Jeff Metcalfe is one of four azcentral staffers at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. He’s covering his 14th Olympics and 6th Winter Games. He began covering Olympic sports in 1978. Keep up with his coverage from South Korea here.

Don’t overlook Ben Ferguson’s halfpipe run

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Given the seismic magnitude of Shaun White’s third Winter Olympics halfpipe gold medal Wednesday, it’s easy to forget the other Americans.

None made it onto the medals podium like in 2002, 2006 and 2010 when the U.S. had two or three men’s halfpipe medalists, but Ben Ferguson came close to a bronze in arguably the greatest halfpipe competition ever.

Ferguson was fourth with a final run of 90.75 that was not quite enough to catch Australian Scotty James, who put down a 92.00 first run. Americans Chase Josey and Jake Pates finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

Feb. 13, 2018

Olympic men’s halfpipe qualifying had the feel of a final at times Tuesday at Phoenix Snow Park.

Two-time gold medalist Shaun White traded love messages with other snowboards stars about what it’s going to take to medal in a three-run Valentine’s Day showdown.

Three other Americans made the 12-man final – Ben Ferguson with his first run (91.00) and Chase Josey (83.75) and Jake Pates (82.25) coming through in their second runs after falls on their first.

“There’s a level of nerves flying around up there,” Ferguson said. “This is a big old show.”

READ MORE: Oregonian snowboarder Ben Ferguson preps for 12-man final

Feb. 12, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – America’s dominance in Winter Olympics women’s halfpipe continued Tuesday with Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold taking gold and bronze medals.

Kim, 17, a Korean American, dominated, hitting back-to-back 1080s in her third run after she already had first place clinched. She raised her score from 93.75 in the first run to 98.25, well ahead of China’s Liu Jiayu (89.75) and Gold of Steamboat Springs, Colo. (85.75).

Gold edged five-time Olympian Kelly Clark, who was fourth (83.50) and fell just short of a fourth Olympic medal.

To read the full story, click here.

Shaun White, Kelly Clark serve as models for U.S. teammates

Feb. 11, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Shaun White is old enough and wildly successful enough to appreciate how his career could have gone the other way.

He was, after all, anointed as The Next long ago, when he was 7 and signed his first sponsorship deal with snowboard manufacturer Burton.

“I was also teed up to be the next big failure,” White said.

Instead White, at 31, is a four-time Olympian in halfpipe and inspiration to virtually everyone who’s followed in his wake including his 2018 U.S. teammates Ben Ferguson of Bend, Ore., Jake Pates and Chase Josey.

To read the full story, click here.

Snowboarder Jacobellis shows grit in chase for gold

Feb. 11, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Those deeply invested in snowboarding likely feel there is nothing new to know about Lindsey Jacobellis.

Then the 32-year-old tells a story about how before traveling to her fourth Olympics, she installed new ducts in her home in southern California to eliminate fire hazards. And you realize a Jacobellis-of-all-trades always will have a surprise or two in her, stemming from lessons in self-reliance learned early growing up in Vermont.

Because Jacobellis was the only young girl then racing snowboard cross in Stratton, Vt., she competed against boys as an 11- and 12-year-old.

“It was a sink or swim moment,” she said. “The guys were going to be tough and definitely didn’t want a little girl to win. They were big influences in how I approach sitting in the gate and having to look at people that are bigger or more intimidating. Just putting that aside and putting yourself to the test.”

To read the full story, click here.

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