Although the 2014 Winter Games were littered with some major ups and downs, American athletes still managed to collect a total of 28 medals. The US may not have fared as well as projected, but there were still plenty of jaw-dropping finishes. Below are my top Team USA moments in Sochi.
Hamlin took home the bronze in the women’s singles luge on February 2014, and made history by becoming the first American to win an individual medal in luge history. At 27 years old, Sochi marked Hamlin’s third Olympic appearance and first medal win. Erin hasn’t confirmed if this will be the end of her Olympic career, but one thing is certain—she has forever changed the face of the sport.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White
Speaking of making Olympic history, Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first U.S. athletes to win gold in the ice dancing competition. After working together for 17 years, their partnership rivals the longevity of many marriages. The pair has seen their share of victory and defeat, but persevered through it all to obtain the ultimate victory.
Although Bode Miller’s Sochi performances will likely be synonymous with the Cooper interview that took place after his super-G run, it’d be a shame to overlook the fact that he, too, made history in Sochi. At 36, winning his bronze medal made him the oldest ski racer to medal in the Olympics—ever. Only Bode Miller could make being old look that badass.
Sage Kotsenburg scored a double whammy when he took home the gold in slopestyle. Not only did he win the first-ever gold medal in the new category, he won the first gold of the games. Considering the fact that the 20 year old wasn’t even mentioned as a potential podium contender, Kotsenburg effectively took the sport by storm.
Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers strove for gold in their final race at the Sochi Olympics. Although the bobsled duo slipped from first place to second, their silver medal helped Williams make history. She is the first American woman to medal in both the Summer Games and the Winter Games.
The 24 year old Idaho-born snowboarder rocked the women’s halfpipe, earning herself top spot on the podium. Farrington won the gold thanks to her backside 900 and perfectly executed pair of 720s. Despite poor track conditions and the fact that she wasn’t expected to medal, Kaitlyn Farrington’s tenacity stole the show (and the gold).
Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper
These three men brought us the third Winter Olympic podium sweep in U.S. history during the Sochi Games. Christensen, Kenworthy, and Goepper rocked slopestyle skiing—taking gold, silver, and bronze, respectively.
At 18 years old, Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest Olympic slalom champion, and the first American to win the event in 42 years. If skiing was a fantasy sport, I’d take Shiffrin as a first round draft pick! Touted as a ski prodigy, Shiffrin has been grooming herself for this gold medal for years—and it paid off.
The Sochi Olympics were, at times, a struggle for Team USA. However, in moments of triumph, victory never tasted sweeter. I’m already looking forward to 2018…the countdown to PyeongChang begins!
Julia Randall will be diligently practicing her cross-country skiing for the next four years (or so). When she’s not out enjoying the trails, you can find her playing Scrabble and making homemade no-bake cookies.