Sochi Olympics Recap

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Photo by Photo courtesy of NBC.com

Ted Liggety became the first American male to win two olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing.

Jared McArthur, Staff Writer

Amid all the complaints of warm weather and poor conditions, one of the most memorable Olympic Games has emerged. With a medal count that was unclear who would be victorious until the final moments, Sochi might have been one of the most nail-biting Games yet. 

Home country Russia emerged victorious, with 33 medals (13 of which were gold). Norway came in second place with 11 gold medals, followed by the Canadians with 10. The United States came in fourth with 9 gold medals, but had the second most total medals with 28.

Fifteen olympic athletes with Utah connections competed in the Sochi games; two of which were Park City native Ted Ligety and BYU student Kate Hansen. At age 29, Ligety became the first American to win two gold medals in alpine skiing since Andrea Mead Lawrence in the 1952 Winter Games. Although she didn’t win any medals, Kate Hansen will be known as the girl who would dance to Beyonce before every luge competition.

In the past, Olympics seem to lose their host country as often as they make a profit. No one’s quite sure how Russia’s spending fiasco will turn out. Estimated at over 50 billion dollars, these Olympics are by far the most expensive, with number two being London at $15 Billion. However, Great Britain did make a significant profit at those games. Compare these numbers to the seemingly measly 2 Billion for the Salt Lake City games. Olympics these days are getting out of control.

Russia has been criticized for its selection of Sochi as the location of the games. A southern city that borders the Black Sea does not seem like the ideal location of a Winter Games. However, this is actually the best option Russia had available to them.

First of all, for all the reports of warm weather within the actual city, there are huge mountains 20 minutes outside of the city that make any of these reports pretty inaccurate. And second of all, if it took $50 Billion to make Sochi even semi-presentable to the world, it would have taken $100 Billion to make any other Russian city that same level. Sochi is the resort town of Russia, and as such is in likely the best shape of any in the whole country.

This was a big step for Russia and regaining a lost reputation. It was also huge for them to take home the largest amount of medals. However, any reputation that was regained was quickly lost in the invasion of Ukraine not even 2 weeks later.