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7 to Watch in Pyeongchang: Mr. GS and a ‘Stache

Two events could provide a medal haul for the U.S.: Men’s skiing slopesstyle and men’s giant slalom

So far in these Pyeongchang Olympics, the United States snowboarders have led the way, netting four of America’s five gold medals. Now, the skiers will try to catch up.

Two events could provide a medal haul for the U.S.: Men’s skiing slopestyle and men’s giant slalom. The Americans combined for four medals in the two events in Sochi, including a slopestyle sweep.

Here are our "7 to Watch" in Pyeongchang for Saturday: 

David Ramos/Getty Images
Jonathon Lillis of the United States celebrates during the Freestyle Skiing Men's Aerials Qualification on day eight of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on Feb. 17, 2018, in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

1. Men’s Freestyle Skiing Aerials

Facing stiff competition, American Jonathon Lillis couldn't quite clinch a medal in men's aerials in Pyeongchang. It was Oleksandr Abramenko who landed in first place for gold and for the Ukraine's first-ever freestyle skiing medal.

China's Jia Zongyang's score, just a hair below Abramenko's, got him the silver medal. Russian athlete Ilia Burov won bronze.

While Lillis stomped his landings in the first two rounds of finals Sunday, so did most of his competitors, and Lillis' scores couldn't get him into the top six spots to remain in medal contention.

United States alpine skier Lindsey Vonn attends her press conference at the Main Press Centre during previews ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

2. Defending Champ Ted Ligety Fails to Medal in Olympic Giant Slalom

Austrian Marcel Hirscher claimed the Olympic giant slalom gold medal, his second gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games.

American Ted Ligety, the defending Olympic champion who is nicknamed “Mr. GS” because of his success in the discipline, finished tied for 15th, a distant 3.21 seconds behind Hirscher.

Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway took silver and France’s Alexis Pinturault earned the bronze medal.

3. Nick Goepper Wins Silver, Kenworthy Comes in Last in Slopestyle

Gus Kenworthy's Olympics turned into Oystein Braaten's party.

Braaten, the 22-year-old from Norway, captured the gold medal in ski slopestyle Sunday, far outdistancing the dinged-up Kenworthy, who failed to land any of his three runs and came in last.

American Nick Goepper added a silver medal to the bronze he won four years ago in Sochi.

4. The Story Behind the 'Stache

Robert Johansson may be one of the top ski jumpers in PyeongChang, but his mustache has made him famous.

Here, he explains the story behind the facial hair that has everyone talking.

5. 7 Insane Facts About Ester Ledecka's Stunning Victory

"How did that happen?"

Czech Republic's Ester Ledecka shocked the world in Pyeongchang Friday night when she took down Lindsey Vonn and the rest of the super-G field to become maybe the most unlikely gold medalist in the 2018 Winter Games.

Ledecka beat the defending champion Anna Veith (Austria) by just 0.01 seconds.

Fans around the world were stunned Saturday as they learned about the victory. Read the mind-blowing facts surrounding her gold medal win here.

6. Japan’s Kodaira Smashes 500-Meter Record

Japan’s Nao Kodaira smashed the Olympic speedskating record in the women’s 500-meter, beating the defending champion, South Korea’s Lee Sang-hwa.

Kodaira won the race in 36.94 seconds to take the gold. Lee won the silver with a time of 37.33 seconds while the Czech Republic’s Karolina Erbanova was third at 37.34.

The U.S. women's hopes for a medal in the race were dashed, with Brittany Bowe finishing fifth, and her teammate Heather Bergsma, 11th. The Americans failed to win a speedskating medal in Sochi.

The race was a particular let down for Bergsma. A year ago, she seemed destined to single-handedly end America’s speedskating struggles. She won 9 of 11 World Cup starts in the 1000m and 1500m distances, including world championships in both.

In the past year, though, she only won one World Cup race. And in her first two races in the Olympics, in the 1000m and 1500m, she finished in eighth place in both.

“I don’t feel quite as good as I did last year,” she told NBC Olympics. “I think it shows throughout the season.”

Watch the 500m race on digital platforms at this link.

7. Fourcade Edges Out Schempp in Biathlon 15km Mass Start

France’s Martin Fourcade Skis and Shoots for Historic 4th Gold Medal

Martin Fourcade overcame two missed targets and a tumble after his first penalty loop to beat German’s Simon Schempp in a dramatic photo finish to win the men’s 15km mass start Sunday at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre in Pyeongchang.

The Frenchman captured his first gold medal in the mass start after grabbing silver in each of the past two Winter Olympics.

Most Americans haven’t heard of him, but Fourcade is one of the most decorated athletes in French history. His win in Sunday’s mass start makes him France’s first four-time Olympic gold medalist.

Fourcade won the 12.5km pursuit event earlier this week. He also won two gold medals at the Sochi games in 2014.

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