Day 7 belonged to Switzerland.
Sandro Viletta took home gold in the men's super combined, Dario Cologna did the same in the men's 15-kilometer cross-country classic and Selina Gasparin earned silver in the women's 15-kilometer biathalon, giving Switzerland the most impressive haul on the day.
As "Olympic historian" Bill Mallon noted, it was the first such accomplishment for the Swiss in two decades:
@nzaccardi 1994 - Feb 24 - ASK, NCO, FRS - SUI has won 3 medals at WOG in 1 day 4 times - also 5/2/1948, 24/2/1988, 22/2/2006— Bill Mallon (@bambam1729) February 14, 2014
Unsurprisingly, many Switzerland natives, including FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Tour de France veteran Fabian Cancellara, were quick to offer their congratulations:
Although Switzerland has just seven total medals so far in 2014, it has an impressive five golds which trails only Germany.
The rest of the other 15 medals handed out on Friday were spread out fairly evenly to 12 other countries—meaning there wasn't a whole lot of movement at the top of the standings. Let's take a look:
The Americans, who were one of 10 countries to earn exactly one medal on Day 7, pulled into a tie across the board with Norway thanks to a silver medal in the women's skeleton from from Noelle Pikus-Pace, who briefly retired following the 2010 Games.
Fellow USA medalist Erin Hamlin was ecstatic for her compatriot:
The day's other big winner surprisingly turned out to be Belarus, which nearly matched Switzerland with two golds and one bronze.
Rick Freeman of the Associated Press helped put the day into perspective for the small European country:
Is today the best day in Olympic history if you're Belarus? #nonscarcastic— Rick Freeman (@RWFreeman) February 14, 2014
It's certainly not a stretch. Belarus entered the 2014 Games with just nine total medals in five previous Winter Olympic appearances but gained a third of that in a span of hours.
Moreover, by winning the women's 15-kilometer biathalon, Darya Domracheva now has two gold medals. She talked about her disbelief, via CBC's Douglas Gelevan:
NBC's Nick Zaccardi summed up the whirlwind of a day for Belarus with one amazing stat:
Belarus won three medals today. Belarus had never before won more than three medals at a single Winter Olympics.— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 14, 2014
Sweden also enjoyed a fine day. Not only did Johan Olsson and Daniel Richardsson take home medals in the men's 15-kilometer cross-country race, but the men's teams beat China in curling and Switzerland in hockey.
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was a major part of the latter victory, as he recorded a record third Olympic shutout, per Sportsnet:
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 3rd career Olympic shutout today. That ties him with Evgeni Nabokov for the most in the pro era (1998).— Sportsnet Ticker (@SportsnetTicker) February 14, 2014
The final major storyline from Friday's medal events was 19-year-old sensation Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan edging Canada's Patrick Chan in the men's individual figure skating event.
As Sports Illustrated's Bryan Armen Graham noted, the thrilling battle helped produce one of the best pictures you'll see from Sochi, via Reuters' Lucy Nicholson:
Another 21 medals will be handed out on Saturday, meaning you can expect more national heroes, more unforgettable stories and more raw emotion from the athletes.
This is why we love the Olympics.