Missed Medal Opportunities at Sochi

Kassie Kometani, Editor

There were high expectations for many American athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Two athletes in particular had a lot riding on their performance. Speed skater Shani Davis and snowboarder Shaun White were gunning to become gold medalists in their events for the third consecutive games. This would be a historic landmark as no man has ever won gold in three consecutive games for the same event. It was no doubt that Davis and White were favored but both men unfortunately failed to medal in their events.

The half pipe is what Shaun White is known for. He won gold in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics and is the man who brought the sport under a spotlight. Monday was finals for the half pipe event and White entered his heat with the highest qualifying score. But that night he faced tough competition and finished fourth with a score of 90.25, just missing the podium. He fell in his first round which set the tone for his next run.

“It’s tough. I really wanted to win tonight but it wasn’t my night,” White told BBC Radio Live.

The men’s final for the 1,000 meter speed state event was held the next day. According to Shani Davis, he felt ready, calm, and collected. All his preparations had been leading up to this point and Davis was more than aware of the pressure on his performance. But things just did not come together for him that day. He finished 7th with a time of 1:09.12, 0.73 of a second behind the first place finisher.

“I didn’t do the best I could possibly do; it wasn’t good enough,” Davis said. “As a human being, I have to learn from that.”

Although both Americans did not win medals at these games, it is impossible to overlook their previous accomplishments. Both men have done wonders in and for the sport. They will just have to wait until the next Winter Games for another meal opportunity.