Norway, Germany Dominate the Olympics as the US Shines in Snowboarding

Addison Scufsa

Despite sleeping late because of Netflix and forgetting his jacket, 17 year old U.S. snowboarder Red Gerard won gold in men’s snowboarding slopestyle pipe with an score of 87.5. Gerard and fellow U.S. gold medalists Jamie Anderson, Chloe Kim, Shaun White, and Mikaela Shiffrin delivered excellent performances, but the Pyeongchang Olympics have been dominated by Norway and Germany thus far. 

Highlights for Team USA have come from high schoolers and veterans alike. Chloe Kim, despite being only 17, won gold in women’s snowboarding halfpipe, becoming the youngest woman to win a snowboarding gold medal in Olympic history. She scored an incredible 95.5 in two consecutive runs, dominating the competition. Her parents were originally from South Korea before immigrating to the United States, making Chloe a home favorite in Pyeongchang. 

Shaun White is no stranger to the Olympic games, having participated in every Winter games since 2006. He had high expectations going into the games and exceeded them, winning gold for the third time in men’s snowboarding halfpipe. He had a near perfect score of 97.5 on his gold medal run. This achievement is even more impressive considering he required 62 stitches in his face after crashing on a superpipe training run.

Mikaela Shiffrin and Jamie Anderson also won gold medals, raising the United States total to five so far. Shiffrin won gold in the women’s giant slalom, winning her second gold medal and first in the giant slalom.  Anderson won another gold medal in women’s snowboarding slopestyle, remaining the only American woman to have won gold in that event since its introduction in 2014. 

While team USA has done very well in snowboarding and alpine skiing so far, the Olympic medal count has been  dominated by Norway and Germany. Norway, in particular, has been winning in almost every category, having won 28 medals in total and 11 gold medals as of February 20. Cross-country skiing has been best for Norway, which has won 11 medals in that sport alone. Norway will fall just short of tying the record for medals in cross-country skiing set by the Soviet Union with 13, in 1988. Currently, Norway is predicted to finish at the top of the medal count at these Winter games. It would be the third time Norway has topped the medal count at the Winter Olympics, and first time in over 20 years. 

Germany has also done very well these Olympics, winning 23 medals so far with 11 gold medals, making it tied with Norway. One standout, in particular, was the men’s double bobsled finish. Germany won the gold medal in spectacular fashion, crashing at the finish line into a gold medal, which then was tied by Canada with the exact same time to the hundredth of a second. 

While the medal count for Team USA might be a bit disappointing, U.S. athletes have had some awesome moments in these Winter Olympics and have dominated snowboarding. Despite criticisms that these Olympic Games have scored low viewership ratings, there has been plenty of amazing action over the last two weeks.