Winter Olympics 2014: Record Breakers from the Sochi Games

Brendan O'MearaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2014

Winter Olympics 2014: Record Breakers from the Sochi Games

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    Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

    There's a good chance the Sochi Games will be remembered for the turmoil, bad (good?) weather and stray dogs pattering around, but that didn't keep this class of incredible athletes from showing the extremes to which the human body can be pushed.

    Speedskating, the short-track and long-track, saw many records fall, mainly at the hands of the Dutch. Russia's most famous import, Victor An, became the most golden short-track skater ever and Norway, a Xanadu for biathletes and cross-country skiers, now boasts the most decorated Winter Olympic athlete of them all.

    Read on to see who set records as we say do svidaniya to Mother Russia.

Norway's Bjoerndalen Becomes Most Decorated Winter Olympian

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    LUCA BRUNO/Associated Press

    Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen became the most decorated winter Olympian of all time by winning his 12th and 13th medals at the Sochi Games in biathlon. He won them in the 2x6-kilometer and 2x7.5-kilometer mixed relay.

    Bjoerndalen shared the record of 12 with fellow Norwegian Bjorn Daehlie. Daehlie, a cross-country skier, earned his medals over a six-year span from 1992 to 1998. 

    If Germans love David Hasselhoff, Norwegians love their biathlon and cross-country skiers.

The Dutch Rack Up Five Olympic Records

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The way the Netherlands skated these Games, Michael Caine won't be the only one who hates the Dutch.

    The Netherlands leave Sochi with five new Olympic records while sweeping several events. Sven Kramer's time of 6:10.76 in the 5,000 meters broke a record. Jorrit Bergsma's 10,000 meter gold-medal time of 12:44.45 was yet another record for the Dutch. The men's team pursuit, led by Kramer, also set an Olympic record with a time of 3:37.71

    Jorien ter Mors earned two records for the women: her 1:53.51 in the 1,500 meters and in the women's team pursuit with countrywomen Ireen Wust and Marrit Leenstra 2:58.05.

Davis and White Set Two Records

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    Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

    The American figure skating pair of Meryl Davis and Charlie White were sensational in Sochi. Their score of 114.34 in the free-dance portion of the team dance earned them one record. Their other came in the short-dance half of their ice-dance program with a 78.89.

    Their free-dance portion of their ice dance was also a world record, a smashing 116.63, besting their score in the same dance from earlier in the week.

Canada's Maltais Fastest in Qualifying

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    Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

    It may have been in qualifying heats for the women's short-track 1,000-meter event, but Valerie Maltais of Canada clocked in with a time of 1:28.771.

    It would have to be her silver lining since she crashed in the semifinals before finishing second in the B Final, good for sixth overall.

Make It Two for Lee

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    Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

    South Korea's Lee Sang-Hwa broke two speedskating records in the 500 meters, one in her second skate in a time of 37.28, then her overall time of 1:14.70.

    The description of the race is reminiscent of Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes in 1973. She found a gear higher than anyone else's through the first lap and then, in essence, merely raced the specter of herself as she found a gear that most mortals do not possess.

'An' Fire

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Whoever decided to import Victor An to Russia from South Korea must have made a pretty sweet deal.

    An has now won gold in every short-track speedskating event, three of them—the 500 and 1,000 meters and in the 5,000-meter relay—in Sochi. In the 1,500, he won bronze in Sochi after winning gold in Vancouver in 2006.

    Winning the 500 gave him a record fifth gold medal in short track. He added to that tally with a gold in the relay.

Women's Curling Goes Unbeaten

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    The women's Canadian curling team became the only women's team to go unbeaten—11-0—for the entire Olympic Games.

    Canada's skip Jennifer Jones told Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, "And we did it in a way where we played so consistent all week. On the biggest stage for sport, we came out and played our best. And I'm so so proud of us."

Zoeggeler Medals in Six Straight Games in One Event

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Italian luger Armin Zoeggeler, 40, won bronze in Sochi and became the only man ever to medal in six straight Olympic Games in a single event. His first medal came in the 1994 Lillehammer Games.

    Zoeggeler is nicknamed "The Cannibal," because he's devoured his competition on the luge track. 

    Zoeggler won gold medals in the 2002 and 2006 Games, silver in 1998 and bronze in 1994, 2010 and 2014.

    Chew on that.

The Revenge of the British

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    Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

    The Great Britain women's curling team exacted a kind of revenge over its former colonies when it set an Olympic record by scoring seven points in one end against the United States.

    "We were in trouble early in that end," U.S. skip Erika Brown said in a USA Curling release. "...My first shot was terrible, but my next one was an inch away from being really quite good. We knew if she got three it was doomsville, so it didn't matter if she got three or seven. We were all in at that point."

    For good measure, Great Britain also set an Olympic record when it stole five points in an end without having the hammer against Japan.