Winter Olympic Games in Sochi are over and we now look forward to Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. There was some skepticism about the games, but the organizers and participants proved critics wrong by making the event memorable. Here are 10 unforgettable moments of the Olympic Games in Sochi.
1. American-born Russian and his wife win snowboarding medals.
Russian fans were delighted when Vic Wild, an American-born snowboarder captured the gold medal for Russia. Wild, 27 is married to Alena Zavarzina, a Russian snowboarder. His wife won the bronze medal in the women’s snowboarding event just before Wild got a second gold. He described his win as beyond unbelievable. Wild, who is a Washington native, decamped to the Russian team after he failed to get the logistical and financial support that he required from the United States Ski and Snowboard Association. He is an alpine snowboarder and he changed his citizenship after he married Zavarzina in 2011. His performance at the winter Olympics proves that he made the right decision.
2. The Dufour-Lapointe family.
One of the most popular goals among athletes is to win at the Olympic Games. Athletes who have won medals in several events feel unsatisfied until they receive a medal at the Olympics. The Dufour-Lapointe sisters who come from Montreal were among the most memorable athletes at the games. Chloe, 22 and Justine, 19 won the silver and gold medals respectively for the women’s moguls. This was an amazing moment as the two sisters held hands on the podium. Their sister Maxime, who is the eldest of the three, was also a participant in the event and she came in at 12th place. It was an emotional moment for their parents who were among the spectators when they saw their daughters on the podium. It is not every day that one family has three Olympians in the same event.
3. Sixth gold by Marit Bjoergen.
Marit Bjoergen from Norway became one of the best Olympic athletes during the Sochi games when she won six gold medals in the women’s 30 km mass. She is a cross-country skier and her performance at Sochi equals Lyubov Yerogova, a Russian cross-country skier and Lidia Skoblikova, a Soviet speed skater’s triumph. These three women are the only ones who have managed to win six gold medals at any Winter Olympic Games. What a moment!
4. 13th Olympic medal by Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
Winning one medal at the Winter Olympic Games is considered a significant fete, but winning 13 medals is simply amazing. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen produced one of the most unforgettable moments in the Sochi games when he won 13 medals. The 40-year-old Norwegian managed to beat the record, he and fellow countryman Bjorn Daehile shared. The 13th medal came when the Norwegian team took the gold during the biathlon mixed relay.
5. Oldest athlete in the ski jump.
The Sochi games were memorable for both the young and old. Noriaki Kasai, a 41-year-old from Japan is now the oldest ski jumper to have town a medal at the Olympic Games. His age is not the most fascinating thing about this athlete. He has been to the Winter Olympics seven times, which is a record in itself. However, he had not won any medal so far as an individual athlete. He took the silver at the games after Kamil Stoch, from Poland captured the gold in the large hill ski jumping event. Kasai was expected to win the event, but he lost it at the last jump. He and Stoch were just 1.3 points apart and if Kasai had won, it would have made him the oldest athlete to win gold at this event. The Japanese team also took the bronze in the event and Kasai looks forward to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.
6. Ski cross photo finish.
The quarter-finals of the men’s ski cross was an exciting moment at the games, especially after three athletes all seemed to have tied for a position in the semi-final event when they tumbled at the finish line. The organizers were forced to use a photo-finish to make the decision. Egor Korotkov, was lucky to get a place in the semis after the photos revealed that his arm was stretched out. The other two athletes, Victor Oehling Norberg, from Sweden and Finland’s Jouni Pellinen were not lucky because they lay on their backs when they tumbled.
7. Norwegian biathlete almost loses the men’s mass medal.
Emil Hegle Svendsen was very luck at the Sochi games. The Norwegian almost lost the gold in the 15K after he put his hands up in celebration even before he crossed the finish line. Martin Fourcade, from France was behind Svendsen and this forced the organizers to use a photo finish to determine who won. The photo finish showed that Svendsen had won, but he almost lost it with a premature celebration.
8. Mikaela Shiffrin.
This eighteen year old proved that she is an incredible athlete after she made history at the Sochi Olympic Games. She took part in a couple of events including the Women’s Alpine Skiing, where she won the gold. This made her the first American female to win at an Olympic slalom meet in the last 42 years. She is also the youngest female athlete to achieve this event.
9. Celebrating Sarah Burke.
Sarah Burke, a freestyle skier passed away in January 2012 in a training accident and her fellow skiers paid tribute to her at the Sochi Games. She played an important role in making slopestyle an event at the Olympics and the tribute was fitting. The International Olympic Committee did not allow her colleagues to wear armbands in her memory so they decided to form a heart shape as they skied.
10. Gilmore Junio.
One of the most important aspects of the games is the athletes’ Olympic spirit. For some, this spirit is about making a sacrifice. Individuals make an effort to train hard for the different events and some take years before they have an opportunity to attend the Olympics. Gilmore Junio demonstrated the Olympic spirit when he gave up his place in the 1000m men’s skating event to Denny Morrison, who had failed to qualify. Morrison did not disappoint and went on to win the silver at the event.
The unforgettable moments at the Sochi Winter Olympics were made possible by the effort put in by individuals who were committed to making the most of their presence at the games. Teams also made the game memorable by showing team spirit. At the end of the games it was clear that it was more than just winning.