Team USA is developing quite a pattern at Sochi, win an Olympic medal every day. That continued on Wednesday and the color was gold, silver and bronze.
Some countries have dominated at speed skating or cross-country skiing, but the Americans are excelling on anything slope-related, whether it be in the Rosa Khutor extreme park or the Alpine slopes. There was unexpected success at the sliding center too, which saw another two medals fall to team USA.
The day got off to a good start for Team USA with veteran Ted Ligety holding on to win gold in the Men's Giant Slalom. He attacked the course in his first run and despite slowing significantly in the second it was enough to hold off a talented French duo.
A disappointing footnote to the event was news that it would be Bode Miller's last of Sochi. He withdrew from his final event after this Giant Slalom, ending his 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russia had plenty to cheer about in the Men's Giant Slalom on snowboard with Vic Wild claiming gold for the host country. His path to the Olympics was interesting. After being born and raised in the USA he met his wife (a Russian national) and gained citizenship. Wild believe Team USA didn't adequately support the event, which was part of the reason he switched countries.
It wasn't a gold, but Russia returned to the podium in the women's event to take bronze. Patrizia Kummer dominated the event, with the Swiss snowboarder holding off Tomoka Takeuchi by almost eight seconds to win easily.
Norway has dominated Cross-Country, but struggled in the Men's Team Sprint Classic to finish in fourth place. It was an uneven performance from the country, finding themselves in ninth place following the first round. They dug their way out, but quickly slipped back into the middle of the pack.
Things went according to plan in the women's draw, with Norway winning by almost ten seconds over Finland -- who finished claiming the silver. It was another stellar performance by the Norwegians, who have dominated this event thus far.
Netherlands domination of speed skating has gotten silly, but they couldn't take the gold on Wednesday. Martina Sablikova beat the competition by almost three seconds, holding off two talented Dutch skaters and forcing them to settle for silver and bronze. Most countries would be overjoyed with a 2-3 finish, but the Netherlands are notoriously unhappy with anything other than gold, which means the event was a slight disappointment.
The mixed team event took place in the Biathlon and Norway's shooting was near-perfect en route to a gold medal. They missed a total of two shots between the men and women's team, an unmatched result that led to the third gold for the Norwegian team in the event.
The sliding center has given Team USA mixed results but on Wednesday it was the home of two brilliant runs that won the Americans silver and bronze in the Women's bobsled. Canada took gold, keeping the podium a strictly North American affair.
|Gold||CAN||Kallie Humphries/ Heather Moyse|
|Silver||USA||Elana Meyers/ Lauryn Williams|
|Bronze||USA||Aja Evans/ Jamie Greubel|