PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
Heavily favored Canada has used its strongest figure skaters to increase its lead in the team event at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Two-time Olympic medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir blew away the field by a margin of 5.05 points in the short dance. They were the 2010 ice dance gold medalists and won silver in 2014.
Their performance gives Canada 27 points overall in the team standings, four points in front of the second-place United States, which got a strong performance to the required Latin theme from siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani.
The Russians are in third with 21 points heading into the women’s short program. Following that will be the pairs free skate.
Team competition ends Monday with men’s, ice dance and women’s free skates.
Finding a way to incorporate the Rolling Stones and the Eagles with the emphatically Latin music of Santana is almost as cool a trick as the precise twizzles and intricate lifts Virtue and Moir performed on the ice. They cruised through their samba, rhumba and cha cha as if dancing along the Copacabana beach.
The Shibutanis were both smooth and frenetic in their nearly three-minute routine that had the arena rocking. The final 60 seconds were nonstop Latin steps at their most lively.
Russians Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev were third in the short dance.
American teenager Red Gerard has won the first gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics, edging Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris for the top spot in men’s slopestyle snowboarding.
Gerard, a 17-year-old from Silverthorne, Colorado, drilled his third and final run on the chilly but sun-splashed course at Phoenix Snow Park. His score of 87.16 was just enough to edge Parrot.
Parrot washed out in his first two runs but nailed his final trip through the tricky series of rails and jumps to post a score of 86.00. McMorris took third after putting up a score of 85.20 in his second run.
Gerard is the second straight American to win the event, which made its Olympic debut four years ago.
The next phase of the Olympic team figure skating competition is underway in Pyeongchang.
Going into Sunday, the Canadians were in the lead with 17 points, three ahead of the Americans. Japan was third with 13 points, marginally ahead of the Russian team after the men’s short program and the pairs short program.
The competition continues Sunday with the ice dance short program, the women’s short program and the pairs free skate.
It wraps up Monday with the men’s and women’s free skate and the ice dance free dance.
The Pyeongchang Olympic men’s downhill has been postponed until Thursday because of strong winds.
To make room for the Alpine program’s marquee race, the men’s super-G will shift from Thursday to Friday.
The downhill was supposed to be the first race of the 11-event Alpine program, and it had been scheduled for Sunday. But three hours before it was supposed to start, race organizers said they needed to reschedule it.
They say they can’t operate the gondola lift that would carry teams and officials up the mountain.
Now the first race of the Alpine program will be the women’s giant slalom on Monday.
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