The opening ceremony in Sochi, Russi, to kick off the Olympic Games on Feb. 7 was a beautiful sight. Other than a ring malfunction everything went very smoothly.
After two days of competition the first medal ceremony occurred for the ladies skiathlon and men’s slopestyle. American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won the first gold medal of the Winter Olympic Games with a score of 93.5. Three-time Olympic champion from Norway Marit Bjoergen won her fourth gold medal in the event. On day five Dara Howell of Canada displayed a fantastic score of 94.20 points on her first run to take gold in the Olympic women’s freestyle skiing slopestyle event. Norway took the gold and silver for the women’s cross country skiing.
One of the biggest upsets for the Americans was snowboard superstar Shaun White. He removed himself from the slopestyle event to focus on half pipe where he was looking for his third gold medal in a row. In the qualification round he scored a monster 95.75 taking the number one spot heading into the finals. However, on his first run he missed a landing, fell, and got a score of 35. He had a good second run, but it wasn’t enough to catch up and put himself in the top three.
During day 14 Canada won their first Olympic gold in women’s curling since 1998. Maddie Bowman upset the veterans to claim women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe gold. Another huge upset for the Americans was giving up the gold medal in women’s ice hockey to Canada after being up 2-0 going into the third period.
The U.S. men’s ice hockey team was also a disappointment. After losing to Canada in the semifinals which the winner was likely to win the gold (Canada defeated Sweden for gold), the Americans then got blown out in the bronze game, losing to Finland 5-0.
The Olympic Games in Sochi definitely had their problems including the warm weather affecting the course, and injured athletes. However, the games were very interesting and a lot of historic moments happened. Despite the Americans disappointments they preformed very well.
Here is a look at the final medal count. Russia finished in first place with 33 total medals, and they also took home more gold medals than any other country with 13. The United States finished second in total medals with 28, although their nine gold medals was only the fourth highest total. Norway finished third with 26 total and 11 gold medals. Canada was fourth with 25 total medals and 10 gold medals. Rounding out the top five was the Netherlands, who won 24 total medals, including eight gold medals.