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The most interesting moments from Sochi’s final week

Sochi Olympics Biathlon

Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen celebrates winning the gold after the mixed biathlon relay, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Matthias Schrader

The final week of the Sochi Olympics provided another wave of triumphs, disappointments and astounding athletic achievements ... along with more than a few controversial moments. Let’s take a photo-heavy tour through some of the biggest (and oddest) stories from the second week.

For a similar stroll through the first week, click here.

ADELINA ASCENDS

Sochi Olympics Figure Skating

Adelina Sotnikova of Russia waves to spectators as she waits in the results area after completing her routine in the women’s free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Bernat Armangue

Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova won a surprising gold medal in figure skating over South Korea’s Yuna Kim a day after the host city’s men’s hockey debacle. Understatement: many disagreed with the judges.

Kim announced her retirement shortly after settling for silver.

Sochi Olympics Figure Skating

Yuna Kim of South Korea competes in the women’s short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Vadim Ghirda

DAVIS AND WHITE WIN GOLD

Naturally, there was controversy from Canada’s silver side via Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue - including about a coach they shared with the gold winners - but Meryl Davis and Charlie White delivered on significant hype to give the U.S. ice dancing gold for the first time in history. They even got the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes treatment:

KELLOGG COMPANY MERYL DAVIS AND CHARLIE WHITE CORN FLAKES BOX

Credit: Kellogg Company

PR NEWSWIRE

CANADA DOMINATES ON ICE

Yes, there were some figure skating letdowns for the Great White North, but Canada finished incredibly strong in other ice sports. Canada won all four possible medals in ice hockey and curling, culminating with a 3-0 win for the men’s hockey team against Sweden (it’s worth noting that the women’s game was easily more dramatic and ranks as one of the most thrilling contests in all of the Olympics).

Ice Hockey Gold Medal - Sweden v Canada

during the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal match on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Bruce Bennett

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR OTHER HOCKEY POWERS

The happiest U.S. men’s hockey image probably came when the Sochi bear was hovering over their oblivious bench. They fell to Canada in the semifinals and were embarrassed by Finland in the bronze-medal game, leading to several sad Patrick Kane sightings:

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

Canada forward Sidney Crosby consoles USA forward Patrick Kane after Canada won 1-0 in a men’s semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Julio Cortez

The Sochi bear expressed Russia’s sadness in losing to Finland during the quarterfinals as well as any human, creature or human/creature:

SadBearIsSad

Credit: @Sochi2014

Estrada, Christopher (502187238)

At least the bear had fun during the Canada gold game, oddly enough.

RUSSIA HITS 33

Maybe the bear was just excited by the bigger picture victory? Russia won the most gold medals at 13 and the most overall medals at 33.

Sochi Olympics Cross Country Men

Russia’s gold medal winner Alexander Legkov is flanked by Russia’s silver medal winner Maxim Vylegzhanin, left and Russia’s bronze medal winner Ilia Chernousov during the flower ceremony of the men’s 50K cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Gregorio Borgia

OLE WINNER

Is Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen the greatest all-time Olympian? It became increasingly reasonable to ask that question as things progressed in Sochi as Bjoerndalen broke the Winter Games record with his 13th overall and tied the all-time mark for golds with eight.

Sochi Olympics Biathlon

Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen celebrates winning the gold after the mixed biathlon relay, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Matthias Schrader

Belorussian Darya Domracheva won three biathlon golds in Sochi on the women’s side.

REMEMBERING SARAH BURKE

Maddie Bowman (U.S.) won gold in the first-ever women’s ski halfpipe event, but the late Sarah Burke was clearly on everyone’s mind. They paid tribute to her in a variety of ways, including spreading her ashes at the Sochi course and this visual display:

tribute

SHIFFRIN TAKES THE STAGE

Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest person to win gold in the slalom when the 18-year-old took the top mark for the U.S. The sense is that she’s just beginning her star turn, and she certainly fed into that feeling by sharing her dream of five golds in 2018.

Sochi Olympics Alpine Skiing Women

Women’s slalom gold medal winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States poses for photographers with the U.S. flag at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Gero Breloer

LIGETY GETS IT, BODE BOWS OUT

One could look at the three biggest names in United States’ skiing as the three phases of a career. Shiffrin represents the promising beginning while Bode Miller grabbed a swansong bronze. Ted Ligety might represent the middle or “prime,” as he shredded his way to slalom gold.

Sochi Olympics Alpine Skiing Men

Men’s giant slalom gold medalist Ted Ligety of the United States poses for photographers with the American flag on the podium at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Charles Krupa

DUTCH DOMINATE WHILE THE U.S. SINKS IN SPEED SKATING

While the Netherlands put together a stunning run in speed skating, the U.S. struggled on tracks both short and long. It makes you wonder what’s next for the fledgling program. To be fair, the rest of the world seems stumped regarding how to keep up with the Dutch, too.

Sochi Olympics Speedskating Women

Heather Richardson of the U.S. reflects after her team’s performance in the women’s speedskating team pursuit quarterfinals at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Matt Dunham

DELICIOUS SLIDERS

While they didn’t win gold, the U.S. fared much better in sliding sports. Along with Noelle Pikus-Pace’s skeleton silver from last week, the United States managed three bronze and one silver medal between the men and women in the bobsled. Men’s bobsledders Steven Holcomb and Steve Langdon were the only U.S. Olympians to gain multiple individual medals in Sochi.

holcombAP

Miller, Michael (501534472)

VIC VICTORIOUS

American-born snowboarder Vic Wild competed for Russia and made some history in the process, as he became the first snowboarder to win two gold medals in the same Olympics. Wild grabbed gold in the men’s parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom this week.

Sochi Olympics Snowboard

Russia’s Vic Wild celebrates his gold medal in the men’s snowboard parallel slalom final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

AP

WEIRD AND (NON-VIC) WILD STUFF

In the miscellaneous category ...


  • The world received a guide to curling at home.

geopper3

Sochi Olympics Bobsleigh Men

during the men’s four-man bobsled competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Dita Alangkara

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins