 with a time of 41.018.
Team USA, ski jumping
Americans Decker Dean, Casey Larson and Kevin Bickner are headed to the men’s large hill final after solid performances in Friday’s qualifying round.
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