Upon the completion of Day 10 of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, there was once again plenty of movement atop the overall medal standings. Certain countries had great days, earning multiple medals. Others were unfortunate and saw the rankings change in an unfavorable manner.
One thing remained the same, though: It is a very tight race at the top of the medal count, as five countries remain within three medals of each other. Here's how the medal count looks in the wake of Monday's action:
One glaring change in the standings was that the United States pulled into a tie for the overall medal lead with host country Russia. Each country earned two medals on the day—in the same events.
The Netherlands saw its top ranking dissipate, as the country did not earn a medal on the day. Despite that, it is still well within striking distance with a total of 17.
Norway and Canada remain in the hunt with 15 medals each.
Now that the overall medal count has been determined through Day 10 of the 2014 Olympics, let's take a look at a brief recap of the day's action.
Biathlon: Women's 12.5-Kilometer Mass Start
|Silver||Gabriela Soukalova||Czech Republic||35:45.8|
Day 10 kicked off with the women's biathlon 12.5-kilometer mass start. Darya Domracheva of Belarus took home the gold medal after torching the field with a time of 35 minutes, 25.6 seconds. It's yet another victory for Belarus—a country that hasn't earned many medals, but is no stranger to the color gold.
Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic was the closest competitor to Domracheva, as she posted a time of 35:45.8—still a full 20.2 seconds off the pace. Tiril Eckhoff of Norway earned an important bronze medal for her country to keep it near the top of the overall standings.
Bobsled: 2-Man Finals
The two-man bobsled event took place shortly after. Russia continued to rack up the medals, as Alexey Voevoda and Alexander Zubkov earned the gold medal with a combined time of 3:45.39.
They were not without competition, though, as the top four teams in this event finished within one second of each other.
Earning the silver medal was the Swiss team of Alex Baumann and Beat Hefti with a time of 3:46.05.
The Americans were finally able to medal in this event for the first time since 1952—Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton finished with a time of 3:46.27 and took the bronze medal.
Ending a 62-year drought, Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton have won a two-man bobsled medal for the United States.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 17, 2014
Geoff Bodine, founder of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project and who was partly responsible for the United States' newfound success due to improved bobsled designs, spoke of what needed to be done to reach the podium during an interview with Stephen Smith of CBS News:
Especially with the Winter Olympics in Russia, we are aware, from past experience, that they will do whatever is necessary, get all the track time they want and spend whatever is needed to win hardware on their home track. And then there's Germany, Canada, Switzerland and others. Just like in auto racing, we needed to move forward and faster.
Figure Skating: Ice Dance Free Dance
In another fantastic showing from the United States, Meryl Davis and Charlie White dazzled once again in the ice dance free program. After scoring a new world record of 78.89 in the short program, they capped it off with a 116.63—the day's best score—in the free dance and came away with a total score of 195.52.
White and Davis blew away the field, besting their Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir by a total point margin of 4.53—the Canadian team earned a total score of 190.99. Virtue and Moir were the reigning Olympic champions in this event, but would have to settle for silver on Monday.
The Russian team of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov pulled away from their nearest competitors, earning a score of 183.48 and the bronze medal.
Freestyle Skiing: Men's Aerials Finals
Speaking of the aforementioned gold medals from Belarus, the country earned yet another as Anton Kushnir destroyed the field in the men's aerials finals with a score of 134.50. This is only Belarus' sixth medal of the Winter Games; however, it has made them count, as five of the six are gold.
David Morris of Australia earned the silver medal with a score of 110.41, and Zongyang Jia of China rounded out the podium with a score of 95.06—both solid scores, but nowhere near Kushnir's realm.
Ski Jumping: Men's Team Finals
The final event of Day 10 was the men's team ski jumping finals. This was a two-horse race between Germany and Austria. Featuring some of the most talented athletes in this event, these two countries battled to the bitter end.
After being separated by just 2.5 points through Round 1—with Germany leading—it all came down to Round 2. Again, it was a close one, as Germany outlasted Austria by the slimmest of margins.
However, it was enough to get the victory, as Germany scored a total of 1041.1 against Austria's 1038.4.
Japan rounded out the podium, earning an easy bronze medal with a total score of 1024.9—13.1 points ahead of fourth-place Poland.
Day 11 Preview
Day 11 looks to be just as exhilarating as Day 10. Seven events are set to reach their conclusions and many more athletes will earn medals for their respective countries. Many top countries will be in contention to bolster their standings in the overall medal count.
Tuesday brings with it events such as the women's giant slalom, men's biathlon 15-kilometer mass start, men's ski halfpipe, the Nordic combined individual gundersen 10-kilometer event, ladies' short-track 3,000-meter relay finals, men's snowboard cross finals and men's speedskating 10,000-meter event.
Aside from those events that will conclude with podium ceremonies, there is other action to behold.
Tuesday also marks the first round of competition in the men's ice hockey playoffs, a tiebreaker session between Great Britain and Norway in men's curling and other short-track speedskating heats.
The 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi continue to become more enticing by the day.