What we learned from Sochi

By Scott Singer

Sochi’s Olympic torch may have been extinguished, but the games certainly fired up sports fans around the world. Before the press on Sochi cools down, let’s look back at what we learned from the 2014 Winter Olympics:

1. Winter isn’t winter without the snow: I don’t know how it got past the IOC to consider the weather conditions in Sochi. While the D.C. metro area was sprinkled with several inches of snow, Sochi enjoyed temperatures in the mid-60s along the coast. As a result, conditions for skiing and snowboarding events were less than ideal, producing several wipeouts and keeping American snowboarder Shaun White off the podium.

2. Sharing is Caring: Participants of team events know that it’s more fun to stand on the podium with a friend. Skiers Dominique Gisin of Switzerland and Tina Maze of Slovenia tied for gold in the women’s downhill, completing the course with a time of 1:41.57. No athletes had ever tied for first, but Switzerland’s Didier Cuche and Austrian Hans Knauss tied for silver in the men’s super-G in 1998. American Bode Miller and Canadian Jan Hudec also tied in the men’s super-G, winning bronze medals.

3. Dutch Dominate: The Netherlands completely dominated on the rink, winning 21 speed skating medals. Only four countries—Russia, Norway, Canada and the United States— had more total medals across all Olympic events. The frozen Amsterdam canals must really provide good skating practice.

4. Pink eye is quite the illness: Bob Costas handed his commentary duties to Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira after his eyes were flushed pink. Perhaps he forgot to take out his contact lenses on the flight to Russia. Either way, I’m sure conjunctivitis trended on Web MD.

5. Russia Rules Russia: The Russians led both the gold and total medal counts, winning 13 golds and 33 total medals. Russia also kept up its law enforcement during the games, with band members of Pussy Riot among those arrested during the games for their protest of Putin’s policies.

6. Russia can laugh: Ever seen a Vladimir Putin stare down? If you have, may also be wondering if jokes are permitted in Russia. After the fifth Olympic ring failed to open during the opening ceremonies, the Russians mocked themselves by using a similar design for the closing ceremonies. However, I doubt Putin will be laughing when he wakes up from his Olympic dream to see that his support from Ukraine is gone.