We’re five days into the Sochi Olympics, and the American medal count is surprisingly low.
The U.S. has won two gold medals so far, putting them behind Germany, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. They’ve won seven medals overall, which puts them in fourth place in the overall medal table.
The U.S. hasn’t finished lower than 3rd in the final medal count since 1998 in Nagano.
The problem is that a number of high-profile Americans who were expected to compete for gold have missed out on the medals entirely.
Here’s the ugly list:
Shaun White was the favourite to win gold halfpipe. He finished fourth. Americans Danny Davis and Greg Bretz were expected medal contenders as well, but both of them fell twice in the finals.
Bode Miller was the trendy favourite in the men’s downhill after posting the fastest times in training. He finished 8th.
Kikkan Randall was the favourite to win gold in the cross country sprint. She would have been the first American to win a cross country medal in 38 years. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the event.
Shani Davis was the favourite to win gold in the speed skating 1000m. It wold have made him the first ever skater to three-peat at the Olympics. He finished 8th.
Hannah Kearney was the favourite in the women’s moguls. She won bronze after getting upset by two Canadian sisters, Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe.
Julia Mancuso dominated the downhill portion of the super combined on Monday, posting the fastest time overall. But in the downhill event on Wednesday she struggled and finished 8th.
Patrick Deneen was a medal contender in men’s moguls after a strong 2013 World Cup season. He finished sixth.
Injuries have also hurt the U.S.
Lindsey Vonn was on track to win multiple medals before a series of injuries made her pull out of the games. Sarah Hendrickson, one of the best ski jumpers in the world before a catastrophic knee injury last summer, was clearly not 100% when she finished 21st overall on Wednesday.
There are still a bunch of opportunities for the U.S. to win some medals.
Meryl David and Charlie White are favoured in ice dancing. Mikaela Shiffrin is favoured in women’s slalom. Steven Holcomb should compete for two-man bobsled gold. And there are a host of contenders in multiple freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.
But it has been a rocky start.