Day 13 of the 2014 Winter Olympics is complete, and there were some surprising results from the medal events.
There were 18 more medals handed out on Thursday, and with just three days remaining in Sochi, the United States stands alone atop the medal standings with 25 total medals, including eight golds.
Russia, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada are close behind, setting up what should be a phenomenal finale to these Games over the weekend.
Here's a look at every medal winner from Day 13, followed by a closer examination of the action.
|2014 Olympic Results: Day 13|
|Curling||Women's Finals||Canada||Sweden||Great Britain|
|Figure Skating||Ladies Free Skating||Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)||Yuna Kim (KOR)||Carolina Kostner (ITA)|
|Freestyle Skiing||Men's Ski Cross Finals||Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA)||Arnaud Bovolenta (FRA)||Jonathan Midol (FRA)|
|Freestyle Skiing||Ladies' Ski Halfpipe Final||Maddie Bowman (USA)||Marie Martinod (FRA)||Avana Onozuka (JPN)|
|Ice Hockey||Women's Finals||Canada||USA||Switzerland|
|Nordic Combined||Team Gundersen LH / 4x5 km, Cross-Country||Norway||Germany||Austria|
There were two final games left to be played on Thursday: Great Britain took on Switzerland in the bronze-medal game, and Canada went up against Sweden in the gold-medal game.
Eve Muirhead came up with a clutch final throw on the final stone of the match to give Great Britain the 6-5 win over Switzerland. After winning the bronze, she spoke about what made it special, as relayed by James Toney of Sportsbeat:
While the bronze-medal game was as tight as they come, Canada had less trouble claiming gold against Sweden, winning the gold medal by a 6-3 margin.
Jennifer Jones capped off her spectacular 2014 Winter Games with another flawless performance for Canada, going 11 of 11 in her matches in Sochi. Here's a fantastic shot of her celebrating as she realized her final throw had won Canada the gold, per Richard Lautens of The Toronto Sun:
It was the first of two gold medals for the Canadians on Thursday, but more on that later.
Ladies' Figure Skating
Team USA had three women within striking distance of a podium finish after the short program, but none of them was able to finish strong during the free skate on Thursday.
Instead, it was Russian Adelina Sotnikova who came through with a gold-medal-winning performance, with South Korea's Yuna Kim taking silver and Italy's Carolina Kostner rounding out the top three with a bronze.
Sotnikova was a surprise top performer in the short program, and she followed it up with the top score in the free skate (149.95).
However, the score wasn't without controversy. Juliet Macur of The New York Times and USA Today's Christine Brennan were among those who thought Kostner's score should have been higher:
Gracie Gold took a tumble during her program and finished in fourth place, while Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds finished in seventh and ninth place, respectively.
Men's Ski Cross
France swept the podium in the men's freestyle ski cross event on Thursday.
Jean Frederic Chapuis finished in first, Arnaud Bovolenta finished in second and Jonathan Midol finished in third place to give the French team a clean sweep.
“Two good friends. I can’t explain how it feels,” Midol told the Associated Press afterward, via Amanda Holpuch of The Guardian. “We had a dream to make the podium with friends. The Olympic Games, three French on the podium is incredible.”
Canada's Brady Leman was the odd man out in the big final, and he finished in fourth place.
Ladies' Ski Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman won the only gold medal of the day for Team USA.
After finishing in third place during the qualifying round, Bowman turned up her game to another level in the final, as noted by Skyler Wilder of NBC, posting a score of 89.0, which was 4.6 points better than any other competitor:
France's Marie Martinod finished in second place for the silver, and Japan's Ayana Onozuka earned the bronze.
Bowman is known for staying loose, which she touched upon, via Maddie Oatman of Mother Jones: "I think we want people to see that side of us—just being kids goofing off. That's what we do. That's why we love what we do. That's how we've gotten so far in skiing."
At the age of 20, there's a good chance Bowman will be back for more in 2018.
Women's Ice Hockey
Thursday marked the end of women's hockey at the 2014 Winter Games, with two final contests determining the medalists.
Switzerland narrowly defeated Sweden in the bronze-medal game, 4-3.
Sweden got off to an early 2-0 lead, but the Swiss team came charging back to score four goals in the third period to win the bronze medal.
"When it was 2-0, we knew we had nothing to lose," Katrin Nabholz said afterward, as relayed by the Associated Press (via ESPN). "Then, we are at our best."
It was a remarkable win, and one that should have foreshadowed the bombshell that dropped in the gold-medal game between Canada and the United States.
Team USA had the game in the bag, up 2-0 late in the third period. Then, with just 3:26 left on the clock, Canada finally landed its first haymaker of the contest when Brianne Jenner scored the team's first goal.
Heading into the final 90 seconds, the Americans still clung to a one-goal lead, forcing Canada to go with an empty-net lineup. The U.S. team nearly sewed the game up when a shot clanged against Canada's goal post instead of going in.
Then, Canada scored the tying goal, prompting this reaction from Fox Sports Live:
The game inevitably went into overtime, when Team USA got into penalty trouble. Then, on a four-on-three power play in Canada's favor, Marie-Philip Poulin poured in the winning goal to give Canada the gold medal.
Needless to say, there were plenty of tears shed by players from both sides—for different reasons, of course.
The Team Gundersen large hill 4x5-kilometer round of the Nordic combined went as expected, with Norway, Germany and Austria taking gold, silver and bronze, respectively.
However, the race was far from boring.
Norway needed an incredible finish from Joergen Graabak in the final sprint to the finish to pull off an extremely tight win over Germany—0.3 seconds, to be exact. After such a close victory, the Norwegian quartet was happy to blow off a bit of steam in celebration, as shown by USA Today's Joe Fleming:
Austria finished 3.4 seconds off the pace, while the rest of the field didn't come close to the leaders—well over a minute behind.
There are only three more days of competition remaining in the 2014 Winter Games, which means the final events should offer plenty of drama.
Coming up on Friday, 21 medals are scheduled to be handed out in seven final events, including men's curling, women's slalom skiing and a trio of speedskating finals.
Also on the schedule are the men's hockey semifinals, which feature the top four seeds from the tournament. Team USA will take on Canada for a chance to compete in the gold-medal game against the winner of the Finland-versus-Sweden contest.
Look for the matchup between Team USA and Canada to create the most buzz. The battle on the women's side on Thursday was a major letdown for the Americans, so the men's team will look to ease the pain by overcoming a talented Canadian squad.
For the Americans, securing a medal in hockey will certainly help their cause in the overall medal standings. With a tight group at the top, the Olympics are going to end with a frenzy.
It should be another phenomenal day of action from Sochi on Friday, so enjoy it while it lasts.
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