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Daily Olympic Recap: Nathan Chen, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Jessie Diggins shine on Day 4 of competition

Daily Olympic Recap: Nathan Chen, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Jessie Diggins shine on Day 4 of competition
Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 18:13:03-05

Editor's note: Each and every day of the 2022 Winter Games, NBCOlympics.com will break down the biggest overnight stories from across the competition landscape that you might have missed. A separate daily article will also detail what not to miss over the next day of competition.

Alpine Skiing

Ryan Cochran-Siegle stepped onto the Olympic Alpine skiing podium nearly 50 years to the day after his mother once occupied the same space. Barbara Cochran won gold in the women's slalom in 1972. And Cochran-Siegle blitzed "The Rock" in the men's super-G event Tuesday in China, missing out on the gold medal by four hundredths of a second.

That honor went to Austria's Mattias Mayer, who successfully defended his gold medal from PyeongChang with a top time of 1:19.94.

Norway's Alexander Aamodt Kilde secured his first Olympic medal with bronze.

Incredibly, the 29-year-old Cochran-Siegle had surgery to fix a fractured cervical vertebrae less than a year (364 days) before winning his silver medal -- the United States first Alpine skiing medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Cochran-Siegle became the fourth American to win a medal in super-G (Tommy Moe, silver in 1994; Bode Miller silver in 2010 & bronze in 2014; Andrew Weibrecht, bronze in 2010 & silver in 2014).

Results: Men's super-G

🥇 Matthias Mayer (AUT)
🥈 Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA)
🥉 Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)

FULL RESULTS

SEE MORE: Ryan Cochran-Siegle speeds to silver in men's super-G

Figure Skating

In a showdown years in the making, Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and USA's Nathan Chen took the ice Tuesday in China for the short program portion of the men's singles competition. 

Hanyu faltered early, uncharacteristically popping a quad. Chen shined throughout, uncharacteristically fist pumping after his record-setting routine.

Chen posted a 113.97 -- a world record -- and sits more than five points ahead of Japan's Yuma Kagiyama (108.12) and Shoma Uno (105.90). Hanyu lurks in eight place with 95.15 points.

American Jason Brown posted a personal best 97.24 and will enter the free skate -- the second and final leg of the men's singles competition -- in sixth place. The last American in the field, Vincent Zhou, withdrew from the event after testing positive for COVID.

FULL STANDINGS

SEE MORE: Nathan Chen sets world record short program score

Cross Country Skiing

Three-time Olympian Jessie Diggins made Olympic history by becoming the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual cross-country skiing event and just the second American overall (Bill Koch - silver in Men's 30km in 1976). It's also the first bronze medal for the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics. In 2018, Diggins made history with Kikkan Randall by winning gold in the women's team sprint freestyle, the first-ever medal for the U.S. in cross-country skiing. In her second Olympic appearance, Rosie Brennan finished just off the podium behind Diggins in fourth.

Sweden took the top two spots on the podium thanks to teammates Jonna Sundling and Maja Dahlqvist, who finished just ahead of Diggins.

Results: Women's Sprint

🥇 Jonna Sundling (SWE) 
🥈 Maja Dahlqvist (SWE)
🥉 Jessie Diggins (USA)

FULL RESULTS

To the surprise of no one, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo defended his Olympic gold medal from the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics with a time of 2:58.06. Klaebo, who now has four gold medals in two Olympic appearances, looks to become the first cross-country skier to win four gold medals in a single Olympics, as he's expected to contend for multiple additional medals during the 2022 Winter Games. Klaebo is the first repeat champion in the event and Norway has won four of the six gold medals every awarded since the event made its Olympic debut in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

Italy's Federico Pellegrino, a whopping 26 seconds behind Klaebo, won his second straight silver medal in the event after finishing second in PyeongChang, while Aleksandr Terentyev took home the silver for the Russian Olympic Committee.

In his first Olympic appearance, Ben Ogden of the U.S. made it to the semifinals but didn't advance to the final. JC Schoonmaker, Luke Jager, and Kevin Bolger didn't advance beyond the quarterfinals.

Results: Men's Sprint

🥇 Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR)
🥈 Federico Pellegrino (ITA)
🥉 Aleksandr Terentyev (ROC)

FULL RESULTS

Freeskiing

The most progressive season ever seen in women's freeskiing reached new heights as big air medals were awarded at the Olympics for the first time ever.

The battle for gold came down to a heavyweight duel between Eileen Gu, who was born in the U.S. but competes for China, and France's Tess Ledeux. Over the past few weeks, the two skiers have gone back and forth landing tricks that had previously never been done before, and they continued to up the ante in this contest.

Ledeux landed a double cork 1620 and a switch 1440 on her first two runs to post a pair of huge scores and move into the lead. Gu landed a double cork 1440 on her first run but opted to play it safe with her second attempt. That left her in third place heading into her final attempt, and she opted to go for broke by attempting the double cork 1620 — a trick she had never even tried before — and stomping it. After a wild celebration, Gu was rewarded with a big score that put her into the lead and held up for the victory.

This was just the start of what promises to be a huge Olympics for Gu, who will be the gold medal favorite in halfpipe and a strong medal contender in slopestyle.

Results: Women's Big Air

🥇 Eileen Gu (CHN)
🥈 Tess Ledeux (FRA)
🥉 Mathilde Gremaud (SUI)

FULL RESULTS

SEE MORE: Eileen Gu lands clutch double cork 1620 to win big air gold

Hockey

The biggest rivalry in women's hockey was renewed when the United States faced off with Canada in a preliminary game that will likely end up serving as an early preview of the final.

Although the U.S. had a firm edge in shots on goal (53-27) throughout the game, they struggled to get those shots past Canadian netminder Ann-Renee Desbiens. The U.S. briefly took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, but it was short-lived as the Canadians tied it up less than 30 seconds later and then took the lead just a few minutes after that. Later in the period, Canada was awarded a penalty shot that Marie-Philip Poulin put in the back of the net to give her team a 4-2 lead that held up as the final score.

With the victory, Canada will be the top seed for the knockout rounds, which sets them up for a slightly easier path to the gold medal game. But given the way that Canada and the U.S. have played in this tournament — simply put, both teams have been dominant — both countries will be heavy favorites regardless of who they play. It's widely expected that the two rivals will meet again in next week's final, when the stakes will be much higher.

BOX SCORE

SEE MORE: Canada's women beat U.S. in preliminary hockey clash

Speed Skating

new Olympic record was set at the National Speed Skating Oval when Kjeld Nuis skated the men's 1500m in 1:43.21 to win gold. His Dutch teammate Thomas Krol finished in silver-medal position, and his time of 1:43.55 was also faster than the previous Olympic Record set by Derek Parra (USA) back in 2002. Kim Min-Seok of South Korea earned the bronze.

American Joey Mantia started off strong but ended up sixth, while Emery Lehman was 11th and Casey Dawson finished 28th out of 29 skaters after arriving at the Games just one day before the event.

Results: Men's 1500m

🥇 Kjeld Nuis (NED)
🥈 Thomas Krol (NED)
🥉 Kim Min-Seok (KOR)

FULL RESULTS

Snowboarding

Four years after her star-making performance in PyeongChang, Ester Ledecka was back in action for her first competition of these Olympic Games, and she left with another gold medal.

The 26-year-old Czech has long been the favorite in women's parallel giant slalom snowboarding, though she has competed sparingly this season in favor of attending Alpine skiing events instead. But she showed no signs of rust as she worked her way through each round of the competition, often forcing her opponents into mistakes thanks to her blazing speed, and was able to claim the gold medal when her opponent, Austria's Daniela Ulbing, crashed in the big final.

It's Ledecka's second consecutive gold medal in this event, but now she will change her focus — and her equipment — as she prepares for the super-G a few days from now. That title will be much more difficult to defend, but Ledecka will attempt to shock the world once again as she demonstrates her multi-sport prowess.

On the men's side, Austrian Benjamin Karl won his first Olympic gold medal. He previously won silver in 2010 (parallel giant slalom) and bronze in 2014 (parallel slalom). American-born Vic Wild, who competes for the ROC and won a pair of gold medals in 2014, took bronze after winning in the small final.

Results: Women's Parallel Giant Slalom

🥇 Ester Ledecka (CZE)
🥈 Daniela Ulbing (AUT)
🥉 Gloria Kotnik (SLO)

FULL RESULTS

Results: Men's Parallel Giant Slalom

🥇 Benjamin Karl (AUT)
🥈 Tim Mastnak (SLO)
🥉 Vic Wild (ROC)

FULL RESULTS

Curling

After not being expected to contend for a podium spot, the team of Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner won Italy's first ever Olympic medal in curling. Italy is the first mixed doubles team to remain undefeated throughout the competition since it's Olympic debut in 2018. Constantini, 22, also became the youngest ever gold medalist in curling.

The married couple of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten improved on their bronze medal finish from PyeongChang in mixed doubles curling with silver at the 2022 Winter Games. 

Sweden claimed the bronze medal after not competing in mixed doubles curling's Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Almida de Val won a medal in her first Olympic appearance, while Oskar Eriksson, having won a silver medal in 2018 in the men's event, will have a chance to become the first athlete to win three medals in Curling later in these Winter Games.

Americans Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys didn't advance out of the round robin after finishing eighth.

Results: Mixed Doubles Curling

🥇 Italy (Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner)
🥈 Norway (Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten)
🥉 Sweden (Almida de Val and Oskar Eriksson) 

GAME BOX SCORE: GOLD | BRONZE

Luge

Natalie Geisenberger of Germany slid to her third-straight Olympic gold in women's singles, became the first athlete to win five Olympic gold medals in luge, and tied Armin Zoeggeler of Italy for the most medals in Olympic luge history with six. Geisenberger also became the first female luger to earn gold medals in three straight Winter Games, joining Georg Hackl as the only luge athletes to win a singles event at three consecutive Olympics.

Geisenberger's countrywoman Anna Berreiter finished in second for the silver, while ROC slider Tatyana Ivanova took home the bronze.

The course at Yanqing National Sliding Centre, also dubbed the "Snow Dragon," was demanding and saw a number of crashes during the event's four runs. Geisenberger was ranked first heading into the second and final day of women's singles competition and set a track record of 58.226 in Run 3. She finished with a total time of 3:53.454 for the competition after the four runs.

Ashley Farquharson was the only American to make it to the Top 20 in Heat 4, and she finished 12th.

Results: Women's Singles

🥇 Natalie Geisenberger (GER)
🥈 Anna Berreiter (GER)
🥉 Tatyana Ivanona (ROC)

FULL RESULTS

Biathlon

After winning a silver medal in the mixed relay, France's Quentin Fillon Maillet won gold in the men's 20km, despite missing two shots, with a time of 48:47.4. Belarus's Anton Smolski finished 14.8 seconds back in silver-medal position in his second Winter Games for his first Olympic medal. Defending gold medalist Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway was 31.1 seconds back of the winner and finished third for his second medal of these Games after claiming the gold during the mixed relay.

Jake Brown was the top U.S. finisher in 28th. Paul Schommer was 35th, Sean Doherty finished 42nd, and Leif Nordgren ended 87th.

Results: Men's 20km

🥇 Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA)
🥈 Anton Smolski (BLR)
🥉 Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR)

FULL RESULTS