First weekend of Beijing games brings excitement and disappointment for Colorado’s Olympians

APTOPIX Beijing Olympics Alpine Skiing
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Mikaela Shiffrin of United States loses control and skis off course during the first run of the women’s giant slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in the Yanqing district of Beijing.

Updated 6:50am, February 7, 2022:

Fans of Colorado’s winter Olympians have had a busy weekend, keeping up with the nearly two dozen competitors who qualified for the Games in Beijing.

The weekend brought disappointment for perhaps the state's best known Olympian.

Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards was eliminated from the giant slalom when she crashed 11 seconds and five turns into her first run. Afterward, she told NBC, "I'm sorry that that was the performance that I did today. But that also happens and, well, I won't hide the disappointment, but I'm also not going to dwell on that, because that's not going to help me at all."

"I felt that I was pushing really quite well and attacking. But there was just one turn, I had a small, small mistiming when I really went to push on my edges and that makes all the difference," she told reporters.

Shiffrin took gold in giant slalom four years ago. She has four more events at this years games ahead of her. One Coloradan will advance in that event; Nina O'Brien made it into the top 30 for the first round of the giant slalom and will move on to the second and final run.

In figure skating, Coloradan Brandon Frazier was part of the U.S. team that took silver. He and his partner Alexa Knierim finished third in the short program Thursday. They had a harder time Sunday in the pairs free skate, finishing fifth out of the five teams.

Skier Dylan Walczyk of Blue River finished 16th in the men’s moguls Saturday. Also on Saturday, skier Hailey Swirbul of El Jebel placed 40th in women’s 15km skiathlon.

Goaltender Nicole Hensley of Lakewood assisted the women’s ice hockey team to a 5-0 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee Saturday with twelve saves in the course of the game. The team defeated Sweden 8-0 on Sunday and will close out preliminary round competition with a game against Canada.

The men’s ice hockey team, which includes forward Nicholas Shore of Denver, starts competition with a preliminary round game against China on Thursday.

Two Summit County snowboarders made it to the finals of the men’s slopestyle: Red Gerard of Silverthorne and Avon’s Chris Corning. Gerard came within a whisker of medaling, but ended up finishing fourth. Corning came in sixth.

In all, nine Coloradans are representing the United States in snowboarding. Most kick off their events Wednesday. They include Cody Winters in men’s parallel giant slalom, Taylor Gold and Lucas Foster in men’s halfpipe, Meghan Tierney and Stacy Gaskill in women’s cross, and Hagen Kearney and Mick Dierdorff in men’s cross.

Also on Wednesday, Nordic combined kicks off with two competitors hailing from Steamboat Springs — Taylor Fletcher is making his fourth Olympic appearance, while this is the second games for Jasper Good.