I know we love to focus on the negatives, and it seems especially so when it comes to Sochi. The dilapidated infrastructure, the packs of wild dogs, Putin and his government's anti-LGBT stance, even the weather!
Speaking of the weather- take it from someone who has endured a winter’s worth of subzero temps,“too warm” sounds like an amazing winter to me! Sochi's weather, however, has been front and center for the men and women tasked with skiing or boarding down the slushy, spring-time mountainside.
Some of the most vocal detractors of the slushy conditions have been the snowboarders, namely Danny Davis and even half pipe winner Iouri Podladchikov. The three female medalists were a bit more mum on the conditions at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. American Kaitlyn Farrington (pictured below; pictured above, left) took home gold, surprising everyone to take the victory. She defeated three previous Olympic champions amongst others in a truly world-class field. Fellow American American Kelly Clark (pictured above, right) joined Farrington on the podium to collect bronze, with Aussie Torah Bright separating the two Team USA representatives.
Courtesy of Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports
One positive Russia can take from these games is their return to prominence on the figure skating rink. After 12 straight Olympics, the Russians had collected every gold there was in Pairs Figure Skating, but that streak came to an end in Vancouver when the Chinese pair Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo topped the podium. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (pictured below) have wowed audiences all week with their graceful displays, and Wednesday was no different. The couple outdid themselves after each performance and coasted to a first place finish by a wide margin, with another Russian pair, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, taking the silver to confirm the host nation's dominance. Neither American squad figured much in the proceedings, netting 9th
place finishes, though Canadian pair Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch skated well for 5th to finish the top North American team.
Courtesy of AP
Is it time to add Women’s Hockey to the likes of Shaun White, Hannah Teeter, Shani Davis, and so many more? The most marketable, recognizable Americans have all failed to medal in each athlete’s signature event. I don’t think it’s quite time to add the ladies’ squad to the list, but they did suffer a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Team Canada. Not to worry, both teams will advance into the medal stage and should likely meet again in a match for the gold.
Courtesy of Petr David Josek/AP Photo
And we will end on a positive note! The American men have finally gotten their act together and won a Curling match. They posted an impressive 9-5 walloping over Denmark. Riveting!
What does tomorrow have in store for Team USA in Sochi then?
John Celski looks to improve upon his first time out as he takes the ice for the 1,000 Meter Short Track Speedskate.
Men’s Hockey finally kicks off, with Team USA taking to the ice against Slovakia. It was recently announced that LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick will mind the nets in the opener.
Team USA men also look to build on their victory in curling as they take on Great Britain, while the ladies challenge Japan for the team’s first win of the Olympics.
And last but certainly not least, Nick Goepper hits the slopes for the men’s Slopestyle Skiing. He just happened to grow up and learnto ski in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. If you’ve seen Indiana on a map lately, they don’t have much terrain out there. Like corn and riverboats. Not much else. But Goepper used the ski resort minutes from his house to hone his craft, and it has clearly worked out for him - he will now seriously threaten to take the gold.
Should be a fun Thursday in Sochi! Check in to PopWrapped tomorrow for a round-up of the day's action!
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