Team USA’s strong showing at the 2018 Paralympics continued with six snowboard cross medals and another sled hockey shutout. Here’s a full look at what happened on the third day of competition.
The U.S. led the way in the first snowboard competition of the 2018 Paralympics, as Americans collected six of the 15 medals awarded in snowboard cross. That included gold medals in two of the five classifications.
On the women’s side, the SB-LL1 class pitted two U.S. stars head-to-head in the big final. In one gate was the veteran and adaptive snowboarding pioneer Amy Purdy, and in the other gate was the emerging star and three-time world champion Brenna Huckaby. Once the gate dropped, Huckaby was able to get a strong start and lead the race wire-to-wire to win her first Paralympic gold medal. Purdy took silver – an upgrade from her bronze four years ago in Sochi.
The women’s SB-LL2 class was won by 45-year-old Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands, who outdueled one of her teammates in the big final to win gold. Both racers actually crashed into each other during the race, and in a moment of sportsmanship, Mentel-Spee got up and looked back to check on her teammate before continuing down the course.
In the men’s competition, the U.S. won at least one medal in all three classes.
Mike Schultz, who was Team USA’s flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony, was able to cruise to gold in the SB-LL1 class after an uncharacteristic fall from reigning world champion Chris Vos of the Netherlands during the big final. Schultz was joined on the podium by 20-year-old teammate Noah Elliott, who captured bronze by winning his small final race.
Keith Gabel took silver in the SB-LL2 class and Mike Minor earned bronze in the SB-UL class to give Team USA its two other snowboard cross medals.
- Gold: Brenna Huckaby, USA
- Silver: Amy Purdy, USA
- Bronze: Cecile Hernandez, France
- Gold: Bibian Mentel-Spee, Netherlands
- Silver: Lisa Bunschoten, Netherlands
- Bronze: Astrid Fina, Spain
- Gold: Simon Patmore, Australia
- Silver: Manuel Pozzerle, Italy
- Bronze: Mike Minor, USA
- Gold: Mike Schultz, USA
- Silver: Chris Vos, Netherlands
- Bronze: Noah Elliott, USA
- Gold: Matti Suur-Hamari, Finland
- Silver: Keith Gabel, USA
- Bronze: Gurimu Narita, Japan
Para Cross-Country Skiing
After picking up three medals on the first day of para cross-country competition in PyeongChang, Team USA had a best finish of fifth in Monday’s races.
In the standing division of the men’s 20km freestyle, Ukraine’s Ihor Reptyukh won gold, his second Paralympic medal in PyeongChang. He’d already earned bronze in the men’s 7.5km biathlon event. Reptyukh is the reigning world champion in the 20km classic style.
Canada’s Brian McKeever made history by winning his 14th career Paralympic medal, gold in the men’s 20km visually impaired, becoming the most decorated Winter Paralympian from Canada. McKeever, who carried his country’s flag into the Opening Ceremony on Friday, made his Paralympic debut 16 years ago at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics.
Coming in fifth in the same event was the U.S.’ Jake Adicoff and his guide, Sawyer Kesselheim.
In the women’s 15km (visually impaired), the top U.S. finisher was Mia Zutter, who placed eighth. The Paralympic title was claimed by Belarus’ Sviatlana Sakhanenka and her guide, Iryna Nafranovich. This is Sakhanenka’s first ever Paralympic gold; she won bronze in the women’s 6km biathlon event on Saturday.
In the standing division of the women’s 15km, Neutral Paralympic Athletes claimed the gold and silver medals. Ekaterina Rumyantseva and Anna Milenina are both from Russia but are competing under the Paralympic flag due to their country’s state-sponsored doping scandal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Paralympics.
Men’s 20km freestyle – Standing
- Gold: Ihor Reptukh, Ukraine
- Silver: Benjamin Daviet, France
- Bronze: Hakon Olsrud, Norway
Men’s 20km freestyle – Visually Impaired
- Gold: Brian McKeever, Canada
- Silver: Yury Holub, Belarus
- Bronze: Thomas Clarion, France
Women’s 15km freestyle – Visually Impaired
- Gold: Sviatlana Sakhanenka, Belarus
- Silver: Oksana Shyshkova, Ukraine
- Mikhalina Lysova, Nepal
Women’s 15km freestyle – Standing
- Gold: Ekaterina Rumyantseva, Neutral Paralympic Athlete
- Silver: Anna Milenina, Neutral Paralympic Athlete
- Bronze: Liudmyla Liashenko, Ukraine
The United States and Canada look like they could be on a collision course for an epic showdown later in this tournament.
Team USA earned a 10-0 victory for the second night in a row, this time blanking the Czech Republic to improve their record in group play to 2-0. Declan Farmer led the U.S. with four goals, Brody Roybal netted a hat trick for the second straight game, and the team still has yet to allow a goal.
The same can be said for Canada, which has now opened the tournament with three consecutive shutouts of their own. After Monday’s 8-0 defeat of Norway, the Canadians have outscored their first three opponents by a combined score of 35-0.
With their latest victory, the Americans have officially qualified for the semifinals, but first they’ll close out group play with a game against South Korea on Tuesday (Monday night in the U.S.).
- United States 10, Czech Republic 0
- Canada 8, Norway 0
- Italy 2, Sweden 0
Team USA dropped to 1-4 in round-robin play after losses to Finland and the Neutral Paralympic Athletes on Monday.
China currently sits atop the table at 5-0 and is the only team that still remains undefeated.
Team USA Results
- Loss vs. Finland, 8-5
- Loss vs. Neutral Paralympic Athletes, 6-4