For those of you who enjoy watching your home country compete every four years that time is just around the corner. The 22nd version of the Winter Olympics will take place from Feb. 7 until Feb. 23 in Sochi, Russia with a total of 88 nations competing.
The athletes compete in events such as skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, curling, and bobsledding. Not to mention, if they are the best at their sport during these competitions, they will win the highest honor of a gold medal.
Great Olympians hail from all over the world and many of these competitors are traveling from the United States to display their talents. Notable names include Bode Miller (Alpine Skiing), Dustin Brown (Men’s Ice Hockey), Julie Chu (Women’s Ice Hockey), Aidan Kelly (Luge), and many more. However, Team USA heads to Sochi facing a crippling blow as skiing sensation Lindsey Vonn reinjured her right knee while training last December. Without the presence of Vonn, USA will have to move forward, but at the same time, the athletes are determined to rack up as many points and medals as they can in order to reign supreme.
The first event that will take place is the Biathlon, which is a mixture of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Back in 2010, the French team finished as the best team during the Biathlon competition by winning six medals. However, the Norwegians won when it mattered most. Norway took home three gold medals to France’s only one in Biathlon. This time around, the Norwegians will come to Sochi determined to defend their title in that sport and they will be wearing a bulls eye in the process because as is the case in any sport, the underdog always gives it their best effort to dethrone the defending champion.
When the games reach their conclusion on Feb. 23, the gold medal Ice Hockey game will take place. Four years ago when the Olympics were held in Vancouver, the United States and Canada faced each other to determine who would take home the gold. The Canadians were a strong team who had won this game back in 2002 over the Americans. It appeared as though Canada would take the gold again eight years later as they took a 2-0 lead behind goals by Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry. The United States would mount a comeback as Ryan Kesler pulled the Americans to within a goal in the second period. With 25 seconds remaining in regulation, Zach Parise tied the game to send it into overtime. However, Sidney Crosby blew the puck past Ryan Miller and into the net to give Team Canada their second gold medal in the last three versions of the Olympics.
Now, the United States is looking to seek revenge for the honor that eluded them back in 2010. Regardless of the circumstances, the spectators are looking for excitement and drama in every event and it all starts this Friday night with the opening ceremony taking place at Fisht Olympic Stadium.