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3 to Watch: Shiffrin Shines in Giant Slalom, Emotional Pairs Figure Skating Final and Svindal Comes Through in Downhill

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Mother Nature hasn't been kind to Mikaela Shiffrin so far in Pyeongchang. Will Wednesday be a different story?

Here are some of the events to watch for Wednesday at the Olympics: 

UPDATED: Shiffrin Wins Giant Slalom Gold in Pyeongchang Debut

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
Mikaela Shiffrin

Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin had a golden Pyeongchang debut.

She used a hard-charging final run to win her second career Olympic gold medal. Noway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel earned silver and Italy’s Federica Brignone took bronze.

Shiffrin seeks gold in as many as five events at these Games. She was a favorite in the giant slalom and will be in the slalom, scheduled for Thursday night. But skiing two races in two days shouldn’t be a problem for Shiffrin — World Cup races are often held on consecutive days.

> READ full story here
> VIDEO: Watch Shiffrin as She Captures Gold
> VIDEO: Ragnhild Mowinckel Takes the Silver
> VIDEO: Shiffrin: It's the Olympics, You Go for Gold

UPDATED: The Knierims Skate With Heavy Hearts, Finish 15th in Figure Skating Pairs

Harry How/Getty Images
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the United States compete during the Pair Skating Short Program on day five of the 2018 Winter Olympics at Gangneung Ice Arena on Feb. 14, 2018, in Gangneung, South Korea.

Married pairs figure skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim finished 15th in the final. Germany won gold, China took silver and Canada earned bronze.

The Knierims became the first Americans to land a quad twist in an Olympic competition when they hit the four-revolution element in the pairs free skate. The rest of their program didn’t go nearly as well — they were out of synch on their combination spin and a bit shaky on their throw triple flip.

But the couple revealed they skated right after seeing the news of the deadly Florida high school shooting, and it made it hard for them to focus. Alexa said she was “emotionally drained” as she broke down in tears after the performance.

> READ full story here
> MORE: Knierims Skate With Heavy Hearts
> ANALYSIS: Duhamel and Radford's Historic Throw Quad Salchow
> VIDEO: The Moment Savchenko and Massot Win Gold
> VIDEO: China's Sui and Han Capture Silver

UPDATED: Norway's Svindal Wins Gold in Men’s Downhill

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway makes a run during the Men's Downhill Alpine Skiing training at Jeongseon Alpine Centre on Feb. 9, 2018, in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Aksel Lund Svindal won the men’s downhill in Pyeongchang on Thursday, making the 35-year-old Norwegian the oldest-ever Olympic gold medalist in Alpine skiing.

Svindal was one of Norway’s formidable “Attacking Vikings” who wrested the gold from the defending champion, Austria’s Matthias Mayer, who finished ninth. Svindal was 0.12 seconds faster than Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud, who took silver. Beat Feuz of Switzerland took bronze.

Squaw Valley's Bryce Bennett finished in 16th place.

> READ full story here
> VIDEO: Svindal Wins Dowhill Gold
> VIDEO: Memorable Alpine Crashes (So Far)

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NorCal Athletes:
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