2014 Winter Olympic Games

2014 Winter Olympic Games

Brett Pizzi, Staff Writer

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, came to a conclusion on February 24, officially wrapping up a spectacular performance by the participating nations. In the end, Russia took first place, with an overall 33 medals, 13 of which being gold. The U.S.A placed fourth, with a medal count of 28, with only nine being gold. Second and third were taken by Norway and Canada, respectively, with Canada winning notable medals in both male and women’s hockey.

Highlights include the U.S. vs Canada Women’s Ice Hockey final.With time dwindling down in the final period, Canada lacked a goalie. A shot was sent flying to the goal, which narrowly missed and instead hit the goal post, giving Canada a chance to still mount a comeback.

“That was some of the best hockey I have ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, especially during the Women’s ice hockey final” Brandon Douglas, Junior, said.

Canada managed to tie it up in the third period, resulting in a 2-2 tie going into overtime, where Canada sealed the deal in a shootout, winning 3-2.

Other highlights include the Netherlands winning 23 medals in speed skating, ten more than any other country had ever won in a single event, Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen becoming the most decorated Winter Olympian in the history of the games, claiming his twelfth and thirteenth medals at this years games. Women’s Ski jumping made its first ever winter games appearance, and Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska withdrew from the winter games to go back home to Kiev and protest the ongoing violence going on.

Perhaps the most controversial and discussed topic going into Sochi was in regards to Russia’s Anti- Gay propaganda. Going into the Winter Olympics, many athletes were voicing their opinions towards Russian laws and the negative attitude they held towards homosexuals. Yet as athletes arrived to the games, the issue at hand changed for them.

“I really have already voiced my opinion and spoken out,” said U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner, responding to questions from reporters. Wagner has been outspoken in her criticism of the Russian laws. “My stand against the LGBT legislation here in Russia is really the most that I can do right now,” she said. “I’m here to compete first and foremost.”

While the issues still stood and athletes still held their concerns, they were first and foremost there to convey his or her nation and perform in the games they spent an so much time prepping for. While politics shouldn’t be separated from the diverse and large showings of the Olympics, athletes took it upon themselves to make their primary focus of enjoying themselves and participating in the event they have waited their whole life for.