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Beijing Rewind, Feb. 5: US gets 1st medal, penalty costs it chance at another

Team USA snagged its first medal of the Beijing Games, but a golden opportunity slipped away in a new Olympic event.

BEIJING, China — With a Saturday of "interesting" penalty calls, dethroned champions and national firsts, the 2022 Winter Olympics are well underway. The first full day of competition was packed with different events, but here's a few to know. 

Team USA snags its first medal

The women’s slopestyle final brought good news and bad news for the U.S. —  but a big first for the kiwis. Zoi Sadowski Synnott won New Zealand's first gold medal in Winter Olympics history. 

Julia Marino won silver — Team USA's first medal in this year's Winter Games. 

READ MORE: US gets its first medal of the Beijing Winter Olympics

American Jamie Anderson, who had hoped to make history by becoming the first snowboarder to win gold in the same event at three consecutive Games, finished ninth on the windy course. Hailey Langland finished 11th.

ROC takes team figure skating lead

The powerful Russian figure skating team is in first place in the team competition at the Beijing Games after a winning performance from world champion Kamila Valieva and another strong skate from Mark Kondratiuk.

The team representing the Russian Olympic Committee has 45 points, three ahead of the U.S., which had a couple of shaky performances from Karen Chen and Vincent Zhou to slip out of first place.

The team competition concludes Sunday with the women and pairs free skate and the free dance.

READ MORE: Why is Russia called ROC?

A golden opportunity slips away

It looked like the United States was going to have a good shot at earning a medal in the Olympic debut of mixed relay short track speedskating, until a costly penalty knocked them out of contention in the semifinals. The Russian Olympic Committee was also penalized. 

READ MORE: How did the US do in the debut of mixed relay short track speedskating?

With the U.S. disqualified, China was bumped up into the finals and won, earning the host nation its first gold medal of the Winter Games

U.S. women's hockey team cruises past ROC

The United States women's hockey team beat the Russians 5-0 Saturday in a preliminary round game. The defending Olympic champions improved to 2-0 and next play Switzerland (0-2) on Sunday. 

The U.S. has yet to allow a goal in three Olympic meetings against a Russia-based team. Add in world championship matchups, and the U.S. extended its string to eight consecutive shutouts. 

RELATED: Here's how the US women's hockey team did against ROC

King of Moguls dethroned

Mikael Kingsbury of Canada — dubbed the "King of Moguls" — lost his Olympic crown to Sweden's Walter Wallberg. “He gets to sit on the throne today,”  Kingsbury joked, adding that Wallberg deserved the win.

Battle for the crown aside, the men's moguls final brought good news for a young American skier. In his Winter Games debut, 19-year-old Nick Page finished in fifth. The last American man to win a medal in the event was Bryon Wilson (bronze) at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Men's downhill rescheduled

The first event of the Alpine skiing schedule at the Beijing Olympics, the men’s downhill, has been postponed because of strong wind that made it too dangerous to race.

No new date was announced immediately.

READ MORE: Was the 'King of Moguls' able to defend his Olympic crown?

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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