Meet the 9 U.S. Olympians Who Snagged Sochi Gold

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Photo Courtesy of Paul Hudson, licensed through Flickr, via Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy of Paul Hudson, licensed through Flickr, via Creative Commons

Now that the dust has settled on Sochi, the medal counting can begin — for better or worse. The United States, missing out on gold medal representation more often than in year’s past (this time, the U.S. came away with just 9 gold medals), was a disappointment, finishing fourth overall in the Gold medal category behind Russia (13 golds), Sweden (11), and Canada (10). None of the medals were in speed-skating, the first time that’s happened since 1984, and the States also missed out on an individual ice skater on the podium for the first time since 1936. So that was unexpected. The Men’s hockey team underperformed, losing their opportunity for the gold in a 1-0 loss to Team Canada in what felt like a Vancouver reprisal. They didn’t end up medaling at the end of the day either.

On the flip side, Team USA did bring it in the action sports. Cleaned up, in fact. Of the 9 gold medals, more than half were in events that had seen their inclusion in the Olympics questioned by the very commentators who would go on to grin and bear it when these athletes were the only ones coming back home with medals. For the first time in forever, the U.S. Olympic Gold medalists weren’t automatons shilling Wheaties, but athletes who fell asleep watching Fight Club and eating onion rings the night before.

Fun was the theme at Sochi, a theme underlined by the closing ceremony, which saw Russia poke at itself with a reference to a botched stylistic element of the opening. When’s the last time that happened? Who made it happen? On the U.S. side, let’s take a look at the nine American gold medalists who went over to Russia and ended up with a win.

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