Pyeongchang – Nine golds, eight silver, three bronze, and countless amazing moments. Though not our country’s best winter Olympic performance, the United States can still look back on this year’s Olympics with their heads held high and smiles all around.
Seven medals were earned in snowboarding, the most of any sport for the US. 20 year old Kyle Mack won silver in the men’s big air competition, along with his teammate Jamie Anderson who took silver in the women’s category. America topped the podium in slope style as well, with Redmond Gerard and Jamie Anderson once again taking home gold in men and women’s. But the greatest US victory came in the half-pipe. For the women’s, Arielle Gold took bronze and Chloe Kim took gold (while tweeting about her eating habits). Shaun White took gold, topping Ayumu Hirano of Japan by only 2.5 points. This came after a horrible accident last October, resulting in 62 stitches. “I knew I did a great ride, and I was proud of that, and I could walk away with my head high, but when they announced my score and I’d won, it crippled me,” White stated.
There were plenty of other victories for the States as well. The US men’s curling team won big with their gold medal performance, a big redemption for the team who placed dead last in the last two games. “This is silly,” team captain John Shuster told himself. “I’m getting my heart broken, I feel like, by this sport — and this is silly. Seriously, this is the Olympics.” But, this year it all changed. The first Olympic victory for US curling ever, the team edged Canada, the reigning champion and then Sweden to take home the big win. “During the entire end, we could kind of feel it building,” Shuster said, “Their margin for error got incredibly small.”
Triumph also came in the form of the women’s hockey team. The team worked there way up to the gold medal match against Canada. At the end of regulation, the two teams were tied 2 to 2. After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout. In the end, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s amazing stick handling scored the final goal for the US. “This is a very classic example of how hard it should be,” U.S. Coach Robb Stauber said, “Winning a gold medal should be very difficult.”
Skiing was also America’s forte, with the women’s team sprint cross country team tacking gold. Mikaela Shiffrin brought home two medals, a gold in giant sloem and silver in alpine combined. Lindsey Vonn won bronze in women’s downhill, and Brita Sigourney won bronze in the half pipe. The men topped the half-pipe podium, with David Wise taking gold and teammate Alex Ferreira tacking second. Also, Nick Goepper took silver in men’s slope-style.
Though not all victories will be remembered as huge achievements to those outside the sports. The U.S. women’s two-person bobsleigh team of Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs, won a silver medal. Chris Mazder won silver in men’s luge. On ice, John-Henry Krueger won silver in 1000m speed skating. The U.S. women’s team pursuit won bronze, along with the mixed figure skating and mixed ice dancing teams.
Overall, this might not have been the best Olympic performance for the US, but the many memorable moments made it all worthwhile. Here’s to hoping that America’s next performance will be even more memorable.