That’s a wrap for Sochi. The most expensive Olympics ever is over. Russia’s investment paid off if you count success with the most medals, 33 with 13 Golds for the host. US was tied midway through the games, but ended up fourth behind Norway and Canada. Of the 28 US medals, 8 of the 9 Golds were earned in skiing and snowboarding.
It all started with Sage Kotsenburg winning the first Gold of the Games in Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle, going big after Shaun White backed down. Then Jamie Anderson won Sochi’s Snowboard Slopestyle debut for the females.
The highlight to me was the US Men’s Slopestyle Skiing medal sweep, Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper landed the entire podium in this first ever Olympic ski venue. Devin Logan won Silver on the ladies side. David Wise and Maddie Bowman won Ski Halfpipe for the US, and Kaitlyn Farrington grabbed Gold in Snowboard Halfpipe.
In Snowboard Cross, Alex Deibold won Bronze. Hannah Kearney took Bronze in Mogul Skiing. No aerial or ski cross medals for the US this time.
On the alpine skiing side, huge props go to Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin for their alpine Golds in GS and Slalom. Andrew Weibrecht took Silver in Super G, where Bode Miller got Bronze and the title “oldest Olympic Alpine medalist” at 36. Of course Julia Mancuso shined bright at the games for Bronze in Combined Slalom.
Ralph Lauren redeemed the US athletes with improved Closing Ceremony uniforms, the navy pea coat with red stripe was more appropriate and less Gramma’s Christmas sweater style than the Opening outfits. NBC’s coverage was a mix in my opinion, too many ads, talk of Bob Costa’s pink eye, and last night’s ridiculous 90-minute rehash of the Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan scandal should have been iced.
Who would have guessed Russia would host the warmest ever Winter Games with temperatures in the 60s? Now Russia’s $50 billion venues at Sochi will host the Paralympics. After that, those expensive hotel rooms, ski slopes and gondola cars at Rosa Khutor are up for grabs.