Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Team USA Highlights for Day 8

Lindsay Gibbs@linzsports Featured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2014

US fans cheer a second period goal by the USA against Russia during a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The United States only won one medal on Saturday, but that doesn't mean that the second week of the Games didn't begin with a bang for Team USA.

With famous fans flying in and matches that enthralled the nation, "USA! USA!" chants rang out from all across the globe.

Here's the good, bad and everything in-between from Day 8.

President Obama's favorite moment:

That's right, we'll let the President hand out the first superlative.

The incredibly exhilarating men's hockey match between the USA and Russia captivated even the leaders of the world on Saturday. As Putin sat rinkside, President Obama was watching (and tweeting) from home.

He wasn't the only one. After USA's 3-2 victory in a shootout, everyone had hockey fever.

Even Julia Mancuso, the U.S. Alpine skier who finished a disappointing eighth in the super-G earlier on Saturday, was pumped.

Biggest American hero:

Without a doubt, that goes to T.J. Oshie. The American reportedly earned his spot on the team due to his brilliance in shootouts, and boy did he come through when he was needed.

A legend is born.
A legend is born.Clive Mason/Getty Images

He took all but two of the shots in the final shootout, and hit four out of six of them, launching Team USA to a win that enthralled the nation. Just look at that finesse!

Hopefully the two squads will meet again in the medal rounds, because that was seriously fun.

Smallest margin of defeat:

Speaking of curling, things aren't going so well there for Team USA.

Not happy faces.
Not happy faces.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Just a day after the men's U.S. team lost to the Russians by an inch, the women's team lost to Sweden by even less. 

The U.S. women are now 1-6 and in last place in the standings here in Sochi. Their medal hopes are long gone.

Most inopportune crash(es):

This goes to our short-track speedskating stars, who were a part of the carnage of their sport on Saturday.

Dominoes!Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Not a winning position.
Not a winning position.Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

In the men's 1,000 meters, J.R. Celski crashed hard in the quarterfinals and failed to advance. He didn't talk to press afterwards, and looked to be limping.

Ouch.Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

Meanwhile, the women weren't safe either. Emily Scott earned an automatic advance to the final of the 1,500 meters and crashed there, before getting up to finish fifth.

Jessica Smith stayed on her feet on Saturday, but still finished seventh.

Saddest ninth-place finish:

The cross-country girls of Team USA were supposed to impress in Sochi, but that hasn't happened so far.

It just wasn't Kikkan Randall's day. Again.
It just wasn't Kikkan Randall's day. Again.Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

After beginning with medal hopes in the 4x5-kilometer relay, they ended up getting into trouble in the first lap, when their leader and World Cup champion Kikkan Randall dropped to 12th place.

Randall trying to figure out where things went wrong.
Randall trying to figure out where things went wrong.Harry How/Getty Images

There was no recovering for Team USA, and now there's only one chance remaining for the historic cross-country medal that was so expected before the Games.

Most disappointing suit comeback:

Woe is the U.S. speedskating team.

After disastrous results for favorites Heather Richardson and Shani Davis sparked speculations that the new Under Armour suits were to blame, Team USA flew in their old victorious suits for the rest of Olympics. 

The suit did not come to the rescue.
The suit did not come to the rescue.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

But the replacement suits had no effect. Davis, who had won silver in the 1,500 the past two Olympics, finished 11th. It was clear that the suit drama, whether substantiated or not, had taken a toll on him mentally. 

Paul Newberry of The Associated Press reported on Davis' frustration on Saturday:

Davis said the debate over the suits drained him mentally before he ever raced. He was essentially done after a poor showing in the 1,000, an event he had won in both Turin and Vancouver.

'I did as much as I could to get myself ready,' Davis said, 'but I felt defeated.'

But, classy as ever, Davis is ready to look forward to his final medal chance, the team pursuit. 

Worst skeleton start:

John Daly was in fourth place headed into his final skeleton run, but he didn't have to wait until the end to know that he hadn't medaled.

Agony.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

His sled skidded as he made his start, and he was out of it immediately.

His post-sled interview was absolutely heartbreaking. As he choked up live on NBC Sports while trying to keep his perspective and composure, he offered viewers an inside look at the agony of Olympic defeat.

USA Today's For The Win transcribed the interview: 

'It kind of hit me right away,' said Daly, 'and from then on I was just trying to get down safe to be totally honest, I knew it was over. I had a mile of ice to think about what just happened and now I have four more years to wait.'


Shiniest bronze:

On the other end of the skeleton spectrum was Daly's teammate Matt Antoine, who won bronze.

Thumbs up indeed.
Thumbs up indeed.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Antoine is the quiet team member who has often been overlooked, but he was steady throughout and came away with the first men's skeleton medal for the U.S. since 2002.

Maybe people will learn how to pronounce his name now.

(For the record, it's pronounced like "Antony.") 

Most decorated travelers:

Thanks for the good times Russia! Heading back to to the USA with @kaitlynfarr & @devinlogan #TeamUSA

As the Games continue for so many, some athletes are already leaving Sochi to begin their training for 2018. At least Kelly Clark, Devin Logan and Kaitlyn Farrington aren't going home empty-handed!

Most famous cheerleader: 

You might not know this, but San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is the honorary captain of the U.S. curling team. He was in 2010 as well. 

On Saturday, Davis was in Sochi to cheer on the women, but after their 1-6 start, it might have been too late. Don't tell him, though, he sounds optimistic—too optimistic to check his spelling!

My girls loss to sweden but they will bounce back!#curling USA

Most unappetizing meal:

Lolo Jones offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Olympic cafeteria food, and, well, let's just say it leaves a lot to be desired.

Best bets for Sunday:

Meryl Davis and Charlie White will finally begin their quest for the first U.S. gold in ice dancing. They'll skate their short program on Sunday, and their free skate on Monday.

In sync.
In sync.Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press/Associated Press

Meanwhile, stars Bode Miller and Ted Ligety will be back out on the snow to try and redeem their Games in the super-G. Ligety is a favorite for the gold, while Miller is a medal contender too.

Great hair.
Great hair.Christophe Ena/Associated Press

In the Sochi Olympics, there's no telling what the new day will bring. 


    Most Decorated Male Winter Olympian Retires

    Winter Olympics logo
    Winter Olympics

    Most Decorated Male Winter Olympian Retires

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Media Failing to Engage Gen Z in Olympics

    Winter Olympics logo
    Winter Olympics

    Media Failing to Engage Gen Z in Olympics

    Joon Lee
    via Bleacher Report

    Winter Olympics' Most Fire Highlights 🎥

    Winter Olympics logo
    Winter Olympics

    Winter Olympics' Most Fire Highlights 🎥

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report

    Olympic Closing Ceremonies Schedule

    Winter Olympics logo
    Winter Olympics

    Olympic Closing Ceremonies Schedule

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report