Day 14 of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi reached its conclusion after athletes in seven different events took the podium. The overall medal count continues to be shaken up by the day, with the top countries remaining within arm's length of each other.
Once the dust settled on Friday, here's how the overall medal count looks:
The United States remains atop the list after refusing to be denied at least one spot on the podium yet again. However, Russia continued its hot streak and is nipping at the heels of the Americans by a difference of just one medal.
Russia is not the only country giving chase, as the Netherlands, Canada and Norway are within striking distance as well.
Let's take a look at the results from each event that ended with a ceremony on the podium on Day 14 of the Olympic Games.
Alpine Skiing: Women's Slalom
|Alpine Skiing: Women's Slalom Podium|
|Gold||Mikaela Shiffrin||United States||1:44.54|
The United States saw another one of its young phenoms dazzle the crowd in Sochi yet again. This time it was 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin's turn. She put together a blazing first run with a time of 52.62 and was in perfect position to take the gold medal.
She faltered briefly during her second run, briefly losing her balance. However, she managed to stay upright and finished with a good enough overall time to come away victorious.
Shiffrin spoke of her stumble with CBS News after the event concluded:
Yeah, that was pretty terrifying for me. There I was, I'm like 'Grreat. I'm just going to go win my first medal.' And then in the middle of the run, I'm like 'Guess not.' So, like, 'No. Don't do that. Do not give up. You see this through.' My whole goal was to just keep my skis moving.
She did keep her skis moving and edged out Austria's Marlies Schild and Kathrin Zettel, who took home the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
In a surprising twist to this event, well-known Olympians Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany and Tina Maze of Slovenia missed out on another podium trip, finishing in fourth place and eighth place, respectively.
Biathlon: Women's 4x6-Kilometer Relay
|Biathlon: Women's 4x6-Kilometer Relay Podium|
The Ukraine team, featuring sisters Valj and Vita Semerenko, dominated the field during this event. An even pace throughout, along with a limited number of penalties, allowed the team to coast to an easy finish.
Ukraine took the gold medal with an impressive time of 1 hour, 10 minutes, 2.5 seconds—besting the rest of the competition by at least 26.4 seconds.
It was a two-horse race for the silver medal, as the Russian team edged out Norway by a difference of just 11.2 seconds.
These three teams were in a completely different stratosphere from the remaining competition, as the Czech Republic came in fourth place with a time of 1:11:25.7—a full 1:23.2 off the pace of first-place Ukraine.
Men's Curling Finals
|Men's Curling Finals|
The bronze-medal game between China and Sweden was filled with intensity throughout its duration. Heading into the final end, China led the Swedes by a score of 4-3. However, Sweden and skip Niklas Edin came away with a crucial stone to send the match into an extra end.
Edin, holding the hammer, came away with some beautiful attempts when it mattered most, earning two stones in the extra end and clinching a bronze medal for his country by a score of 6-4.
The gold-medal game between Canada and Great Britain did not have quite as much excitement, as the Canadian men dominated from the start.
Jumping out to a quick 5-1 lead after the third end, the Canadians did not look back. Skip Brad Jacobs was flawless and crushed the Great Britain team by a score of 9-3 after the British conceded through eight ends.
Freestyle Skiing: Ladies' Ski Cross
|Freestyle Skiing: Ladies' Ski Cross Podium|
Canadians Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa took the gold and silver medals, respectively, in this event. Their precise routes through the course allowed the teammates to fend off bronze-medal winner Anna Holmlund of Sweden and France's Ophelie David to top the podium.
Serwa spoke of the redemption that her silver medal provided during an interview with Kerry Gillespie of TheStar.com:
I couldn't believe it, I was so stoked coming across—no more than an arm's length. Actually, it brought back memories (of Vancouver) when I got passed. I was no more than a hand's length from making it to the finals there, so this is my redemption.
This was a huge event for Canada, as the country is still well in the running for the Olympic Games' overall medal count.
Short-Track Speedskating: Men's 500-Meter Finals
|Short-Track Speedskating: Men's 500 Meters Podium|
Victor An did it again for Russia and earned his third medal of the 2014 Olympics—and first of two on the day—in the men's 500 meters. He has been short-track speedskating's most dominant athlete in Sochi, earning two gold medals and one bronze.
He was tested, however, as Dajing Wu of China and Charle Cournoyer of Canada gave him quite a chase. This photo-finish concluded with An beating Wu by just 0.204 seconds and Cournoyer by 0.305 seconds.
An showed that he can push himself to the limit once again, finishing strong once again to edge out his competition.
Short-Track Speedskating: Ladies' 1,000-Meter Finals
|Short-Track Speedskating: Ladies' 1,000 Meters Podium|
|Gold||Seung-Hi Park||South Korea||1:30.761|
|Bronze||Suk Hee Shim||South Korea||1:31.027|
Seung-Hi Park of South Korea continued her impressive Olympic performance by earning the gold medal in the ladies' 1,000 meters. This marks her third medal in the 2014 Olympic Games, as she took the gold as part of the ladies' 3,000-meter relay and the bronze in the ladies' 500 meters.
She just barely fended off China's Kexin Fan, who has been fantastic in Sochi despite this being her first medal of the Olympics.
South Korea's Suk Hee Shim rounded out the podium with the bronze medal. This was her third of the Olympics after earning a gold medal with Park in the ladies' 3,000-meter relay and taking home the silver medal in the ladies' 1,500-meter event.
It was a disappointing finish for American skater and podium hopeful Jessica Smith. She finished in fourth place after being beaten by Shim by a time differential of just 0.274 seconds.
Short-Track Speedskating: Men's 5,000-Meter Relay Finals
|Short-Track Speedskating: Men's 5,000-Meter Relay Podium|
This event was one of the most exhilarating of the day, as powerhouse skating teams from Russia and the United States went head to head.
Both of these teams were on top form and looked unstoppable on Friday. Each posted blazing times, with Russia barely edging out the United States.
Russia took home the gold medal after setting a new Olympic record with a time of 6:42.100 thanks to another incredible performance by Victor An, who earned his fourth medal of the Olympics. However, the Americans were very close behind, posting a final time of 6:42.371. This marked a dramatic finish for one of short-track speedskating's longest event.
American J.R. Celski skated alongside of An during the event and was very impressed with what he saw, according to an interview with Fox Sports. Said Celski, "Everybody in short track should give that guy credit, and they do."
China took the bronze medal after edging the Netherlands in a race for third. After posting a time of 6:48.341, the Chinese edged the Dutch my a margin of just 0.808 seconds.
Day 15 Outlook
The 2014 Winter Olympics are quickly winding down and each day affords countries to earn more medals in hopes of topping the overall medal count. Day 15 of the Olympic Games looks to be just as enticing as Day 14 was.
Saturday features trips to the podium for top athletes from the men's slalom, men's biathlon 4x7.5-kilometer relay, ladies' cross-country 30-kilometer mass start, men's ice hockey, ladies' and men's snowboarding parallel slaloms, men's speedskating team pursuit and ladies' team pursuit.
With so many medals being handed out on Saturday as the highly anticipated conclusion of the Winter Games draws nearer, the race for the overall medal count will continue to dramatically increase by the day.
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