-by Maddy Batt-
1. Russia– 13 gold, 11 silver, 9 bronze
2. Norway– 11 gold, 5 silver, 10 bronze
3. Canada– 10 gold, 10 silver, 5 bronze
4. USA– 9 gold, 7 silver, 12 bronze
5. Netherlands– 8 gold, 7 silver, 9 bronze
Winter Olympics Wrap-up
Sochi was making headlines before the games even began as athletes and members of the press arrived to unfinished hotels. Photos of half-built rooms went viral– along with this picture of athlete Johnny Quinn’s bathroom door, which he broke through after being locked in.
Even after the Olympics began, concern about the condition of the facilities often overshadowed news about the events. Sochi struggled to find a balance between the trend toward more spectacular Olympic events and the safety of their athletes, and many competitors complained that the courses for downhill skiers and snowboarders were too dangerous. Unexpectedly warm weather caused further problems: some days even reached 60 degrees and sunny, which turned the snow to slush.
However, many teams succeeded despite these difficulties. The U.S. swept men’s slopestyle skiing, taking gold, silver, and bronze. This is only the third time in Winter Olympic history that our nation has achieved such a feat. Gus Kenworthy, who earned silver in the event, also made news for electing to bring some stray puppies home with him.
The Netherlands made history by winning 23 medals out of a possible 36 in speedskating. Though the Dutch have always been known for their mastery of the sport, this year marked a record high: they broke the record for most medals won in a single Winter Olympic event.
In addition to historical successes, upsets and disappointments abounded. Shaun White, who won gold in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe in the past two Olympic Games, failed to make the podium this year. Evgeny Plushenko, a Russian figure skater, experienced a veritable roller coaster of emotions this Olympics: after fighting knee and back injuries to help Russia win gold in the team figure skating competition, he was forced to withdraw from the men’s short program during warm-ups due to pain.
Sochi also encompassed the true Olympic spirit of international cooperation. When Russian cross-country skier Anton Gafarov crashed and broke a ski, Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth rushed to his rescue. He provided Gafarov with a new ski, allowing the competitor to cross the finish line. Olympic fans from around the world lauded Wadsworth for his sportsmanship.
Ultimately, the Sochi Winter Olympics had its moments of euphoric joy and crushing disappointment. Whether you reached the closing ceremony filled with pride or defeat, one thing is certain– these games will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Image from the Daily Mail