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White wins America’s 100th Winter Olympics gold

Snowboarder Shaun White has won America’s 100th Winter Olympic gold medal, throwing down a spectacular final run in the men’s halfpipe.

The United States is only the second country to win 100 winter golds. It trails Norway, which started Wednesday with 121. Germany is third with 92.

White’s gold was the fourth for the U.S. in Pyeongchang. The others came from snowboarders Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim. America has won 14 gold medals in snowboarding since its Olympic debut in 1998, the most of any country.

This is White’s third gold medal and first since 2010. He ranks third among Americans in individual winter gold medals, trailing only speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, who have five each.

Snowboarding star Shaun White is a three-time Olympic champion.

The American threw down a spectacular final run in men’s halfpipe to slip by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano. White’s score of 97.75 was a touch better than Hiramo’s 95.25.

The gold medal is the 100th overall gold for the United States in the Winter Olympics, and White is the first American male to win gold at three separate Winter Games.

Australia’s Scotty James took bronze.

The North Korean pairs team of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sink have scored a season-best 69.40 points to briefly move into second place during the short program at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

North Korea’s only pair drew cheers from a large block of uniformly dressed fans for even the most simple of elements in practice. Then, they neatly landed their opening triple twist lift, hit a triple toe and throw triple loop, and were showered afterward with flowers from their fans.

The couple dressed in silver and black and performed to a cover of the Beatles song “A Day in the Life” by English rock guitarist Jeff Beck. They were the 10th among 22 teams to take the ice inside the Gangneung Ice Arena and all the medal contenders were still to come.

Still, their score qualified them for the free skate on Thursday.

Japan’s Ayumu Hirano has vaulted past Shaun White and into first place in the men’s halfpipe final.

The 19-year-old Hirano put up a score of 95.25 during his second run to edge past White. Hirano washed out in his first run but responded by throwing back-to-back 1440-degree spins during his second run.

White, attempting to become the first American to win gold in three different Winter Olympics, sat down on his second run to remain in second.

White will get one last shot to surpass Ayumu. White will be the final rider to go in the 12-man final.

Katie Couric has apologized for saying that the Dutch are so successful in speed skating because skates have been used as a form of transportation when canals freeze in the Netherlands.

Her remark during the Olympics’ opening ceremony invited some Dutch mockery on social media from people who said the information was outdated. The Netherlands embassy to the United States invited Couric to visit the country to see all of the innovative ways the Dutch get around.

Couric late Monday tweeted her apologies for being on thin ice with her comments.

The veteran anchor said she was trying to salute the country’s historic passion for the sport, but it didn’t come out that way.

The favorite in the men’s halfpipe is Shaun White.

The bookmakers at BetDSI Sportsbook have made White a better than even-money favorite to win his third gold medal. The American is listed at minus-125, meaning bettors would have to wager $125 to win $100 on a White victory.

He is followed by Australia’s Scotty James, at 3-1 ($100 to win $300), and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, at 7-2 ($100 to win $350).

Hirano is coming off a Winter X Games title in which he became the first man to repeat 1440-degree flips on the halfpipe. White skipped the X Games, but scored a 100 on a run in an Olympic qualifier last month. James has been among the most technically perfect riders this season and finished a close second to Hirano and White at those earlier events.