Olympics Results 2014: Full Analysis of Day 15 Games and Medal Tally

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Olympics Results 2014: Full Analysis of Day 15 Games and Medal Tally
Martin Rose/Getty Images

There's only one day left of competition in Sochi, and the home country has taken the lead in the overall medal count. Russia picked up three medals on Saturday while the United States was shut out.

Here is a look at the latest leaderboard.

Eight events issued medals on Day 15. Here's a look at the biggest winners and stories from one of the final days of the 2014 Winter Games.

 

Women's 30-Kilometer Free Mass Start

  • Gold: Marit Bjoergen, Norway
  • Silver: Therese Johaug, Norway
  • Bronze: Kristin Stoermer Steira, Norway

 

The "Golden Marit" topped an all-Norwegian podium and captured her third gold medal of the Sochi games. The Olympics' official website described the early stages of the race:

The Norwegian trio had dominated from early, breaking free from the pack at the 10km mark.

They then raced in compact formation, taking it in turns to lead, with each racer dropping back into the slipstream, all three conserved their energy for the final push.

Down the home stretch, it was all about Bjoergen. She finished at a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 5.2 seconds. The time was 2.6 seconds quicker than Johaug.

After the race was over, Bjoergen said this to reporters about her win and her country's sweep of the podium:

"It's incredible. We're all Norwegian and we're all on the podium. This has been a goal for me for a long time. I thought the 30km would be hard but I've felt very good in the last days.”

 

Women's Parallel Slalom

  • Gold: Julia Dujmovits, Austria
  • Silver: Anke Karstens, Germany
  • Bronze: Amelie Kober, Germany

Armando Trovati/Associated Press

It took a late rally, but Dujmovits pulled it off to capture gold in the parallel slalom. She narrowly held off Karstens by just 0.12 seconds to take the gold-medal run.

She had fallen behind by 0.74 seconds after the first heat, but righted the ship for the final run.

 

Men's Parallel Slalom

  • Gold: Vic Wild, Russia
  • Silver: Zan Kosir, Slovenia
  • Bronze: Benjamin Karl, Austria

David Goldman/Associated Press

Wild, the former American who left his country to pursue his career as a snowboarder, came up with the performance of his life to take the top podium spot on Saturday.

After winning the giant slalom, he now has two gold medals for his new nation of Russia. Per Wayne Coffey of the New York Daily News, Wild explains why he became Russian.

"I continued snowboarding because I thought I could do something special. I thought I had never reached my potential (in the U.S.) and I wanted to see how good I could get. That’s why I’m a Russian."

His performance in Sochi has to make him feel as though he made the right career choice.

 

Speedskating Men's Team Pursuit

  • Gold: Netherlands
  • Silver: South Korea
  • Bronze: Poland

Andy Wong/Associated Press

The Dutch showed their speedskating brilliance again on Saturday, as the men's and women's team scored gold medals for the Netherlands.

Not only did they both win the top podium spots, but they also set new Olympic records in the process.

The men's time of 3:37.71 was more than three seconds faster than the South Koreans, who managed to take the silver medal.

 

Speedskating Women's Team Pursuit

  • Gold: Netherlands
  • Silver: Poland
  • Bronze: Russia

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Equally as brilliant—and even more dominant—were the women of the Netherlands on Saturday. Their Olympic record time of 2:58.05 was more than seven seconds quicker than the Polish team.

Without a question, the Netherlands is the team pursuit capital of the world. 

 

Biathlon Men's 4x7.5-Kilometer Relay

  • Gold: Russia
  • Silver: Germany
  • Bronze: Austria

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The hosts took home their second gold medal and third of the day by winning the 4x7.5-kilometer relay in the biathlon. They nipped Germany by 3.5 seconds in a crucial event for the overall medal count.

The event is usually one of the strongest of the Winter Games for Russia, but before Saturday, the country hadn't won a gold medal in any of the previous 10 biathlon events.

Per Eric Willemsen of the Associated Press (h/t ABC News), Evgeny Ustyugov of the Russian team used the energy from the home crowd to spur him on. He said, "It's a very special feeling. With every step you heard the people shouting. It gave me even more energy."

It seems fitting that Russia would seize control of the medal leaderboard in one of its signature events.

 

Men's Hockey: Bronze-Medal Game

Finland 5, United States 0

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Perhaps the most disappointing American performance of the Winter Games has come from the men's hockey team. The American men went from looking like a decent favorite to win the gold medal, to a very strong candidate for the silver, to an almost shoo-in for the bronze, to the medal-less reality they were hit with on Saturday.

Team USA was thrashed, 5-0, by Finland in the bronze-medal game and will leave Sochi with nothing to show for its efforts besides the experience.

Offense appeared to be the major issue for the Americans in its last two losses. Against Finland and Canada, Team USA was outscored, 6-0. Addressing the offensive performance for the 2018 Games should be the major focus.

Brian Stubits of CBS Sports breaks down the disappointment:

"USA came into these Olympics with very high aspirations but it ended the same as just about every other Olympic tournament held outside of North America, without a medal."

 

Alpine Skiing: Men's Slalom

  • Gold: Mario Matt, Austria
  • Silver: Marcel Hirscher, Austria
  • Bronze: Henrik Kristoffersen, Norway

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Age proved to be nothing but a number to the 34-year-old Matt. On Saturday, he became the oldest man to win an Alpine skiing gold medal. The Austrian held off his countryman, Hirscher, by just 0.28 seconds to claim victory.

He had to overcome a course that was less than ideal in the eyes of other athletes. Per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press (h/t ABC News), American Ted Ligety, who won the gold in giant slalom, said after the race concluded, "The snow is just really bad, and Ante set a really difficult, 'typical Ante' course set, which is borderline unsportsmanlike. But that's how it goes. Everybody had to ski it."

Everyone did have to ski it, and on Saturday no one did it better than Matt.

 

Official times and results from NBCOlympics.com.

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