Team USA disappoints in Sochi

Figure skating went better. The U.S. did about as expected, with world champs Meryl Davis and Charlie White winning gold in ice dance and leading the U.S. to a bronze in the new team event that was a great addition to the sport.

"Most of the feedback from the kids was that they really liked it," veteran coach Frank Carroll said. "There's a camaraderie about it that maybe didn't exist before. Our sport is so individualistic; it's all about me, me, me. If you don't do so well, maybe one of your teammates will bring it up. I think it's good for them."

Let's go up the mountains where U.S. ski and snowboard had great success -- a record-tying 17 athletes won medals -- and unbeatable demographics.

At age 36, Bode Miller became the oldest medalist in Olympic alpine history with a bronze in the super-G while, at half his age, 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest slalom gold medalist. Somewhere in between, 29-year-old Ted Ligety became just the second American skier with gold medals, winning the combined in 2006 and the giant slalom in Sochi.

Julia Mancuso added a fourth medal to her Olympic career, the most by a U.S. woman in alpine. Miller, meanwhile, won his sixth, tops for all Americans in skiing. Not that you can absolutely count him out from skiing in a sixth Olympics in 2018.

"You never know about Bode," U.S. alpine director Patrick Riml said. "I think he's very happy right now. To win a medal after missing almost a season and a half, it's very impressive what he did. I think he's fired up and very motivated. I know [2018] is a long ways off, but let's see how he goes."

Perhaps America's best showing was in action sports, with the U.S. winning six gold medals, including a men's sweep of the new and ridiculously compelling slopestyle event. It won three of four golds in the new slopestyle and halfpipe events.

It also proved action sports are far more than just Shaun White (who failed to medal) and rock star partiers. David Wise, gold medalist in the halfpipe, is a husband and father of a 2-year-old daughter.

Finally, the U.S. did well in bobsled, winning silver and bronze in the women's competition while Steven Holcomb ended America's 62-year medal drought in the two-man race. This after he had ended a 62-year gold-medal drought in four-man at the 2010 Olympics.

"This is my second 62-year drought, which is awesome," Holcomb said. "If anyone else has a 62-year drought, just let me know and I'll try to help you."

The U.S. sent a record number of athletes to these Winter Olympics and competed in new events (women's ski jumping, the new action sports and team figure skating) but earned nine fewer medals (28) than in Vancouver in 2010 (37). So, overall, it's been a rather disappointing performance.

Oh well. At least no one got rabies from a stray dog. And who knows, perhaps the ice rinks will be tilted downhill in Pyeongchang in 2018.

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