By: Brad Banaszynski and Jack Carrara
The 2014 Winter Olympics have come and gone after closing ceremonies took place on February 23. The Winter games took place in Sochi, Russia where the American athletes encountered some sub-par living conditions. Various tweets from these athletes described their experiences such as a lack of shower curtains and stalls in public bathrooms to miniature beds that only accommodated about half the athlete’s body. Regardless of these conditions, the United States had a very impressive showing at the Winter games. Although Russia took the lead with the most medals the United States were a close second. As many know, the United State’s Men’s Hockey team had a heartbreaking loss against Canada in the semifinals. Canada was able to score first, not far into the second period, and team U.S.A. struggled to get it back. Many JCHS students watched in the back gym as Canada was able to hold the lead and eventually come out on top over the United States.
The nine gold medal winners for team U.S.A. included: Sage Kotsenburg, Jamie Anderson, Kaitlyn Farrington, Jess Christensen, Charlie White and Meryl Davis, David Wise, Ted Ligety, Maddie Bowman, and finally Mikaela Shiffrin. These, along with other athletes that took silver and bronze, helped the U.S.A place second overall in the medal count with 28 overall. Out of the nine gold medals won by Team U.S.A., seven were won by first-time Olympians. In snowboarding, Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson won gold in the inaugural slopestyle events, and Kaitlyn Farrington won the women’s halfpipe. In freestyle skiing, Joss Christensen won the inaugural men’s slopestyle, David Wise won men’s halfpipe, and Maddie Bowman won women’s halfpipe. Also, eighteen-year-old alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the slalom in her Olympic debut. Among returning Olympians, Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the first American gold in ice dancing and Ted Ligety won gold in giant slalom becoming the first American man to win two Olympic golds in alpine skiing. Fellow alpine skier Bode Miller, competing in his fifth winter games, became the oldest alpine medalist at age 36, winning bronze in the Super-G. The United States had a staggering 230 athletes participating in 15 events. America received 7 medals in freestyle skiing, 5 in snowboarding and alpine skiing, 4 in bobsled, 2 in figure skating and skeleton, and 1 in luge, short track speed skating, and ice hockey.