Rewind to the Closing Ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games — as fireworks lit up the night sky and nations’ flags flapped in a stiff breeze — when the United States could look up at the gold, silver and bronze tallies to see just how close it was to winning a Winter Games medal count.
Now only a year away, the PyeongChang 2018 Games sets up as a chance for Team USA to lead the world for the first time on another continent.
Available medals have increased steadily since 1972, when just over 100 were awarded in Sapporo, to nearly 300 in Sochi and, with a record 102 events set for 2018, finally surpassing the 300 mark in PyeongChang.
Rising to the top of the ultimate podium begins the day after the Feb. 9 Opening Ceremony with five medal events on Feb. 10.
Here’s a day-by-day Team USA look at what will be in store once the flame is lit and the race is on:
Day 0 - Feb. 8
One day before the Opening Ceremony, competition gets underway in two sports: curling and ski jumping. While curling debuted in 1924, the same year the Winter Games did, it has only ever had two events — men’s and women’s. That will change in PyeongChang when mixed doubles debuts today, featuring teams of one man and one woman. In ski jumping, the men’s individual normal hill event will begin with qualification.
Day 1 - Feb. 9
The Games return for a second time to South Korea, which hosted the 1998 summer edition of the Games in Seoul, with an Olympic Winter Games debut in the mountainous northern region of the country. In addition to more than 65 countries expected to participate in the Opening Ceremony, we can also expect a celebration of Korean culture and the winter activities so familiar to an area where average seasonal temperatures range from the teens to the 30s.
Day 2 - Feb. 10
Biathlon (women’s 7.5K sprint)
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s skiathlon)
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 3,000m)
Short Track Speedskating (men’s 1,500m)
Ski Jumping (men’s individual normal hill)
Biathlon (women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint): Biathlon kicks off today, opening with the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint. Vermont native Susan Dunklee was Team USA’s only medalist on the 2015-16 world cup circuit, winning silver in this event, and she also earned the team’s first 2016-17 season medal with a bronze, by way of her excellent shooting, in front of an estimated crowd of 30,000 in the Czech Republic this past December. Dunklee could make history with a spot on the podium as biathlon is the only winter sport Team USA has not yet medaled in.
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s skiathlon): The distinction of the first medal awarded in PyeongChang? Cross-country skiing’s women’s skiathlon event. At an Olympic skiathlon test event in February, Team USA’s Liz Stephen finished second in the classical/skating combo, with Caitlin Patterson in fourth – showing promising signs for what could be the nation’s first-ever women’s cross-country skiing medal.
Ice Hockey: The puck drops on a long couple weeks of ice hockey action with more than 50 games between today and the close of the Games. This afternoon, things start off reasonably with a pair of women’s games at Kwandong Hockey Center. Team USA will no doubt enter as a medal favorite and a serious threat, having won the past three world titles and seeking its first Olympic gold since the sport’s debut in 1998.
Luge (men’s heats 1 and 2): Carved into the crest of a mountain in the PyeongChang Mountain Cluster, the Alpensia Sliding Center hosts the first of six luge competition days with men’s Heat 1 and Heat 2. World power Germany, with two-time defending Olympic champion Felix Loch, likely enters as the favorite, while Team USA fans can keep an eye on Chris Mazdzer, who earned five world cup medals in the 2015-16 season, and Tucker West. West, whose backyard beginnings are somewhat legendary, tallied four medals in the past two seasons and is fifth in the world rankings as of Feb. 7.
Short Track (men’s 1,500-meter final): The United States can hope for a return to the podium during short track speedskating’s 2018 debut in the form of the men’s 1,500-meter this evening. Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski had combined for three medals in the event’s first three appearances at the Games, but Team USA was shut out from the podium in Sochi — with Celski finishing fourth. Celski, the 2010 bronze medalist in the event, clearly has motivation in a return. Likely to make his Olympic debut today is John-Henry Krueger, who missed the 2014 team as he battled swine flu during Olympic Trials. But with four world cup medals at this distance, Krueger hopes for a breakthrough debut.
Day 3 - Feb. 11
Alpine Skiing (men’s downhill)
Biathlon (men’s 10K sprint)
Cross-Country Skiing (men’s skiathlon)
Freestyle Skiing (women’s moguls)
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 5,000m)
Snowboarding (men’s slopestyle)
Alpine Skiing (men’s downhill): Much-anticipated alpine skiing events open today at one of two skiing venues, the Jeongseon Alpine Center, host of downhill, super-G and the combined. Today, it’s the men’s downhill. In Sochi, first-time Olympian Travis Ganong finished near the podium in fifth, and he recently ended a world cup medal drought with a win in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The recovery of three-time Olympian Steven Nyman, helicoptered out with an injury at the same race Ganong won, can also figure in Team USA’s medal hopes. “I will be back!!!,” he vowed via Instagram. Nyman ended the 2015-16 season with an unprecedented string of four straight podiums, including a third place at the Olympic test event.
Freestyle Skiing (women’s moguls): The retirement of Hannah Kearney, who won gold in Vancouver and bronze in Sochi, need not leave a deep United States contingent fretting. Morgan Schild, a teen who finished on the podium and ahead of Kearney near the end of her illustrious career, Keaton McCargo, Nessa Dziemian and Tess Johnson, Mikaela Matthews and Jaelin Kauf all rank among the top 15 in world cup standings as of early February.
Luge (men’s heats 3 and 4): Can Mazdzer or West crack the medal stand for the country’s first-ever men’s singles Olympic medal?
Snowboarding (men’s slopestyle final): Team USA’s Sage Kotsenburg is the defending Olympic champion from the event’s Olympic debut, and while he’s undecided on competing in 2018, the U.S. is sure to field a deep team, having just swept the podium at a February 2017 world cup at Mammoth Mountain, California. Could the team repeat in PyeongChang?
Snowboarding (women’s slopestyle qualification): The women will drop in on the same event, too, with women’s slopestyle qualification today. Jamie Anderson can hope to defend her title earned at the inaugural edition of this event in Sochi.
Day 4 - Feb. 12
Alpine Skiing (women’s giant slalom)
Biathlon (women’s 10K pursuit, men’s 12.5K pursuit)
Figure Skating (team event)
Freestyle Skiing (men’s moguls)
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 1,500-meter)
Ski Jumping (women’s)
Snowboarding (women’s slopestyle)
Alpine Skiing (women’s giant slalom): Can Mikaela Shiffrin, who at 18 became the youngest-ever Olympic slalom champion, add giant slalom gold to her resume? This season, she won two giant slalom races and in seven starts has finished no lower than sixth.
Figure Skating (team event): The team event closes today with the men’s free skate, women’s free skate and free dance. Team USA took bronze at this event’s Olympic debut in Sochi. With an expectation for more individual medals, will the star-studded team be reflected in an upgraded medal in PyeongChang?
Freestyle Skiing (men’s moguls): Brad Wilson, a 2014 Olympian following in the footsteps of his older brother, 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Bryon, kicked off 2017 with a third-place finish at the Lake Placid World Cup. The event could set up as a family affair for the Wilsons as Bryon is still a medal contender as well.
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 1,500-meter): A pre-season concussion ended the 2016-17 season of Brittany Bowe, who at this distance won gold at the 2015 world championships as well as the 2015-16 world cup title, and she can hope for a full recovery as a medal threat. Heather Bergsma, Bowe’s teammate and friend, will also challenge for the podium after earning silver and bronze at the past two world championships and medaling in three of the four 1,500 races she’s entered this season.
Luge (women’s heats 1 and 2): Germany has won every gold since 1998, and a dozen medals overall in that span, but three-time Olympian Erin Hamlin earned bronze in Sochi for Team USA’s first-ever medal in the event, and she’s coming off an unprecedented three-medal performance at the 2017 world championships. At the same event in January, Emily Sweeney and Summer Britcher took turns finishing fourth. Team USA will have a test event later this month that will bear watching.
Ski Jumping (women’s individual normal hill): The recovery of Sarah Hendrickson, who as a teenager appeared ready to become her event’s first Olympic champion before a devastating knee injury prior to Sochi, where she finished 21st, sets up as perhaps the most compelling storyline as she continues her comeback after another knee injury suffered in 2015.
Snowboard (women’s slopestyle final): Can Anderson repeat her Sochi performance? And could the U.S. put land multiple athletes on the podium? Odds are good of both after the U.S. women swept the podium at a recent world cup at Mammoth Mountain, California, where Anderson led, followed by 2016 Youth Olympian Hailey Langland and 2017 X Games champion Julia Marino.
Snowboard (women’s halfpipe qualification): Since the 2002 Olympics, Team USA has won seven of the dozen medals up for grabs, with Kelly Clark accounting for three and Hannah Teter for two. Both women still find themselves on world cup podiums today. Still, the leading storyline may be teen sensation Chloe Kim. Kim had an incredible streak of eight straight wins (seven in halfpipe) from 2016-17. Two-time Elena Hight may also factor after winning the 2017 X Games Aspen.
Day 5 – Feb. 13
Alpine Skiing (men’s combined)
Cross-Country Skiing (men’s, women’s individual sprint classic)
Curling (mixed doubles)
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 1,500m)
Short Track Speedskating (women’s 500m)
Snowboarding (women’s halfpipe)
Alpine Skiing (men’s combined): Ted Ligety, underwent season-ending back surgery in January, but he insists it won’t keep him out of the running for 2018. And with the 2006 Olympic gold medal, 2013 world title and 2015 world bronze medal to his credit, Ligety is sure to seek a spot on the podium once more.
Curling (mixed doubles bronze- and gold-medal games): Both men’s and women’s teams struggled in Sochi, but the inaugural mixed event offers a chance for a better Team USA finish this evening at the Gangneung Curling Center, especially after Joe Polo and Tabitha Peterson won bronze at the 2016 worlds.
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 1,500-meter): Not only has Shani Davis won two Olympic medals at this distance, but he still holds the world record, which he set in 2009. With three world titles at this distance – dating back to 2004 – he is a living legend in the sport, and is still winning world cup medals. 2014 Olympian Joey Mantia, though, recently edged Davis with the fastest time of the season in the 1,500 and has twice been on the podium this season.
Luge (women’s heats 3 and 4): Can Hamlin continue her history-making ways? Sweeney and Britcher also hope to figure in the medal conversation tonight.
Snowboarding (women’s halfpipe final, men’s halfpipe qualification): After being too young (13!) in 2014 to compete at the Olympics and winning Youth Olympic gold in 2016, will Chloe Kim take full advantage of her Olympic debut? The men will also drop in later today with halfpipe qualification. Now 30, superstar Shaun White still brings an effortless athleticism to the pipe.
Day 6 – Feb. 14
Alpine Skiing (women’s slalom)
Biathlon (women’s 15K)
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 1,000m)
Nordic Combined (men’s individual normal hill/10K)
Snowboarding (men’s halfpipe)
Alpine Skiing (women’s slalom): For a conversation about the best women’s slalom skier in the world, you need know only one name: Shiffrin. At 18, she won gold in Sochi to become the youngest alpine gold medalist in Olympic history, and she has dominated since. Barring anything unforeseen, she’ll enter this morning and this afternoon’s races as the heavy favorite to win gold and become the first woman to defend her slalom title.
Curling (men’s, women’s round robin): Curling events move on from the mixed doubles competition to round robin men’s and women’s matches, and Team USA is looking to improve on its poor finishes in Sochi.
Ice Hockey (men’s, women’s preliminary rounds): Will the world’s best men be playing? If the NHL’s players do go to PyeongChang, they’ll be underway as of today across two venues. Whether Team USA is comprised of veterans such as Patrick Kane and T.J. Oshie or younger stars such as those who led the United States to a junior world title, Team USA will factor in the medal hunt.
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 1,000-meter): Both Bergsma and Bowe hope to find themselves on the podium once again. They traded world records at this distance in November 2015, and have sixworld championships medal between them.
Luge (doubles): Austria, Germany and Latvia have shared the podium in each of the past two Games, but Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman, each of whom finished among the top 15 with different teammates in Sochi, can hope to climb up the standings. They’re having a breakthrough season with two world cup medals so far and a top-three overall ranking.
Snowboarding (men’s halfpipe final): Two-time Olympic champion Shaun White seeks a podium spot in PyeongChang after a disappointing fourth-place finish in Sochi. His redemption is entirely feasible after winning a world cup earlier this month with an impressive 94.75.
Day 7 - Feb. 15
Alpine Skiing (men’s super-G)
Biathlon (men’s 20K)
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s 10K free)
Figure Skating (pairs)
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 10,000m)
Luge (team relay)
Snowboarding (men’s snowboardcross)
Alpine Skiing (men’s super-G): A Norwegian has topped the podium in each Olympic super-G dating back to Salt Lake City in 2002, but Team USA’s Bode Miller and Andrew Weibrecht have also been on the podium at both of the past two Games and could return once again in PyeongChang. Weibrecht is looking good, having earned his first two world cup podiums last season, while Miller has said he likes the idea of returning for his sixth Games next year.
Biathlon (men’s 20-kilometer): The hopes are high for Team USA’s first-ever biathlon medal. Tim Burke won silver at the 2013 world championships, showing the three-time Olympian knows how to perform on big stages. And in 2014, Lowell Bailey was eighth in Sochi for the highest finish ever by a U.S. biathlete.
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s 10-kilometer free): Team USA is deep with athletes, led this season by Jessie Diggins, who ranked fifth in world cup distance events as of early February, and earned a world cup podium at this distance in early 2016. Sadie Bjornsen and Liz Stephen also rank among the top 20 in world cup distance events.
Freestyle Skiing (women’s aerials qualification): Having competed in both Vancouver and Sochi, Ashley Caldwell, finishing 10th at the age of 16, then eighth, has a chance to win Team USA’s first medal since 1998 in Nagano. Caldwell won at the Lake Placid World Cup on Jan. 14, but it was Kiley McKinnon who finished on the podium at the Park City World Cup in February to jump start an Olympic bid for the Connecticut native who missed out on Sochi with a dislocated elbow. They have also shared world cup podiums and could hope to do the same at the Games.
Ice Hockey (men’s, women’s preliminary rounds): The busiest hockey day yet at the Games with six games across two rinks, beginning at noon and going deep into the night.
Luge (team relay): Still relatively new to the Games after its debut four years ago, the luge team relay sets up well for Team USA, which is coming off a silver-medal performance at worlds and ranks No. 3 overall in the luge world cup standings. This evening’s event also marks the last day of luge at the Games.
Skeleton (women’s heats 1 and 2): Among the more emotional finishes at the Sochi Games was that of three-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender, who finished off the podium by .04 seconds. Uhlaender’s career has been defined byinjuries and comebacks, and yet another could begin this morning in the first day of skeleton action. To close out January, she finished eighth at the IBSF World Cup in Koenigssee, Germany, at only her fourth world cup since Sochi. Annie O'Shea and Kendall Wesenberg both hope to make their Olympic debuts in Korea after earning a world cup medal or two in the past two seasons.
Snowboard (men’s snowboardcross): Depth could be a strong point for Team USA, which, as of early February, boasts seven of the top 25 snowboardcross riders in the world cup standings. Hagen Kearney was leading the way for the United States, having won the season-opening world cup, while three-time Olympian Nate Holland, 2014 bronze medalist Alex Deibold, two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott and two-time Olympian Nick Baumgartner are all eager to make the team.
Day 8 - Feb. 16
Cross-Country Skiing (men’s 15K free)
Freestyle Skiing (women’s aerials)
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 5,000m)
Snowboarding (women’s snowboardcross)
Figure Skating (men’s short program): The men’s short program promises some of the most competitive and compelling drama of the Games with what is likely to be the individual debut of Nathan Chen, who has been making history all season long.
Freestyle Skiing (women’s aerials finals): Is this Ashley Caldwell’s year? And can Kiley McKinnon burst onto the Olympic scene with a medal?
Skeleton (women’s heats 3 and 4, men’s heats 1 and 2): Will Uhlaender’s Olympic medal dreams finally come true? The men also take to the track tonight in qualifying, where Matt Antoine, a top-10 slider in the IBSF standings through Feb. 4, would be aiming to improve on his bronze medal from Sochi.
Snowboarding (women’s snowboardcross): One of the best in the world, Lindsey Jacobellis, who earned a frustrating silver in 2006 with an ill-timed fall near the finish line, has been shut out from the medal stand since. Now 31, Jacobellis still has nearly 50 world cup podiums, plus 10 X Games golds, to her credit and remains in the medal conversation.
Day 9 - Feb. 17
Alpine Skiing (women’s super-G)
Biathlon (women’s 12.5K mass start)
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s 4x5K)
Figure Skating (men’s)
Freestyle Skiing (women’s slopestyle)
Short Track Speedskating (women’s 1,500m, men’s 1,000m)
Ski Jumping (men’s individual large hill)
Alpine Skiing (women’s super-G): Injuries have plagued both Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn over the past, but they’ll both be aiming to add to their medal collections when the gates open this morning on the women’s super-G.
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s 4x5-kilometer): This sets up as one of Team USA’s strongest chances to win its first women’s cross-country Olympic medal. Kikkan Randall, Liz Stephen, Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen combined to finish ninth in Sochi, but with several world cup and a world championship medal earned in the past few years, they look to improve in PyeongChang.
Figure Skating (men’s free skate): A grand finale awaits, and the question is whether Team USA can finish with its first gold since Evan Lysacek in Vancouver and second since Scott Hamilton won gold in 1984. The nation’s favorite? Nathan Chen, the quad king who landed a record five quads in his free skate at the 2017 U.S. championships.
Freestyle Skiing (women’s slopestyle qualifications): This morning opens with qualifications, followed this afternoon by the finals, where Devin Logan could be in the hunt to improve on her silver in Sochi, as could 18-year-old Maggie Voisin who recently scored her first world cup win.
Freestyle Skiing (men’s aerials qualification): Mac Bohonnon, who is partially responsible for Kiley McKinnon’s star on the rise, has won multiple world cup medals, as well as the 2014-15 overall title and can aim to improve on his fifth-place finish in Sochi when qualifying begins tonight.
Ice Hockey (women’s quarterfinals): After a day off, women’s ice hockey moves to the quarterfinals round. Considering Team USA has medaled in each of the Olympic Games featuring the women’s event, advancing to the quarters would seem to be the least of its expectations.
Short Track Speedskating (women’s 1,500-meter): On the women’s side, the return of two-time Olympic medalist Katherine Reutter, who was forced into retirement by injury in 2013 but has come back to rank among the top 15 in ISU rankings at this distance, is a storyline to follow. She is the 2011 world champion at this distance.
Skeleton (men’s heats 3 and 4): Can Matt Antoine, on the final day of skeleton competition, return to the podium in a return to the Games? Will John Daly find redemption in the form of a medal after his devastating finish in Sochi?
Day 10 – Feb. 18
Alpine Skiing (men’s giant slalom)
Biathlon (men’s 15K mass start)
Cross-Country Skiing (men’s 4x10K)
Freestyle Skiing (men’s aerials, slopestyle)
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 500m)
Alpine Skiing (men’s giant slalom): Ted Ligety, the defending Olympic champion, would have his chance to defend gold this morning at Yongpyong Alpine Center. Though multiple injuries have hampered his performance as of late, he is the three-time world champion at this event and knows how to win it.
Bobsled (two-man heats 1 and 2): Get ready, sled heads. The first day of bobsled action finally kicks off this evening with the two-man squads carving their way down the Alpensia Sliding Center course. Three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb has piloted his way to an excellent 2016-17 and ranks second in the IBSF standings to go along with three podium finishes, most recently with brakeman Carlo Valdes, a SoCal native and former UCLA football player. But who will join Holcomb in Korea? Valdes has a strong shot, but so do Steve Langton and Chris Fogt, both of whom haven’t competed since they medaled with Holcomb in Sochi but recently announced their returns.
Freestyle Skiing (men’s slopestyle): In a rare sight during any Olympic Games for any country, Team USA swept the podium in Sochi with Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper left standing arm-and-arm with American flags. While repeat sweeps are even more unlikely than sweeps themselves, the United States returns with depth, possibly including McRae Williams, who just missed the 2014 team but at a recent event, that included both Christensen and Goepper, took home his first career world cup win and shortly after won X Games silver.
Freestyle Skiing (men’s aerials finals): Mac Bohonnon hopes to begin his quest for a medal tonight.
Long Track Speedskating (women’s 500-meter): For the third time at these Games, Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe look to join each other on the Olympic podium with plenty of world medals between the two at this distance.
Day 11 - Feb. 19
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 500m)
Ski Jumping (men’s team large hill)
Bobsled (two-man heats 3 and 4): Steven Holcomb, with a to-be-determined brakeman, could land his second straight medal in the event.
Figure Skating (short dance): One of Team USA’s deepest medal-capable rosters can be found among its ice dancers. This morning, they open with the short dance, in which siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani set a national record in January 2017.
Freestyle Skiing (women’s halfpipe qualifications): Devin Logan could return to the pipe this morning, along with defending Olympic champion Maddie Bowman, in search of medals at Bokwang Snow Park.
Ice Hockey (women’s semifinals): Don’t look now, but women’s ice hockey is coming down the home stretch with semifinals games and a new rink, as the women move to the Gangneung Hockey Center.
Long Track Speedskating (women’s team pursuit qualificaiton, men’s 500-meter): With Team USA’s collection of talent, a medal is certainly in reach for the women in team pursuit. The United States finished among the top six in both Vancouver and Sochi, and qualifying for something better begins this evening. On the men’s side, Team USA has a number of familiar names in the 500-meter mix. Though the United States hasn’t medaled at this distance since Joey Cheek did so in 2006, Mitch Whitmore is changing that after medaling on the world cup circuit each of the past two seasons.
Snowboard (women’s big air qualification): For the first time at an Olympic Winter Games, there will be a significant huck factor as big air makes its debut, with no shortage of Team USA stars in the sport. In fact, the thought of a medal sweep looms as such stars as slopestyle Olympic champion Jamie Anderson and recent breakout sensation Julia Marino hope to compete, both having found themselves on big air world cup podiums. And don’t forget about 16-year-old Hailey Langland, a Youth Olympian who won the X Games big air in January.
Day 12 - Feb. 20
Biathlon (mixed relay)
Figure Skating (ice dance)
Freestyle Skiing (women’s halfpipe)
Nordic Combined (men’s individual large hill/10K)
Short Track Speedskating (women’s 3,000-meter relay)
Short Track Speedskating (women’s 3,000-meter relay): One of Katherine Reutter’s Olympic medals came by way of the relay event at the Vancouver Games, and Team USA can hope for a return to the podium in 2018. Perhaps Reutter and 2014 Olympian Jessica Kooreman can lead the way.
Figure Skating (free dance): There’s no shortage of ice dance depth for Team USA, which could see its first multi-medal Olympic appearance ever in the event. Will the reigning champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, return to the sport after making history four years prior? If so, which of their compatriots will join them? The Shib Sibs earned the past two U.S. titles and the 2016 world silver medal, but Madison Chock and Evan Bates medaled at the past two world championships and look to overtake the Shibutanis once more. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue cannot be counted out, either, after qualifying for the six-team Grand Prix Final the past two seasons.
Biathlon (mixed relay): A team of Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Susan Dunklee and Hannah Dreissigacker finished eighth in Sochi at the event’s Olympic debut, and Team USA could bring a strong enough team again to finish in the medal conversation.
Freestyle Skiing (women’s halfpipe finals, men’s halfpipe qualification): Will Bowman successfully defend her title? On the men’s side, David Wise begins his quest to defend his title.
Bobsled (women’s heats 1 and 2): Some of the best sleds in the world are Team USA’s, as evidenced by five medals over the past four Olympics, including silver and bronze in Sochi. Elana Meyers Taylor and Jamie Greubel Poser have shared the podium at five of this season’s seven world cups so far and hope to share the Olympic podium again. But which colors will they earn?
Day 13 - Feb. 21
Alpine Skiing (women’s downhill)
Cross-Country Skiing (men’s, women’s team sprint free)
Freestyle Skiing (men’s skicross)
Long Track Speedskating (men’s, women’s team pursuit)
Alpine Skiing (women’s downhill): Attention, attention. Today is the day of the much-anticipated downhill event. Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso went 1-2 in Vancouver, but Team USA didn’t reach the podium in Sochi. Still crazy fast, Vonn’s a clear threat to win if she’s healthy, while Jackie Wiles and Breezy Johnson are up-and-comers who look to contend as well.
Bobsled (women’s heats 3 and 4): After taking bronze in 2010 and silver in 2014, will Elana Meyers Taylor finally beat Canadian Kaillie Humphries for the gold? Or will Jamie Greubel Poser find herself atop the podium instead, for Team USA’s first women’s bobsled title since its debut in 2002?
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s team sprint free): Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins combined for the 2013 world title in this event and look to make history once more in 2018.
Figure Skating (women’s short program): One of the Games’ biggest days from a star power standpoint has its figure skating start with the women’s short program. Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Karen Chen, Mirai Nagasu, Mariah Bell and several others all have talent to reach the Games, but who will make the team?
Long Track Speedskating (men’s, women’s team pursuit finals): It’s all about team pursuit tonight. In Vancouver eight years earlier, the U.S. men won silver and the women finished fourth. They look to rebound after Sochi, where they were seventh and sixth, respectively.
Snowboarding (men’s big air qualification): The men make their big air Olympic debut tonight, which will likely feature Olympian Ryan Stassel, who has two big air world cup podiums this season.
Day 14 - Feb. 22
Alpine Skiing (men’s slalom)
Biathlon (women’s 4x6K)
Freestyle Skiing (men’s halfpipe)
Ice Hockey (women’s)
Nordic Combined (men’s team 4x5K)
Short Track Speedskating (men’s 500m, women’s 1,000m, men’s 5,000m relay)
Freestyle Skiing (men’s halfpipe final): David Wise’s opportunity to repeat takes place this afternoon. But he is far from a favorite at this point. Aaron Blunck won the most recent X Games gold, and Torin Yater-Wallace, Gus Kenworthy and Taylor Seaton swept the Mammoth World Cup. With such incredible depth, it will be a battle for to even make the Olympic team.
Ice Hockey (women’s bronze- and gold-medal games): On the anniversary of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, Team USA’s women would hope to be playing tonight to reclaim gold from bitter rival Canada after finishing second to them at three of the past four Games.
Short Track (men’s 500-meter final, women’s 500-meter final, men’s 5,000-meter relay): Team USA has a strong shot at its first multi-medal short track day since Vancouver today. On the women’s side, Jessica Kooreman finished fourth in the 1,000 in Sochi and seeks the podium in PyeongChang, while Katherine Reutter earned silver at the event in Vancouver in addition to two world championships medals that followed. For the men, J.R. Celski could earn his first Olympic 500-meter medal, having finished sixth in this event in Sochi but then taking silver at the 2014 world championships. Olympic rookie John-Henry Krueger could also make some noise here, with four 500-meter world cup medals on his resume. In the men’s relay, Team USA has medaled at the past three Games – including the only medal by U.S. speedskaters in 2014 – and hopes to continue that streak.
Day 15 - Feb. 23
Alpine Skiing (women’s combined)
Biathlon (men’s 4x7.5K)
Figure Skating (women’s)
Freestyle Skiing (women’s skicross)
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 1,000m)
Snowboarding (women’s big air)
Alpine Skiing (women’s combined): Julia Mancuso medaled in Vancouver and Sochi. Will she be healthy enough at the Jeongseon Alpine Center to podium in three straight Games?
Curling (women’s bronze- and gold-medal games): Will Team USA still be in the mix? If so, it could mark the nation’s first women’s medal.
Figure Skating (women’s free skate): One of the Games’ most anticipated events closes out the figure skating competition tonight as Team USA looks to return to the medal stand for the first time in 12 years. Ashley Wagner currently has the most promising chance of ending the drought, having won silver at the 2016 world championships when she ended a 10-year drought for worlds medals.
Ice Hockey (men’s semifinals): Whether NHL players are in PyeongChang or not, Team USA would have its sights set on advancing out of this round. The losers of this game play on Feb. 24. The winners move on to the spotlight of the Games’ final day of competition.
Long Track Speedskating (men’s 1,000-meter): At the same event where Joey Mantia recently recorded the fastest time of the year in the 1,500, he also recorded the fastest time of the year in the 1,000. And Shani Davis is a two-time Olympic champion at this distance who recently won 1,000-meter world cup silver, making him the third-oldest world cup medalist at that distance.
Snowboarding (women’s big air final): Team USA has high medal hopes with the likes of Hailey Langland, Jamie Anderson and Julia Marino all likely to make the team.
Day 16 - Feb. 24
Alpine Skiing (team event)
Cross-Country Skiing (women’s 30K mass start classic)
Ice Hockey (men’s bronze)
Long Track Speedskating (men’s, women’s mass start)
Snowboarding (men’s big air, men’s/women’s parallel giant slalom)
Alpine Skiing (team event): Another hour, another brand-new event on the Games’ penultimate day, this one a head-to-head, knockout event popular on the world cup circuit. Team USA certainly has talent enough to medal.
Bobsled (four-man heats 1 and 2): After the luge, after the skeleton and after the two-man bobsled action, it’s time to fire up the biggest, baddest, heaviest beasts on the Alpensia Sliding Center course. Holcomb, who has one of the most compelling stories at any Games, ranks among the top three in IBSF standings after he, Valdes, Jimmy Reed and Sam McGuffie earned their second world cup podium of the season on Feb. 5. Steve Langton and Chris Fogt, though, look to rejoin him in PyeongChang after pushing him to bronze in Sochi.
Curling (men’s bronze- and gold-medal games): In 2006, John Shuster was part of the team that won USA Curling’s first and only Olympic medal. If he returns for his fourth Games, will he make history once more?
Ice Hockey (men’s bronze-medal game): One of the hardest games to play in any tournament is the bronze-medal game a day after losing the chance to play for gold. Team USA would prefer to avoid that scenario and skip straight over tonight and be preparing for tomorrow. This is the game Team USA played in – and lost – in 2014.
Long Track Speedskating (men’s, women’s mass start): The final day of speedskating could see the ultimate comeback story. KC Boutiette, who would be 47 come Korea, is a four-time Olympian whose last Games was in 2006. He recently returned to the sport when it was announced the mass start would be added for PyeongChang – and his comeback has been fruitful, already earning world cup silver in the event to become the oldest world cup medalist ever. Joey Mantia and Heather Bergsma have also earned hardware in the mass start.
Snowboarding (men’s big air final): The name says it all, and it doesn’t disappoint for sheer spectacle. Riders are airborne long enough for quads.
Day 17 - Feb. 25
Cross-Country Skiing (men’s 50K mass start classic)
Ice Hockey (men’s gold)
Closing Ceremony: Perhaps, as the nations’ flags flap in a stiff breeze and fireworks light up the night sky, Team USA can look up at the medal tally and see the stars and stripes above them all.
Bobsled (four-man heats 3 and 4): Steven Holcomb is eager for his third four-man medal in as many Games. Will he close the Games on a high note for Team USA?
Figure Skating (gala exhibition): Always a fun event, the question is how many Team USA medalists will be performing.
Ice Hockey (men’s gold-medal game): After more than 50 ice hockey games across two rinks, the sport draws to a close this afternoon with the marquee men’s gold medal final. For North American hockey fans, Vancouver and Salt Lake City presented the ideal final: USA-Canada. In both cases, Canada won gold. If the NHL’s players are in PyeongChang, the Team USA mix of veterans and young stars sets up as a storyline. Now 19, Auston Matthews could crack a veteran lineup at the age of 20.