Valdosta Daily Times

February 23, 2014

Sochi Olympics come to a close

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia officially drew to a close Sunday, following more than two weeks of intense competition.

The United States performed well, with the second highest number of medals in the games, following the host country. Norway, a small country compared to the top two, received the third highest number of medals. Norwegians are obviously at home in cold weather, taking most of the top spots in the skiing competitions that included endurance.

The U.S. took top honors for the first time in ice dancing, following a beautiful performance by Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and Bode Miller medaled again in Alpine skiing.

Both men’s and women’s U.S. hockey teams came up short of the gold, but the Americans took first in animal rescue, with numerous athletes bringing new, furry friends home. The Russians had cleared the streets of stray dogs, and of those who managed to survive, many are finding new homes in the U.S.

Disappointing losses in figure skating, a sport dogged by allegations of judging irregularities, and Shaun White’s disappointing performance on the slopes were not enough to sour the games for viewers, who watched the Olympics both live late at night and in replays throughout the day.

Despite being distracted by commentator Bob Costas’ bizarre eye issues, there were many highlights from the Winter games. From the opening ceremonies with the Red Army Choir’s performance of Daft Punk going viral to the closing ceremonies with live performers recreating the Olympic ring debacle at the games’ beginning, with the fifth ring not lighting up properly, the Sochi games did precisely what Russia intended – demonstrating the world power’s sense of whimsy along with its strength.