The departure of Shaun White from the slopestyle proved to be no problem for the United States, as 20-year-old Sage Kotsenburg put together a gold medal run to capture the first American gold medal of the Sochi games. Elsewhere, the Netherlands continued its dominance in speed skating, and Norway had a strong showing in skiing events.
The full schedule of Olympic activities is here at the official website.
Norway leads all countries with four medals, including two golds in men's biathlon and women's skiathlon. In second place with three medals is Canada, as is the Netherlands—but all three Dutch medals came in one event, as we'll get to in a bit. The USA is the only other country with multiple medals or a gold medal thus far. It's early.
Our country's greatest hero in history of the day
As mentioned before, Sage Kotsenburg dominated the slopestyle (a newcomer to the Olympics but long an X-Games staple) with a 93.5 run on his first of two attempts, and that was good enough to hang on for the win. We would include so much as a link to a video of his gold medal run, but this is your reminder that NBC is horrible about providing Olympics content on demand.
DuFour The Win
Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe took home the gold and silver medals in women's freestyle moguls, while American favorite Hannah Kearney (a gold medalist in Vancouver) suffered in turn scores and brought home the bronze.
In the first speed skating action of the Olympiad, Dutch speedster Sven Kramer took home the gold medal in the men's 5000m over countrymen Jan Blokhuijsen and Jorrit Bergsma. The three medals add up to all of the Netherlands' tally thus far.
Skyfall, more like Sky-Fall... wait
The Russian duo of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov put together a dominant performance in the pairs free program, racking up a total segment score of 83.79, more than 10 points higher than their nearest competitors. Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir had an ambitious program set to Skyfall that featured a throw quadruple salchow, but that signature move failed and the Americans settled for fifth place in pairs free. The United States sits in third place in team standings in figure skating thus far, and Russia is in first by a wide margin.
Norway doing Norway things
The Norwegian machine dominated the slopes in Saturday's action, as gold medals went to men's biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and women's skiathlete Marit Bjoergen.
In Group A women's hockey action, the United States outpaced Finland 3-1, while Canada thrashed Switzerland 5-0. You can probably guess that the USA and Canada will be through to the medal round.