The 2014 Olympics in Sochi looked to be, like every Olympics, an opportunity for the United States to prove their athletic prowess on the world stage.
From the men’s ice-hockey team looking to avenge their 2010 silver medal against Canada, to Shaun White, the flamboyant snowboarding legend, looking to earn his third straight Olympic gold in the halfpipe, America had high hopes as the Opening Ceremonies kicked off.
And yet, with just under a week of competition behind us, the United States has had a tough go at it against a talented field. In the halfpipe event, where Shaun White was the heavy favorite to medal once again, the 27-year old rider finished a disappointing fourth behind German Iouri Podladtchikov and two Japanese snowboarders.
Elsewhere on the snow, American mogul skier Hannah Kearney earned a bronze medal, which, for most, would have been an accomplishment to boast of. However, like White, Kearney had been the heavy favorite after winning gold in the moguls in 2010. Yet a costly mistake in the medal round allowed Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe to earn gold.
And yet it has not been all disappointment for the red, white and blue. In the first day of competition, Sage Kotsenburg won the first ever gold in men’s slopestyle after pulling off a 1620 Japan Air Mute Grab, a trick he had never attempted before. And fellow American slopestyle snowboarder Jamie Anderson took home gold in the event for the women.
Despite the challenges so far, most of the Games have yet to be played. And US fans can look forward to events such as ice dancing and ice hockey, which should make for must-see TV.