The closing ceremony from Fisht Olympic Stadium includes a parade of the flag bearers followed by the unified entrance of the athletes; and the handing over of the Olympic flag to the mayor of Pyeongchang, South Korea, the site of the next Winter Games.
Alpine skiing's men's slalom features a top U.S. contender in Ted Ligety. Also: the figure-skating gala; four-man bobsled; and finals in men's snowboarding (parallel slalom) and men's and women's speedskating (team pursuit). Steve Holcomb and his Night Train team won bobsled gold in 2010. "Being a bobsled team is like going to war with a guy," says pilot Steve Holcomb. The gala features exhibition performances by Sochi's top figure skaters.
The U.S. has a top contender in the women's slalom in Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning world and World Cup champion. Also: men's speedskating (team pursuit semifinals); and finals in short track (men's 500m and 5000m relay; women's 1000m). American short-track racer J.R. Celski is the world-record holder in the 500m and anchors the No. 1-ranked U.S. team in the 5000m. Slalom contender Shiffrin, who's only 18, says "people seem so excited about a young kid coming up, and I'm very happy about that."
The gold medal is awarded in women's figure skating, with 2010 champ Yuna Kim, Adelina Sotnikova and Carolina Kostner in pole position after the short programs. Also: finals in women's freestyle skiing (halfpipe) and men's freestyle skiing (ski cross). Devin Logan (silver medalist in slopestyle) and Maddie Bowman are women's halfpipe contenders, while John Teller is the U.S. hope in ski cross.
Ladies figure skating gets under way, with Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds and Ashley Wagner representing the U.S. in the short program. Also: finals in men's Alpine skiing (giant slalom); women's bobsled; and men's snowboarding (parallel giant slalom). Ted Ligety is the reigning world champ in the giant slalom, and the U.S. has a very strong team in bobsled, including track athlete Lolo Jones. "I'm a lot more powerful now," says Jones. "I'd have to drop weight to go back to track."
2006 gold medalist Julia Mancuso and 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin give the U.S. two contenders in the women's giant slalom. Also: women's bobsled; and finals in men's freestyle skiing (halfpipe); men's snowboard cross and women's short track (3000m). David Wise is a gold-medal threat in the halfpipe. "I believe I have the ability to medal in giant slalom," says Shiffrin. "It's a matter of how I use my energy."
World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White face off against Olympic champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for ice-dancing gold; and the U.S. chases its first two-man bobsled medal since 1952. Also: men's snowboard cross; men's freestyle skiing (aerials). Davis and White train with Virtue and Moir in Michigan. "We're lucky to train with them," says White. "Having a top team with you that knows what you're going through can really help."
World ice-dancing champs Meryl Davis and Charlie White take the ice for the short dance. Also: two-man bobsled competition featuring Steven Holcomb; and finals in men's Alpine skiing (super G); women's snowboard cross; and women's speedskating (1500m). Ted Ligety and Bode Miller are U.S. super-G threats. "We feed off each other," says Ligety. "Winning can snowball." Lindsey Jacobellis is a top contender in snowboard cross.
Julia Mancuso attempts to make the podium in Alpine skiing's women's super G. Also: finals in men's ski jumping (large hill); men's skeleton; and men's speedskating (1000m short-track, 1500m long-track), with U.S. contenders J.R. Celski and Shani Davis.
Canada's Patrick Chan is a favorite as medals are awarded in men's figure skating. Also: finals in Alpine skiing's men's super combined, with U.S. threats Ted Ligety and Bode Miller; and women's skeleton. Chan is trying to win Canada's first-ever gold in men's figure skating. In the super combined, Ligety says "it's cool to be mentioned among the top guys. Lately, I have had a target on my back."
The short program in men's figure skating features Jeremy Abbott as the top U.S. hope and Canada's Patrick Chan as the favorite. Also: women's skeleton; and finals in women's speedskating (1000m); and men's freestyle skiing (slopestyle). "It's almost artistic," says Nick Goepper of slopestyle. "The course is the canvas, the skis are the paintbrush."
With Lindsey Vonn injured, Julia Mancuso is the best bet for a U.S. medal in Alpine skiing's women's downhill. Also: finals in figure skating (pairs); women's snowboarding (halfpipe); and men's speedskating (1000m). Kelly Clark is a snowboarding favorite, while Shani Davis is going for his third-straight gold in the speedskating race. "Of the Top 10 competitors, most are from the U.S.," says Clark of the halfpipe. "We're raising the bar for everyone."
Shaun White goes for his third-straight gold medal in snowboarding's halfpipe event, and medals are awarded in two new sports—women's freestyle skiing (slopestyle) and women's ski jumping (normal hill). Also: figure skating (pairs short). White can become the first U.S. man to win the same individual event at three Winter Games, while Keri Herman is a U.S. hopeful in slopestyle. "If you can dream it, you can do it," she says. "It's like being released into the wild to have fun."
The gold medal is awarded in the women's super-combined Alpine skiing event, with Julia Mancuso a U.S. hopeful. Also: finals in men's freestyle skiing (moguls), men's speedskating (500m) and men's short track (1500m).
Medals are awarded in figure skating's team event following the women's and ice-dancing free skates. Also: finals in men's Alpine skiing (downhill); women's snowboarding (slopestyle); and men's ski jumping (individual normal hill). Bode Miller won bronze in the downhill in 2010 and says "In Sochi, fitness will play a big part in the downhill."
The team event in figure skating continues with the women's and ice-dancing short programs. Ashley Wagner and Charlie White and Meryl Davis compete for the U.S. Also: women's freestyle skiing (moguls final); and men's snowboarding (slopestyle final).
The Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, officially get under way with the Opening Ceremony. The festivities honor Russia's history and culture and also feature the Parade of Nations and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. Nordic-combined star Todd Lodwick carries the flag for the U.S.
Coverage of the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, begins with the men's and pairs short programs in the Olympics' first-ever figure-skating team event. Also: men's and women's snowboarding (slopestyle); and women's freestyle skiing (moguls). The 10 highest-ranked nations compete in the figure-skating event, with the teams made up of skaters from all four disciplines (men's, women's, pairs and ice dancing).