The 2014 Olympic Winter Games: Snapshots

Overview
PREV
1 of 17
START
Russian Opposition Leaders Discuss Corruption At Sochi Olympics

The Olympic Winter Games show us the best aspects of athleticism, competition and pageantry every four years. Competition is in full swing in Sochi, Russia and, as usual, the athletes are the star attractions. Read on for a look at some of the most compelling images from the first few days of the 2014 Olympiad.

The Olympic Winter Games show us the best aspects of athleticism, competition and pageantry every four years. Competition is in full swing in Sochi, Russia and, as usual, the athletes are the star attractions. Read on for a look at some of the most compelling images from the first few days of the 2014 Olympiad.

The Air Out There

USA supporters with flag

Sage Kotsenburg soars into the stratosphere during the qualifying runs for the men's snowboard slopestyle event in Sochi. The American took home the first gold of the 2014 Winter Olympics thanks to the "1620 Japan Air Mute Grab," a trick he said he had never attempted in competition before nailing it during his first Olympic run.

Sage Kotsenburg soars into the stratosphere during the qualifying runs for the men's snowboard slopestyle event in Sochi. The American took home the first gold of the 2014 Winter Olympics thanks to the "1620 Japan Air Mute Grab," a trick he said he had never attempted in competition before nailing it during his first Olympic run.

Teamwork on Ice

National flags by stadium, Montreal, Canada

Team figure skating made its debut at the 2014 Winter Olympics, with men's, women's and pairs skaters competing together for the first time. American pairs skaters Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were the first of their countrymen to take to the ice in their quest to shine in the sport's Olympic debut. They finished fifth in their qualification skate and eventually picked up the bronze.

Team figure skating made its debut at the 2014 Winter Olympics, with men's, women's and pairs skaters competing together for the first time. American pairs skaters Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were the first of their countrymen to take to the ice in their quest to shine in the sport's Olympic debut. They finished fifth in their qualification skate and eventually picked up the bronze.

One Ring Short

Reporters Without Borders Protest At Russian Embassy

Not everything went perfectly during the opening ceremonies. While four illuminated snowflakes transformed into Olympic rings as intended, the fifth ring failed to follow orders and remained missing.

Not everything went perfectly during the opening ceremonies. While four illuminated snowflakes transformed into Olympic rings as intended, the fifth ring failed to follow orders and remained missing.

Great Historical Moments

Portrait of Peter the Great

Most opening ceremonies highlight the host country's history, and the opening of the 2014 Winter Games was no exception. Russian history and culture were front and center throughout the pageantry, including these dancers representing the era of Peter the Great.

Most opening ceremonies highlight the host country's history, and the opening of the 2014 Winter Games was no exception. Russian history and culture were front and center throughout the pageantry, including these dancers representing the era of Peter the Great.

Carrying the Flag

Rippled USA flag, detail

Todd Lodwick had the honor of leading the U.S. delegation into the stadium as America's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. A vote of the team captains in each sport earned him the honor. The nordic combined skier is competing in his sixth Winter Olympics, the first American to do so.

Todd Lodwick had the honor of leading the U.S. delegation into the stadium as America's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. A vote of the team captains in each sport earned him the honor. The nordic combined skier is competing in his sixth Winter Olympics, the first American to do so.

Cool Runnings II

Bobsled Racing

The Jamaican bobsled team is back in the Winter Olympics for the first time in 12 years, but it was hardly smooth sledding to get to Sochi. The squad had to use crowdfunding to pay for the trip, and the airlines lost their equipment on the flight over. Good news for the latest version of "Cool Runnings," though: The gear turned up in time for the event.

The Jamaican bobsled team is back in the Winter Olympics for the first time in 12 years, but it was hardly smooth sledding to get to Sochi. The squad had to use crowdfunding to pay for the trip, and the airlines lost their equipment on the flight over. Good news for the latest version of "Cool Runnings," though: The gear turned up in time for the event.

Cold? Who, Me?

Bermuda

What would a Bermudan Olympic team be without Bermuda shorts? This fashion statement was bad news, however, for cross-country skier Tucker Murphy: It meant he had no cold-weather gear to cover his legs as he led his delegation into the stadium.

What would a Bermudan Olympic team be without Bermuda shorts? This fashion statement was bad news, however, for cross-country skier Tucker Murphy: It meant he had no cold-weather gear to cover his legs as he led his delegation into the stadium.

Lighting the Torch

23673395

Russia turned to a couple of its Olympic legends to light the torch and officially open the games. Irina Rodnina won three consecutive pairs of figure-skating gold medals between 1972 and 1980, skating with a different partner each time. Vladislav Tretiak was the goalie on three gold-medal hockey teams for the Soviet Union, though his squad finished second to the United States in 1980 at Lake Placid, New York.

Russia turned to a couple of its Olympic legends to light the torch and officially open the games. Irina Rodnina won three consecutive pairs of figure-skating gold medals between 1972 and 1980, skating with a different partner each time. Vladislav Tretiak was the goalie on three gold-medal hockey teams for the Soviet Union, though his squad finished second to the United States in 1980 at Lake Placid, New York.

Firework Festival

Fireworks

A massive display of fireworks capped the torch-lighting ceremony after Vladimir Putin officially declared the Olympic Games open. A reported 22 tons of fireworks erupted during the opening ceremonies, which lasted nearly three hours.

A massive display of fireworks capped the torch-lighting ceremony after Vladimir Putin officially declared the Olympic Games open. A reported 22 tons of fireworks erupted during the opening ceremonies, which lasted nearly three hours.

She Shoots, She Scores

person with hockey stick and puck

The United States began its quest for gold in women's ice hockey with a 3-1 victory over Finland. Kelli Stack's goal against Finnish goalie Noora Raty gave the team a 2-0 lead in a strong performance.

The United States began its quest for gold in women's ice hockey with a 3-1 victory over Finland. Kelli Stack's goal against Finnish goalie Noora Raty gave the team a 2-0 lead in a strong performance.

Skiing to the Podium

Man Skiing

Norway opened big in the medal standings at Sochi. The country's team took first and third in the cross-country women's skiathlon, with Marit Bjoergen winning gold and Heidi Wang bronze. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden crashed the podium in second place.

Norway opened big in the medal standings at Sochi. The country's team took first and third in the cross-country women's skiathlon, with Marit Bjoergen winning gold and Heidi Wang bronze. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden crashed the podium in second place.

Sister Act

Snow with bumps

Feb. 8 was a great day for the Dufour-Lapointe family of Canada in the women's moguls. Justine Dufour-Lapointe captured the gold medal and her sister, Chloe, took the silver. The pre-event favorite, defending Olympic champion Hannah Kearney of the United States, took the bronze.

Related: The 25 Greatest Winter Olympians

Feb. 8 was a great day for the Dufour-Lapointe family of Canada in the women's moguls. Justine Dufour-Lapointe captured the gold medal and her sister, Chloe, took the silver. The pre-event favorite, defending Olympic champion Hannah Kearney of the United States, took the bronze.

Related: The 25 Greatest Winter Olympians

A Joyous Finish

Bansko Ski Resort Draws Foreign Tourists

Gold medalist Matthias Mayer couldn't contain his joy on the podium after winning a surprise gold medal in the downhill. The Austrian had never finished higher than fifth place in a World Cup event before emerging on top in Sochi. Italy's Christof Innerhofer took the silver and Norway's Kjetil Jansrud captured the bronze.

Gold medalist Matthias Mayer couldn't contain his joy on the podium after winning a surprise gold medal in the downhill. The Austrian had never finished higher than fifth place in a World Cup event before emerging on top in Sochi. Italy's Christof Innerhofer took the silver and Norway's Kjetil Jansrud captured the bronze.

Unfriendly Land

Skier in powder down moguls, Squaw Valley, California, USA

German ski jumper Severin Freund saw his medal hopes end with a crash landing in the men's normal hill competition. Poland's Kamil Stoch took gold in the event, with Slovenia's Peter Prevc winning silver and Norway's Anders Bardal getting bronze.

Related: How to Recover Like an Olympian

German ski jumper Severin Freund saw his medal hopes end with a crash landing in the men's normal hill competition. Poland's Kamil Stoch took gold in the event, with Slovenia's Peter Prevc winning silver and Norway's Anders Bardal getting bronze.

Related: How to Recover Like an Olympian

Team Spirit

23661327

Four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko did his part to ensure that host country Russia would take the first-ever team figure skating gold medal by winning the men's portion of the event. Russia dominated to earn the title and its first gold medal in Sochi. Canada won silver and the United States took bronze.

Four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko did his part to ensure that host country Russia would take the first-ever team figure skating gold medal by winning the men's portion of the event. Russia dominated to earn the title and its first gold medal in Sochi. Canada won silver and the United States took bronze.

What Do YOU Think?

family laughing using laptop

Have you been watching the Winter Olympics? Why or why not? What is your favorite event? What has been your favorite moment of the Games so far?

Related: The 25 Greatest Winter Olympians

Credit: Todd Warnock/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Have you been watching the Winter Olympics? Why or why not? What is your favorite event? What has been your favorite moment of the Games so far?

Related: The 25 Greatest Winter Olympians

France's Soccer Team 101: Here's What You Should Know

PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.