The Moments We Won’t Forget
Some came to win, others came to medal, but all came to Pyeongchang to compete. Here are our most memorable moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” — Arthur Ashe
They train for a decade or two for one opportunity every fourth winter. Many had aspirations of standing on a podium and having a medal placed around their neck. Others came with the realistic goal of proudly representing country, family and heritage. Almost 3,000 athletes converged on Pyeongchang, South Korea, and we celebrate their journey and the memories they helped create.
Before Red Gerard dropped in to take his first run in snowboard slopestyle finals, he said he didn’t realize how big the Olympics are. After winning the first gold medal for Team USA in Pyeongchang — and experiencing the two-day media blitz in Los Angeles and New York that followed — Gerard said he had a better understanding of the scope of the event. He returned to Pyeongchang to compete in the debut of snowboard big air and made the finals but didn’t medal. Fortunately, Gerard was there to congratulate his good friend and Silverthorne, Colorado, neighbor, Kyle Mack, on taking silver.Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Forget hockey and curling. Canada is now a nation of ice dancers. Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue performed a scintillating, sultry routine to the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack to win their third Olympic gold medal and fifth overall. Cue the internet speculating wildly about their relationship status.Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images
Austrian Alpine star Marcel Hirscher entered the Pyeongchang Games with every accolade and trophy — six consecutive World Cup titles and 55 world victories — except Olympic gold. Pressure, anyone? Well, he delivered on the big stage, becoming the first man to win the combined and the giant slalom at the same Games. “I’m super happy because now this stupid question is gone away,” he said.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
This was not the podium lineup anyone expected in men’s luge. After luge legend and two-time defending Olympic champion Felix Loch made an error on the Alpensia Sliding Center’s treacherous Curve 9, the unlikely trio of Austria’s David Gleirscher, right, the United States’ Chris Mazdzer and Germany’s Johannes Ludwig finished 1-2-3. The Olympics don’t really start until you get a moment and picture like this, right?Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
When Shaun White left the 2014 Sochi Olympics without a gold medal, few people, including White, believed he would return four years later to win his third Olympic gold. But that’s exactly what he did. White landed a run he had never tried in competition and became the first three-time gold medalist in snowboard history. But with the celebration came controversy, as a past sexual harassment suit came to the surface. Shaun White called his behavior regrettable, while the lawyer representing White’s accuser said, “No woman wants to be called a ‘gossip’ or a liar by the harasser.” AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
Figure skating’s quad king lived up to his nickname by landing a historic six quad jumps to win the men’s free skate. Nathan Chen’s previous record had been five in one program, and the 18-year-old didn’t even tell his coach he would be adding the last one. It ultimately wasn’t enough to earn him a medal after his disastrous short program, in which he failed to land a single jump, but Chen showed why he came to Pyeongchang as one of Team USA’s biggest medal hopes. Before Mirai Nagasu came to these Games, only two women had ever landed the triple axel, the hardest jump in women’s figure skating, at the Olympics. In the team event, she became the third — and the first American woman — to do it. The routine helped the United States win bronze in the team event.Getty (4)
The Olympic Athletes from Russia drew much attention leading into and during the Winter Olympics. With the Russian flag and anthem — and many athletes — banned from these Games because of the country’s state-sponsored doping scandal, OAR was formed and allowed others to compete under the neutral flag. The Russians won gold medals in two of their signature sports — figure skating and ice hockey. The men’s hockey team’s gold was its first since 1992. Afterward, the team sang Russia’s national anthem over the broadcasted IOC’s song. Said OAR hockey coach Oleg Znarok: “We understood the whole thing from the start, so we were calm about it. Russia is in our hearts.” Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images