Sochi-2014 Olympic Games: Hot, Сool, Ours!
The first success of team Russia (the USSR won the winter Olympics seven times) dates back to the 1994 – the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. To tell the truth, we succeeded in winning only because of the number of gold medals – the overall total numbered only 23, while teams Norway and Germany got 26 and 24 medals in total respectively that time. But this time it was a total victory!
Frankly speaking, only few believed in that victory-s possibility. The sports officials were really conservative in their predictions either – their best guess was the third place for our team. Even the first few days of the Games were harsh for team Russia.
Let us have a brief overview of the Games and our team’s performance.
February 8th – the medal score for team Russia is zero, while the Canadians get two gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
February 9th was the day for our team to score the first points for the overall total (still we only managed to rise as high as position four or five). Our first medal - which was a bronze one – was won by Olga Graf, a speed skater. Then Olga Vilukhina, a biathlete, and Albert Demchenko, a luger, both got silver for the team. It was the figure skaters’ team who brought the first gold medal for the grand total – those ten athletes were unbeatable in the team event.
Then the team started falling back – we were only the sixth at February 10th and fell one place lower to become the seventh at February 11th. February 14th was the day when it all seemed hopeless – we fell to the eighth place.
February 15th granted a new hope for team Russia. The tireless Korean Russian Victor Ahn became an Olympic champion while his teammate Vladimir Grigorev was the second in 1000m short track run. Gold for the team was won by a 28 years old skeleton racer Alexander Tretiakov. It was then that team Russia came to the fore for the first time during the Sochi Olympics – 15 medals in our country’s collection and 14 in Germany’s and USA’s respectively. Still, our place we were the third team in the grand total.
The next day saw us falling to place five. Still that day was full of triumph – team Russia achieved the first record during the Olympics – for the first time in 26 years we’ve won an Olympic medal in men’s team sprint cross country classic event (it was silver). The last time soviet athletes scored in that sport was back in 1988 in Calgary.
February 17th saw us rise to the second place in the unofficial team event. It was for the second time that team Russia made a claim for leadership during the Sochi winter Olympics. Aleksandr Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda the bobsledders won a gold medal while Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov got a bronze for their ice dance figure skating.
A day later a snowboarder Nikolay Olyunin was the only one to win any medals – it was a silver one, by the way – and therefore team Russia descended to the fifth place with five “Golds” scored. At that time Germany could boast having won 8 gold medals while both Netherlands and USA had had six each.
It was the nineteenth of February that became the breaking point in the team’s performance. Since that day the only direction we moved was upwards. The day itself ended with team Russia occupying the fourth place in the unofficial team event. The Olympic-winning couple Vic Wild and Alena Zavarzina brought a gold and a bronze medal in men’s and women’s giant parallel slalom respectively while Maksim Vilegzhanin and Nikita Kriukov were second in team sprint classic event. Still the day was not without a disappointment – the Russian hockey team lost to Finland 1:3 and therefore quitted the tournament.
February 20th is a day to be remembered in the history of Russian figure skating. Adelina Sotnikova won a hard-fought Olympic Gold that day. It was the first-time-ever achievement in that kind of event for the Russian team. However, the general overall shows that our team is unable to continue its ascension and still occupies the fourth place.
The next day’s results changed that. Two more gold medals were added to the overall score which moved us to the second place. The ones to win them were Victor Ahn and his mates in short track events. The only thing to say here is “Bravo, Mr. Ahn!” The biathletes also made the fans happy by winning the silver medal in women’s relay event.
It was on February 22nd that team Russia became the leader in the overall team event for the first time. A bronze medal in women’s team pursuit speed skating, a gold medal won by Vic Wild in snowboarding and the key victory in men’s biathlon relay - Aleksei Volkov, Evgeny Ustyugov, Dmitry Malyshko and Anton Shipulin go for the win! The tricky thing was that if we had come second in that race we would have been second in the overall either.
And at last – but not at least – February 23rd became the day of triumph for our team. Eight sets of medals were contested that day and Russia succeed in winning four medals! The performance of Russian marathon skiers was tremendous: As a result of their effort the whole victory podium belonged to team Russia. Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov came first, second and third respectively. Meanwhile the Russian bobsled team (Alexander Zubkov, Dmitry Trunenkov, Alexey Negodaylo and Alexey Voevoda) were the ones to draw the line under the uncertainty of who would be the overall champion by winning the gold medal in four-man bobsled event. It was the lucky 13th gold medal for team Russia.
Михаил Воскресенский/РИА «Новости»
“Russia has been working for that success days and nights since the failure in Vancouver (we got the 11th overall result then – which was quite a shock – editor’s note) and made a tremendous progress. We achieved marvelous results in those four years and the only thing that is left is to congratulate the Russian team on achieving that tremendous success” – the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach announced at the final press conference.
According to him, there were lots of records set in Sochi. For example, Russia hosted the greatest number of participants – 2876 athletes and 88 national Olympic Committees.
The winter Olympic Games – 2014 lasted for 18 days, which includes the events that took place on February 6th and the Grand Opening Ceremony on February 7th.
The grand overall results of the unofficial team event at Sochi-2014:
1. Russia (13 gold medals, 11 silver ones, 9 bronze ones (total – 33 medals)
2. NORWAY (11 – 5 – 10 (26)
3. CANADA (10 – 10 – 5 (25)
4. USA (9 – 7 – 12 (28)
5. NETHERLANDS (8 – 7 – 9 (24)
6. GERMANY (8 – 6 – 5 (19)
7. SWITZERLAND (6 – 3 – 2 (11)
8. BELARUS (5 – 0 – 1 (6)
9. AUSTRIA (4 – 8 – 5 (17)
10. FRANCE (4 – 4 – 7 (15)
The overall number of states who can boast having won the Olympian medals is 26.
The Paralympic Games will take place in Sochi from March 7th till March 16th.
- Russia demonstrated the best of its capacities during the grand Closing Ceremony of the XXII winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
- Five new records have already been set during the Sochi-2014 winter Olympic Games
- Evgenii Plushenko is ready to participate in the next Olympic Games
- Evan Lysacek: joking on Plushenko is unacceptable
- Sochi-2014: the Olympic athletes keep on…sunbathing