The 2014 Winter Olympics are rolling right along, with Day 11 coming to a conclusion after seven medal events took place in Sochi.
With less than a week left until the Games come to a close, the races for the most overall medals and most gold medals are starting to heat up. A handful of nations are starting to separate from the rest of the pack and it should make for a riveting conclusion to this once-every-four-years event.
Let’s take a look at the latest medal tallies for each country and highlight some of the marquee events of Day 11 that helped shape this total.
Latest Medal Count
Gold Medalists on Day 11
|Speedskating (men's 10,000-meter)||Jorrit Bergsma (Netherlands)|
|Snowboarding (men's cross)||Pierre Vaultier (France)|
|Alpine Skiing (women's giant slalom)||Tina Maze (Slovenia)|
|Speedskating (women's 3,000-meter relay)||Korea|
|Biathlon (men's 15-kilometer mass start)||Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway)|
|Nordic Combined (men's individual large hill, 10 kilometer cross-country)||Joergen Graabak (Norway)|
|Freestyle Skiing (men's halfpipe)||David Wise (USA)|
Alpine Skiing – Ladies’ Giant Slalom
|Rank||Country||Name||Run 1 Time||Run 2 Time||Total Time||Difference|
|1||SLO||Tina Maze||1:17:88||1:18.99 (+1.09)||2:36:87||--|
|2||AUT||Anna Fenninger||1:18.73 (+0.85)||1:18.21 (+0.31)||2:36.94||+0.07|
|3||GER||Viktoria Rebensburg||1:19.24 (+1.36)||1:17.90||2:37.14||+0.27|
Tina Maze is absolutely dominating the Sochi Games, as she just won her second gold medal in Russia this February.
The Slovenian superstar edged the field in the women’s giant slalom on Tuesday, adding to the first-place finish she earned last week in the downhill competition.
Joe Fleming of USA Today posted a photo of Maze after she won the giant slalom:
Maze’s combined time of 2:36.87 minutes over her two runs was just enough to put her past Austria’s Anna Fenninger—the super-G winner who was gunning for her second gold of the 2014 Games.
Defending gold medalist Viktoria Rebensburg moved back two spots this time around, claiming a bronze medal for Germany after finishing a mere 0.11 seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Nadia Fanchini of Italy.
Maze is no stranger to the Winter Olympics, having competed at Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010. She finally broke through for her first golds this year, having claimed a pair of silvers in the super-G and giant slalom in Canada four years ago.
Nordic Combined – Men’s Individual Large Hill and Cross-Country
|Rank||Country||Name||Jump Points||Jump Rank||Jump Time Diff.||Race Time||Race Rank||Time / Difference|
|2||NOR||Magnus Hovdal Moan||117.8||7||+0:45||22:43.1||2||+0.6|
Norway lived up to its namesake and sent two athletes to the top of the podium at the conclusion of the exciting Nordic Combined men’s individual large hill and cross-country event.
Norwegians Joergen Graabak and Magnus Hovdal Moan finished with gold and silver, respectively, while Germany’s Fabian Riessle took home bronze.
As per Infostrada Sports, it was the first time in 78 years that Norway had competitors finish in the top two spots of a Nordic Combined event at the Winter Games:
#Sochi2014 Graabak and Moan gave Norway its first 1-2 finish in a Nordic combined event at the OWG in 78 years.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaGold) February 18, 2014
The 22-year-old gold medalist started 42 seconds behind ski jump winner Eric Frenzel (who battled a virus and finished 10th overall), overcoming the handicap to pull even with five other skiers until the final 100 meters.
Graabak then surged ahead, winning the improbable medal just ahead of more proven countrymate Moan. After the race, the young winner described his feelings to David Ljunggren of Reuters: “It's surreal. I didn't think I would get to achieve this.”
Due to his elite cross-country skiing ability and great ski jumping skills (Graabak finished sixth in the jumping portion of the event, ahead of both other podium finishers), it seems that Graabak is the latest star to be born in the Nordic Combined.
Snowboarding – Men’s Cross
|1||FRA||Pierre Vaultier (Gold)|
|2||RUS||Nikolay Olyunin (Silver)|
|3||USA||Alex Deibold (Bronze)|
The snowboard cross finals in Sochi were extremely exciting, as there was a thrilling finish and an intriguing storyline behind the success of the American bronze medalist.
Frenchman Pierre Vaultier vaulted past the host nation’s top competitor, Russian Nikolay Olyunin on the final turn of the race, earning gold and pushing the crowd favorite down to silver.
BBC Sport tweeted a picture of Vaultier after he crossed the finish line:
Nick Hope of BBC Sport caught up with the winner shortly after the race, who told the reporter that he was lucky to even be in the competition:
First Frenchman or not, it's incredible. I had a knee three times the (normal) size and did my cruciate ligament. Fifteen days ago I was doing everything to be here for this - what's happening to me is just incredible
Team USA’s Alex Deibold also had an incredible journey to the podium, especially considering where he was during the last Winter Olympics. While he was officially with the Americans in Vancouver, Deibold was merely part of the snowboarding team’s support staff, helping to wax and prep boards for the riders.
According to Rick Maese of The Washington Post, Deibold used that to drive his performance on Tuesday: “I wasn’t thinking about the podium at all. I was just thinking about the hard work that I put in and what I had to do to get to that finish line.”
It’s an incredible story and easily one of the best of many triumphant tales during the current Winter Games. Deibold undoubtedly deserves the glory and respect he worked so hard to achieve.
Day 12 of the 2014 Winter Olympics could be one of the best yet and a number of medals will be awarded after Wednesday’s competitions.
Which country will win the hockey tournament?
Gold, silver and bronze medal sets will be doled out to the top participants in alpine skiing (men’s giant slalom), biathlon (mixed relay), bobsledding (women’s), cross-country skiing (men’s and women’s team sprint), snowboarding (men’s and women’s giant slalom) and speedskating (women’s 5,000-meter).
Hockey fans are also in for a major treat, as all four of the men’s semifinal games will be taking place throughout the day on Wednesday. Figure skating will start back up with the ladies’ short program, while curling also continues with both the men’s and women’s semifinals.
With less than a week left until the Sochi Games come to a close, make sure you tune in to catch as much action as possible. Don’t forget to keep a close eye on the medal races, as they are really heating up down the stretch.