Olympic 2014 Medal Count: Analyzing Final Tally and Top Countries from Sochi

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Olympic 2014 Medal Count: Analyzing Final Tally and Top Countries from Sochi
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The curtain has officially closed on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and the road to Pyeongchang has started as the next Winter Games will be held in 2018.

But before the world shifts its eyes over to South Korea and even Rio in 2016 for the Summer Olympics, it's worth taking a look back at the final results from the Sochi Games.

Russian athletes made their host county proud by winning the most medals (33) and the most golds (13). Coming up just behind Russia was Team USA with 28 total and Norway with 11 gold medals.

Here's a look at the final medal standings from the 2014 Olympics:

With the Games coming to a close, here's a look at the top countries and how they got to the top of the medal tally.

 

Top Country Breakdown

In order to reach a high count on the total medal tally, a country needs to dominate on the snow or the ice.

Russia controlled both in multiple events as it shot to the top of the medal count en route to giving the host country several podium visits and even a sweep on the final day of competition.

One of the biggest sports the Russians prevailed in was figure skating. With a total of five medals—three of which were gold—the country came away with more golds than any other nation thanks to several brilliant performances.

The biggest star was Julia Lipnitskaia, who was sensational in the team event. But Adelina Sotnikova's gold medal resulted in a protest to give the medal to South Korea's Yuna Kim, according to Vittorio Hernandez of the International Business Times:

The Web site of Change.org almost crashed briefly on Friday morning because of the very large number of signatories to an online petition for organisers of the Sochi Winter Games to overturn a controversial decision in figure skating.

About 1.5 million people inked the petition to strip Russian athlete Adelina Sotnikova of her gold medal and award it to Yuna Kim of South Korea.

As for the Americans, a total of seven medals in freestyle skiing along with five medals in both snowboarding and alpine skiing proved good enough to put the country in second place in the medal count.

Team USA didn't come away with the results it wanted in men's or women's speedskating and hockey in Sochi, but the domination on the slopes was encouraging for the future of the country in the Winter Olympics.

Much like the 2012 Summer Olympics brought a glimmer of hope to women's swimming with Missy Franklin, the 2014 Winter Games thrust Mikaela Shiffrin into the spotlight in women's alpine skiing. Ironically enough, they are both from the state of Colorado.

After getting her first taste of gold in Sochi, Shiffrin has big dreams for 2018 and isn't shy about her brash expectations, per Paul Myerberg of USA Today:

I'm still young and I still have a lot of strength to gain over the next few summers of conditioning and the next few winters of skiing. I don't want to push myself too far too fast and definitely don't get greedy, but at the same time, I'm a dreamer.

So right now I'm dreaming of the next Olympics, winning five gold medals. Which sounds really crazy. Sorry I just admitted that to you all.

Coming up just behind the Americans in the total medal count but second in golds was Norway. With the most medals in Winter Olympics history coming in, the Norwegians were essentially expected to finish near the top in the medal tally.

While the Norwegians didn't win a single medal on the ice, their performance on the snow—especially in the skiing events—was enough to win them a total of 26 medals during the Games.

Following a sweep in the 30-kilometer cross-country skiing events, 33-year-old Marit Bjoergen spoke about her team's performance and her future in the sport, per the Associated Press via The Washington Post:

It’s an incredible day for our team. When I’m finished skiing I can think about how many medals I have. But right now it doesn’t mean much. ... Four years is a long time, and I’m not getting younger. I’m also thinking about having a family. I don’t want to do this at 90 percent.

Bjoergen became the most decorated Winter Olympian in history with her showing in Sochi, but 2014 could be the end of a historic career.

With their rule over the cross-country events continuing and a combined total of 10 medals in both the biathlon and nordic combined, it will be tough for any other country to catch Norway in the total medal count in history.

The Winter Olympics may have officially come to a close, but several athletes are awaiting their chance to break out in Pyeongchang just like Shiffrin and Lipnitskaia did for their countries in Sochi.

 

Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter

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