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As Super Bowl LVI gets underway in Los Angeles, Olympic competitions are starting to heat up on the other side of the world for Day 10 of the Winter Games. Two American duos (Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue and Madison Chock/Evan Bates) are battling for a spot on the ice dance podium, and two American bobsledders (Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor) are battling for the win in the Olympic debut of women's monobob. Elsewhere, the qualifying rounds are held for snowboard big air, and the United States and Canada are involved in separate semifinals for women's hockey. Stay tuned for updates throughout the night...
Sildaru, Gu advance to ski slopestyle final
Eileen Gu, six days removed from winning big air gold, is now tackling her second of three events at the Winter Olympics: freeski slopestyle. Competition started with today's qualifying round, and despite a fall on her first run, Gu bounced back on her second run to secure a place in tomorrow's final.
The gold medal favorite in this event is likely Estonian Kelly SIldaru, who has been a dominant force in women's freeskiing since she was 13 years old. Sildaru, set to turn 20 later this week, was the top qualifier thanks to a run that included a pair of switch 1080s. She finished ahead of Norway's Johanne Killi and Gu.
— Shawn Smith
Papadakis and Cizeron take gold in ice dance
The pair entered the 2022 Winter Olympics having won 12 of their last 13 competitions since 2018, and entered the free dance after setting the highest rhythm dance score ever recorded.
Papadakis and Cizeron’s score of 136.15 in the free dance on Sunday was also best among all pairings, as their total score of 226.98 was more than enough. The ROC’s Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov claimed silver with a score of 220.51.
The United States pairing of Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue grabbed bronze in their final competition, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates were just outside the podium in fourth. Hubbell and Donohue’s medal means the U.S. has won an ice dance medal in five straight Olympics, though it has not won gold since the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Results: Ice Dance
🥇 Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA)
🥈 Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (ROC)
🥉 Madison Hubbell and Zach Donhue (USA)
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott tops snowboard big air qualifying
After winning a gold medal in slopestyle last week, New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski-Synnott is looking to earn another one in big air after earning the top score of today's qualifying round. She'll head into tomorrow's final as the favorite, but will face tough competition from the Japanese trio of Kokomo Murase, Reira Iwabuchi and Miyabi Onitsuka, all of whom were among the top five qualifiers. Austrian Anna Gasser, the defending gold medalist, will also be in the field.
One rival missing will be American Jamie Anderson, the 2018 silver medalist. Anderson earned a big score on her final run for a double cork 1080, but the qualifying format uses each rider's best two scores, and she had already fallen on her other two runs. She finished 15th, and only the top 12 advanced onward.
— Shawn Smith
Team USA goes 1-2 in women's monobob debut
The first-ever running of women's monobob at the Winter Olympics is a wrap, and the United States will leave with gold and silver medals after Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor went 1-2 in the event.
The win was well-deserved for Humphries, who was consistently the fastest bobsledder on the track. Finding smooth lines through the course, she had the top time in each of the first three heats and took a 1.55 second lead into the final heat, which she easily preserved.
As for Meyers Taylor, she mounted a comeback to get into the silver-medal position. Although she was consistently the fastest starter in the field, she found herself in fourth place entering today's final two heats. Meyers Taylor moved past German Laura Nolte with her third run, then set the top time of Heat 4 to move past Canadian Christine de Bruin for second.
Humphries has competed for Canada at past Olympics but switched to the U.S. during this current Olympic cycle. With her third Olympic gold medal, she now has the most of any woman in bobsled history. Humphries is also the first woman to ever win Winter Olympic gold medals for two distinctly different countries.
As for Meyers Taylor, the 37-year-old is now the oldest woman to win an Olympic bobsled medal.
Results: Women's Monobob
🥇 Kaillie Humphries (USA)
🥈 Elana Meyers Taylor (USA)
🥉 Christine de Bruin (CAN)
— Shawn Smith