millermike

Getty Images

A snapshot of Team USA’s 100 gold medals in the Winter Olympics

1 Comment

Shaun White’s win in the men’s halfpipe marked just the second time a country has won at least 100 gold medals at the Winter Olympics, joining Norway (which started Wednesday with 121 golds).

So how do the other 99 break down? Here’s a look.

Notable Facts

  • The very first U.S. Winter Olympic medal was won by Charles Jewstraw in the speed skating men’s 500m at the 1924 Chamonix GamesJewstraw is also the first-ever Winter Olympic gold medalist from any nation — the 500m was the first event to award medals in the first-ever Olympic Winter Games, on Jan. 26, 1924
  • His medal currently resides in the Museum of American History at The Smithsonian
  • The U.S. has won 25 gold medals on home turf:1932 Lake Placid: 6
  • 1960 Squaw Valley: 3
  • 1980 Lake Placid: 6
  • 2002 Salt Lake City: 10
  • The U.S. won 59 gold medals over its first 18 Olympic Winter Games, but hat number has skyrocketed in recent years, with 40 gold medals in its last five Winter Olympics, including 2018
  • The U.S. has won at least one gold medal in every Winter Olympics. They won exactly one gold in 1924, 1936, 1964 and 1968
  • 11 of the 99 U.S. gold medals have come in team event, with 88 in individual events
  • Speed skater Eric Heiden holds the record for both the U.S. and all countries for most gold medals won in a single games. He won five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Games
  • The oldest U.S. gold medalist is Jay O’Brien, who won four-man bobsled gold at the 1932 Lake Placid Games at 48 years, 357 days old
  • The youngest U.S. gold medalist is Tara Lipinski, who won won ladies’ singles figure skating gold at the 1998 Nagano Games at 15 years, 253 days old
  • Only Norway has won more Winter Olympic gold medals than the United States

Opening Ceremony showstopper: Gisele as ‘The Girl from Ipanema’

Gisele
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rio pulled off quite the double during its Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games on Friday.

Legendary song “The Girl From Ipanema,” (Grammy winner in 1965) became an international hit when Astrud Gilberto sang the English version of the lyrics in 1964. Perhaps the country’s most famous model, Gisele Bundchen, owned the song as only a supermodel could.

From the Associated Press:

She made quite an entrance, and an even better exit. In Bundchen’s wake, a shimmering trail of lights morphed into sketches from the famed architect Oscar Niemeyer, including Brasilia Cathedral.

Vic Wild’s wild ride into snowboarding history

Leave a comment

KRASNAYA, POLYANA, Russia — Vic Wild has cemented his place in snowboard history, and in far more ways than one. Let’s count the accomplishments that began on Wednesday and culminated on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Wild won the parallel giant slalom event, which made him the first Russian to win a gold medal ever in snowboarding. Simultaneously, his wife won bronze in the same event, making them the second married couple to earn medals in the same event at a Winter Olympics — the other was in figure skating, which Wild laughed off as “cheating.”

Then came Saturday when he competed in the first-ever Olympic parallel slalom event, a new addition to the Olympic program for Sochi. Wild won gold, again. The second gold meant he was not only the first-ever gold medalist in the new sport, but also the first Russian snowboarder to now win two medals in snowboarding. Additionally, he was the first snowboarder to clinch two medals at a single Games – both of which ended up being gold.

“That’s just crazy, I didn’t know about any of that. This is just beyond anything I could ever hope for,” said Wild, truly stunned and struggling to find the words to equate to his accomplishments. “I don’t know. I really don’t know… I made it, man. Everything worked my way.”

Still floored, Wild was truly at a loss. His goals had been realized. His dreams were now reality, and then some.

VIDEO: Watch Wild’s ride to parallel slalom gold

“This is way more than a dream come true. I never ever dreamed of one gold medal, and now to have two. No words.”

Wild is an interesting character. Born in the state of Washington, Wild was unable to find the support he needed to continue snowboarding competitively in the States. He nearly hung up his competitive hardboots for good.

Fortunately for him, and the sport, he was dating a Russian snowboarder, Alena Zavarzina, who posed the idea of getting married, moving to Russia and keeping his Olympic dreams alive. They did just that. Wild quickly turned his snowboard career around with her support and that of his newfound home country.

Thank you Zavarzina!

However, his wife was not the only key player to Wild’s success.

Riding for Team USA was his good friend of many years Justin Reiter, and despite riding against each other in competition the two actually work together.

RELATED: Friends Wild, Reiter take divergent paths to Sochi

“He coaches me in between my runs. I’d have to guess that it would be way more difficult to win the last two days without his help,” said Wild gratefully and excited to speak to the value of Reiter. “He’s there for me. He knows a lot about snowboarding, a lot more than all of the coaches because he’s doing it and has been for a long time. He’s the man. I definitely owe him a lot.”

Unfortunately for the lone American representative Reiter, he was eliminated following his first run in qualifying after riding his board slightly over a gate, rather than around it. Reiter earned second at the 2013 World Championships and was considered a medal contender at the event in Sochi.

Despite his circumstances, Reiter wanted to stick around the event and do everything he could for his long time friend.

WATCH: Vic Wild earns second gold of Sochi Games

Before Wild’s final run, Reiter was spotted giving him his last bit of confidence, motivation and strategy with regard to how they saw and felt the course to be riding.

“[We were] basically just talking about course reports. I was trying to keep him focused, keeping him as solid as a friend can and just trying to be there for him,” said Reiter, wearing his striped and starred helmet.

Reiter went on to speak to Wild’s initial decision to make the move from the States to Russia as a way to continue his career, saying, “We spent a lot of time talking about it and I’ve supported his decision ever since the beginning. It was a great opportunity and I’m stoked he took it.”

A true friend indeed.

RELATED: Expat Wild, wife storm parallel giant slalom podiums for Russia

From his wife, his good friend and of course his new home country of Russia, Wild has had quite the support system around him following the lack thereof while striving to make it work in the States.

When hypothetically asked if he would return to race for Team USA if approached, he took absolutely no hesitation in saying, “no. These people took care of me. I’m going to continue riding here for the next four years and hopefully make the team again to win more medals for them in [South] Korea.”

With or without that support system, in the end it was Wild that laid the assault on the various slalom courses at the Sochi Games, but he would be remiss if he didn’t attribute some of that success to all those that made it happen. Wild will surely be remembered in the world of snowboarding indefinitely.