Sochi 2014: Faster, higher, younger, older…
A whole host of records were broken at a memorable edition of the Games that saw 40-year-old Norwegian Ole Einar Bjørndalen become the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time. The USA’s Mikaela Schiffrin broke new ground as Alpine skiing’s youngest ever gold medallist, while Finland’s Teemu Selänne became the oldest male ice hockey player to win a medal at the Games. These were just a few of the landmarks and firsts to hit the headlines in Sochi. Join us as we run the rule over the record-breakers who helped increase the wow-factor of this year’s Winter Games.
In finishing third in the women’s snowboard slopestyle, Jenny Jones became the first British athlete to win a medal on snow in the 90-year history of the Olympic Winter Games.
The number of Olympic records that were broken in the speed skating events at the Adler Arena, with Republic of Korea’s double Olympic champion Sang-Hwa Lee posting a landmark aggregate time of 1:14.70 in the women’s 500m and Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands reducing the OR in the men’s 10,000m to 12:44.45. Two was also the number of gold medals collected by Russia’s Vic Wild, whose victories in the parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom made him the first ever snowboarder to win two titles at the same Games. Meanwhile, Canada’s Alexandre Bilodeau retained the men’s moguls title he won at Vancouver 2010, becoming the first freestyle skier to win two Olympic golds.
The number of gold medals that Belarusian biathlete Darya Domracheva, Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen and Russian short track speed skater Victor An each amassed at Sochi 2014.
Victor An has now won gold medals in all four short track speed skating events: 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m and 5,000m relay. Victorious in the three longer events at Turin 2006, he added 500m gold to his collection in Sochi, and enjoyed further wins in the 1,000m and relay. That haul of six gold medals has made him the most successful short track speed skater in Olympic history, and his collection of eight medals in total puts him level with the USA’s Apolo Anton Ohno as the most decorated short track Olympian of all time.
Four was also the number of titles won by Germany in their clean sweep of the luge events at the Sanki Sliding Centre. Felix Loch won gold in the men’s singles, with Natalie Geisenberger following suit in the women’s event and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt doing likewise in the doubles. The golden quartet then teamed up to claim the spoils in the new mixed team relay event.
The number of times Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst stepped onto the podium at the Adler Arena. Her collection of two golds and three silvers made her the most decorated athlete of the entire Sochi Games.
Five was also the number of sportsmen and women have now won medals at both the Olympic Summer and Winter Games since 1924. Adding her name to that select list in Sochi was the USA’s Lauryn Williams, who partnered Elana Meyers to win silver in the women’s two-man bobsleigh, to complement the gold she won in the 4x100m relay at London 2012.
The number of medals Italian luger Armin Zöggeler has picked up in as many Games: bronze in 1994, silver in 1998, gold in 2002 and 2006, bronze in 2010 and bronze in 2014. Zöggeler is the first person to achieve such a feat in the history of the Olympic Winter Games.
The number of editions of the Olympic Winter Games that have been graced by Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai and Russian luger Albert Demchenko. The two forty-somethings made their Olympic debuts way back at Albertville 1992, and both capped their record-breaking appearances in Sochi by winning a pair of medals each (two silvers for Demchenko and a silver and bronze for Noriaki)!
Seven was also the number of points Eve Muirhead’s Great Britain team scored (out of a possible eight) in a single end during their group match against the USA - an Olympic first.
The unprecedented number of events in which all three medals were won by a single country. While the Dutch speed skaters swept the board in the men’s 500m, 5,000m and 10,000m and the women’s 1,500m, Norway produced a clean sweep of their own in the women’s 30km cross country mass start, with France, Russia and USA doing likewise in the men’s freestyle ski cross, the 50km cross-country and men’s ski slopestyle respectively.
The record number of Olympic men’s ice hockey titles won by Canada, following their 3-0 victory over Sweden in the gold medal match at Sochi’s Bolshoi Ice Dome. They also became the first team since the USSR in 1988 to retain the title.
The number of Olympic medals now crammed into the trophy cabinet of cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen. The Norwegian scooped three titles in Sochi: in the 15km pursuit, team sprint and the 30km mass start in Sochi to take her total to six golds, three silvers and a bronze in three appearances at the Games in 2006, 2010 and 2014, “Gull-Marit” (Golden Marit) is now the most decorated female Winter Olympian in history.
The number of consecutive victories Jennifer Jones’ Canada team strung together in going undefeated in the women’s curling competition at the Ice Cube, a first in the history of the Games.
The unprecedented number of new events added to the Olympic programme at Sochi 2014: women’s ski jumping, the luge mixed team relay, the mixed team event in figure skating, the mixed biathlon relay, the men’s and women’s snowboard parallel slaloms, the men’s and women’s freestyle skiing and snowboard slopestyle competitions and the men’s and women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe.
The number of Olympic medals Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen has now won, after pocketing gold in the sprint and mixed relay events at the Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Centre. Since making his Games debut at Nagano 1998, “King Ole” has amassed eight golds, four silvers and a bronze to overtake the 12 medals won by his compatriot Bjorn Daehlie in the cross country skiing between 1992 and 1998. He now stands alone as the most successful athlete the Olympic Winter Games have ever seen.
Born on 29 November 1998, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano was a mere 15 years and 73 days old when he finished second in the snowboard halfpipe in Sochi, making him the youngest ever Olympic medallist on snow.
The USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin was just 18 years and 345 days when she won the women’s slalom at Rosa Khutor to become Alpine skiing’s youngest ever Olympic gold medal winner.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe was only 19 years and 321 days old when she beat her sister Chloé in the women’s moguls to become freestyle skiing’s youngest Olympic champion. The Canadians are the third sister act to win gold and silver in an Olympic event. Their older sibling Maxime also took part in the competition, only the sixth occasion on which three siblings have participated in the same Olympic event. Another 19-year-old to make headlines in Sochi was Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, who claimed bronze in the slalom to become the youngest male medallist in Alpine skiing at the Games.
The number of medals (eight golds, seven silvers and eight bronzes) scooped by Dutch speed skaters at the Adler Arena. The Netherlands had representatives on the podium in every one of the 12 speed skating events at Sochi 2014, the first time any country has achieved such dominance in any discipline at the Olympic Winter Games.
Twenty-four hours after crowning Alpine skiing’s youngest ever Olympic gold medallist in the person of Mikaela Shiffrin, Sochi celebrated its oldest, with Austrian veteran Mario Matt triumphing in the men’s slalom at the age of 34 years and 10 months. The previous record-holder was Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who was five months younger than Matt when he won his last Olympic crown in the super-G at Turin 2006.
The age of American skier Bode Miller (36 years and five months to be exact) on the day he took third place on the podium in the super-G. Miller, who took his overall medal tally to six, is now Alpine skiing’s oldest Olympic medallist.
41 and 20
Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai broke not one but two records at Sochi 2014. In finishing a mere 1.3 points adrift of Poland’s Kamil Stoch, he became ski jumping’s oldest ever medallist at the age of 41 years and 10 months. On top of that, no Olympian has won medals further apart in time than Kasai, whose Sochi silver came 20 years after the team silver he won on the large hill at Lillehammer 1994. Just for good measure, the Japanese veteran also helped Japan land bronze in the team large hill at Sochi.
43 (x 2)
In helping Finland take bronze in the men’s ice hockey competition, Teemu Selänne became the oldest Olympic medallist in his sport at 43 years and 234 days. The durable Finn has now competed in six Games in all, and appropriately enough, he also took his Olympic goal count to an all-time record 43 in Sochi.
The score awarded to Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu in the men’s figure skating short programme at the Iceberg Skating Palace, the first time that the 100-point barrier has ever been broken in this part of the competition.
78.89, 116.63 and 192.52
The respective scores awarded to US ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White in the short programme, the free skate and overall, each one of them a new world record.
The winning time posted by both Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin in the women’s downhill on 12 February at Rosa Khutor. It was the first time a gold medal has ever been shared in the history of Alpine skiing at the Games.
The total number of different events staged across the 15 Olympic winter sports disciplines at Sochi 2014, more than at any previous edition of the Winter Games.