Team USA made Olympic history at the 2022 Winter Games on Saturday.
After a subdued 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, Chloe Kim’s jaw-dropping showing on Day 6 and Shaun White’s final ride as an Olympic athlete on Day 7.
On Saturday, fresh off capturing an elusive gold in the women’s individual event, Jacobellis and teammate Nick Baumgartner earned gold for the U.S. in the Olympics’ inaugural mixed team snowboard cross event.
Elsewhere, the U.S. defeated Canada in the men’s hockey tournament preliminary round, securing Team USA’s first Olympic win against the Canadians in 12 years.
As of Saturday afternoon E.T., Norway leads all countries with 17 medals, followed by Germany and Austria with 14.
The U.S. is currently tied for fourth in total medals with 11 — five gold, five silver and one bronze.
Here are some of the biggest moments and highlights from Day 8:
Team USA, snowboardcross
The U.S. fielded two teams in the Olympic debut of mixed team snowboard cross. Five-time Olympian Jacobellis teamed up with two-time world medalist Baumgartner to form U.S. team No. 1, while four-time Olympian Faye Gulini and 23-year-old Jake Vedder made up the second U.S. team.
In the end, it was the dynamic duo of Jacobellis and Baumgartner that got the job done for Team USA.
Jacobellis, at 36, was already the oldest American woman to win Olympic gold when she won it three days ago. In his fourth Winter Olympics, 40-year-old Baumgartner claimed his first Olympic gold medal. With the win, he is the oldest snowboarder to ever win an Olympic medal and the first to medal in his 40s.
Team USA, hockey
The U.S. men’s hockey team took on Canada in the prelims on Saturday afternoon in Beijing (11:10 p.m. ET Friday). Things were neck and neck all game long, but in the end, the Americans came out victorious, 4-2.
Team Canada struck first on the ice, but Team USA fired back with a goal of its own to knot things up early.
The U.S. held a 2-1 lead after the first period and opened the second-period scoring with a third goal.
Canada scored a shorthanded goal to cut the Americans’ lead to 3-2 headed into the third period, but Team USA didn’t waste any time extending its lead, and things ended there, 4-2.
This was the first Olympic matchup between the North American rivals since Canada beat the United States in the semifinals of the 2014 Sochi Games. The U.S. now improves to 2-0 with the victory, while Canada drops to 1-1. Team USA will conclude preliminary round play against Germany on Sunday at 8:10 a.m. ET.
Jordan Stolz, speed skating
Austin Kleba and Jordan Stolz both made their Olympic debut on Saturday afternoon in Beijing (3:50 a.m. ET) while representing Team USA in the men’s 500-meter final.
Stolz set a furious pace in pair 5, becoming the first skater in the 500m finals with a time below 35 seconds to take the lead, but his mark was outmatched by China’s Gao Tingyu in pair 7, who set a new Olympic record at 34.32.
The 17-year-old Stolz had a spectacular season leading up to the Olympics, winning the 500-meter and 1000-meter events at U.S. Trials and setting world junior records in both disciplines. Hockey-player-turned-speed-skater Kleba won silver at the Youth Olympics Games in 2016 before taking the ice in these Winter Games.
Team USA, figure skating
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker entered Saturday’s competition with the event lead in figure skating’s rhythm dance department. The pair set the high mark with a score of 74.58, which was tops among the program’s first three groups. That number was blown away though, by France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who stamped a new world record with a stellar 90.83 early Saturday morning.
Two U.S. pairs entered the top four Saturday as well – Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue with an 87.13, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, at 84.14. Each U.S. team will easily slide into the medal event in the free dance, which takes the top 20 out of 23 competing pairs.