Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Team USA Highlights for Day 13

Lindsay Gibbs@linzsports Featured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2014

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It was all about the American ladies on Thursday.

The women's hockey team was part of a gold-medal thriller with Canada, the figure skaters battled it out for a spot on the podium and all of the Americans in freestyle skiing made it to the final—although only one made it to the podium

Team USA added to its medal count with a silver and a gold, and as we look forward to the final few days of the Sochi Games, the U.S. is set up to finish strong. Here's how everything went down on Thursday:

Most heartbreaking collapse:

With just over three minutes to go in the women's hockey gold-medal game, Team USA led the Canadians 2-0. It was looking likely that the American women would win their first Olympic gold since 1998.

Nope.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

But then disaster struck. Canada scored twice at the end of the third period to push it into overtime, and then they scored on a power play in OT to win their fourth straight Olympic gold.

They did not come all this way for the silver.
They did not come all this way for the silver.Martin Rose/Getty Images

The Americans on the ice were in disbelief, and so was the rest of the world.


Greatest golden run:

The Olympic debut of freestyle skiing halfpipe belonged to the Americans, and on Thursday in the women's competition, it was all about Maddie Bowman.

#mericaCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

The 20-year-old was the star of the show, and her 89.00 second run put the rest of the field to shame. 

Nice.Andy Wong/Associated Press

She won the only gold of the day for Team USA and clasped her hands on her helmet in disbelief as she celebrated. 

Best show of support:

David Wise, who won the men's freestyle skiing halfpipe on Tuesday, was on hand to cheer on and celebrate with Bowman. As he lifted her onto his shoulders and they climbed onto the medal stand together, it was a great show of solidarity between the male and female freestyle skiers.

Love this.
Love this.Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Adorable.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Best push for a figure skating medal:

Gracie Gold did her best to live up to her name, or at the very least sneak onto the podium.

Glorious, glorious Gracie.
Glorious, glorious Gracie.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Twist!Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

She was nearly flawless in her free skate and looked to be in contention until she fell on a triple flip. Still, she got up and finished her program strongly, finishing in fourth place and winning a lot of fans along the way.

Cheer up, Coach!
Cheer up, Coach!Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The future is bright for Gracie.

Best performance by an American 15-year-old: 

Polina Edmunds shocked America at nationals when she won the silver medal and made the team to Sochi, but since she was only 15 years old and had no international experience in the seniors, nobody knew how she would do on the Olympic stage.

Get it, girl.
Get it, girl.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Well, she held her own and then some, skating a solid (though not spectacular) free skate and finishing in ninth place. Naturally, she was ecstatic with the performance.

So I had the most amazing time competing on Olympic ice... Thank you to everyone who has supported me and believed in me. Top 10 finish woot woot!!!!

Most impressive perspective: 

In a field where everyone seemed to be skating their personal best, there was little hope that Ashley Wagner, in sixth place after her short program, could make it onto the medal stand. But the 21-year-old who had been through so much to get to Sochi fought through her free skate and held onto her landings to get through it without a fall.

She didn't get a great score and ended up in seventh place, but she smiled throughout and was happy with how she handled herself.

On it.
On it.Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

All smiles here.
All smiles here.Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

It might not have been an Olympic moment for the ages, but at least Wagner finally got an Olympic moment that was all her own. 

Most badass grandma:

Maddie Bowman's grandmother was on hand to watch her win the gold medal, and she might have had the best shirt in Sochi.

Best victory dance:

I mean.... My family's with me... TURN UP! #bronzebaby

Aja Evans got her bobsledding bronze medal today, and she danced with her family to celebrate.

Best cross-training:

Cross training with my bud @lolojones at USA House today. #Sochi2014 #TeamUSA #DoYouEvenLift#YesWeDo

Wonderful teamwork, you two.

Most fabulous look behind the scenes:

I miss Tara and Johnny already.

Most impressive mission accomplished:

That takes commitment.

Greatest beer bet:

That's the Olympic spirit!

Stars to follow on Friday:

Mikaela Shiffrin will be skiing in her best event, the slalom. The 18-year-old is a big favorite for the gold medal.

The men's hockey team will try to get some revenge for the women by taking on Canada in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Shani Davis will attempt to resurrect a touch of U.S. speedskating pride with a medal in the team pursuit.

It's your time, Mikaela.
It's your time, Mikaela.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


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