The Best and Worst of the Olympics


PHoto Credit: Harry E. Walker/MCT

Sochi’s Winter Olympic Closing Ceremony closed the this years Olympics with unforgettable sights and sounds.

This year at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, records have been broken, goals have been achieved, and dreams became reality. Unfortunately, not only good came from these Olympic games. Athletes who expected to be gold medal winners were buried in nerves and fell short of the podiums.

One of the most talked about couples at these Olympic games was the American figure skating pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They have been skating together since 1997. The pair won silver in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and this year they won gold. They made the standing world record and their personal best at the games and beat Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who share their coach and were the winners of the gold medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

In an interview with the Associated Press on the NBC Olympics page, Charley White said “We wanted to fight for the best performance we could give and we did that. You dream of this for so long, work so hard, and they worked hard, too,” referring to Virtue and Moir.

Davis and White also put the U.S. Skating Team into the bronze medal position and won the first ever Olympic gold in pairs figure skating for America. They skate with accuracy and precision bringing an unbelievable aura of excitement and fluidity to their performances.

When everyone got used to the fact that American Shaun White cut his hair, the attention went from good to bad. During the slope style qualifier, Shaun White fell face first into the snow, burying the chances of a medal. It took him a minute or two to get back up and was assisted by the medical crews. In an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, he said that he “is disappointed in his performance, but just appreciates being an Olympian.” It was the first time he had ever fallen in an Olympic event.

Fifteen-year-old Julia Lipnitskaya, who won the ladies portion of the team figure skating competition, placed fifth overall. She told reporters, “I just couldn’t focus during it because I was so tired.” She explained how she cried a lot about it but is still amazed to be fifth place in the world because “it is not something very many people can do.”

South Korea’s Yu-Na Kim was ready to defend her title in these Olympic games but let her guard down and had to settle for silver. Yu-Na Kim was bumped down in the podium by 17-year-old Russian Adelina Sotnikova. Even though there was a controvery over her score, she is still determined to get even more gold medals.

Noelle Pikus Pace, a mother of two kids, won the silver medal for the U.S. in skeleton. “After all of the hard work that not only I but my family put in to achieve this dream, it came in those minutes, those seconds, it really was a fairytale ending,” tells PEOPLE. Noelle fell short of the bronze in the 2010 Vancouver games. In 2005 her leg was shattered by a runaway bobsled and she feared that she racing career may have ended.

The Olympics came to a close with a blast from the past. The theme was Russian culture. We were able to see Russia and how they see themselves. In the opening, the same boat and the same girl from the Opening Ceremony rowed in by two clowns through the “Soul of Russia.” The clowns symbolized the smarts of Russia. They don’t appear to be smart but they hear and can do many things that others can’t. Playing in the boat with the girl were two more children, a boy and a girl.  They represented the first man and woman from Russia.

A big part of the Closing Ceremony that sparked cheers from the crowd was when thousands of people on the floor formed the Olympic Rings as they kept the same malfunctioning ring from the Opening Ceremony closed. It then opened up again with an even louder roar from the crowd.

They passed down the Olympic Games to Korea because Pyeongchang will be holding the next Winter Olympics in 2018. Saying good-bye was the hardest part, especially for Russia’s Olympic mascot. The same bear that shed a tear at the 1980 Games in Moscow was back and bigger than ever. The giant bear, reluctant to do so, blew out the torch and shed a tear once again, officially bringing the 2014 Winter Olympics to a close. A New Spring came shortly after the games closed with confetti and the bear waved good-bye with a sad smile and the tear still on his face.