Approximately 700 athletes from 45 countries – including 80 Americans
(22 men and 58 women) – competed at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter
athletes competed in five sports: alpine skiing (which includes
snowboarding), biathlon, cross-country, sled hockey and wheelchair
curling. Team USA garnered 18 medals, including two golds, during
the 10-day competition to finish third overall in the medal count.
Russia led all nations with 80 medals, followed by Ukraine with 25.
alpine team’s 10-medal performance was launched by Allison Jones’
downhill bronze, the first overall U.S. medal of the Games. Mark Bathum
and guide Cade Yamamoto led the way with two silver medals, while
Laurie Stephens and Stephanie Jallen each won two bronze medals. Army
veteran Heath Calhoun earned his first-ever Paralympic medal, a silver,
in men’s super combined, while Alana Nichols captured silver in women’s
made its Paralympic debut as part of the alpine skiing program, and
Team USA did not disappoint. Evan Strong, Mike Shea and Keith Gabel
swept the men’s podium taking gold, silver and bronze, respectively.
Meanwhile, Amy Purdy landed on the podium with a bronze medal in the
sled hockey team took home gold after defeating Russia, 1-0, in the
gold medal game. The U.S. team had fallen to Russia 2-1 in preliminary
competition, but got a shot at a rematch in the gold medal game after
taking down Canada in the semifinal. The win marked the first-ever
back-to-back gold medal performance by a sled hockey team in Paralympic
Cross-country skiing and biathlon
Soule led the way for the U.S. men in cross-country and biathlon. Soule
finished in the top five in each of his races and shot a clean
50-for-50 across all three biathlon competitions. On the women’s side,
sit-skiers Oksana Masters and Tatyana McFadden made history by taking a
silver medal each – Masters in the 12km cross-country race, and McFadden
in the 1km sprint. On the final day of competition, Masters added a
bronze in the 5km cross-country race. Masters’ silver was the first
medal for the U.S. in women’s cross-country skiing in 20 years.
wheelchair curling team took fifth overall, narrowly missing the
playoffs after a near-comeback in the final round robin game against
Great Britain. Patrick McDonald and Team USA finished with a 4-5
overall record in round robin play.
Americans earned podium spots, and four U.S. athletes won multiple
medals at the 2014 Games. More