2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Jamie Anderson?

Published: Friday, February 02, 2018 @ 11:53 AM

Snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson smiles at the Winter X Games, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, iN Aspen, Colo. (Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times via AP)
Anna Stonehouse/AP
Snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson smiles at the Winter X Games, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, iN Aspen, Colo. (Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times via AP)(Anna Stonehouse/AP)

Jamie Anderson, from South Lake Tahoe, California, won gold in the inaugural slopestyle competition in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Over the years, she has remained in the top tier in this event. 

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At the 2018 Winter Games, Anderson maintained her champion status, overcoming weather conditions to take the gold medal in women’s snowboard slopestyle.

Anderson is one of eight siblings and is active in environmental causes.

Other interesting facts: 
  • Known to hug trees before competitions to relax.
  • Won gold in the X Games slopestyle in 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013.

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U.S. women's hockey team wins Olympic gold

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:22 AM

WATCH: U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Wins the Gold

The United States has defeated Canada 3-2 to win the gold medal in women’s hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. women's hockey team wins gold

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GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 22: The United States celebrates after defeating Canada in a shootout to win the Women's Gold Medal Game on day thirteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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How did 'average' skier Elizabeth Swaney make it to the 2018 Winter Olympics?

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:27 AM

Who Is Elizabeth Swaney? How Did She Make The Olympics?

One skier who competed in the women's halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics really stood out – but not for her skills.

>> Watch her halfpipe run here

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American Elizabeth Swaney, a member of Hungary's team who finished in last place Monday after a qualifying run that Deadspin described as "thoroughly average," apparently was able to game the Olympics' quota system to get to Pyeongchang. She also met another requirement – cracking the top 30 at a World Cup event – because many of those events featured fewer than 30 competitors.

>> All the curling stones used in every Olympics have come from the same small island

“The field is not that deep in the women’s pipe, and she went to every World Cup, where there were only 24, 25 or 28 women,” International Ski Federation judge Steele Spence told the Denver Post. “She would compete in them consistently over the last couple years, and sometimes girls would crash so she would not end up dead last."

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The 33-year-old from California was able to snag a spot on Hungary's team instead of the more competitive U.S. team because her grandparents are Hungarian, Deadspin reported. She also skied for Venezuela, where her mother is from, in World Cup events.

>> Mikaela Shiffrin of Team USA wins Olympic gold medal in women's giant slalom

In Pyeongchang, Swaney didn't attempt any fancy tricks and finished last – but she didn't fall.

"It is an honor to compete at the Olympics, and I am really excited to compete among other amazing women from across the world," Swaney said, according to Reuters.

She added: "I hope this can be a platform to inspire others."

The Meaning Behind The Olympic Rings

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All the curling stones used in every Olympics have come from the same small island

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 7:48 AM

Tempers Flare During Olympic Curling Match

Few people quite understand what exactly curling is, but every four years, people across the world suddenly find themselves invested in a sport that, at first glance, can be described as people pushing rocks across ice with brooms.

>> On Rare.us: A French ice dancer somehow kept her cool in the Olympics’ latest wardrobe malfunction

For those who are using this year’s go-around to learn what they can about the sport, here’s a fun fact to tell at the next watch party: Olympic curling rocks aren’t just any old bits of earth; they all come from the exact same kind of stone from the exact same place.

>> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

According to the Huffington Post, the curling stones are made from a specific kind of granite that can only be located on a deserted island off the coast of Scotland. 

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The island — Ailsa Craig, also known as “Paddy’s milestone” — is a volcanic plug, meaning it coalesced over an extinct volcano, apparently leaving the granite in the perfect condition to make curling stones. All the stones used during the Olympic Winter Games are produced by the only company with rights to the Ailsa Craig granite: Kays of Scotland, which has been creating the stones since 1851. According to the Huffington Post, thousands of tons of two varieties of stone are removed from the ground once every decade: a blue hone granite, which is impenetrable by ice and water and makes up the insert and running band of the curling stone, and a green granite that composes the body of the stone. There is apparently a third variety, red hone granite, but it isn’t used in curling stones.

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Adam Rippon won’t be joining NBC as 2018 Olympics correspondent after all 

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 12:59 PM

What You Need To Know About Adam Rippon

Audiences won’t be seeing much more of Adam Rippon during the 2018 Winter Olympics after all.

USA Today previously reported that the 28-year-old figure skater had accepted a job as a correspondent with NBC, but it appears Rippon has changed his mind.

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Rippon’s decision to decline the offer stems from the fact that he would have to relinquish certain privileges were he to make the jump from Olympian to TV correspondent.

“I am so flattered that NBC wanted me to work as a correspondent, but if I took this opportunity, I would have to leave the Olympic team and I would have to leave the (Olympic) Village,” Rippon initially said in an interview with NBC Sports Network, via USA Today. “It’s so important to me, you know. I worked so hard to be on this Olympic team, and my teammates and my friends were there for me during my events, and that meant so much to me, that I really feel like I need to be there for them during their events.”

Related: 2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Adam Rippon?

Rippon said on Twitter he found out about the offer on the social media platform. He also repeated similar comments about his decision to turn down the offer.

Rippon, the first openly gay athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics, has garnered the attention of milllions through his candid and colorful interviews. He earned a bronze medal in team competition, and he finished in 10th place in the singles competition, a big accomplishment that has left him extremely proud.

“To come away from this Olympic Games to skate three clean programs in the midst of what seems like a lot going on, and a top-10 finish in the individual event and a bronze medal (in the team event), I think this is sort of like a dream Olympic Games for me,” Rippon told reporters after his men’s free skate event Saturday. “I think I’ve shown the world that I’m a fierce competitor, but I think I’ve shown them that I’m also a fierce human being.”

While he’s used his platform as an Olympic athlete to speak out against Vice President Mike Pence and his stances on the LGBT community, Rippon doesn’t want his sexuality to distract from the person he is.

“I’ve gotten a lot of attention I think just for being myself. I think that a lot of people, when they come to a competition, are afraid to be themselves no matter who they are,” he said. “I think one thing that I want people to come away with from this competition is that I’m not a gay icon or America’s gay sweetheart — I’m just America’s sweetheart, and I’m just an icon. And if you have a personality like mine, it’s for everybody.”

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