Wipeouts and Washouts: American Olympians Who Disappointed in Sochi

Olympians who went from being America's great hopes, to just hype

Feb. 14, 2014— -- When they heard the phrase "passing the torch," losing to their younger competitors isn't quite what some of the biggest names in Winter Olympics history had in mind.

Yet over and over again in Sochi, older, more experienced U.S. athletes, who arrived in Russia carrying the hopes of their nation and the burden of defending their titles, have disappointed.

The U.S. remains in a respectable fourth place, tied with perennial winter winners Norway, for gold meals with a total of four each at the end of competition Friday. But the U.S. and Norway are also tied for the most medals overall with 13 each.

Many of those American honors, however, have not been won by name-brand athletes competing in high-profile events, like snowboarding and downhill skiing, but instead by fresh-faced lugers and freestyle skiers.

Here's a short list of those athletes under the most pressure to perform well, but ultimately came up short and will go home empty handed.