It was an eventful Day 13 of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, filled with ups and downs, and thrills and spills.
In women’s hockey, the U.S. came up short despite a late rally against rival Canada in the gold medal game, falling 3-2 to settle for silver.
Meanwhile, many eyes were following the saga of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, who had been allowed to compete despite a positive drug test. Valieva, a strong favorite to win the event, struggled through her free skate and finished fourth.
And in another stunning development, U.S. skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin suffered a DNF for the third time of these Games when she skied out during the slalom leg of the Alpine Combined.
As of Thursday afternoon E.T., Norway leads all countries with 29 medals, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee with 26 and Germany with 22.
The U.S., which won two medals on the day, is currently fourth with 21 — eight gold, eight silver and five bronze.
These are the memorable highlights from Day 13:
Kamila Valieva, Women’s Figure Skating
Anna Shcherbakova won a stunning gold medal in women’s figure skating at the Beijing Games on Thursday night, while teammate Valieva tumbled all the way out of the top three after a mistake-filled end to her controversial Olympics.
Shcherbakova performed a near-flawless free skate to leap over the 15-year-old Valieva, the leader after the short program, who threw up her arms in resignation and disgust after her program. Russian teammate Alexandra Trusova won silver with her quad-packed program while Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto held onto the bronze medal.
Valieva was left sobbing in the kiss-and-cry area after her scores were read.
Valieva was competing despite failing a pre-Olympics doping test.
The 15-year-old was atop the leaderboard after Tuesday’s short program, but falls and stumbles shunted her out of contention Thursday night.
The stumble means Valieva’s Russian teammate Anna Shcherbakova took first. Russian Alexandra Trusova placed second and Japanese figure skater Kaori Sakamoto claimed third. The trio will get medals. The IOC had said they wouldn’t hold a medal ceremony if Valieva placed in the top three.
Team USA, Women’s Ice Hockey
Canada defeated the United States 3-2 in the fierce rivals’ latest showdown to win the gold medal in women’s hockey.
Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and assisted on Sarah Nurse’s goal to add another chapter to her legacy as “Captain Clutch” for Canada. Goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens made 38 saves and was at her best when under siege.
Canada won Olympic gold for the fifth time in seven chances since women’s hockey was introduced at the 1998 Nagano Games. The defending champion U.S. settled for silver for a fourth time.
The Americans got a goal from star winger Hilary Knight and another with 13.5 seconds left from Amanda Kessel. But they could not get past Desbiens again to force overtime.
It was Canada’s fourth gold medal of the Beijing Games.
For the Americans, Abby Roque became the first indigenous woman to win a medal with the U.S. women’s hockey team.
The 24-year-old forward grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, on the border of the U.S. and Canada, and is a member of the Wahnapitae First Nations tribe on her father’s side.
She has even convinced her Canadian-born father, Jim Roque, to switch allegiances in rooting for the Americans. Roque played and coached at Lake Superior State, and currently works as a scout for the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs.
She said she hopes to promote more opportunities for indigenous young women to play hockey.
“Especially for us women in sport, if you can see it, you can be it,” she said. “When you look at hockey, you want to see female hockey players, and if you’re an indigenous kid you want to be able to see other indigenous players playing on the biggest stage.”
Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Combined
Mikaela Shiffrin skied out in the Alpine combined and once again was unable to finish a race at the Beijing Olympics. She will leave the 2022 Games without an individual medal after participating in all five women’s events.
Not only did she go 0-for-5, but the 26-year-old American did not even manage to complete three of those races.
Shiffrin was fifth-fastest in the downhill portion of the two-run combined on Thursday morning but went out without making it to the bottom in the slalom leg in the afternoon.
She took home a silver in the combined four years ago. She came to China as one of the biggest stars in winter sports and already the owner of two Olympic gold medals — from the slalom in 2014 and the giant slalom in 2018.
Defending champion Michelle Gisin of Switzerland clinched a second straight Olympic gold medal in the event. Gisin beat teammate Wendy Holdener by more than a second in the two-run race to help Switzerland make it a record five gold medals in Alpine skiing at a single Olympics.
Miho Takagi, Speed Skating
Miho Takagi of Japan won her fourth speed skating medal of the Beijing Games and the first individual gold of her career with an Olympic-record victory in the women’s 1,000 meters.
The silver went to Jutta Leerdam of the Netherlands, while Brittany Bowe of the U.S. won bronze, the first individual medal of her career.
Takagi added to silver medals in the 500 meters, 1,500 meters and team pursuit at the Beijing Games. She won three medals in Pyeongchang four years ago, taking gold in the team pursuit, silver in the 1,500 and bronze in the 1,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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