Olympic Medal Count 2014: Highlighting the Leaders Through Day 14 Action

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Olympic Medal Count 2014: Highlighting the Leaders Through Day 14 Action
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

While most of America was reeling on Friday after a 1-0 loss by the men's hockey team to Canada, U.S. fans still have plenty to cheer about heading into the final two days of competitions in Sochi.

So far Americans have won more medals (27) than any other country during the XXII Olympic Winter Games, but it will be a tight race to the finish with 11 more podiums to be decided between now and the closing ceremonies on Sunday.

Norway has been buoyed by strong performances in cross-country related events and is still the only country with double-digit gold medals with 10.

Let's take a look at the updated standings with analysis of the top three countries in terms of total medals so far. For complete information visit Sochi2014.com.

 

1. United States (27 total, 9 gold)

The men's hockey team will have to defeat Finland in the bronze-medal game on Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NBC SN) if it wants to bring home any hardware in Sochi. With the loss on Friday, it also means that USA's "Miracle on Ice" team from 1980 will continue to stand as the only gold-medal-winning team in the U.S. men's program's history.

"We didn't show up to play," U.S. defenseman Ryan Suter told Associated Press writer Greg Beacham after the loss to Canada. "It's too bad. ... We sat back. We were passive. You can't play scared. I thought we sat on our heels and just didn't take it to them at all."

The loss in hockey overshadowed a gold medal from 18-year-old Colorado native Mikaela Shiffrin in the women's alpine skiing slalom event. In the process, she made some Olympic history, as noted by Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch.

Shiffrin became the ninth gold medalist for the Americans, and it sounds like Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert will be waiting for his cut of the prize when she gets back to the states.

Highlighting the American athletes in Sochi were Joss Christensen (gold), Gus Kenworthy (silver) and Nick Goepper (bronze), who completed a sweep in the slopestyle skiing competition—the only one by Team USA in Sochi.

After the men's and women's speedskating teams were knocked out of their respective pursuit events, the four-man bobsled team has America's best shot at bringing home another gold medal going forward.

Ultimately, these Olympics might be remembered most for missed medal opportunities that slipped past the grasp of athletes like Shaun White, Shani Davis, Heather Richardson and the hockey teams.

 

2. Russia (26 total, 9 gold)

Host countries always tend to perform better at the Winter Games and Russia has been no exception.

After hauling in 15 medals and three golds during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Russia has smashed those totals in Sochi. It started with strong showings in figure skating and ended on a high note in that sport as well, with 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova stunning favorite Yuna Kim in the women's singles competition.

But that's not to say there wasn't any baggage attached to Sotnikova's victory. On Friday, more than 24 hours after she secured the gold medal, the world was still buzzing about the judges behind the controversial decision to vault Sotnikova to the top of the podium.

Christine Brennan of USA Today passed along information from sources that jives with the feeling of home cookin' that has surrounded this scoring decision.

A high-ranking Olympic figure skating official, who spoke to USA TODAY sports on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic, said the geographic makeup of the judging panel "was clearly slanted towards (Olympic gold medalist) Adelina Sotnikova," adding "this is what they can do."

The nine-person panel for the Olympic women's long program included judges from four former Soviet bloc nations -- Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Slovakia -- as well as France, which conspired with Russia for the Salt Lake City pairs judging scandal in 2002.

While judging controversies are nothing new in figure skating, there's nothing Kim or anyone else can do about it now.

Sotnikova made all the headlines, but no Russian athlete had a better showing in Sochi than short-track skater Victor An—who won the men's 500-meter event and helped his country capture gold in the 5,000-meter relay event on Friday, when his team set a new Olympic record with a time of 6 minutes, 42.1 seconds. He also won gold in the 1,000-meter race and bronze in the 1,500, giving him a grand total of four.

As far as disappointments go, there was none bigger than the men's hockey team, which was knocked out by Finland in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 loss.

 

3. Canada (24 total, 9 gold)

David Goldman/Associated Press

The Canadians will continue to have hockey bragging rights over their North American neighbors until at least 2018.

Undoubtedly, the high point of these Olympics came on Thursday, when the women's hockey team faced a two-goal deficit with less than four minutes to go in regulation, but stormed back to claim a 3-2 victory over the United States in overtime to win a fourth straight gold medal.

Marie-Philip Poulin played a starring role for Team Canada, scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals to complete the scintillating comeback. After the game, Poulin spoke to Jimmy Golen of The Associated Press about the feeling of defending Canada's gold medal.

"I think it always gets better, for sure," Poulin, who also scored twice in the Vancouver final four years ago, said Thursday night with her second gold medal draped around her neck. "It's so hard to get here and to bring it back (home) is amazing."

The men have stiff competition in Sweden in their gold-medal game on Sunday (7 a.m. ET, NBC/CBC), but stand a great chance at completing another double for the proud country.

Don't forget about the curling teams, either. On Friday, the men's team defeated Great Britain 9-3 to win gold after the women claimed a 6-3 victory over Sweden in their final.

Freestyle skiing has also been a strong sport for Canada, which has earned four gold medals from Marielle Thompson (ski cross), Dara Howell (slopestyle), Alex Bilodeau (moguls) and Justine Dufour-Lapointe (moguls).

It's all about Sunday's hockey final, though, as the entire country will likely come to a standstill while the men square off against Sweden.

Load More Stories

Team StreamTM

Olympics

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.