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Early Days of Sochi Deliver, With More to Come

Editor’s Note: The following was submitted to LWOS as a guest post. Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who loves sports and the outdoors. You can find her on Twitter.


The Winter Olympics are only here for a short while, so it is time to grab the popcorn (or maybe a power bar), the remote, and a bunch of friends to “ooh” and “aww” over the world’s best winter athletes. With competition already underway, here is a recap of the shocks, spills, surprises, skills, and sports.

Early Days of Sochi Deliver, With More to Come

Snowboard Slopestyle

This inaugural event proved to be a keeper as boarders contorted their bodies at catapulting speeds while doing signature tricks like USA’s Sage Kotsenburg’s “Holy Crail” which aided in his Olympic gold medal win. Not only was it Kotsenburg’s first gold medal, but it was the first Olympic medal as well as the first ever medal for this event.

Seemingly one of the nicest people you will meet, he was stunned to not only reach the finals (his twitter feed reading, “Whoa, how random is this, I made finals at the Olympics!”) but also to win. In an interview with the Associated Press, he said, “I can’t even describe the feeling…it’s so cool.”

Kotsenburg stood on the podium between Norway’s equally talented Staale Sandbech and Canada’s contender Mark McMorris.

And for another USA win in this new event, Jaime Anderson was all smiles as she took the gold in women’s slopestyle. Great Britain’s Jenny Jones placed bronze while Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi claimed silver.


Team Skate

Wrapping up Sunday evening, Russia dominated another new event called team skate. The home team in these games, Russia clinched the gold spot early on in the competition with near flawless performances from veteran Olympian Evgeni Plushenko and first timer Julia Lipnitskaia as well as a flawless performance by their figure skating pair.

President Putin was in attendance for the final night and even came down to congratulate his team on their beautiful, story-telling performances. In the words of Plushanko to CBS reporters, “All the fans are cheering so hard that you literally cannot do badly because they do everything with you. You get goose bumps.”

Team USA squeaked in with bronze while Canada took silver. Both teams also had some show stopping performances to place them next to Russia on the podium.


Men’s Alpine Skiing

Perhaps one of the most shocking events in competition so far, the men’s alpine skiing turned out to be a major upset. Gold medal winner Matthias Mayer of Austria was not a favorite going in but became a big name over night. Mayer’s agility and speed won him the top spot with a score of 2:06.23. Losing by six-hundredths of a second was Italy’s Christof Innerhofer with Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud close behind with a score of 2:06.33.

USA’s Bode Miller, originally favored to take home the gold, finished in a heartbreaking eighth place, and the devastation was clear on his face when he saw his time.


Must-Watch Events Coming This Week

Still to come is the highly anticipated Men’s Snowboard Half-Pipe Feb. 11, along with Men’s Long-Track Speedskating Feb. 12, Men’s Ice Hockey (USA v Russia) Feb. 15, Ladies’ Figure Skating Feb. 19-20, Women’s Bobsled Feb. 18-19, and Women’s Slalom Feb. 21 among others.

For optimal viewing of the tricks and speed, look into DirecTV installation with more details here. Because there are so many fascinating events, only certain contests can be covered by primetime NBC with further coverage on their NBC Sports Network which basic cable does not generally provide. Instead of missing out on hockey competitions, consider a provider other than cable and be sure to watch all the riveting events and see who takes the gold.



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