German pilot Francesco Friedrich can make history. After tying for gold in the two-man bobsled, he could become just the sixth pilot to win gold in both the two- and four-man competition in the same Games — and his first two runs in the four-man put him in position to do exactly that. Friedrich’s German sled is in first place after Day 1 of competition, leading by a massive 0.29 seconds with two runs remaining.
The team that could keep Friedrich from history is a Korean squad hoping to make some of its own. Yunjong Won piloted his Korean sled to second place after Runs 1 and 2, putting his sled in position to win the country’s first medal in bobsled. Yun Sung-Bin won Korea’s first medal in skeleton in front of a raucous home crowd, and the fans are back in full force at the sliding center for the four-man bobsled.
Nico Walther’s German sled is in third, 0.35 seconds back of Friedrich, and 0.06 back of South Korea for silver.
Justin Kripp, who shared gold with Friedrich in two-man, piloted his Canadian sled to fourth with two runs remaining, but is 0.23 back of third.
Codie Bascue led the top American sled in ninth place, 0.53 out of medal contention. Nick Cunningham’s sled is in 20th and Justin Olsen’s sled is in 21st for Team USA.
The South Korean sled set the tone with its first run down the track, setting a track record that was only bested by Friedrich on Run 1. The South Korean team is most familiar with the relatively new course, and it showed with their near-flawless runs. The South Korean sled is mixing it up with the five teams that dominated the two-man bobsled.
Heading into the final two runs, a tie appears to be out of the question. Friedrich’s German sled took a commanding lead after two runs, and it appears he’s going to take home double gold in PyeongChang.
The American sleds struggled in two-man, and didn’t fare much better in four-man. The Bascue sled put together the two best runs, but wasn’t able to find the perfect line down the challenging course. He was in 12th after Run 1, but put together a better second run on a deteriorating track to climb into ninth.
The team is still getting over the loss of pilot Steve Holcomb, who passed away in 2017. Holcomb was a three-time medalist in two- and four-man bobsled. His mother, Jean Schaefer, was in attendance alongside U.S. skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender. Each member of the U.S. bobsled team is wearing a rubber band to honor Holcomb.
The competition will conclude with Runs 3 and 4 on Saturday, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can watch the live stream here.