When Oksana Masters pulled out of the women’s 10km biathlon event yesterday after falling and reinjuring the elbow she dislocated 2 weeks before arriving in PyeongChang, she thought her 2018 Paralympic campaign might be finished. Except it wasn’t.
As most of the U.S. slept early this morning, Masters bounced back to win her first Paralympic gold medal.
"Yesterday's day was really tough. I literally did not think I was going to be able to race this sprint race, and I love sprinting,” Masters said in PyeongChang. “So it was heartbreaking but I was determined and had the amazing support staff from Team USA to get me here.
“The USOC (United States Olympic Committee) medical staff evaluated my elbow and they said it that with some taping it would be good to go for today, and thank God.”
Along with Masters, Team USA’s three-time Paralympian Andy Soule also won his first Paralympic gold in the men’s cross-country sitting sprint.
"It's so exciting,” Soule said from PyeongChang. “And it's all due to so many hours and years of preparation and work by so many people, not just me. The teammates and coaches and technical staff. And wonderful support from family and friends.
"It was a fun day of racing and that finish that you saw, that's what sprinting is all about. It is so awesome, it feels so great."
Dan Cnossen, Team USA’s other shining Nordic star at these Paralympics, joined Soule on the podium with a bronze medal win – his fourth medal of these Games.
Para cross-country skiing: Men's and women's sprints
Men’s 1.1 km Sprint – Sitting gold medalist: Andy Soule, USA
- Team USA athletes: Dan Cnossen won bronze. Aaron Pike advanced to the semifinals where he finished seventh. Sean Halstead and Jeremy Wagner were unable to advance past the quarterfinals, finishing 14th and 23rd respectively.
Women’s 1.1 km Sprint – Sitting gold medalist: Oksana Masters, USA
- Team USA athletes: Kendall Gretsch ended the day in seventh after her semifinal race and Joy Rondeau finished 23rd.
Men’s 1.5 km Sprint Classic – Standing gold medalist: Alexandr Kolyadin, KAZ
- Team USA athletes: Ruslan Reiter finished 20th.
Women’s 1.5 km Sprint Classic – Standing gold medalist: Anna Milenina, NPA
- Team USA athletes: Grace Miller finished 16th.
Men’s 1.5 km Sprint Classic – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Brian McKeever, CAN
- Team USA athletes: Jake Adicoff, racing in the final, finished fourth along with guide Sawyer Kesselheim.
Women’s 1.5 km Sprint Classic – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Sviatlana Sakhanenka, BLR
- Team USA athletes: Mia Zutter and guide Kristina Trygstad-Saari finished ninth.
Para Alpine: Men's and women's giant slalom
Women’s Giant Slalom – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Henrieta Farkasova, SVK
- Team USA athletes: Danelle Umstead finished in eighth place while Staci Mannella finished10th.
Women’s Giant Slalom – Standing gold medalist: Marie Bochet, FRA
- Team USA athletes: The top U.S. woman was Ally Kunkel in eighth place, followed by Stephanie Jallen in 10th.
Women’s Giant Slalom – Sitting gold medalist: Momoka Muraoka, JPN
- Team USA athletes: Laurie Stephens finished in seventh place.
Men’s Giant Slalom – Visually Impaired gold medalist: Giacomo Bertagnolli, ITA
- Team USA athletes: Kevin Burton and guide Brandon Ashby were disqualified after their first run.
Men’s Giant Slalom – Sitting gold medalist: Jesper Pedersen, NOR
- Team USA athletes: Four-time Paralympian Tyler Walker won silver. Walker was the only U.S. skier to complete both runs of the giant slalom. Seventeen skiers were unable to complete their runs in the field of 36. Medal favorite Andrew Kurka skied out on his first run, while both Jasmin Bamber and Stephen Lawler suffered the same fate in their second run.
Men’s Giant Slalom – Standing gold medalist: Theo Gmur, SUI
- Team USA athletes: Thomas Walsh led the American men, finishing 10th, followed by Jamie Stanton in 14th and Spencer Wood in 25th. Tyler Carter was eliminated from the competition after skiing out on his second run.
USA vs. Switzerland
Final: USA 4, Switzerland 7
Though the U.S. team got on the scoreboard first, Switzerland answered and kept up their momentum through the end of the match. Switzerland bested the Americans, 7-4, improving their round-robin record to 4-4. The U.S. dropped to 1-7, with a game against Great Britain later in the day.
USA vs. Great Britain
Final: USA 9, Great Britain 3
Team USA posted two 3-point ends helping them to a 9-3 victory over Great Britain for their second win in PyeongChang. The U.S. will close out its 2018 Paralympics with matches against Norway (Tonight, 8:35p ET) and Slovakia (Thursday, 6:35a ET).
Sled hockey classification games
Czech Republic vs. Sweden
Final: Czech Republic 4, Sweden 3 (SO)
Tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, the Czechs and Swedes headed to overtime, but the extra period was not enough. At the end of three rounds, the shootout was tied at two apiece, but after Sweden's Niklas Ingvarsson failed to convert on his extra frame shot, Michal Geier found twine to give Czech Republic the win.