Get Ready for the 1st Gold Medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics - NBC Southern California
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang

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Get Ready for the 1st Gold Medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics

The first medals of the games will be awarded in the women's skiathlon, a 15km cross-country race that's skied half in classical technique, half in freestyle

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    Get Ready for the 1st Gold Medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images, File
    This Sept. 25, 2017, file photo shows the Pyeongchang 2018 gold medal at the Team USA Media Summit in Park City, Utah, ahead of the Winter Games. The first one will be awarded on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

    The Olympic cauldron is lit, the opening ceremony is over and it's time for the athletes in Pyeongchang to officially go for gold.

    While competition has been underway for a few days, Saturday brings the first medal events at the 2018 Winter Games: three in ski events and two in speedskating.

    The first medals of the games will be awarded in the women's skiathlon, a 15km cross-country race that's skied half in classical technique, half in freestyle. Norwegian Marit Bjoergen is the woman to beat, having amassed 10 medals — six of them gold — over four Olympic games.

    Jessie Diggins could be the United States' best chance to nab a medal in the event, which airs at 2:15 a.m. ET on Saturday in the U.S. It would be Team USA's first-ever women's Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.

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    (Published Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018)

    The next medal event on the schedule is the women's 3,000-meter speedskating race at 6 a.m. ET. Canadian Ivanie leads the World Cup standings after five events this year, but Dutch skaters Ireen Wuest and Antoinette de Jong may be likeliest to top the podium. Carlijn Schoutens is the only American racing.

    After that comes the women's biathlon 7.5km sprint at 6:15 a.m. ET, where Slovakian skier has the chance to win a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the race that combines skiing and rifle shooting.

    The final two medal events of the day both air around 7:30 a.m. ET, and one will have the host nation rocking.

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    That's in short track speedskating, the whirlwind race that South Korea loves. There will be three rounds of racing in the men's 1,500-meter races Saturday, with the medal race beginning at 7:28 a.m. ET. (Women will take the ice, too — notably Team USA's Maame Biney and Lana Gehring — but their first medals are awarded Tuesday.)

    The races can be unpredictable, but three South Koreans are thought to be the top contenders for gold in the 1,500: Hwang Dae-heon, Seo Yi-ra and Lim Hyo-jun. But Americans J.R. Celski, who won bronze in the event in 2010, and John-Henry-Krueger, both have a shot at the podium.

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    U.S. speedskater J.R. Celski hopes the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will bring better results for him and the U.S. team. After a disappointing performance in Sochi, Celski quit the sport but decided he wanted to come back to try to get better and have fun.

    (Published Monday, Feb. 5, 2018)

    Finally, the men's individual normal hill ski jumping competition will conclude after the event kicks off at 7:35 a.m. ET. German Andreas Wellinger led the pack after qualifying and defending gold medalist Kamil Stoch, of Poland, is right behind him. The highest-ranking American is Kevin Bickner, who came out of the qualifying round in 25th place.