Thursday, February 27, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Wrapping up the Olympics
Sunday night saw the XXII Winter Games come to a close. And if one were wont to ask the man or woman in the street about the success or non-success of the trials, one could expect only a lukewarm reaction. The Russian consort did a good enough job of hosting, and the creature comfort complaints were not that enormous and certainly could be expected in the preparation of such a venue.
As Americans, were our “golden hopes” dashed? Well, yes and no. We were in on some history-making events which were mostly American in nature. From my cynic chair, there was some disappointment in our hockey teams. Right up to the last day of competition, I thought the men and women had a golden shot. Ultimately, neither copped a gold medal, however, the women did get the silver. For the men there was no “ice miracle” this year. Of course, there was none for Russia either, who also did not reach the gold round. When it all boiled down to gravy, Canada had swiped the gold again. Some hockey team owners and coaches in the U.S. voiced dislikes of the games because team members had to be released to participate.
The duo of Merle Davis and Charlie White made history by becoming the first U.S. ice dancers to bring home the gold. The judges probably had no choice because their performance was smooth and flawless.
Mikaela Shiffrin made history also when she won gold in the women’s slalom in alpine skiing, becoming the first 18-year-old to do so.
I don’t remember if this was a historical event, but the U.S. got two teams in bobsledding on the podium at the same time. The two-women bobsled teams, of Elana Myers and Lauryn Williams and Aja Evans and Jamie Grebubel, ascended for silver and bronze, respectively.
In the overall count, the U.S. came in second to Russia in the full medal count. Russia garnered 13 gold (they had only won three in Vancouver in 2010), 11 silver and nine bronze (33). U.S. had nine gold, seven silver and 12 bronze (28). Norway was third with a total of 26, which included two more gold than the U.S.
Critics said that the closing ceremony on Sunday, which featured a snow hare, polar bear and snow leopard, was equally as impressive as the opening ceremony two weeks earlier. The bear dropped a lone tear when blowing out the Olympic flame.
In the words of M.C Hammer, “I won’t touch that.”
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