The third day of the 2014 Winter Olympics is in the books, which means that some lucky participants have already graced the podium and taken a nice bite out of their medals. But it’s not all fun and games for some, as there were plenty of competitors that will be disappointed with their performances, and those are the athletes (and nations) on which we will focus here.
Before we get to the countries with the most to prove, let’s celebrate (in the true Olympic spirit) the winners so far and take a look at the medal count so far:
Nations With Most to Prove Moving Forward
Canada are second in the medal count with three medals, so it’s not all bad for the Canucks. That said, it could have been better.
Let’s start with the team figure skating, where reigning gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lost to the American team in the short-program phase of the competition. The Canadian team is still in second place (behind the Russians), but Saturday’s performance was a missed opportunity to close the gap on the Russians and simultaneously allowed the Americans to pull within striking distance.
That wasn’t the most disappointing part of Canada’s day, however. That honor goes to the debut of the men’s slopestyle event.
The Canadians were expected to dominate the podium, with a trio of medal hopefuls in Mark McMorris, Sebastien Toutant and Max Parrot.
You would think there was some extra motivation, as Toutant and Parrot mocked American Shaun White for pulling out of the event, according to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.
But only one Canadian—McMorris—made it to the podium.
There are still plenty of medals left for the Canadians to grab, but Saturday could have been a much better day for the nation’s place in the medal standings.
The host nation still doesn’t have a medal to its name, but a gold medal looked to be in Russia’s grasp in the speedskating event.
Denis Yuskov burst out of the gates in the 5,000-meter race, and the hopes of the country rose as he looked certain to win gold. Unfortunately, Yuskov faded down the stretch in a big way.
He dropped five spots and finished in sixth place, far enough that he didn’t even sniff the podium.
Russia aren't going to stay off the medal tally for long, but it's been a disappointing start for the host nation.