Monday, February 24, 2014
sochi sisters 3.
20yo czech republic snowboarder eva samkova grabbed the women's sbx gold sunday, wearing a red-white-&-blue mustache drawn above her top lip. the faux facial hair is samkova's trademark & tradition, begun at the 2011 snowboarding world championships because she "wanted to have fun." mission accomplished.
lauryn williams, 30yo of pennsylvania – with the help of her bobsled partner elana meyers, 29yo of georgia – earned the silver wednesday in women's bobsledding, becoming the fifth olympian ever to medal in both the summer & winter games. williams, originally a star sprinter, also earned silver in the 2004 athens summer games in the 100-meter race, & won gold in the 2012 london summer games as a member of the 100-meter team.
when 17yo adelina sotnikova was not included to compete as a member of russia's figure-skating team, it was a slap in the face for the first-time olympian. she had wowed in 2009 when she won a national championship at the age of 12, but now, finally in sochi at the winter games, she was being overshadowed by a younger teammate, 15yo julia lipnitskaia. lipnitskaia did help russia win gold in team competition, but faltered in individuals. not so much sotnikova – she defeated defending champion yuna kim of south korea to win the gold, becoming russia's first gold medalist ever in women's singles figure skating. #spoice!!
meanwhile, 27yo carolina kostner of italy earned the bronze in women's singles figure skating, becoming the first italian ever to win an olympic figure skating singles medal. kostner had placed a promising 9th in her first olympics in 2006 in turin, but left the vancouver ice four years ago doubled over with her head buried in her hands following a devastating performance that put her in 16th place. she almost quit skating, but opted to try, try again – & this third time was the charm. learning to skate for "the passion & the pleasure" apparently made all the difference. "for me," quoth kostner, "this medal is absolutely worth gold. i will cherish it."
maddie bowman, 20yo of california, friday won the first women's halfpipe skiing gold medal in olympic history ... & her grandmother, 78yo lorna perpall, won the attention of many with her proud & patriotic custom-made tees, touting her as bowman's "badass grandma." like grandmother, like granddaughter. & perpall's already got her next t-quip prepared: gold-medal grandma.
fellow skier 18yo mikaela shiffrin of colorado has her own motto, an acronym emblazened on her skis & on her helmet: ABFTTB, which means always be faster than the boys. done & won. shiffrin, ranked as the world's top slalom skier, became the youngest skier ever to win the slalom when she got the gold friday night, besting austria's 32yo marlies schild by almost a full minute.
24yo ukrainian alpine skier bogdana matstoska & her coach/father oleg matsotskiy thursday withdrew from the olympic games in response to the violence happening by authorities against protesters in their native nation. but the ukrainian women's biathlon team chose to stay & pay tribute to their home country by winning the gold in the women's 4x6m relay, over russia & norway. it was the ukraine's first gold medal at the winter olympic games since figure skater oksana baiul won at lillehammer in 1994.
31yo julie chu of connecticut – a four-time olympian & the first asian-american woman to play for the u.s. women's ice hockey team – was chosen to carry the stars & stripes during the closing ceremony of the 2014 sochi winter games. the women's team suffered a heartbreaking defeat thursday, earning silver while canada once again cinched the gold. while it may be a kind of consolation prize, being chosen as flagbearer is considered a high honor; the position is determined via a vote of every sport's team captains.