BY LUIS GRONDA
The Winter Olympics haThe Winter Olympics have been ongoing since last weekend and already there has been a ton of action.
As of press time, Norway leads the overall medal count for the games with 11, including four gold medals.
The Norwegians dominated the Cross-Country event, winning six of their medals and three gold medals.
Canada is second in the overall medal count with nine in total. They have taken four gold medals so far, with three of them coming in the freestyle skiing competition. Justine Dufour-LaPointe won gold in the ladies’ moguls and Alex Bilodeau finished first overall in the men’s moguls.
The Netherlands is third overall with eight total medals. All of their medals, including the three gold medals, were earned in last week’s speed skating event. Sven Kramer took the gold in the men’s 5,000-meter race and Irene Wust got the gold in the ladies’ 3,000-meter race.
For the United States, the Olympics have been a mix of good and bad so far. While they do have seven total medals, there have been some disappointing performances as well during the games’ first week.
The U.S. took home both of their gold medals in the snowboarding competition, with Sage Kotsenburg surprisingly winning gold in the Men’s Slopestyle, the first gold for the USA in this year’s games. Jamie Anderson is the only other gold medal winner so far, finishing first place in the Ladies’ Slopestyle competition.
After winning gold in both the Torino and Vancouver winter games, snowboarder Shaun White, nicknamed the “flying tomato,” finished fourth overall during the Men’s half pipe finals. In addition to the half pipe, White was originally scheduled to be in the slopestyle event, but dropped out to focus on the half pipe. White fell twice during his run and was unable to garner enough points to earn a medal. Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov won gold in that event.
Events to watch out for during this upcoming week include men’s ice hockey getting underway on Thursday.
Team USA will begin play on the 13th against Slovakia. They figure to face a tough challenge from the get-go as the United States was drawn into the group featuring Russia, who is looking to win the gold in their home country. With players like Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk, it should be a competitive preliminary round match up between the two countries.
For Team USA, Jonathan Quick was named the starting goalie for the Americans against Slovakia and could be the starter for the rest of the tournament depending on his play. Quick’s Olympic prospects were originally in jeopardy after he missed the first month of the NHL season after straining his groin muscle.
The U.S. women’s hockey team has already played their three preliminary round games and has advanced to the next round. They lost to Canada 3-2 on Wednesday in a highly physical game. Their largest victory was a 9-0 blowout against Switzerland.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, email@example.com, or @luisgronda.