Underdogs rule the roost at the Winter OlympicsFebruary 27, 2018
The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 which concluded on 25th February were an epitome of the phrase “There’s no guarantee in sports, anything can happen”. With more than 2,900 athletes representing 92 nations fighting for gold, there were major upsets in various sports which kept the fans on their toes.
The Men’s Ice Hockey tournament saw the biggest upset of them all. Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) bagged the gold medal beating Germany 4-3 in a tense final. Favorites Canada finished 3rd after beating Czech Republic 6-4 in the bronze medal match. Russia had earlier been banned by the IOC after it was proven guilty of state sponsored doping at the previous Olympics in Sochi. It’s team was not permitted to use the national flag or sing the national anthem.
22 year old snowboarded Ester Ledecka shocked many when she beat fan favorite Anna Veith of Austria in the Women’s Alpine skiing competition to bag gold. Starting the race at a lowly 26th position, the Czech skier made headwinds during the race to beat the Austrian by one-hundredth of a second. This is Czech Republic’s first medal in Alpine Skiing at the Olympics.
The US Men’s Curling Team won gold for the first time in history. The team, which was nearly eliminated in the group stage, made a miraculous comeback to beat number one ranked Sweden 10-7 in the final. Known as “Team Reject”, the members were not part of the original squad but became eligible for Olympics after others pulled out. Their most famous win came against three time defending champions Canada in the group stage.
The team of Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won gold for the US in the cross country competition defying all odds. Kikkan, who had given birth to a boy last year, surprised all when she partnered with 26 year old Jessica Diggins to represent her country in her 5th Olympics. They beat second placed Sweden by the tiniest of margins- 0.19 seconds in a photo finish victory.
Norway, which fielded only 109 competitors, finished with 39 medals including 14 gold- the most for any nation at the Winter Olympics. Meanwhile, the United States, which had 242 athletes participating, finished 4th with 23 medals including 9 gold.