American stars bring home more gold medals

Mikaela Shiffrin Raises American flag in celebration after winning gold in the women's giant slalom. Shiffrin won her first gold in 2014 in the women's slalom event and became the youngest Olympic slalom champion. Associated Press

By Max Calderone | Sports Writer

Through eight days of events, Team USA currently sits in fifth place overall in the latest medal count for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The Americans have tallied eight total medals, winning five gold, one silver and two bronze.

Superstars were on display this week, as Shaun White claimed his third career Olympic gold medal in the men’s halfpipe and Mikaela Shiffrin picked up a gold of her own in the women’s giant slalom.

White was the last snowboarder to come down the hill, needing to beat Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano’s score of 95.25 to take the gold. Sure enough, White threw down a massive third run, earning him a 97.75 and putting him in first place.

After a scary injury in October 2017 left White needing 62 stitches on his face, the comeback was complete for the 31-year-old American after not reaching the podium in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

“I didn’t go home with a medal, but I learned so much and I just feel like I’m such a better person for having that happen to me,” White told NBC before the Olympics began. “Maybe that’s something that needed to happen on the path to getting here.”

White’s back-to-back 1440’s won him the 100th gold medal for the United States in Winter Olympics history.

Boerne junior Lee Deckard said it was good to see Shaun White doing well again.

“I liked seeing Shaun White make a comeback and win the gold medal in snowboarding,” Deckard said.

Shiffrin took home the gold in the women’s giant slalom after posting a time of two minutes and 20.02 seconds. This was her first Olympic win in the GS event.

Expectations were high for Shiffrin after becoming the youngest Olympic slalom champion in 2014. She told NBC’s Keir Simmons that with her confidence came feelings of doubt, but relief that she won another gold medal.

“I risked everything that I could,” Shiffrin said. “It’s an incredible feeling right now.”

Shiffrin was unable to land a spot on the podium in what was considered her best event, the women’s slalom.

Also making her 2018 Olympic debut was snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis. Famous for falling in the 2006 Olympic games and settling for a silver, Jacobellis was searching for her first Olympic gold in women’s snowboard cross. Her bad luck continued as she finished in fourth place in the event in 2018.

Additionally, Team USA sent three men to the ice Thursday to compete in the men’s short program portion of figure skating. Adam Rippon, Vincent Zhou and Nathan Chen all competed, but all were knocked off the podium by the time this paper went to print.

The American men’s hockey team was also in action, attempting to rebound after an opening game loss to Slovenia by a score of 3-2. Team USA defeated Slovakia 2-1 Thursday night.

Medals were also handed out in the men’s skeleton and men’s super-G. South Korean Yung Sung-Bin won gold in front of his home fans in the skeleton and Austrian Matthias Mayer placed first in the skiing event.

The 2018 Winter Olympics continue through Feb. 25. All events can be watched on NBC’s family of networks.