Are you suffering from Olympic withdrawal yet? For two weeks it was everything Olympics, and now… nothing but memories.
Ah, but the memories. From a skier adopting dog families to hockey players all but beating the Russians single-handedly to the Closing Ceremony’s poking fun at an Opening Ceremony snafu – what memories we take away from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Ultimately, though, the athletes put themselves through the rigor and grind of years of training in order to represent their countries on a world stage. – and to take home medals.
Medals – Top Countries
Appropriately enough since they were the host country, Russia took home the most medals, 33. They also received the most gold medals, 13. Unfortunately, they did not earn the medal they most wanted, gold for men’s ice hockey. However, the country still has so many athletes to celebrate – figure skaters, short track racers, bobsledders, skiers…
Norway claimed 26 medals, 11 of them gold. Canada took home 10 gold medals, including the coveted men’s ice hockey and women’s ice hockey.
The U.S. made a very respectable showing. Only the hosts, Russia, had more total medals than the American 28. The U.S. did especially well in freestyle skiing, earning seven total medals, three of them gold. They took five snowboarding medals – three gold – and five alpine skiing medals, two gold.
Medals – Top Athletes
Naturally, some athletes dominated the Olympics, taking home numerous medals.
Russian short track racer Victor An earned an impressive four medals, three gold and a bronze. This Korean-born skater chose to compete for Russia, even changing his name in honor of a Korean-Soviet rock star, Victor Tsoi.
For male athletes, Martin Fourcade of France earned three medals in biathlon, two gold and a silver. The Dutch Sven Kramer also earned two gold and a silver, his in speed skating.
Girl power great Marit Bjoergen of Norway earned three medals, all golden, for cross-country skiing. The “Iron Lady” and “Queen of Nordic Skiing” just keeps adding to her legend.
For female athletes, Darya Domracheva of Belarus also dominated, earning three gold medals in biathlon. Ireen Wust of the Netherlands earned an impressive five medals in speed skating, two gold and three silver.
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies: Both were epic – in fact, the Closing Ceremony was the most ambitious in Olympics history, involving over 7,000 performers. However, the story was a snafu in the Opening Ceremony, in which one of the Olympic rings didn’t open. In atypical Russian style, the event organizers actually poked fun at this. During the Closing Ceremony, they organized another version of the trick, holding the last ring closed until the audience got the joke – that’s a great memory.
Dogs of Sochi: Some of them are getting free rides to the United States. Gus Kenworthy decided to take home a family – mama dog and four puppies. Images of his wrapping a silver medal around one of the pups and hugging all four at once were widely tweeted. Enough so that a couple US hockey players decided to follow suit, David Backes and he of the shootout fame, T.J. Oshie.
Canada Golden in Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey: They’ve been boasting for awhile now that hockey is Canada’s sport. For the moment, at least, they’re correct. They’re going to be insufferable – in the charming way only Canadians can manage.
Teemu Selanne: If you’re not a big hockey fan, you probably don’t know Teemu Selanne from a salami sandwich. However, he is a wise and gentle hockey player, if you can imagine. And a grizzled one – 43, the oldest in the sport. He had hoped to win gold, of course, in this his sixth Olympics, but is satisfied with bronze. His leadership will be missed – he’s hanging up the skates after this season.
Well that sums up our wrap up report from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Stay tuned, MLB is in spring training, NBA playoffs are around the corner and hellllloooooo….March Madness is practically here! Tons to come!
Contributed by Nadia Archuleta