Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Biggest Disappointments from Day 7
The 2014 Winter Olympics continued in Sochi on Friday with several intriguing events. Day 7 included figure skating, skiing and biathlon.
Past winners of some of the Winter Games' most popular ski events, such as Bode Miller and Ted Ligety, were in action, as were all the superstars of men's figure skating, including America's best hope to medal, Jason Brown.
But which athletes had the toughest day? And who fell down flat on his face the hardest?
Bleacher Report has you covered. Click through to see the day’s biggest disappointments.
Ted Ligety Flops in Men's Super Combined
He didn’t mention having a cold or flu before the race, but Team USA’s Ted Ligety sure skied like he might have had one of those rough nights he portrays in that NyQuil commercial.
The 2006 winner of the super combined gold medal in Turin and one of the pre-race favorites, Ligety skied slow and cautiously down the steep hills in Sochi and finished out of the top 10 altogether.
After the race, he told The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga that he thought he skied too conservatively during the slalom portion of the run for the type of course it turned out to be.
Ligety has two more chances to end atop a podium in Sochi. He’s a contender in the super-G on Sunday and is the favorite in the giant slalom. But time is running out.
Bode Miller Can’t Cope with Steep Slope in Super Combined
If Ligety failed to medal in the super combined, USA would need 2010 Olympic champion Bode Miller to come through yet again. Miller has won a total of five Olympic medals during his storied career and was a solid contender coming into Day 7's competition.
But he failed to excel at his best event, the downhill portion of the super combined, and he didn't have a good enough slalom to make up for it.
Miller's rough downhill run meant he had to climb from 12th to sixth to finish tops among Americans.
Miller admitted afterward to The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga that he skied “pretty lousy” overall. He’ll hope to break that trend and salvage a disappointing 2014 Games in the super-G on Sunday.
USA’s Tim Burke Fails Miserably in His Best Biathlon Event
If Team USA was to capture its first Olympic biathlon medal ever, it would likely have had to be in Friday’s 20-kilometer individual competition.
The man to do it, Tim Burke, came into Sochi having grabbed the silver medal at the 2013 World Championships behind France’s Martin Fourcade, the odds-on favorite to take gold at Sochi.
Fourcade delivered the gold for France, turning in a time of 49 minutes, 31.7 seconds. But Burke finished all the way back in 44th place, almost five full minutes off the leader.
Norway’s Tora Berger Finishes Middle of the Pack in Individual
Before the Sochi Games, Tora Berger of Norway was expected to make her mark at the Olympics as the best female biathlete in the world.
So far? She hasn’t.
Oh sure, Berger’s done OK. She captured silver in the 10-kilometer pursuit Tuesday, but she’s failed to finish higher than 10th in any other race.
It happened again Friday.
A pre-race favorite for gold or silver, Berger had her worst showing yet in the 15-kilometer individual. She finished 16th with a time of 47:12.6. That put her a whopping 3:53 behind main rival and gold medalist Darya Domracheva of Belarus.
No Men’s Figure Skating Medal for U.S.
With Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko suddenly retiring before Thursday's short program because of injury and most of the remaining top players underperforming, there was some thought that at least one of the U.S. men in Sochi, either veteran Jeremy Abbott or newcomer Jason Brown, could sneak into a podium position.
But Abbott knocked himself out of contention when he fell during his short program, and Brown, skating last in Friday’s long program, faltered in his routine too much down the stretch to even come close to a medal.
Abbott finished in 12th place, and Brown finished ninth. While Brown's future appears bright, he'll need to improve if he hopes to be on the same level as Friday's winners.
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu won the gold medal, Patrick Chan of Canada won silver and Denis Ten of Kazakhstan took bronze.