We picked up two more medals in the last couple days, but the Winter Olympics are now officially over. Our men’s curling team won Gold over the weekend, and U.S. snowboarder Kyle Mack took Silver in men’s big air.
The Gold medal curling match was pretty exciting . . . for curling anyway. The U.S. and Sweden were tied until we scored FIVE points in a single round near the end. That means 5 of our 8 stones stayed on the target and counted, and none of theirs did.
Sweden was the top-ranked team going in, and the U.S. was NOT expected to win. So it was a big upset.
(Check out the video of the five-point shot.)
Here are five sets of stats and facts to wrap up the 2018 Winter Olympics . . .
1. Norway won the most medals this time with 39, followed by Germany with 31 . . . Canada with 29 . . . the U.S. with just 23 . . . and the Netherlands in fifth with 20.
Back in 2014, we won 28 medals. And we won 37 in 2010, which WAS the record at the time.
Now Norway holds the new record with 39.
2. In the end, we won 9 Gold medals, 8 Silver, and 6 Bronze. Our best sport was snowboarding where we won 7, including 4 Gold. We also won 4 medals in freestyle skiing . . . 3 in Alpine . . . and 1 in cross-country. So if you lump those together, then SKIING was our best sport with 8 medals. But only 3 were Gold.
We also took Gold in women’s hockey . . . a Gold in curling . . . Silvers in bobsled, luge, and short track . . . a Bronze in speedskating . . . and 2 Bronze medals in figure skating.
3. The U.S. women did slightly better than the men this year, winning 12 of our 23 medals, including 5 Gold. The men won 9 medals, including 4 Gold. We also won two Bronze medals in pairs figure skating, which had both men and women.
4. Our individual standouts this year were snowboarder Jamie Anderson and skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who each won a Gold and a Silver. Brother-and-sister figure skaters Alex and Maia Shibutani also won those two Bronze medals.
5. Only TWO world records were broken this year, both in speedskating. Another 23 Olympic records also fell, 17 of them in speedskating. The other six were in figure skating. None of those were by Americans.
But we did set a few OTHER records . . .
Women’s hockey player Jocelyne Lamoureux scored two goals in six seconds . . . 33-year-old Lindsey Vonn became the oldest woman to ever medal in Alpine skiing . . . and 17-year-old snowboarders Chloe Kim and Red Gerard became the first athletes to be born in the 21st century and win a Gold medal.
And finally, the youngest athlete to compete was a 15-year-old skier from China. The oldest was a 49-year-old curler from Finland. OUR youngest and oldest were 17-year-old figure skater Vincent Zhou, and 39-year-old hockey player Brian Gionta.
1. One of the more surprising moments of the Winter Olympics came when Team USA’s men’s curling team came from behind to capture the Gold medal. It was such a shock that the fall-out wasn’t smooth.
For starters, they were handed the wrong medals. The ones they initially got said “WOMEN’S curling” on them.
(Here’s a photo of them noticing the mistake.)
Then, Delta denied them a flight upgrade. USACurling Tweeted at Delta, quote, “Our Olympic curling champions are flying home on Monday. Upgrades?!?” And Delta responded, quote, “Congratulations . . . while we don’t have any upgrades to offer, we look forward to seeing you on board. Thanks for flying with us!”
2. Of course, “The Simpsons” predicted Team USA’s curling win. (Just as they probably also could’ve also predicted them coming in second, third, or LAST. There’s really a “Simpsons” reference for EVERY outcome at this point.)
It came in a 2010 episode, when Homer and Marge formed a mixed curling team with Agnes and Seymour Skinner. They’re chosen to represent the U.S., and they head off to Vancouver where they eventually defeat Sweden for a shocking win.
(Here’s the clip. “Take that Sweden, tell me how my ice tastes!”)
3. Speaking of “Simpsons” predictions, a squirrel ran onto the course and was INCHES away from being run over by a snowboarder . . . and a “Simpsons” writer reminded the Internet that it’s like when a squirrel was struck by Homer and Mr. Burns’ “rocket house” in the snowy “Mountain of Madness” episode.
The episode wasn’t Olympics related, and that squirrel DID get hit on the slope . . . still it’s something. (Here’s video of the squirrel at the Olympics. And here’s a clip from the episode. The squirrel is hit at the 2:00 mark.)
4. A world-famous streaker named Mark Roberts ran out onto the ice at the Olympics after the speed skating medal ceremony,wearing nothing but a pink tutu and a little monkey pouch over his junk. He had “Peace + Love” written on his chest.
(Here’s video of him coming onto the ice.)
5. Mashable.com ranked the Winter Olympics ‘Google Doodles.’
6. Canadian athletes doing a politely Canadian thing: They sang Celine Dion’s “Titanic” song on the team bus. (Here’s video.)
7. A Canadian athlete NOT doing a politely Canadian thing: Skier David Duncan, his wife, and a trainer spent Friday night behind bars . . . accused of STEALING A CAR in South Korea.
Apparently, they saw a vehicle unattended with the engine running, and they decided to take it, because they didn’t have one and it was very cold outside.
They were all DRUNK though . . . so that sort of explains it.
8. A Canadian athlete NOT doing a politely Canadian thing: Hockey player Jocelyne Larocque is apologizing for taking off her silver medal . . . right after getting it while she was still on the podium. (Here’s video.)
She says, quote, “In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me.”
9. Earlier this month, the pilot for the Russian women’s bobsled team proudly showed off her “I Don’t Do Doping” sweatshirt. And now, she’s been caught doping. She tested positive for a banned heart medication that treats heart disease and improves athletes’ oxygen use. She has denied taking the drug.
10. U.S. women’s figure skater Mirai Nagasu is sorry for a bizarre interview she gave after struggling through a performance. Shesaid, quote, “I feel really, really awful about the things I said. I feel bad that people think that I was throwing my teammates under the bus because I never wanted to come off that way.”
Among other things, she had said that she PUNTED the free-skate intentionally . . . so she could audition for “Dancing with the Stars”.
She said, quote, “I smiled in the middle of my program, which is very rare for me. I thought of this as my audition for ‘Dancing with the Stars’. I’d like to be on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ because I want to be a star.”
11. A 13-year-old guitar prodigy stole the show at the Olympic Closing Ceremony with some crazy guitar-shredding.
But before you get too excited, there’s talk that he wasn’t playing live, and was playing to a backing track . . . like Muse did back in 2012. But he IS an awesome guitar player in real life, and there are a ton of videos of him online.
(The Olympics had some fun with it on Twitter though. And you can watch the kid playing for real at the 1:50 mark in thisvideo. There’s more, here.)