From the only triple axel landed by a female American skater at the Olympics to the USA’s first men’s single medal in luge at the Games, U.S. athletes are making history in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Athletes from 92 nations are fiercely competing for a chance to stand on those coveted Olympic podiums in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There are 15 different sporting activities and a total of 102 events.
Team USA already has 21 Olympic medals. Here’s a look at the winning Olympians.
Jamie Anderson, women’s snowboard slopestyle
Team USA’s Jamie Anderson took home the gold in the 2018 Winter Games after she performed in less-than-perfect weather conditions.
“I was trying to keep the spirits high, like, ‘Let’s run it,'” the 27-year-old athlete said, according to the Associated Press. “A handful of the girls were like, ‘No, it’s not safe,’ and things like that. It’s not like what we’re doing is safe, anyhow.”
Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, women’s cross-country skiing
The U.S. women’s cross country team won its first ever medal – and it was gold.
Led by Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, the women’s team pulled off a huge upset and won the Olympic event, beating out the Swedes and Norwegians.
The women’s historic win comes more than 40 years after Bill Koch won the only other Olympic medal in cross-country skiing – silver.
Red Gerard, men’s snowboard slopestyle
The conditions for the men’s snowboard slopestyle were less than ideal, but 17-year-old Red Gerard made it through the swirling winds to capture the United States’ first gold medal of the 2018 Olympics.
Gerard reportedly overslept before his event because he stayed up too late watching Netflix and had to borrow his roommate’s jacket when he couldn’t find his own. Still, Gerard, the underdog, overcame the odds and made it to the top of the podium with a score of 87.16.
Chloe Kim, women’s snowboard halfpipe
At 17, Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal during the Winter Games. Kim dominated two amazing runs on the women’s snowboard halfpipe, earning her the first place spot on the medal podium.
Kim’s Olympic dreams were realized with a special family member cheering her on in person – her South Korean grandmother. Kim’s parents emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea, making her Olympic debut in Pyeongchang all the more special.
Mikaela Shiffrin, women’s giant slalom
Mikaela Shiffrin trailed the competition after her first ride down the slope but powered through her final run to take the top time and win the women’s giant slalom, her second career Olympic gold medal.
The 22-year-old won her first gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the women’s slalom.
David Wise, men’s halfpipe
With the most technically precise run ever seen in the sport of halfpipe skiing, David Wise won the gold for the U.S. He scored a 97.2 in the event, beating out his American counterpart.
Four years ago, Wise won gold on the halfpipe in the Sochi Olympics.
Shaun White, men’s snowboard halfpipe
Winning his third Olympic gold medal, snowboarder Shaun White made history in the 2018 Games as he scored America’s 100th Winter Games gold medal.
“The Flying Tomato” is the first American male to win gold in three different Winter Games as well; he won his previous two medals in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.
White, 31, had a near perfect score of 97.75 on his final run on the halfpipe. He started off strong on his first run, but fell on his second of three attempts.
Team USA, women’s hockey
In a dramatic shootout, the United States women’s hockey team defeated rival Canada 3-2 to win their first gold medal since 1998.
American Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson broke the deadlock in the shootout’s sixth round and goalie Maddie Rooney stuffed the last two Canadian shooters to clinch the victory.
Jamie Anderson, women’s snowboarding big air
Her second medal win of the Games, Jamie Anderson clinched a silver medal during the big air event in the second week of the Games. The Team USA snowboarder was in first place until Austria’s Anna Gasser’s final run.
The silver is Anderson’s third Olympic medal.
Alex Ferreira, men’s halfpipe
Coming in behind his American teammate, Alex Ferreira won silver in the Olympic men’s halfpipe event. He had led in the event after the first two runs, but was unable to beat David Wise’s third run score.
Ahead of the Olympics, Ferreira and Wise got matching tattoos of the Pyeongchang Games logo.
Lauren Gibbs and Elana Meyers Taylor, women’s bobsled
Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and brakeman Lauren Gibbs took silver in women’s bobsled — coming in second to Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz.
It was Meyers Taylor’s third Olympic medal: she nabbed silver at the 2014 Games in Sochi and bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Jamanka and Buckwitz, her brakeman, finished their four runs in 3 minutes, 22.45 seconds. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs were second in 3:22.52, the 0.07-second margin is the closest between first and second in any Olympic women’s bobsled race.
Nick Goepper, men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle
Nick Goepper added a silver medal to the bronze he won four years ago in Sochi. Goepper, now 23, fought depression and went to rehab in the wake of those Games, USA Today reported.
“I came to this Olympics wanting a different color, wanting the gold, but coming away with the silver is so thrilling,” he said while speaking to ABC News. “I couldn’t be more stoked.”
Norwegian skiier Oystein Braaten and Canadian skiier Alex Beaulieu-Marchand won the gold and bronze medals, respectively.
John-Henry Krueger, men’s 1,000-meter short-track speedskating
John-Henry Krueger, 22, took silver in the men’s 1,000-meter short-track speedskating event. His win marks the first U.S. speedskating medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Krueger finished second behind Canada’s Samuel Girard.
“There were so many thoughts rushing through my head,” Krueger said after medaling.
Krueger’s win comes four years after he was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Olympic trials because he came down with swine flu.
Chris Mazdzer, men’s luge
Mazdzer competed in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, placing outside of the top 10.
Americans have been second in doubles luge twice.
Mikaela Shiffrin, women’s Alpine combined
Mikaela Shiffrin notched her second medal of the 2018 Games, taking home the silver in the women’s Alpine combined. The 22-year-old finished behind Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin.
Shiffrin captured a gold medal in the giant slalom earlier in the Olympic Games, taking her career total to three.
Arielle Gold, women’s snowboard halfpipe
Despite a dislocated shoulder, Arielle Gold earned the bronze medal for the United States in the women’s snowboard halfpipe competition – joining her teammate Chloe Kim on the podium.
Gold, 21, similarly injured her shoulder ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, causing her to miss the Sochi games.
Maia and Alex Shibutani, ice dance figure skating
American siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, affectionately known as the Shib Sibs, took home the bronze medal after a near-flawless ice dance free skate, racking up 192.59 points. Canada finished with gold and France with silver.
The Shibutanis squeaked out the bronze finish over teammates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohuse by just five points.
Brita Sigourney, women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe
Brita Sigourney entered the Olympics as one of the top-ranked women skiers and was able to edge out teammate Annalisa Drew for the bronze medal in the freestyle halfpipe.
Canada’s Cassie Sharpe won the gold, and France’s Marie Martinod won the silver.
Lindsey Vonn, women’s downhill skiing
In what was likely her final Olympic downhill run, Lindsey Vonn took home the bronze medal in women’s downhill skiing. The 33-year-old became the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games.
“If you think what’s happened over the last eight years and what I’ve been through to get here, I gave it all and to come away with a medal is a dream come true,” Vonn, who missed the 2014 Sochi Games after tearing ligaments in her right knee, said. “You’ve got to put things into perspective. Of course, I’d have loved a gold medal but, honestly, this is amazing and I’m so proud.”
Vonn finished third behind Italy’s Sofia Goggia and Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway, who took home the gold and silver, respectively.
Team USA, figure skating team event
The United States’ figure skating team won the bronze medal – thanks in part to flawless performances from Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu.
Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics. Rippon landed both of his triple axels.
Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani also propelled Team USA to the podium with their free dance. Teammates Alexa Scimeca-Knierim, Chris Knierim, Nathan Chen and Bradie Tennell also medaled following the event.
Team USA, women’s speedskating team pursuit
Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens took bronze for women’s team pursuit. It was Team USA’s first Olympic medal in the event since it began in 2006.
Bergsma, Bowe and Manganello defeated Canada to clinch the medal in a B final.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah, Ryan Gaydos, Stephen Sorace, Zoe Szathmary and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Gender gap: Ageing societies give more advantages to men than women, researchers say | World News
Men have more advantages than women in ageing populations, an international study has found.
Researchers say the gender differences in societal ageing suggest men have better resources to cope with the challenges of getting older.
Different gender roles within society not only shape women’s and men’s life opportunities but also their experience of ageing, the research suggests.
Worldwide, the number of people aged 65 years and older is expected to more than double in the next 30 years, rising from 703 million in 2019 to 1.5 billion in 2050.
The study, by researchers from the National University of Singapore and Columbia University in America, found men are especially advantaged when it comes to income and wealth.
They are more likely to be financially secure, have paid work and spend fewer years in ill-health than women in later life.
The first of its kind, the research investigated gender differences in the experience of people growing older in 18 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes the likes of the UK and the US.
Women across the countries analysed were shown to have a three year longer average life expectancy than men, but spend more years in poor health.
They are also more likely to live alone at the end of their lives and earn less than men.
A disproportionately greater risk of disability and ill-health in women increased their likelihood of needing long-term care, the study found, as well.
Researchers used the latest data from the OECD and World Bank between 2015 and 2019 for 18 of the 35 OECD countries with sufficient data to develop a gender-specific ageing index.
The new index accounts for five categories that capture social and economic factors affecting the quality of ageing: wellbeing, productivity and engagement, equity, cohesion and security.
Using the system, researchers calculated the overall index and individual category scores that range from 0 to 100 for men and women.
A higher score suggests a successfully ageing society.
Key differences between men and women in ageing societies according to the study:
- Men have better resources to cope with the challenges of ageing
- Women have a three year longer average life expectancy than men
- Men are especially advantaged when it comes to income and wealth
- Women spend more years in poor health
- Men are more likely to be financially secure
- Women have a greater risk of disability and ill-health, which increases their likelihood of needing long-term care
- Men are more likely to be engaged in paid work
- Women are more likely to live alone at the end of their lives
- Women earn less than men
Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Japan did well for both genders with an overall index score of 66 or above for men and 55 or above for women.
Countries in much of eastern and southern Europe were at the bottom of the rankings.
The UK achieved an overall index score of 57 for men and 47 for women. It also had the largest difference in wellbeing scores between the two genders, with a score of 74 assigned for men and 61 for women.
America’s overall performance score was 55 for men and 47 for women.
Both the US and the UK performed poorly in the study, indicating growing inequality in the distribution of income and wealth.
Lead author Dr Cynthia Chen, from the National University of Singapore, said: “Ageing societies reinforce the prevailing gender norms in which men continue to be allocated the majority of opportunities, resources, and social support.
“With the world’s population ageing at an unprecedented rate, and the ratio of older women to older men expected to increase, there is an urgent need to challenge the structural and policy biases that favour men.”
The authors have suggested four measures to help address gender bias and inequality in societal ageing including assessing minimum income requirements for healthy living in older people and minimum pensions.
The mystery of the whisky bottle, the US secretary of state and the department searching for answers | US News
The US State Department is investigating the apparent disappearance of a bottle of whisky worth nearly $6,000 (£4,320).
The Japanese government gave the bottle to Mr Pompeo in June 2019 when the then-secretary of state visited the country.
The department reported the investigation in its annual accounting of gifts given to senior US officials by foreign governments and leaders.
It noted that it could find no trace of the bottle’s whereabouts and that there was an “ongoing inquiry” seeking an explanation.
A spokesman for Mr Pompeo said he was unaware of the gift and the inquiry into its whereabouts.
It is thought the bottle of whisky was given to Mr Pompeo while he was attending a G20 summit in Japan, along with then-president Donald Trump.
But the state department’s Office of Protocol, which records gifts given to US officials, said that, while every other gift had been recorded, there was no record of the whisky.
If a gift is over a certain value, the recipient can give it to the National Archives or another government entity, or they can keep the gift and reimburse the Treasury Department.
Among the items given to Mr Pompeo during his time as secretary of state were two carpets worth a total of $19,400 (£14,000) from the president of Kazakhstan and the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania received more than $120,000 (£86,400) worth of presents from foreign leaders in 2019, including an Ottoman Empire rifle worth $8,500 (£6,120) from the Bulgarian prime minister, a bronze sculpture of an Arabian horse from the crown prince of Bahrain worth $7,200 (£5,100), and a statue of an Arabian oryx worth $6,300 (£4,500) from the emir of Qatar.
The Office of Protocol said all of these were given to the National Archives.
Greece wildfires: Families reflect on devastation as homes are destroyed – ‘if my mother saw this she would cry’ | World News
I spot George Kyriakopolous sitting in his car, the door open to blackened surroundings and smouldering earth.
To his left is his house. To the right, the one owned by his 95-year-old mother and 98-year-old father. His parents’ property is burned beyond repair. His own house is badly damaged.
George is a man in shock. He cannot believe what he is seeing. Twenty four hours earlier he was watching a wildfire at what seemed like a distance. In 10 minutes, he says, the fire was upon them in the village of Varympompi, north of Athens.
He tells me they had to drive through the flames to get out. He is one of the few residents here who have made it back to check on their properties.
George tells me: “If my mother saw this she would cry. She would cry.”
And I think any of us would. Homes that have been lived in and cherished for years were destroyed in minutes. Land cultivated through hard work, now scorched.
And this scene is repeated in street after street in this village where hundreds were forced to leave as one of the biggest wildfires in Greece this week penetrated Varympompi. Most who live here have not been allowed to return.
The area is still regarded as extremely dangerous and most residents can only watch the skies from where planes and helicopters dump vast containers of water on the area and hope things will be okay.
Sadly for many of them that will not be the case. Coming back here will be traumatising. It certainly has been for Rula Mantis who shows us around the charred remains of the fruit vegetable store she runs with her boyfriend. So much of it is destroyed and she wonders how they will ever recover.
She’s angry the property was allowed to burn but understands fire crews faced impossible pressure.
She tells me: “It’s very hard. It’s a lot of money you have to spend to make this from the beginning. You can’t save anything. As you can see, there’s nothing left.”
The massive flames which lit up the night sky here when the fire reached its peak may have quelled now but the danger for this village isn’t over. Everywhere we drive or walk in Varympompi the ground is smouldering.
Smoke threatens to ignite into fresh flames which on scorched earth could spread again. It is why residents are taking their fire extinguishers and buckets to douse where they can.
But they know they are up against challenging elements. Temperatures are predicted to remain high in Greece in the days to come when all villagers hope for is rain.
They also know they face the pain of seeing neighbours and friends return to a village where there will be so much pain to confront.
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