The U.S places second in Olympics medal race
Just as quickly as the games began, the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia ended on Sunday, February 23. After two full weeks of over 98 events in 15 different sports, a total of 295 medals were awarded. Host country Russia finished first in the medal race with total of 33 medals, followed by the United States and Norway. The U.S. finished with a combined total of 28 medals while Norway finished with 26 medals.
After facing backlash about gay rights, planning and security concerns from critics around the world, Russia managed to pull off the XXII Olympics without many problems. Leading up to the Olympic games, there were terrorist attacks in cities surrounding Sochi that put athletes and spectators on high alert.
The main issues that could be seen all over social media included the accommodations for the athletes and media personnel as well as the stray dog situation.
Johnny Quinn, a member of the U.S. four-man bobsled team, became locked in his bathroom one day during the Games, and with no way to call for help, he used his strength to smash the door open and posted a picture on Twitter showing the damage. Media personnel also tweeted photos of discolored water and signs that questioned the safety of these accommodations. The hashtag #Sochiproblems was quick to trend on Twitter.
Many pictures also appeared via social media of athletes adopting dogs. This led to many athletes extending their stays in Russia to rescue the dogs and bring them back to their respective countries. One of the pictures that circulated the web was of 22-year-old Gus Kenworthy, the U.S. silver medalist in slopestyle skiing. Kenworthy brought home five dogs along with his medal.
For Kenworthy, 22, bringing home puppies from the Olympics was not the only highlight of the games. Perhaps the even bigger achievement came from helping the United States sweep the first ever slopestyle skiing event in Olympic history. Joss Christensen won the gold medal and Nick Goepper won bronze.
Both the men’s and women’s Canadian hockey teams upset the United States once again in hockey. In women’s hockey, the United States played Canada in the gold medal game, but ended up losing 3-2. Despite losing to Canada, they were still able to walk away as the silver medalists.
On the men’s side, the United States were upset by Canada in the semifinals, held on February 21. The United States lost the game 0-1. After advancing to the bronze medal game against Finland, which included Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, the U.S. was shut out 5-0. Canada ultimately walked away as the gold medalist after defeating Sweden 3-0.
In a Washington Post article, John Carlson of the Washington Capitals and a player for Team USA said, “[That the game was] Terrible, I thought we came out hot and we came out strong, and it just got away from us.”
The United States saw success in pair ice dancing. Dynamic Duo Meryl Davis and Charlie White bested Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for the gold medal. Russians Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov took home the bronze medal.
The United States has a lot to look forward to in the 2018 Winter Olympics after the dramatic showing of 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin, an Alpine skier, won the gold medal in the giant slalom. Shiffren was the first U.S. women’s slalom medalist since 1972 and is the youngest winner of any slalom event.
“You can create your own miracle,” Shiffrin said at the medal ceremony. “But you do it by never looking past all the little steps along the way.”
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics came to a close with the lowering of the Olympic flag. The flag was then given to representatives of Pyeongchang, South Korea. Pyeongchang will be the host city for the Winter Olympics in 2018. The next Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janerio in 2016.