Winter Olympics 2018: History for Svindal, Hernandez celebrates rare Spain medal
History was made by Aksel Lund Svindal, Mikaela Shiffrin did not disappoint and Spain earned a rare Winter Olympics medal on an action-packed day in Pyeongchang on Thursday.
Norway's Svindal missed out on the medals four years ago and has been beset by injuries in the intervening period, but for the second time in his career he stood atop an Olympic podium.
Regino Hernandez was a trending topic on Twitter after earning a bronze medal for Spain, while Shiffrin's pre-Olympics status as one of the Games' biggest potential stars appears destined to come to fruition.
AGE IS BUT A NUMBER FOR HISTORY-MAKER SVINDAL
They say Father Time catches up with us all in the end, but try telling that to Svindal.
The Norwegian great not only became his country's first downhill gold medallist, but at the age of 35 he is the oldest man to win an alpine skiing gold.
"That [his age] doesn't matter. The only thing it says is that this is probably my last Olympics," he said on his landmark moment.
15FEB Alpine Skiing - Men's Downhill-- PyeongChang 2018 (@pyeongchang2018) February 15, 2018
Gold SVINDAL Aksel Lund/ NOR
Silver JANSRUD Kjetil/ NOR
Bronze FEUZ Beat / SUI
SHIFFRIN'S QUEST FOR FIVE OFF TO A FLIER
Shiffrin has lofty ambitions in Pyeongchang and her target of five gold medals started with a thrilling victory in the giant slalom.
The American, who became the youngest woman to win a slalom gold in Sochi four years ago, produced a stunning second run to win in a combined time of two minutes and 20.02 seconds, 0.39secs ahead of Ragnhild Mowinckel.
"I don't know how to explain it. It's crazy. There's so much emotion," she said. "There's moments when I think, 'Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?', and there's moments where I feel like, 'No problem'.
RARE SPANISH MEDAL, VAULTIER EMULATES SOCHI SUCCESS
For a country as big as Spain, Winter Olympic medals have proved hard to come by.
But Hernandez was on the podium, taking bronze in the men's snowboard cross to capture his country's third Winter Olympic medal and first in 26 years.
Pierre Vaultier retained the title he won for France four years ago, but only after recovering from a dramatic semi-final in which four riders crashed.
Stop hiding your emotion Pierre Vaultier of France let us know how you truly feel winning #Gold in the Men's Snowboard Cross Big Final at the Winter #Olympic Games #PyeongChang2018 #passionpic.twitter.com/so50DZEIQY-- PyeongChang 2018 (@pyeongchang2018) February 15, 2018
IN THE MEDALS
Ted-Jan Bloemen set an Olympic record en route to winning the men's 10,000m in speed skating - while Jorrit Bergsma's silver means Netherlands won a medal in the event for the ninth straight Games, beating Norway's previous record.
German duo Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt defended their doubles luge title from Sochi, while there was further success for Germany in figure skating where Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot took gold.
Hanna Oeberg was a surprise winner in the women's 15-kilometre individual biathlon, the 22-year-old Swede winning a maiden Olympic gold medal, while Martin Fourcade missed his last two shots in the men's 20km, having opened up a hefty lead, to finish outside of the medals.
Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe took top spot in that race, and there was another Norwegian triumph as Ragnhild Haga earned a first Olympic gold with a surprise win in the ladies' 10km free event in cross-country skiing.