Sochi Medal Count 2014: Analyzing Standings Heading into Olympics' Final Stretch

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Sochi Medal Count 2014: Analyzing Standings Heading into Olympics' Final Stretch
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Just as it felt like things were getting underway in Sochi, Russia, the 2014 Winter Olympics are nearly done. In only two days, the flame will be extinguished, and everybody will go back to their regular television viewing schedules.

Here's a look at the standings after Day 14.

The major developments so far are that the United States are in the overall lead, while Norway have the most golds. Hosts Russia have performed well, putting themselves second in both the gold and overall counts.

Only two more days remain for countries to pad their medal tallies. A total of 27 medals have yet to be handed out, so somebody like Canada or Germany could shoot up the standings between now and Sunday.

These are a couple of the bigger storylines to watch between now and Sunday.

 

What to Watch

Can the United States Hold onto Their Overall Lead?

Julian Finney/Getty Images

With the 1-0 loss to Canada in men's ice hockey, the U.S. lost a chance for a guaranteed medal there. The Americans must beat Finland to get bronze. Although it should happen, it's still no lock.

That's much the same case with the other events to come.

Ted Ligety won gold in the giant slalom, but he's not one of the favorites to take home a medal in men's slalom.

It would be a shock to see an American medal in either of the cross-country events. Likewise for the biathlon. Norway will likely clean up in those, which is good because the Norwegians are still a little too far away in the total count. Having them win also eliminates the chance for either Russia or Canada to win, too.

Although the United States generally do well in extreme sports, the men's and women's parallel snowboard slalom would appear to be an empty well.

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The men's speedskating team, despite all the hype, has been relegated to the Group D final of the team pursuit, which is a battle to see whom is the last-place finisher out of the eight countries remaining. U.S. star Shani Davis couldn't hold his disappointment inside after the team failed to qualify for the final, per ESPN.com.

"We did the best we could," Davis said. "We took the four days in between to get ready. It was something that was within our grasp, but we just couldn't quite get there."

The Americans will be hoping the men's hockey team isn't a similar flop.

 

How Much More Do the Dutch Have Left?

Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

Stunningly, all 22 of the Netherlands' medals collected in Sochi have come in either speedskating or short track. The Dutch have cornered the market when it comes to hardware dealt out in the Adler Arena Skating Center.

Those 22 medals are good enough to get the Dutch into a tie for fourth when it comes to the overall tally, and their six golds are tied for sixth.

The Netherlands can bump their total up to 24 on Saturday, as they have teams in both the men's and women's team pursuit competitions. The men are in the finals, while the women have yet to qualify, which they should.

If the Dutch do get up to 24, they'll almost double what was the previous best output for a country in speedskating at the Winter Olympics, per ESPN Stats and Info:

Ireen Wust believes that her team isn't lacking focus heading into Saturday's action, per Beth Harris of the Associated Press (via the Miami Herald).

"In the past at times, we didn't take the team pursuit seriously enough," she said. "That can't happen this time. We have to get it right."

The men should have at least a medal in the bag, and with Germany out on the women's side, it's possible for the Netherlands to go 2-for-2 on Saturday.

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