Team USA bringing home medals and joy

Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke

The 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi has so far given fans of Team USA much to laugh, cry and cheer about. We have witnessed dramatic shootouts, emotional interviews, and old records become shattered. With still many events yet to be decided, let’s look back at some of the United States biggest moments from Sochi.

As of Wednesday evening, America is currently first in the medal count with 23 medals. Team USA currently has seven gold, five silver and 11 bronze medals in Sochi.

In one of the most intense matchups of the games, we saw St. Louis Blues center T.J. Oshie become an American hero after his four shootout goals propelled the U.S. past rival Russia 3-2 in pool play. Russia, however, proved to be the only competition the USA would face. They dismantled Slovenia 5-1 and embarrassed Slovakia 7-1. Toronto’s Phil Kessel also became the first man to score a hat trick for the United States in the Olympics in over a decade. Team USA has not won a gold medal in men’s hockey since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game and is currently coming off the devastating loss to Canada back in 2010 in Vancouver. They will meet Canada Friday in the semifinals at noon locally.

The women’s team earned the right to fight for the gold again after dominating Sweden 6-1 on Monday. Led by captain Meghan Duggan and RMU grad Brianne McLaughlin in net, the squad will face Team Canada for the gold on Thursday. The matchup will mark the fourth gold medal meeting between the two countries since women’s hockey was introduced back in 1998 at the Nagano Games in Japan.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the USA’s first ever gold medal in ice dancing on Monday after posting a world record score of 116.63 in the free dancing program. On Sunday, the duo broke the short dance program record with a score of 78.89. White and Davis beat out rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada who would go on to take silver. The American pair has been skating together for 17 years now and their hard work has finally paid off.

Teen sensation Gracie Gold helped earn the United States the bronze medal in team figure skating on Feb. 9. Her personal best score of 129.36 earned her second place on the individual level only behind 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia, who single handedly won her country the gold. Gold, alongside teammate Ashley Wagner returned to action this Wednesday and Thursday as they compete in the ladies’ short and free skate programs.

Alpine skier Bode Miller earned a bronze in the Men’s Super-G on Sunday. The past year has been hard on Miller and his family with the passing of younger brother Chelone back in April. During an interview with NBC’s Christin Cooper, Miller became overwhelmed and fell to his knees after he was asked about his brother. It was truly one of the more emotional and heartfelt moments of the games. At 36, Miller is the oldest skier to medal in Alpine skiing. The bronze is the 6th medal of his Olympic career.

Last but not least, skier Gus Kenworthy adopted four stray puppies along with their mother after he found them rummaging through the streets of the Olympic Village. He currently has delayed his trip home to fill out the necessary paperwork to officially call them his own.

Team USA is poised to make a final push in Sochi but some big questions still remain. If the U.S. can finally take back the gold in men’s hockey and whether or not American figure skating can return back to its glory days of Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi. These next six days will have the answers to those and many more.