The Winter Olympics are a time to value international competition, good sportsmanship and outstanding athletic achievement. They’re also a time to see who responds well to the pressure of the whole world watching and who chokes.
A devastating loss can destroy the pride of an Olympian and a country, but disappointments are just as much a part of the Olympics as the victories. For every loser, there are other participants who get a greater shot at a medal, and often, new, under-recognized talent gets a chance to surprise the world.
The 2014 Winter Olympics presented trials and tribulations for even the most seasoned athletes. Injuries claimed the gold medal dreams of such impressive competitors as Evgeni Plushenko. The U.S. women’s hockey team underperformed in the final seconds of overtime. Podium regulars ranked well below bronze, and Olympic gold medal favorites Shaun White, Yuna Kim, and Shani Davis ultimately did not live up to fans’ expectations.
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