Despite sending a country-record 230 athletes to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the United States couldn’t repeat as overall medal champion, but the Americans do have nine gold medalists to fawn over for the next four years.
Back in 2010, Team USA dominated the Vancouver Games with 37 total medals, including nine gold. This year, the U.S. slipped in total medals but still equaled its gold count in Sochi.
Of the USA’s 28 total medals, nine were gold with the Americans especially deft in freestyle skiing and snowboarding. Placing second behind host country Russia in overall medal victories, the U.S. also excelled in several of the newest events.
Supplanting Shaun White as the country’s preeminent snowboarder, 20-year-old Sage Kotsenburg took home the U.S.’s first gold medal in Sochi in the men’s snowboard slopestyle competition. It was Kotsenburg’s first career Winter Games, and he certainly made up for his two second-place finishes in the Winter X Games slopestyle in 2010 and 2012.
Jamie Anderson will go down in the record books as the first victor in the inaugural running of the women’s slopestyle event, and Kaitlyn Farrington also won the women’s snowboard halfpipe.
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The Americans next took two golds for for alpine skiing with Joss Christensen leading the country’s sweep of the men’s skiing slopestyle.
David Wise became another inspiration for a new event that was originally limited to the X Games and won the ski halfpipe. At 23, Wise stands to become the face of his sport for quite some time.
Ted Ligety padded his already stellar international career with his gold medal in the giant slalom. It was the 29-year-old Salt Lake City native’s second career gold and first since the 2006 Turin Games.
Maddie Bowman just edged out France’s Marie Martinod for the first-ever gold medal for women’s halfpipe skiing, and Mikaela Shiffrin captured the slalom gold. Already the youngest to ever win the event at 18, Shiffrin has a big future and plans ahead of her. She already alerted the media to her lofty goals for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.
Lastly Charlie White and Meryl Davis racked up Team USA’s first-ever gold in ice dancing. White and Davis bested Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir by nearly five points in the combined short and free dance segments.