Norway surged ahead of Canada on Day 4 of the 2014 Winter Games to take the overall Olympic medal count lead.
All told, there were 24 medals handed out on Tuesday in Sochi, Russia. Norway claimed four of them to boost its four-day total to 11 medals, thanks to a show of dominance in the cross-country events.
With nearly two weeks remaining, there's plenty of time for these rankings to change.
It's not surprising that the Norwegians did well on Tuesday, but there are other upcoming events that could boost nations like Germany, Russia and others well past the current leader.
Here's a look at all the medal winners from Day 4, followed by a closer examination of the biggest highlights from the action.
|Biathlon||Women's 10km Pursuit||Darya Domracheva (BLR)||Tora Berger (NOR)||Teja Gregorin (SLO)|
|Cross Country||Ladies' Sprint Free||Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)||Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR)||Vesna Fabjan (SLO)|
|Cross Country||Men's Sprint Free||Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)||Teodor Peterson (SWE)||Emil Joensson (SWE)|
|Freestyle Skiing||Ladies' Ski Slopestyle||Dara Howell (CAN)||Devin Logan (USA)||Kim Lamarre (CAN)|
|Luge||Women's Singles||Natalie Geisenberger (GER)||Tatjana Huefner (GER)||Erin Hamlin (USA)|
|Ski Jumping||Women's Normal Hill||Carina Vogt (GER)||Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUS)||Coline Mattel (FRA)|
|Snowboarding||Men's Halfpipe||Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI)||Ayumu Hirano (JAP)||Taku Hiraoka (JAP)|
|Speedskating||Ladies' 500m||Sang Hwa Lee (KOR)||Olga Fatkulina (RUS)||Margot Boer (NED)|
Norway Puts on Cross-Country Clinic
It wasn't quite a sweep, but Norway's three medals in two cross-country events—including two of the gold variety—thrust the nation into the overall medal count lead.
Maiken Caspersen Falla edged out teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg to claim gold in the ladies' sprint, winning by less than four-tenths of a second. Coming in right behind the two Norwegians, Slovenia's Vesna Fabjan claimed the bronze by well over a second to keep Norway's Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen off the podium.
American Sophie Caldwell gave it her best shot, but she came in sixth place, more than 12 seconds behind Caspersen. As pointed out by the U.S. Olympic Team, it was a tough fight to even earn that result:
Tough fight by Sophie Caldwell in cross-country final who finishes in 6th place. #TeamUSA— US Olympic Team (@USOlympic) February 11, 2014
On the men's side, Ola Vigen Hattestad earned a decisive victory over the field, finishing his race well over a second in front of Sweden's Teodor Peterson, and nearly 20 seconds ahead of Sweden's Emil Joensson, who came in third.
A huge crash opened up the disparity between the top-two finishers and the rest of the field.
"Then, I realized it was just Teodor and me fighting for the gold, so I knew I had a medal, at least,” Hattestad said, via Rob Gloster and Christopher Spillane of BusinessWeek.com. “But I know Teodor is one of the fastest guys, so I was really focused on the last curve to get a lot of power.”
Just as we saw in the ladies' race, Norway nearly had another medal, as Anders Gloersen came in fourth place, almost four seconds behind Joensson.
Canada's Slopestyle Queens Reign Supreme
Canada entered Sochi with three outstanding medal contenders in the ladies' ski slopestyle event, and two of them were able to deliver on Tuesday.
Dara Howell won the gold, and Kim Lamarre earned the bronze medal for her performance, with American Devin Logan finishing in second to take home the silver medal.
Sochi 2014 captured an image of Howell's family going bonkers after she was announced the winner:
The third Olympic hopeful of the group, Kaya Turski, didn't make it past qualifying due in part to a nagging virus that has kept her down.
"Gosh, I think it's an accumulation of what's been going on for the last couple weeks for me," Turski said, as relayed by USA Today's Lindsay H. Jones. "The virus got the better part of me, well, I think I got the better part of me. I've just been feeling really low."
While Turski didn't get what she was hoping for, Team Canada will celebrate this monumental victory, which incidentally helped the nation stay near the top of the overall medal count.
"IPod's" Huge Halfpipe Win
Heading into Sochi, one of the biggest stories being hyped was Shaun White's three-peat bid for Olympic gold in the men's halfpipe event. In fact, White's desire to win again was so strong that he withdrew from the men's slopestyle competition in order to focus his energies on accomplishing his ultimate goal.
“After much deliberation with my team, I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA,” White said in a statement (h/t Paul D. Bowker of TeamUSA.org).
However, when the competition ramped up on Tuesday in the men's final, it was Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov, also know as "IPod," who came up huge when the chips were down.
IPod pulled off a magnificent double cork 1440 to boost his winning score to 94.75, as noted by NBC's Skyler Wilder:
Japan's Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka took home silver and bronze, respectively, while White took a couple of tumbles on Tuesday, as pointed out by Shawn Smith of NBC, finishing in fourth place:
Shaun White's final run isn't clean enough.... He finishes in 4th. Off the podium completely.— Shawn Smith (@theshawnsmith) February 11, 2014
We always knew this day would come. White couldn't stay at the top of the mountain forever, and it was only a matter of time before his competition caught up to him in a big event like this.
Podladtchikov's huge trick raises the bar for all other competitors in future events, and you can expect the bar to continue rising as the 2018 Winter Games approach.
|Freestyle Skiing||Men's Moguls||Alex Bilodeau||Canada|
|Alpine Skiing||Women's Super Combined||Maria Hoefl-Riesch||Germany|
|Biathlon||Men's 12.5-km Pursuit||Martin Fourcade||France|
|Speedskating||Men's 500-Meters||Michel Mulder||Netherlands|
|Short-Track SS||Men's 1,500-Meters||Charles Hamelin||Canada|
|Alpine Skiing||Men's Downhill||Matthias Mayer||Austria|
|Biathlon||Women's 7.5-km Sprint||Anastazia Kuzmina||Slovakia|
|Figure Skating||Team Event||Team Russia||Russia|
|Luge||Men's Singles||Felix Loch||Germany|
|Snowboarding||Women's Slopestyle||Jamie Anderson||United States|
|Speedskating||Women's 3,000-Meters||Ireen Wust||Netherlands|
|Cross-Country Skiing||Men's Skiathlon||Dario Cologna||Switzerland|
|Ski Jumping||Men's Individual Normal Hill||Kamil Stoch||Poland|
|Biathlon||Men's 10-km Sprint||Ole Einar Bjoerndalen||Norway|
|Snowboarding||Men's Slopestyle||Sage Kotsenburg||United States|
|Speedskating||Men's 5,000-Meters||Sven Kramer||Netherlands|
|Freestyle Skiing||Women's Moguls||Justine Dufour-Lapointe||Canada|
|Cross-Country Skiing||Women's Skiathlon||Marit Bjoergen||Norway|
|Biathlon||Women's 10km Pursuit||Darya Domracheva||Belarus|
|Cross Country||Ladies' Free Sprint||Maiken Caspersen Falla||Norway|
|Cross Country||Men's Free Sprint||Ola Vigen Hattestad||Norway|
|Freestyle Skiing||Ladies' Ski Slopestyle||Dara Howell||Canada|
|Luge||Women's Singles||Natalie Geisenberger||Germany|
|Ski Jumping||Ladies' Normal Hill||Carina Vogt||Germany|
|Snowboarding||Men's Halfpipe||Iouri Podladtchikov||Switzerland|
|Speed Skating||Ladies' 500-meters||Sang Hwa Lee||Korea|
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