USA goes for the gold at Sochi

By Rebecca Ramirez, Staff Writer

As the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics continue, USA fights for a spot near the top for gold medal count. USA is currently tied with the Netherlands with 6 gold medals, and has a total of 20 medals.

The first gold medal of Sochi was won by Sage Kotsenburg, 20, in the first ever olympic slope style ski competition. Surprisingly, Kotsenburg was not among the eight qualifying competitors to move on to finals. On Feb. 7, Kotsenburg tweeted on his Twitter account, “Whoa how random is this I made finals at the Olympics!!!”. Not only did Kotsenburg make it into the final run, he won the whole thing. Kotsenburg received his medal on Feb. 8. This win marked the first time U.S.A. has won the first gold medal at the winter Olympics in 62 years.

Another first for the US was a gold medal in ice dancing won by partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White, from Michigan. The two have been ice skating together since they were about 10 years old. In 2010 the couple received the silver medal behind Canadian couple Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, but this year the two were able to overcome their rivals. The U.S. and Canadian couple share the same coach and practice in the same facility, but Davis and  White sought help from “Dancing With The Stars” choreographer Derek Hough. Due to their long skating history, it has been speculated that the two athletes are in a relationship, however Davis firmly denied the rumors in an interview, stating that their relationship is strictly “on-ice.”

The brand new event of the men’s halfpipe ski was also taken by the US. David Wise, a 23 year old from Reno, Nevada took gold in this new event. During his runthrough of the event, it began to snow and visibility was low, but Wise was able to overcome the weather and push for a gold medal. Wise executed multiple double corks in his run, and was the only competitor who was able to cleanly finish the move, putting him ahead of the others. Wise received a final score of 92 points, barely ahead of the silver medal score of 90.6, which was won by Canadian Mike Riddle. Wise has also competed and won gold at the X-Games in the men’s ski superpipe event.

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will continue through Sunday, Feb. 23, which is when the closing ceremony will occur. The Olympics can be viewed on NBC, and the closing ceremony will be shown at 8:00 a.m. MSK (Sochi time) or 11 a.m. EST.