While it seems like a wholly unpatriotic thing to say, it’s realistic. The United States more than likely will not win the medal count at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. It sounds awful when stated like that, but it’s more than likely how things are going to be.
Why won’t they win? Well, they usually don’t.
The United States has historically always had very solid showings at the Winter Olympics. In the last four Winter Olympics, the U.S. has placed in the top five nations in the medal count each time. However, they’re never at no. 1. There is absolutely nothing for the country to be ashamed of in any of the recent Winter Olympics, but a medal count win has just eluded the United States.
This does not mean that the United States doesn’t have great athletes. Shaun White is awesome at snowboarding and is American. Picabo Street was one of the most dominating alpine ski racers in the Super G and Downhill events in recent memory and possibly ever — she’s American. Lindsey Vonn is another great alpine skier who is American — and seriously hot.
Nobody even has to mention Apolo Ohno, who is possibly one of the greatest speedskaters in the history of the sport. However, the Winter Olympics just aren’t the USA’s thing.
While the United States can boast some awesome athletes, the only event they really dominate is snowboarding, and that’s only because Americans invented it. It’s easy to look at hockey, skiing and snowboarding and wonder why the U.S. isn’t killing it at the Winter Olympics. People sometimes forget there’s other events. Figure skating has usually been the dominion of the former Eastern Bloc nations, but China, South Korea and Japan are suddenly great at that.
Curling, the TV ratings mainstay of the Winter games for some reason, is all about Canada and countries in Scandinavia. Americans generally aren’t too into curling.
The other problem is that the United States isn’t all that great in events that hand out a ton of medals. Bobsleigh and luge are not single events like in video games. In the bobsled, you can compete in two-man, four-man, women’s, men’s, and so on. Luge has single, double, and the completely insane skeleton event. You are not touching Germany, Switzerland and Italy in the bobsled.
Luge is all about Austria because Austrians apparently have no regard for safety. Then you have things like the biathlon, which has literally six different versions and individual distances within that for both men and women. Forget about defeating Norway in that since their army invented the thing. On that note, forget about cross-country skiing since nobody without Viking heritage is any good at that.
While the United States will absolutely have a great showing in hockey and some other events, the overall medal count is just simply not a realistic thing. Yet, it’s a safe bet there’s not a single American sports fan who would love to see that proven wrong.