Another stirring day at the 2014 Winter Olympics presented another batch of winners through four medal events.
On a Sunday that was far from lazy for athletes competing in Sochi, a healthy mixture of big names and underdogs shared the podium to honor some of the world's top athletes. After witnessing some representatives from unexpected countries succeed over the weekend, two nations maintained their success in particular fields.
The Netherlands solidified a tight stronghold on speedskating, sweeping the ladies' 1,500-meter event. Meanwhile, the U.S. had better luck in the men's alpine skiing super-G after a lackluster start in Sochi.
The medal race is still way too close to call after Day 9. Six nations with double-digit medal tallies continue to maintain an air-tight distance between one another after Sunday.
|Alpine Skiing||Men's Super-G||Kjetil Jansrud (NOR)||Andrew Weibrecht (USA)||Bode Miller (USA) and Jan Hudec (CAN)|
|Cross-Country||Men's 4x10-Kilometer Relay||Sweden||Russia||France|
|Snowboarding||Women's Cross||Eva Samkova (CZE)||Dominique Maltais (CAN)||Chloe Trespusch (FRA)|
|Speedskating||Women's 1,500-meter||Jorien ter Mors (NED)||Ireen Wust (NED)||Lotte van Beek (NED)|
|Biathlon||15-Kilometer Mass Start||Postponed to Monday (fog)|
U.S. Alpine Skiing Gets 2 Medals in Super-G
The U.S. alpine skiing team halted a slow start to the 2014 Winter Olympics by gaining a pair of medals in Sunday's super-G.
While their search for gold continues, Andrew Weibrecht earned silver and Bode Miller took bronze in the event that saw the two Americans swap those finishes during the 2010 Vancouver Games. They both finished behind Norway's Kjetil Jansrud.
Starting the race in an unfavorable 29th spot, Weibrecht managed to pull off a surprising second-place finish. Since seizing the bronze four years ago, he has endured four surgeries, which caused his production to trail off and cost the 28-year-old sponsorships.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson, all those obstacles caused the Olympian to contemplate changing career paths.
"There's been times where … I've had to evaluate whether this is really what I want to do, even as recently as yesterday," Weibrecht said.
Miller crawled onto the podium by the slightest of margins. Canada's Jan Hudec also received a bronze medal after they both finished the course with an identical time of 1:18.67. In the process, he became the oldest Olympic alpine skier to win a medal.
After claiming a record eight medals in 2010, this year has been a disappointment for Team USA. But Miller and Weibrecht overcame great adversity to ensure the U.S. leaves Sochi with something to show for its efforts.
Netherlands Sweeps Speedskating 1,500-Meter
For the third time in these Games, the Netherlands rattled off a clean sweep in a speedskating event.
The previous two medal monopolies occurred on the men's side, but the women joined the fun on Sunday by representing the gold, silver and bronze winners in the 1,500-meter event.
Jorien ter Mors finished 0.58 second ahead of Ireen Wust, who placed 0.45 seconds in front of Lotte van Beek. Ter Mors also set a record with her 1:53.51 time.
For good measure, Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands finished fourth. No other competitor even sniffed the top three, with Heather Richardson representing America's top result more than four seconds away from gold in seventh place.
ESPN Stats & Info highlighted just how much the Dutch have dominated speedskating in Sochi. Thus far, the Netherlands leads the overall medal tally at 17, 16 of which come from eight events in the field.
The Netherlands now has 17 total medals, most in this year's games - ALL in either speed skating or short track http://t.co/Q3Pz46YbEB— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 16, 2014
Monday is a good day for fatigued Dutch fans to get their rest, as there are no speedskating races on the docket. But it won't be long before they chase more hardware in the men's 10,000-meters on Tuesday.
Sven Kramer, Jorrit Bergsma and Bob de Jong are all top contenders in that event, so don't be stunned if the Netherlands sweeps another one.
Sweden Wins Cross-Country Team Relay
After dominating Sochi's cross-country events thus far, Norway failed to medal in the cross-country men's 4x10-kilometer relay. Instead, Sweden picked up the gold in a thorough victory.
A day after Sweden's women won the same event, the men's team of Marcus Hellner, Lars Nelson, Johan Olsson and Daniel Richardson grabbed the lead early and finished the course in 1 hour, 28 minutes, 42 seconds. Those mark the country's two gold medals procured in the Winter Games.
Russia took silver, but another big stunner came when France entered the fray to claim silver, finishing 37.8 seconds ahead of Norway. After earning no medals in any of the prior Olympic events, France was not projected as a serious contender.
Norway jumped out of the gates to win three gold medals in Sochi, but Sweden has now jumped ahead with nine overall medals, greater than Norway's seven.
Both the men and women will return to action on Wednesday in the team sprint, which will give Sweden a chance to stay on top while Norway seeks redemption.