Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Team USA Highlights for Day 5

Lindsay Gibbs@linzsports Featured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2014

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The fifth day of the Sochi Games was certainly not one that most of Team USA will want to dwell on.

The team only won two medals all day, and both of them came in the same event. For the rest of the day, records stayed firmly in place and injuries took out competitors before they even had a chance to compete.

Here are the highs, lows and everything in between from an eventful, yet disappointing Wednesday.

Best surprise

Let's start with the positive: Kaitlyn Farrington.

Farrington won the gold medal in the women's snowboarding halfpipe on Wednesday. She took the top spot over her more accomplished peersAustralian Torah Bright, who won silver, and fellow American Kelly Clark, who won bronze.

Sergei Grits/Associated Press

Her second run was nearly flawless. She landed trick...

after trick.

In the final competition of the day, the 24-year old gave Americans a reason to cheer and became an Olympic champion. That's what it's all about.

Gnarliest wipeout

Veteran Kelly Clark won the gold in Salt Lake City, was fourth in Torino and earned a bronze in Vancouver. After all of that, the 30-year-old was the favorite heading into the snowboarding halfpipe in Sochi.

But, on her first run in the final, Clark had a terrible wipeout.

Luckily, the four-time Olympian was able to recover in time for her second run, and she ended up taking the bronze.

Clark (right) smiling with gold medalist Farrington.
Clark (right) smiling with gold medalist Farrington.Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

It wasn't the medal she had dreamed of, but three Olympic medals is a career that anyone should be proud of.

Saddest news

Arielle Gold, the 17-year-old snowboarding sensation, was expected by many to medal at these Games. Instead, she fell during a training run on Wednesday morning, dislocated her shoulder and couldn't even compete.

Her Olympics ended before it could officially begin.
Her Olympics ended before it could officially begin.Sergei Grits/Associated Press

Terrible luck, but I'm sure the superstar-in-the-making will be back. 

Biggest letdown

Speedskater Shani Davis came into these Games as the favorite to win the 1,000 meters for the third straight Olympics. A three-peat in the same event would have been a historic feat for the American, one that Shaun White failed to achieve on Tuesday.

Brutal.Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Unfortunately, it didn't go well for Davis, either. He finished in eighth place. 

As reported by CBS News, a disappointed Davis talked to the press afterward. "I just had a misfortunate race," he said. "I have to live with this the rest of my life."

Davis has the 1,500 meters and team pursuit left. He has won silver in the last two Olympics in the 1,500, and another medal there would certainly take the sting off of his 1,000-meter defeat.

Most controversial goal

Team USA is favored to win the gold in women's hockey, but it is going to have to get through Canada first. In Wednesday's round-robin match, that didn't happen.

Drama!Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Canada won 3-2, but its second goal was rife with drama. The whistle seemed to blow before the puck went into the net.

Most seemed to agree that the goal should have counted, though it was definitely up for interpretation. But both Team USA and Team Canada will advance to the semifinals anyway, where they'll be favored to win and meet in the gold-medal match.

Should all go to plan, the U.S. team will have a chance for revenge.

Most gracious loser

Mancuso didn't stay bummed for long.
Mancuso didn't stay bummed for long.Gero Breloer/Associated Press

Oh Julia Mancuso, you are just a delight. Mancuso came in a disappointing eighth in downhill, but she didn't let that get her too down.

She spent a lot of the day on Twitter, cheering on other athletes across the Games. 

Way to capture the Olympic spirit, Julia!

Best Olympic debut in pairs figure skating

I'm just going to cop out and call this a tie. 

Neither American pairs team medaled on Wednesday, but they both skated great programs and gave us all a lot of reasons to be excited about the future.

Castelli and Shnapir dazzled.
Castelli and Shnapir dazzled.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

National champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir finished in ninth place and were so, so close to perfectly nailing their famous quad throw.

Zhang and Bartholomay owned the ice.
Zhang and Bartholomay owned the ice.Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Meanwhile, Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finished a very respectable 12th and completed their program without any falls.

The competition was just too far ahead of both teams today, but they did their country proud.

Most non-committal response

Shaun White was a good sport doing The Today Show on Wednesday morning after his devastating defeat in the halfpipe on Tuesday.

Feb 11, 2014; Krasnaya Polyana, RUSSIA; Shaun White (USA) speaks at a press conference following the men's snowboarding halfpipe finals of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.  Mandatory Credit: Nathan Bilow-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Bilow-USA TODAY Sports

When asked the requisite question about whether he would be back in 2018, he was, well, not very convincing.

It will be interesting to see what's next for White.

Best selfie

American snowboarder Hannah Teter finished in fourth place in halfpipe, looking up at two of her compatriots on the podium. Not an easy place to be.

But, she should find consolation in the fact that she did take the best selfie of the day. After qualifying for the final in the snowboarding halfpipe, Teter paused to take a selfie and make the rest of us jealous.

Overall, not a bad way to spend the day.

Most memorable photobomb

This might be my favorite thing that happened on Wednesday. As NBC's Randy Moss gave a report about American Nordic combined star Todd Lodwick, Lodwick came up behind him and nodded throughout.

Moss didn't realize what was happening until Lodwick tapped him on the shoulder at the end of the segment. A surprised Moss proceeded to pat Lodwick back on the exact bad shoulder he was just telling the viewers about.

The video won't embed, but trust me—it's worth a watch.

Best bets for Thursday

Speedskater Heather Richardson will be trying to bounce back from her disappointing showing in the 500 meters and get on the podium in the 1,000-meter race.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11:  Heather Richardson of the United States react after competing during the Women's 500m Race 1 of 2 Speed Skating event during day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Adler Arena Skating Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi,
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Rising star Nick Goepper will make his Olympic debut in the premiere of freestyle skiing slopestyle in the Games. He's a favorite to win a medal.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 25:  Freeskier Nick Goepper poses for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 25, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Meanwhile, both Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown will take the ice in the men's short program. Both had falls in the team competition and will be looking for some redemption.

Please don't do this on Thursday, Jeremy.
Please don't do this on Thursday, Jeremy.Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

You stay on your feet too, Jason.
You stay on your feet too, Jason.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for Team USA. 


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