Wednesday was another excellent day at the 2014 Sochi Games. Medals were won, major contenders were upset, new champions were crowned and there was even a tie for a gold medal.
Yes, a tie. Who saw that coming?
Below is a look back at all the action involving events that crowned medal winners on Day 5 at the Winter Olympics. Obviously, there are spoilers below if you plan on watching NBC's coverage on Wednesday evening, so you've been warned.
Note: All results via Sochi2014.com.
Yes, you read that right, there was a tie for the gold medal between Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland. As you might imagine, that's a bit of history, as Jim Caple of ESPN passes along:
Slovenia's Tina Maze and Switzerland's Dominque Gisin tie for first in downhill. That's first tie for gold in Olympic alpine history.— Jim Caple (@jimcaple) February 12, 2014
And yes, Maze also happens to be a pop artist.
It wasn't the first tie ever in alpine skiing, just the first for the gold, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports notes:
There have been four other ties in Alpine events at the Olympics, but never for the gold: men's downhill bronze in 1948; women's giant slalom silver in 1964; women's giant slalom silver in 1992; and men's super-G silver in 1998.
Well then, there's a first for everything.
Julia Mancuso was the top United States finisher in eighth place, a disappointing result after she took the bronze in the super combined.
|Gold||RUS||Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar||236.86|
|Silver||RUS||Fedor Klimov and Ksenia Stolbova||218.68|
|Bronze||GER||Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy||215.78|
Traditionally, the Russians have been a dominant presence in pairs figure skating, but four years ago they disappointed in stunning fashion.
As Nick McCarvel of NBC notes, however, they were redeemed in Sochi:
After being left off podium COMPLETELY in 2010 in pairs, Russians return to ultimate glory, winning gold AND silver here in #Sochi2014— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) February 12, 2014
A gold medal? Great. A gold and silver medal? Um, that's about as dominant as you can be.
|Gold||GER||Tobias Arlt and Tobias Wendl||1:38.933|
|Silver||AUT||Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger||1:39.455|
|Bronze||LAT||Andris Sics and Juris Sics||1:39.790|
A pair of Tobiases (Tobias Arlt and Tobias Wendl) won gold for Germany, just ousting the Linger brothers from Austria and Sics brothers from Latvia. BBC Sport passed along a picture of the champions racing down the ice:
It was Germany's third luge medal of the Sochi Games.
Speaking of the Germans, Eric Frenzel took home the gold medal in Wednesday's Nordic Combined event. Afterwards, he had pretty much the perfect response to how it felt to win a gold medal, telling the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times), “I can't describe this feeling, it's so perfect."
"Perfect" might be an apt description for Frenzel's race. Starting with a six-second cushion over Akito Watabe, he traded places in first with Watabe throughout but eventually overcame him, as Watabe didn't have enough left in the tank.
Said Watabe after (via the Associated Press), "I had no chance this time, I was really tired after the uphill. I tried to beat him, that's the important thing.”
Kaitlyn Farrington didn't just win a gold medal in the women's halfpipe; she did so by overcoming some very, very serious competition, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports noted:
Kaitlynn Farrington, who was raised on a cattle ranch in Idaho, just beat three previous gold medalists to win Olympic gold.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 12, 2014
The past three winners of the event were Americans Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter and Australian Torah Bright. Bright and Clark did well to reach the podium, while Teter just missed joining them in fourth place.
When asked how she would celebrate her achievement, Farrington said (via Rachel Axon of USA Today), "I'm going to dance my face off."
As she should.
Perhaps it wasn't surprising that Shani Davis couldn't make it three gold medals in a row in the 1000-meter race. After all, that would have been a historic feat.
But the fact that he didn't even medal was quite the shocker, and just another example of a star United States athlete coming up a bit short at these games, as ESPN's Kevin Negandhi noted:
The US star power of past Winter Games not having a good run-- No Lindsey Vonn, no medals for Shaun White, Bode Miller and now Shani Davis.— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) February 12, 2014
Davis spoke about his race afterwards (he finished eighth), via Paul Myerberg of USA Today:
There's no excuse. I just didn't have the speed I've always had.
I felt fast in the open, but after that, I don't know. I have to look at the film and see. I'm not shocked; I'm very in tune with reality. But I'm disappointed.
He'll have a chance at redemption in the 1,500-meter race, an event he's earned silver in at the past two Olympics.
Davis' result may have been a surprise, but the Dutch presence on the medal podium at a speedskating event certainly isn't. The country now has 10 medals, and all have come in speedskating. Don't expect that run to stop—the Dutch men, at least, have serious contenders in every short-track competition to come.