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4 to Watch: After Olympic Ups and Downs, Shaun White Lands Third Gold

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Southern California snowboarder Shaun White was devastated four years ago when he failed to deliver in Sochi, but the Carlsbad native had a near-perfect score in halfpipe qualifying Monday that carried him into the Pyeongchang finals and on to gold.

Here are the four events to follow Tuesday and early Wednesday.

1. Back from Sochi Disappointment, Shaun White Wins Gold

The competition couldn’t have started better for Shaun White. White was the last rider to go in the first run because he scored the highest qualifying score. This advantage proved invaluable as the event carried out. In his first run, White was able to alleviate some of the pressure he was feeling. He landed a clean run with big air, earning a 94.25. That was good enough for first place.

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Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
Mikaela Shiffrin

2. Another Delay for Skier Mikaela Shiffrin

Wind again caused a delay for an Alpine skiing event. This time, it postponed the women’s slalom. Everyone has been anxiously awaiting the debut of American Mikaela Shiffrin at these Games. The delay means she will now make her 2018 debut on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT in the women’s giant slalom.

Argentina Bike Path Attack
Courtesy of Trevisan family via AP
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim competing in the pairs portion of the team skating event.

3. Figure Skaters Together on the Ice

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Figure skating returned with the pairs’ short program. Chinese duo Sui Wenjing and Han Cong performed an emotional routine to K.D. Lang’s “Hallelujah,” scoring 82.39 points. That was the highest score of the night. The pair missed most of last yar when Sui had to have surgeries on both feet and learn to walk again before returning to skating.

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4. USA Men’s Hockey Gives Up 3 Late Goals in Shock Loss

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.

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