Winter Olympics 2022: Mikaela Shiffrin 18th in downhill, Eileen Gu earns silver, plus more from Beijing

On Tuesday at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Mikaela Shiffrin raced in the downhill, while Eileen Gu earned a silver medal in ski slopestyle and Anna Gasser won her second straight Olympic gold in snowboard big air.

Winter Olympics schedule | Medal tracker

Still to come: Red Gerard has a chance at gold in men’s snowboard big air, and in the early morning Eastern time, women’s figure skating will take center stage. We’ll have live updates here:

Shiffrin races again

After a challenging first week at the 2022 Olympic Games, which saw her record two “Did Not Finish” results in her best two races and a ninth-place finish in the super-G, Mikaela Shiffrin returned to competition in Tuesday’s downhill event.

Competing 12th in a field of 36, Shiffrin crossed the finish line in 1:34.36, which was the 11th-fastest result at the time of her completion. It was her first time competing in the race in the Olympics, but she has won the event twice on the World Cup circuit, and recorded five podium finishes.

By the time the event concluded, she had fallen to 18th place and was 2.49 seconds behind gold-medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland. Sofia Goggia and Nadia Delago, both of Italy, earned the silver and bronze.

Shiffrin, who has been candid about her struggles at these Games, told reporters she wasn’t thinking about finishing on the podium before the race.

“I’m not focusing on the medal anymore,” she said. “It’s just trying to do my best execution every day. Anyway, that’s my best shot at a medal. So it’s a little bit of maybe a paradox … that your best chance to have that performance is to stop thinking about the performance and to focus on what you’re doing in that moment. So I’m just trying to be present in the moment, especially with the downhill.”

Shiffrin seemed to do just that as she smiled and waved at the camera after finishing the race. She’ll have one more opportunity to win a medal at the 2022 Olympic Games during Thursday’s combined event. She won the silver medal in the discipline in 2018. — D’Arcy Maine

Gu gets another medal

Eileen Gu had a second-place finish in the women’s ski slopestyle competition, meaning she could still become the first action-sports athlete to capture three medals at the same Winter Games. (She will compete in halfpipe later this week.)

Gu won big air last week, but her bid for another gold medal was thwarted by Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland. Sitting in eighth place after two runs, Gu used a strong final run to work her way onto the podium. She couldn’t catch Gremaud, who scored an 86.56 on her second run. Kelly Sildaru of Estonia took home bronze.

Valieva ‘tired emotionally’ after hearing

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was worn out after a grueling doping hearing ended with her being allowed to skate Tuesday in the women’s short program at the Beijing Olympics.

“These days have been very difficult for me,” Valieva, who practiced in both of her allotted sessions Monday, told Russian state broadcaster Channel One in comments shown that night. “I’m happy but I’m tired emotionally.”

There won’t be a medal ceremony if Valieva finishes in the top three because the International Olympic Committee is concerned that she could still be banned after a full investigation of her doping case. The three-member court ruled only on whether she could skate at the Olympics and did not consider the full merits of the case.

“I sat there for seven hours, we had one 20-minute break, and I sat there and watched. It was very difficult, but it is apparently one of the moments, of the phases, that I have to go through,” Valieva said, adding that the entire process had taught her that adult life “can be unfair to some extent.”

Valieva is scheduled to perform in the final group, 26th among the 30 women taking part in the individual competition on Tuesday morning in Beijing. More on Valieva.

Repeat in big air

Austria’s Anna Gasser did it again! The 2018 Olympic gold medalist won back-to-back gold in women’s snowboard big air after earning a 95.50 score in the third run.

Gasser, 30, held the lead after the first round as she went head-to-head with this year’s slopestyle gold medalist, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, of New Zealand. Sadowski-Synnott came back strong to take the lead by .25 in the second run. Under pressure, Gasser recorded a superb third run, while Sadowski-Synnott fell in her third run.

Immediately after Gasser’s run, the rest of the snowboarders swarmed her, embracing her for her performance. She joins Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson and Ester Ledecká as the only women with multiple gold medals in snowboarding at the Olympics.

Japan’s Kokomo Murase picked up the bronze, and Team USA’s Hailey Langland finished 12th. — Aishwarya Kumar

Shuster has an epic day

Team USA’s skipper, John Shuster, who is playing in his fifth straight Olympics, came in clutch, stealing a point off his final throw of the eighth. That shot resulted in the U.S. beating Switzerland 7-4, making the four-team playoffs. His family was, understandably, quite excited:

The U.S. will play Italy next on Tuesday, which is currently at the bottom of the standings.

Shuster also had a pretty great Valentine’s Day …

Roses are red, medals are gold?

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, roses and chocolate are par for the course for the occasion. However, Shuster’s son, Luke, had something a little more timely in mind when crafting a card to show love for his dad.

Namely, gold medals.

We see no lies here.

Judging frustrations

Olympic judging at snowboarding events on slopestyle, in the halfpipe and now at big air has come under fire from the boarders themselves, who say they are fed up with inconsistent and, at times, blatantly incorrect scoring with so much on the line.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Red Gerard said Monday. “There’s nothing they can do after they put the scores in to change it. … You’re talking about, this is life-changing for some people, you know?” Read more on it here.

Upcoming events (all times ET)

11:10 p.m.: Men’s hockey quarterfinal playoff (Slovakia vs. Germany; Denmark vs. Latvia)

12 a.m.: Men’s snowboard big air final

3:20 a.m.: Speedskating team pursuit finals

3:40 a.m.: Men’s hockey quarterfinal playoff (Czech Republic vs. Switzerland)

5:00 a.m.: Figure skating women’s short program

7 a.m.: Men’s curling round robin (multiple matches)

8:10 a.m.: Men’s hockey quarterfinal playoff (Canada vs. China)

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