Highlights of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Erin Richards '15 Sports Editor

On February 23, the 2014 Sochi Olympics came to an end with the closing ceremony. The United States took home second place in total medal count, with 28 overall comprised of 9 gold, 7 silver and 12 bronze medals. The winner of the most medals was Russia with 33 medals total, counting 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze. Norway closely followed Russia with 26 total medals: 11 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze. Although the U.S. marginally defeated Canada in with total number of medals, Canada was able to outscore the U.S. with most gold medals by one.

This year’s Olympics were characterized by 17 days of intense competition. With surprising victories and heartbreaking defeats, the best winter athletes in the world battled it out for success. Included in that success was Adelina Sotnikova, Russia’s champion figure skater, who took gold. The seventeen-year-old outshined South Korean veteran skater and defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim. Though controversy quickly sparked over the judges’ decision, Sotnikova’s title stands.

In the ice dancing competition, U.S. pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White effortlessly claimed the gold medal. Both skaters hail from Michigan, and the 2014 Sochi Olympics were their second Olympic games together. At the Vancouver games in 2010, the pair won the silver medal. However, this year Davis and White’s charm and chemistry on the ice captivated the judges, winning yet another gold medal for the U.S. team.

Canadian teams dominated in ice sports, including men’s and women’s curling as well as men’s and women’s ice hockey. In particular, the women’s ice hockey team came back from a 2–0 deficit against the U.S. to triumph with a 3–2 win.

Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin is another impressive woman Olympian. At age 18, she became the youngest gold medal winner in women’s slalom, a type of alpine skiing. Shiffrin skied for team U.S. for the first time this year, but undoubtedly it will not be her last. After her impressive debut in the Sochi Olympics, Shiffrin already has her sights set on the 2018 Olympics.

Overall, the Sochi Olympics kept all viewers on the edge of their seats. Although political turmoil surrounds Russia at the moment, the games proved to look past it and brought the world together for fun competition and celebration of fantastic athletes. Next stop, Rio de Janeiro, summer 2016.