Team USA finished in fourth place in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, which came to an end on February 23. A total of 2,800 athletes from 89 countries participated in this world event, and 98 gold medals were awarded to deserving athletes. Host country Russia received the most medals total and the most gold medals, 33 and 13, respectively. Norway placed second in the medal count with 11 gold medals and 25 overall. Canada took third in the medal count with 10 gold medals and 25 overall. In fourth place, USA received nine gold medals and 28 medals total, a step down from the 38 medals USA won in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Gold medal favorites Shaun White, Body Miller and Shani Davis fell short of their projected potentials. Of the three, Bode Miller was the only one to medal, winning the bronze in the Super-G event of alpine skiing. According to NBC, speed skater Shani Davis said, “We’ve had a lot of potential, a lot of talent, a lot of things going for us and looking to go forward. But it’s a big, big disappointment.” For the first time since 1938, USA won no individual figure skating medals and no medals in short track speed skating. Team USA did surprise the world when three of its athletes swept the podium in men’s slopestyle skiing. Joss Christensen took the gold medal, Gus Kenworthy the silver and Nick Goepper the bronze.
This year, the International Olympic Committee added twelve new events including team figure skating as well as snowboarding and skiing slopestyles. Team USA excelled in the new events, winning nine medals in the new events alone. Although this year’s USA medal count fell short of many people’s expectations, placing fourth out of 89 countries is still a great accomplishment.
Written by PASCAL BOCTOR