There are just a few days left of the 2022 Winter Olympics -- meaning a few last chances for medals. In the two-woman bobsled, Team USA's Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman won a historic bronze, while the figure skating competition came to an emotional end as Chinese pairs team Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won gold on home ice.
In the men's freeski halfpipe, New Zealand's Nico Porteous won gold and Americans David Wise and Alex Ferreira took silver and bronze, respectively, in a crash-filled competition held despite high winds on Saturday.
Mikaela Shiffrin's last race -- the mixed team slalom -- was supposed to be held, but has been postponed to Sunday because of the conditions.
After the first two heats of the four-man bobsled, the two German teams lead, with two more heats Sunday morning before the medals are awarded. The Jamaican team sits in 28th place in its first appearance in 24 years.
We'll have updates on the action here:
Did you know?
The U.S. women will head home from the Beijing Olympics with more medals than the U.S. men.
So far, women have won 12 medals, men have won 10, and the U.S. claimed four medals in mixed events. Per ESPN Stats & Information, it has been 12 years and four Olympics, Summer or Winter, since the U.S. men have won more medals than the women. That happened at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, when the men won 24 medals. The women took home 12 medals that year, and the U.S. was awarded one medal in the mixed events. In 2014, the men and women tied at the Sochi Games with 13 medals each.
This accomplishment is further impressive when you consider that there are more men's events in both the Summer and Winter Olympics than women's events. -- Aishwarya Kumar
Elana Meyers Taylor wins historic bronze
Team USA's Elana Meyers Taylor won a historic bronze medal at the two-woman bobsled event, becoming the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics History with five medals.
Meyers Taylor, teaming with bobsledder Sylvia Hoffman, finished at 4:05:48. She punched her fist in the air as she reached the finish line.
Last week, Meyers Taylor, 37, tied speedskater Shani Davis' record for the most medals -- four -- when she won silver in the women's monobob event, which debuted in Beijing. In her career, Meyers Taylor has raced with 41 different teammates, in 14 tracks and 11 countries.
Earlier in Beijing, she hinted at retirement, saying, "There's a good chance that it's my last one."
She will serve as flag-bearer for the United States in the closing ceremony.
USA's Kaillie Humphries, who won the first gold medal in the women's monobob event, finished seventh. Germany went 1-2, with Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi taking gold, and Mariama Jamanka and Alexandra Burghardt taking silver. -- Aishwarya Kumar
U.S. skaters to go home without medals
The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected U.S. figure skaters' appeal to receive their team event silver medals before the end of the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee had previously decided to withhold the medals until the doping case of Russia's Kamila Valieva is resolved. Valieva had helped the Russians to a team gold medal. The nine Americans will go home without their medals -- and without knowing when the case will be decided. -- Elaine Teng
U.S. gets historic finish in epic pairs showdown
A controversy-ridden figure skating competition ended on a high in Beijing with an epic pairs showdown between China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong and two Russian teams.
Sui and Han lost the gold medal by half a point in 2018 and were determined to win on home ice.
The Russians set out to stop them. First, Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, who helped Russia win gold in the team event, laid down a technically flawless, if slightly restrained, routine to score 154.95 points. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who finished fourth in Pyeongchang, topped them with 155 points in a beautiful routine that included a perfect triple twist. Their coach, Maxim Trankov, openly sobbed afterward.
Skating last with the crowd behind them, Sui and Han must have felt the pressure. They nailed a quad twist -- as opposed to the triples every other team had done -- but made a mistake on the same element, the triple salchow, that had thwarted them in Pyeongchang. The score took forever to appear, or so it felt. Sui and Han looked concerned the mistake had cost them yet again, while Tarasova couldn't bear to look.
But in the end, it was their turn for the half-point advantage, scoring 155.47 for a total of 239.88 points -- and the gold medal.
Earlier, two American pairs took the ice trying to secure a historic finish for Team USA. Ashley Cain-Gribble, skating on a sprained ankle, and Timothy LeDuc made a few mistakes and finished eighth, with 123.92 points. Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who came into the day in sixth, scored 138.45 points to finish in sixth.
This was the first time two U.S. pairs team have finished in the top eight since 1998. Knierim, who previously skated with her husband, Chris Knierim, finished in 15th at the Pyeongchang Olympics. -- Elaine Teng
Team Great Britain medals
Sweden won gold in the men's curling after edging past Great Britain 5-4.
Sweden took control of the match early on, and took the hammer heading into the extra end. Sweden's skipper Niklas Edin was in sharp form as he finally added a gold to his collection of silver from Pyeongchang 2018 and bronze from Sochi 2014.
The silver was Britain's first medal of Beijing 2022 and ended fears of a first medal-less Winter Games since 1992. Bruce Mouat's rink of Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan and reserve Ross Whyte emulated the men's team of Sochi 2014 who also returned home with silver.
Britain still has a shot at gold in the women's final on Sunday when skipper Eve Muirhead's team takes on Japan. -- Tom Hamilton
Team race postponed
Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait for her final chance at a 2022 Olympic medal, after the mixed team parallel event was canceled on Saturday due to high wind. Olympic organizers have announced it will now be held at 8 p.m. ET Sunday. -- D'Arcy Maine
MEDIA ALERT 🚨— U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team (@usskiteam) February 19, 2022
Today's Mixed Team Parallel is canceled due to weather. FIS, IOC, BOCOG, and OBS will meet immediately to discuss the potential rescheduling of the event. More information forthcoming. #Beijing2022
U.S. men win silver and bronze
In a tough men's freeski halfpipe final that saw gusty winds, challenging conditions and few landed runs, New Zealand's Nico Porteous put down an impressive run to win gold. The 2018 Olympic bronze medalist and 2021 world champion, Porteous, 20, won the contest with his first-run score of 93 before conditions deteriorated. In his third run, Porteous was caught in a wind gust, took a nasty fall and landed nearly upside down. He skied to the bottom of the pipe clutching his left shoulder.
"These conditions are abysmal right now," NBC commentator Tom Wallisch, an X Games gold medalist in freeskiing, said after Porteous' fall. On the next run, top qualifier Aaron Blunck of the U.S. got caught upside down on a trick and crashed toward the middle of the halfpipe. He remained there for several minutes before skiing to the bottom of the pipe. He finished seventh.
At the start of the contest, all eyes were on American David Wise, the two-time defending gold medalist in the event. In his first run, Wise landed a solid, if scaled-back run to take silver, while his teammate, Alex Ferreira, the 2018 Olympic silver medalist, took bronze.
After the contest, NBC commentator Mike Tirico addressed the fact that halfpipe finals took place while the alpine event was postponed. "What we're hearing is the wind conditions for tomorrow are just as bad in the forecast, so you run out of a window to hold the event," he said. "The safety of the athletes was paramount there and perhaps a pause would have been called for."
American Birk Irving finished in fifth place and three-time Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who represented the U.S. in Sochi and Pyeongchang, and Team Great Britain this time around, took the final halfpipe runs of his career. He announced before Beijing that he is retiring from competitive skiing.
In his second run, Kenworthy was caught in a massive wind gust and thrown off his line and he crashed hard onto his back on the deck. Remarkably, he landed a full third run to finish eighth and put a solid stamp on an incredible career. He spoke with NBC about the conditions after his final run.
"The wind is crazy," he said. "They built this fence which is supposed to block the wind from going across the pipe, but what's happening is, [the wind] is just spiraling in the pipe. It's the biggest factor today. The top three runs are so impressive, but they're not the runs those guys wanted to do. It shows a lot of resilience to land a run today and I'm happy they're getting it done." -- Alyssa Roenigk
Will this be the last time we see quads?
One by one the Russian teen figure skaters took the ice for the free skate at the Beijing Games, and one by one they attempted the four-revolution jumps that are common in the men's competition.
Beijing may be the last Olympics any woman attempts a quad.
The quadruple jumps that sent Russian world champ Anna Shcherbakova to the gold medal and teammate Alexandra Trusova to the silver - much to her chagrin - along with the failed attempts that dumped 15-year-old Kamila Valieva out of the medals altogether could be a thing of the past by the 2026 Games in Italy.
15-year-old Kamila Valiyeva made HERSTORY tonight by becoming the first woman to land a quad jump in an Olympic competition - and she landed TWO 👏#WinterOlympics | @NBCOlympics pic.twitter.com/SqPx4flwwZ— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) February 7, 2022
That's because more and more people are pushing for the age limit in figure skating to be raised above 16 following Valieva's monumental collapse Thursday night. The maturing bodies of women make it much more difficult to land a jump that they could do in their teens. No woman older than 17 has ever landed a quad in competition.
Take the case of Alysa Liu. The 16-year-old American, who finished seventh at the Beijing Games, was able to land the four-revolution jumps until two years ago, but stopped attempting them following a growth spurt. Read more, from the AP, on the effects of a change in the age limit.
Jamaican bobsled time
Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, today was Jamaican bobsled time!
The Jamaican bobsled team, competing in the four-man event for the first time since 1998, is currently in 28th place -- in a field of 28 -- after the first day of competition. The team will have a third run on Sunday in Beijing, in hopes of qualifying for the fourth and final run later in the day.
Jamaica is now on the hill!! pic.twitter.com/xpXh147q6F— Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (@JBSFed) February 19, 2022
A German team, piloted by Francesco Friedrich, holds the lead by .03 of a second over another German team. It was a dominant day for the country, which holds three of the top four spots going into Sunday. The two American teams are in 13th and 14th. -- D'Arcy Maine