It is rare that a day at the 2014 Winter Olympics is headlined by a non-medal event, but that is exactly what happened in Sochi on Day 8.
The United States men’s hockey team outlasted rival Russia in a thrilling game that featured overtime, shootouts and a little bit of good old-fashioned controversy. Russia’s go-ahead goal in the third period was taken off the scoreboard because the net had moved from its position, and the Americans took advantage behind T.J. Oshie’s four shootout goals.
Day 8 brought some good news for Russia as well, as the host country took over the top spot in the tightly contested medal standings.
Here is a closer look at the specific medals that were handed out in Day 8:
|Day 8 Medal Events|
|Event||Gold Medal||Silver Medal||Bronze Medal|
|Alpine Skiing: Women's Super-G||Anna Fenninger (Austria)||Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany)||Nicole Hosp (Austria)|
|Cross-country Skiing: Women's 4x5-kilometer relay||Sweden||Finland||Germany|
|Short-track Speedskating: Women's 1,500-meter||Yang Zhou (China)||Suk-Hee Shim (Republic of Korea)||Arianna Fontana (Italy)|
|Short-track Speedskating: Men's 1,000-meter||Viktor Ahn (Russia)||Vladimir Grigorev (Russia)||Sjinkie Knegt (Netherlands)|
|Long-rack Speedskating: Men's 1,500-meter||Zbigniew Brodka (Poland)||Koen Verweij (Netherlands)||Denny Morrison (Canada)|
|Men's Skeleton||Alexander Tretiakov (Russia)||Martins Dukurs (Latvia)||Matt Antoine (United States)|
|Ski Jumping: Men's Individual Large Hill||Kamil Stoch (Poland)||Noriaki Kasai (Japan)||Peter Prevc (Slovenia)|
Let’s dig a bit deeper into some of the notable medal events.
Notable Day 8 Medal Events
Alpine Skiing: Women's Super-G
The American alpine skiing team was flying high in Vancouver at the 2010 Games and finished with eight medals, including seven in the first five races.
Of course, having a healthy Lindsey Vonn helped, but even that injury can’t explain why the United States only has one of the 15 medals given out thus far in Sochi. Saturday’s women’s Super-G was yet another event that saw the Red, White and Blue go home empty-handed.
U.S. Alpine director Patrick Riml discussed the struggles with reporters in comments that were passed along by the Associated Press (h/t NBCOlympics.com): "We probably expected a little more, to be honest. ... There's a chance in every event left to have a medal.”
It was a strange event, with many competitors struggling to stay in the field, but Austria’s Anna Fenninger took home the gold. Her Austrian teammate, Nicole Hosp, captured the bronze to go along with the silver she won in the super-combined.
Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who won the gold in the super-combined and leads the overall World Cup standings this season, won the silver.
Long-Track Speedskating: Men's 1,500-Meter
We may have seen the last of Shani Davis as an individual racer in Olympic competition. The 31-year-old, who is the world’s top-ranked speedskater, failed to medal in the men’s 1,500-meter race. It was his third race in these Games, but he does not have a single medal yet.
Davis will be 35 when the 2018 Winter Olympics roll around, and only six skaters at that age have ever won Olympic medals.
The gold went to Poland’s Zbigniew Brodka, Koen Verweij of the Netherlands won the silver and Denny Morrison of Canada took home the bronze.
For his part, Davis was very gracious in defeat, thanking his supporters, rallying around the team and congratulating those who did land on the podium:
The most exciting race within the race of men’s skeleton was the battle for the bronze medal between Americans Matt Antoine and John Daly.
Both alternated between third and fourth place during the first three runs, but Daly stumbled on the start in the fourth and final heat. Not only did he miss out on the podium, but he finished in a disappointing 15th place because he never recovered from the beginning.
Alexander Tretiakov of Russia took home the gold, while Latvia’s Martins Dukurs captured the silver. Had Dukurs won gold, it would have been the first gold medal ever at the Winter Olympics for his country.
Tretiakov took advantage of the home ice and knocked off Dukurs, who has won 24 of the past 28 World Cup races.
Follow me on Twitter: @ScottPolacek