Does anyone else feel like the two weeks of Winter Olympics flew by faster than an Olympic speed skater? With the 2014 Winter Olympics finally drawing to a close on Sunday with the grandiose closing ceremonies, it’s time for the Olympic fever to calm down until the Summer Olympics begin in 2016.
If you didn’t get the chance to watch as much of the Olympic events as you had planned, or if you simply lost count of the medals won and are in need of a recap of the highlights of the 2014 Olympics, here’s everything that you need to know to keep up with the water-cooler conversations this week.
Overall, the U.S. team did a pretty good job of taking home medals in the 2014 Olympics. Ranked by total number of gold medals, the U.S. took fourth behind Russia, Norway, and Canada in first, second and third places, respectively. When ranked by total overall medals, however, the U.S. placed second only to Russia. And while the 28 medals won by the U.S. don’t compare to the 37 medals that the U.S. took in Vancouver in the 2010 Olympics, that’s still no small feat.
Interestingly, when ranked by medals per athlete that competed in Sochi, the Netherlands surpassed all competitors with one medal per 1.7 athletes, according to an article by USA Today. The article also noted that “the Dutch speedskating team alone would have finished sixth on the overall medal count.” Now that’s something to be proud of.
In case you missed skiing’s latest rising star, Mikaela Shiffin finished fifth in her first Olympic race and took gold in her second. Other interesting highlights include Russia’s leap from 11th place to 1st place in number of medals won. Of 2,453 drug tests conducted over the course of the Olympics, six were failed – that’s one more than in the 2010 Winter Olympics, according to BBC news. And Norwegian biathlete Ole Einer Bjoerndalen made history by winning his 13th medal – the most of any single Winter Olympian.
After the world had it’s fun joking about the fifth Olympic ring that failed to light at the Opening Ceremonies, Russia poked fun at itself with the delayed opening of the fifth ring at the Closing Ceremonies. The two shows were similar in their artistic displays of Russia’s rich history.
The Closing Ceremonies were also used as a chance to emphasize the fact that the Olympic Committee came through on its promise of a safe Winter Olympics, after the threat of terrorist attacks overshadowed the start of the games.
“These were excellent games that may lead to the reversal of some criticism of the Russian organizers that preceded the Olympics,” said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, as quoted by BBC news. “By living together under one roof in the Olympic Village you send a powerful message from Sochi to the world, that of a society of peace, tolerance, and respect.”