BEIJING (AP) — Kamila Valieva has been cleared for takeoff in women’s figure skating in a ruling in a doping case that has caused havoc with one of the marquee events of the Beijing Olympics. The 15-year-old Russian will have a chance for a second gold medal at this year’s Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled she can compete this week despite failing a previous drug test. The teen sensation already set Beijing abuzz when she landed the first quadruple jumps by a woman at the Olympics during her thrilling performance that helped the Russians win the gold medal in the team event.
SHIFFRIN TO ENTER DOWNHILL
Mikaela Shiffrin has confirmed that she will race a downhill at the Winter Olympics for the first time Tuesday. She says she’s changing how she thinks about what is at stake as she prepares for her fourth event in Beijing. She finished a second training session at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center with the 15th-fastest time among the women who didn’t miss a gate. The two-time gold medalist in Alpine skiing did not finish her opening runs in either of her initial two events, the two-leg giant slalom and slalom, before coming in ninth in the super-G, another race she hadn’t previously entered at an Olympics. As someone who specialized in the technical disciplines of slalom and giant slalom, the speed events of downhill and super-G are still new and works-in-progress for Shiffrin.
US TO FACE CANADA IN FINAL
Hilary Knight had a goal and assist, Alex Cavallini stopped 25 shots and the defending Olympic champion United States defeated Finland 4-1 in the women’s hockey semifinals at the Beijing Games to set up the sixth gold-medal showdown between the Americans and Canada. The Canadians advanced earlier in the day after Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice in a 10-3 win over Switzerland. Canada erupted for five first-period goals in an Olympic-record span of 3:24 to reach the championship game for the seventh time in seven Olympic tournaments. Finland will play Switzerland in the bronze-medal game on Wednesday.
KISSING THE GAMES GOODBYE
American ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue bent down and kissed the ice where the Olympic rings were painted after skating to a bronze medal at the Beijing Games. The longtime American standard-bearers in ice dancing embraced after their free dance to Anne Sila’s “Drowning” to wrap up their competition. It marked their last Olympic skate and the sweetest end to a decade-long career together. Their bronze also means the United States has medaled in each of the first three figure skating events at the Beijing Olympics.
Erin Jackson made history on a frenetic dash around Beijing’s magnificent speedskating oval. Jackson became the first Black woman to win a speedskating medal at the Winter Olympics with her gold in the 500 meters. While Jackson doesn’t look at herself as some sort of trailblazer, she recognizes the significance of the moment. She hopes her victory will encourage other people of color to take up winter sports. Jackson’s spot on the Olympic team was in danger when she slipped at the U.S. trials. But once she got to Beijing, she made the most of her opportunity.
Kaillie Humphries has captured a third Olympic gold medal in bobsledding and her first for the United States. The former Canadian bobsledder was an easy winner of the inaugural women’s monobob event. It was the first gold by any country other than Germany in seven events so far at the Beijing Games. Elana Meyers Taylor of the U.S. was second for her fourth Olympic medal. That’s the most in USA Bobsled Olympic history. Christine de Bruin of Canada was third. Humphries has four medals now as well. She won the first three of those for Canada. She began sliding for the U.S. in 2019 and got her citizenship in December. That allowed her to represent the U.S. in Beijing.
SURPRISE BRONZE FOR US
Xu Mengtao of China landed a jump with three somersaults to win Olympic gold in women’s aerials. Xu is the first woman from China to win the Olympic ski aerials event. She instantly knew her run was a gold-medal-worthy jump. She pointed up at the sky soon after landing. She later leaned back and screamed into the cold air. Xu scored a 108.61 to edge defending champion Hanna Huskova of Belarus. Megan Nick of the United States was a surprise bronze medalist. American teammate Ashley Caldwell was fourth.