The host country took over on Day 8 in Sochi, Russia.
Questionable conditions, incredible individual performances and more deserve the spotlight after the event, but the host nation of the 2014 Games finally assuming the top spot in the standings is the biggest thing of note with Day 8 in the books:
Of course, if folks want to take a hipster approach to the standings and go by golds, as Nick Zaccardi of NBC OlympicTalk points out:
That's just the beginning. Twitter had plenty of things to say about the day's happenings, and the world listened.
Zaccardi was not done and provided the day's best tweet of all, which shows parity has reigned supreme over the Games in Sochi thus far:
But back to Russia, which predictably got a gold medal from superstar speedskater Victor An, thanks to his one minute, 25.325 second total time in the men's 1,000-meter final. An made quite a bit of history thanks to his epic performance, as Infostrada Sports points out:
Russia also added a silver in the event as Vladimir Grigorev came in right behind An with a time of 1:25.399.
J.R. Celski was America's big chance to medal, but he finished 13th. Afterwards, he took to social media to congratulate An:
The story was much the same for America on the ladies' side. None of the U.S. contestants finished higher than fifth in the ladies' 1,500-meter final.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press took a lighthearted approach to America's struggles:
Indeed. The winner of that event was China's Zhou Yang, who won the same race in Vancouver and has her country on a familiar path, as NBC's Alex Goldberger points out:
Another American with lofty expectations was Julia Mancuso, who had done well in place of the injured Lindsey Vonn. She also fell short with an eighth-place finish in the women's super-G event—Austria's Anna Fenninger took home gold with a total time of 1:25.52.
As Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports points out, it was quite the dominant performance by Austria, a country that also saw Nicole Hosp take home the bronze:
As far as amazing individual performances go, Japan's Noriaki Kasai pretty much stole the show.
Kasai only finished with a silver on the podium in the men's large hill final with a time of 277.4, a mark 1.3 seconds behind gold medalist Kamil Stoch (who did pretty well for himself as well considering it is his second gold medal of the Games).
While only a silver, Kasai etched his name in the record books, as Zaccardi details:
Hilary Evans of Sports-Reference.com went ahead and did the dirty work of making Kasai look as old as possible:
But please, what fun is Twitter without more wild expectations not being met? Take Shani Davis for example, who highlights a long list of American disappointments. He took to the ice in the men's 1,500-meter event and landed in 11th place.
As Bleacher Report's Dan Levy pointed out after the disappointing showing, Davis' prior struggles had nothing to do with his suit (this was actually a thing):
Davis himself took to Twitter to thank supporters:
Much respect should go to Davis and other athletes who took to Twitter to speak about their performance.
Social media is quite the impressive thing, and athletes who use the tool to have intimate interactions with fans make the experience that much better for all. The coming days in Sochi will surely see more of this—and quality entertainment overall—as the medals race continues to heat up.
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