U.S. struggles continue in cross-country ski, biathlon on opening weekend

Feb 10, 2018; Pyeongchang, South Korea; Joanne Firesteel Reid (USA) competes during the biathlon women's 7.5km sprint at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Alpensia Biathlon Centre. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Norway scored a clean sweep in the men’s 15 kilometer cross-country skiathlon. Germany took both gold medals in the men’s (10 km) and women’s (7.5 km) biathlon sprint competitions. Things did not go so well for the United States team, which is seeking its first medal in cross-country skiing since 1976, and its first biathlon medal ever.

Former University of Colorado-Boulder cross-country skier Joanne Firesteel Reid struggled mightily in the women’s sprint event. The¬†seven-time All-American for the Buffaloes suffered penalties on seven of 10 targets in the first biathlon event of the 2018 Games, racing to a second-to-last-place finish in the 87-woman field.

Things went only slightly better for the U.S. men in the 15 km skiathlon, which combines skate and classic styles). Scott Patterson was the top finisher for Team USA in 18th place. No other American finished in the top 40. Aspen’s Noah Hoffman finished last among the U.S. skiers in the event, with a 54th-place finish. Hoffman was 7:08.7 behind the winner and ahead of just six other finishers.

Cross country events resume on Feb. 13 with both the men’s and ladies’ sprint classic races. Hoffman and Aspen’s Simi Hamilton are both expected to compete.

Biathlon continues on Feb. 12 with the women’s 10 km and men’s 15 km pursuit. No Colorado athletes are expected to participate in those races.

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