Leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics halfpipe event, several snowboarders had complained about the halfpipe conditions, including American Danny Davis. And even though Shaun White was a heavy favorite to win gold on the betting lines, at 1-2 odds, the course conditions meant that anybody could rise up to take first.
Now, we shouldn’t say that “anybody” won. After all, Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov, who was given the second best odds at 5-1 by many sportsbooks, ended taking the gold. But both White and Davis, who were rated first and third going into the halfpipe, missed out on medals. White took fourth, Davis finished 10th and Greg Bretz, another highly respected snowboarder, took 12th place. This is the first time in Winter Olympic history that the US failed to earn a snowboarding medal.
Perhaps the US failing to grab a medal in either the halfpipe or slopestyle events was counteracted by some American firsts in the luge and curling. Erin Hamlin took bronze in the luge, which is the United States’ first ever medal in this event. Dating back to the luge’s initial run in 1964, Americans had never seen the luge podium.
The US didn’t have much of a chance of winning a medal in curling, on the men or women’s side. In fact, both teams were a combined 0-5 going into yesterday. However, the American men were finally able to notch a victory after beating Denmark 9-5. The Danes have a pretty strong curling team, however, they were ambushed as the US got five points off of steals.
With over a week to go, Norway leads the overall medal count with 12. Canada and The Netherlands aren’t far behind with 10 medals, while the United States and Russia are tied for fourth with 9 medals. Here’s an expanded look at the medal count as of now:
Top 10 Medal Count
1. Norway – 12 medals (4 golds, 3 silvers, 5 bronzes)
2. Canada – 10 medals (4, 4, 2)
3. The Netherlands – 10 medals (4, 2, 4)
4. United States – 9 medals (3, 1, 5)
5. Russia – 9 medals (2, 4, 3)
6. Germany – 8 medals (6, 1, 1)
7. Austria – 5 medals (1, 4, 0)
8. Switzerland – 4 medals (3, 0, 1)
9. Slovenia – 4 medals (1, 1, 2)
10. Sweden – 4 medals (0, 3, 1)