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If you haven’t been introduced to United States snowboarder Chloe Kim, get ready to be impressed by her incredible skill set on Monday night (Tuesday morning in Pyeongchang, South Korea).
With figure skating taking a night off, the primetime focus shifts to the halfpipe, where 17-year-old Kim is ready to ascend to the American snowboarding throne.
Kim dominated her two qualifying runs on Sunday, and she even had time to tweet about craving ice cream in between runs.
There will be more than just a few scoops of ice cream (she prefers cookies and cream) waiting for Kim at the finish line if she continues to outclass the rest of the competition.
In addition to Kim’s coronation as the next great American Olympian, the competition in alpine skiing is expected to get underway while the first medal in curling is handed out.
Medal Count Entering Monday Night
Monday Night Schedule
Curling: Mixed Doubles Bronze Medal Match (7:05 p.m. ET, NBCOlympics.com)
Snowboarding: Women’s Halfpipe (8 p.m. ET, NBC)
Alpine Skiing: Men’s Alpine Combined (9:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
Unless Kim falls in each of her three runs in the women’s halfpipe, she’ll be the fourth American woman to win halfpipe gold.
Kim’s best run on Sunday garnered a score of 95.50, a number that bested second-place finisher Liu Jiayu by almost eight points.
The 17-year-old, who could have competed in Sochi if she had been the eligible competing age, looked sharp in both of her trips down the halfpipe in qualifying, and she’s expected to have more tricks up her sleeve for the three final runs.
Don’t be surprised if Kim puts together a casual run full of safe tricks to start off the final in order to give herself a security blanket so she can try riskier maneuvers in the second and third runs.
There’s a wide variety of contenders for silver and bronze, including Liu and Japan’s Haruna Matsumoto, who had the best average score of riders beneath Kim in the standings during qualifying.
Three other Americans are also vying for spots on the podium, with Maddie Mastro in the best position after qualifying in fourth place.
Snowboarding legend Kelly Clark struggled in qualifying, as she placed 11th, but expect her to improve and chase her four Olympic medal.
Arielle Gold placed 12th out of the 12 qualifiers, and just like Clark, she’ll try to put Sunday behind her and produce a solid performance for the United States.
Prediction: 1. Chloe Kim (United States), 2. Haruna Matsumoto (Japan), 3. Kelly Clark (United States)
Men’s Alpine Combined
As long as the weather cooperates, which is a big ask at these Olympics, the men’s alpine combined will take place at the Jeongseon Alpine Center.
The forecast for the competition, which will take place locally on Tuesday morning, doesn’t look great, as winds are predicted for 22 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 39 kilometers per hour, per Accuweather.
The forecasted wind converts to around 13 miles per hour, which as we saw during Sunday’s women’s snowboard slopestyle, would wreak havoc on the competitors.
With skiers going airborne at fast speeds, we could see another postponement of an alpine skiing event.
If the event goes off as planned, all eyes will be on Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, who are both in search of a medal in their fourth Olympic discipline.
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who is the leader in the FIS World Cup standings, should be near the top of the leaderboard in both disciplines, the downhill and slalom.
While the best skiers in the world should post the top times, don’t be surprised if an unlikely winner emerges as the athletes make their first competitive runs down the slopes in South Korea.
Prediction: 1. Marcel Hirscher (Austria), 2. Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway), 3. Kjetil Jansurd (Norway)
Curling Mixed Doubles Bronze Medal Match
Norway vs. Olympic Athletes from Russia
Before you settle in for the action on the slopes, the bronze medal in mixed doubles curling will be handed out on Monday evening.
Norway’s duo of Magnus Nedregotten and Kristin Skaslien face off against the Olympic Athletes from Russia pair of Anastasia Bryzgalova and Aleksandr Krushelnitckii.
The Olympic Athletes from Russia were on the verge of an upset in the semifinal round against Switzerland before the Swiss scored three points in the final two ends to secure a 7-5 victory.
Norway also kept it close against gold-medal favorite Canada in the semifinals, but a three-point seventh end by the Canadians relegated Nedregotten and Skaslien to the bronze-medal contest.
Both teams experienced decent round-robin performances as they each went 4-3, and it should end up being an even match.
Prediction: Norway defeats Olympic Athletes from Russia.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Olympic.org.