With the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia nearing a close, Day 14 had a lot to live up to thanks to quality action that came before it.
It delivered big time for fans around the globe.
The United States, Russia and Canada all managed to stay in the conversation for first place after winning medals:
Great individual and team performances dotted the various podiums:
|Alpine Skiing||Women's Slalom Run 2||Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)||Marlies Schild (AUT)||Kathrin Zettel (AUT)|
|Biathlon||Women's 4x6km Relay||Ukraine||Russia||Norway|
|Curling||Men's Finals||Canada||Great Britain||Sweden|
|Freestyle Skiing||Ladies' Ski Cross Finals||Marielle Thompson (CAN)||Kelsey Serwa (CAN)||Anna Holmlund (SWE)|
|Short Track||Men's 500 m Finals||Victor An (RUS)||Dajing Wu (CHN)||Charlie Cournoyer (CAN)|
|Short Track||Ladies' 1000 m Finals||Seung-Hi-Park (KOR)||Kexin Fan (CHN)||Suk Hee Shim (KOR)|
|Short Track||Men's 5000 m Relay Finals||Russia||USA||China|
While a bit easy to predict, Canada ruled the slopes on Day 14 in the women's ski cross.
Marielle Thompson took home gold after strong performances in each round, while teammate Kelsey Serwa scored a silver medal. Sweden's Anna Holmlund took home bronze, as the final race between the top four saw France's Ophelie David fall and finish fourth.
“In the first turn, I gave [Serva] a little space because she called ‘inside!,’” Thompson said. “We definitely try to help each other. I’m not going to cut her off, and that’s how we went all the way down.”
For an Olympic debut at 21 years old, Thompson did quite well for herself in the face of stiff competition from the 37-year-old David and teammate Serwa, who finished fifth in the same event in Vancouver.
Curling Excites and Bores in Unexpected Ways
The men's bronze-medal game attempted to steal the show in Sochi on Day 14 via an extra-end thriller.
Tied 4-4 at the 10th end's conclusion, it was the Sweden rink and skip Niklas Edin who stepped up and scored two points after China skip Liu Rui misfired on his last rock. The epic finish gave Sweden its first medal in the sport since 1998 and furthers the country's prestige in curling after the women won silver the day prior.
Unfortunately, the gold-medal game did not live up to the hype. Canada dominated Great Britain on the way to a 9-3 victory in which the final two ends of the match were unnecessary as the Brits conceded.
For the country of Canada as a whole, the performance was the highlight of what was an absolute pristine showing by its athletes in the discipline, as the women had won the gold the day prior. As Lee Jones of TSN notes, it is the first time Canada has won both:
This will be the first time Canada has won gold in both men's and women curling at the Olympic Games— Lee Jones (@LeeJonesCTV) February 21, 2014
Ukraine Surprises Field in Women's 4x6-kilometer Relay
Olena Pidhrushna and the Ukraine women's relay team shocked the globe on Day 14 by earning their country's first gold medal of the Sochi Games thanks to a total time of 1:10:02.5—a mark more than 26 seconds better than the next quartet to cross the finish line.
Former pole vault Olympic champion and chief of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee Sergey Bubka took to Twitter to congratulate the women, who provided the country mired in political violence another bright spot on a day the two political factions signed a peace treaty:
Thanks to the girls - Vita and Valja Semerenko, Julia Dzhyma and Olena Pidhrushna! Thanks to coaches and managers! You made it for Ukraine!!— Sergey Bubka (@sergey_bubka) February 21, 2014
the best way to support is to raise our flag at the Olympics. So proud biathlon team gave pride to our people at home.Great show of support!— Sergey Bubka (@sergey_bubka) February 21, 2014
Behind Ukraine was the host country with a total time of 1:10:28.9, while Norway finished a distant third at a 1:10:40.1 tally after an impressive comeback.
Lost in the outstanding story that is Ukraine's success, the United States also put on quite the performance and finished seventh—the best mark the country has ever achieved in the event.
Many Day 14 happenings are worthy of the spotlight, but the women's biathlon stole the show in more ways than one and will go down as a top moment from the Games.