Top 20 Sochi Winter Olympic fails


Derek Wang

The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games provided an opportunity for Russia to show the world that they were not the communist state they once were. President Vladimir Putin spent a record $51 billion to transform the small beach town into a world-class resort, attempting to show off Russia’s culture and stability. Unfortunately, this year’s Olympic games were riddled with mistakes and failures, starting from the very beginning. This is our top 20.


 20. Slow and steady wins the race:

With speed, you also need control. Going at a speed of almost 75 m.p.h., Brazilians Sally Mayara Da Silva and Fabiana Santos went out of control in their sled and survived a scary crash where the bobsled bounded a corner and tipped over causing one of them a broken helmet and the other, a broken nose. This was not the first time a sled Santos was piloting crashed; it also happened to her at a World Cup event in Winterberg, Germany in 2011.

19. Falls, falls, and more falls:

Aerialists do not have an easy job. They are acrobats who perform in the air doing the most uncanny tricks possible. Jumping to heights of almost 20 feet, aerialists also have a high chance of abruptly falling down and hitting the ground. The Winter Olympics at Sochi consisted of many aerial routines ending in a wipeout or a fall.

18. Good sense of humor?:

After the technical glitch during the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremonies, Russia was the laughingstock of the world. However, during the Closing Ceremonies, Russia took it in stride and showed that they had a sense of humor. The hundreds of people representing the Olympic rings, the Russians again failed to open the fifth ring, before fixing it a few seconds later. The 2014 Olympics was closed with a tribute to the opening.

17: Ready or not, here I come:

For a widely known and prestigious event like the Olympics, the government from the country hosting the Olympics wants all preparation to be completely finished with time to spare. However, it was a race to the finish in the 2014 Winter Olympics. With two days to go, there was still some finishing touches that needed to be applied before the opening ceremony. It wasn’t the most convenient Olympics for many athletes as they had to deal with many other issues in their hotels.

16. Tweets galore:

It seems like all of Sochi was unprepared for the surge of tourists and athletes for the Olympics. Not only were the roads unfinished, but practically no hotels were ready. Twitter during the days leading up to the Olympics provided much entertainment for the people back home. Many photos demonstrated how shabby and unprepared the small tourist city was.

15. Missing Out:

Not all doping happens intentionally. Swedish men’s hockey team center Nicklas Backstrom failed a doping test just hours before the gold medal game against Canada. While the IOC scrapped him from the Olympics, the NHL, where Backstrom plays for the Washington Capitals, will not be taking action, since the substance Backstrom tested positive for was in his allergy medicine, which he has taken for more than seven years. Nevertheless, Canada won the gold 3-0.

14. Heads up:

Getting hurt during practices can be one of the worst things. It can be even worse if it takes you out of the competition. Swiss aerialist Christopher Lambert went through his routine during practice, but, unfortunately, ended up landing head first onto the snow. It prompted the medics to hurry onto the snow and carry him off the course. It was later figured out that Lambert dislocated his elbow.

13. Wipeout:

The women’s snowboard cross has been filled with crashes, with two women being taken down the mountain. One particular snowboarder from the US, Jacqueline Hernandez, got too much air and fell, knocking her head on the ground and blacking out. After the medics reached her, she was heard saying “I’m fine” and trying to convince the officials to let her continue her run. However, she was sent down the mountain and was diagnosed with a concussion, ending her Olympic games.

 12. Almost there:

Ski cross competitions usually don’t have as many falls and crashes as other competitions. This time, however, Russia’s Egor Korotkov, Finland’s Jouni Pellinen and Sweden’s Victor Norberg all fell just before the finish line after Norberg got a little too much air on the last jump, directly causing Korotkov and Pellinen to fall. This led to an easy win for Switzerland’s Armin Niederer, who was trailing behind for much of the race.

 11. Hurt:

Quite often, a skier messes up their jump, along with their trick, and scores poorly. However, from time to time, a skier messes up their jump and wipes out, injuring themselves. Unfortunately for Canadian Yuki Tsubota, it was the latter for her. Tsubota was sent to a hospital for further examination.

10. Not good enough:

Injuries can prove to be discouraging. Especially when an athlete, who is the clear favorite to win the event, has to pull out during the warm-up due to a recurring back injury. Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko had to go through the same thing. He won his country’s first gold medal the day before. Instead of encouraging him, Russian critics went on to condemn Plushenko’s injury. The figure skater went on to retire from the sport after dropping out.

9. Just say no:

It’s one thing to fail a math test and another to fail a doping test. German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsledder William Frullani were sent back to their respective countries after testing positive for a stimulant. Both those athletes were unable to medal in any of their events.

8. Knock Knock:

American bobsledder Johnny Quinn may have failed to medal in the Sochi games, but he was able to apply his bobsledding skills for a different kind of problem. After taking a shower in the bathroom of his hotel room, Quinn was somehow locked inside, but was able to use his bobsledding training to break through the door.

7. Cover up for your mistakes:

The Opening Ceremony’s ring fiasco was more conspicuous than anything. However, a Russian TV show thought they could still hide the Opening Ceremony failure by showing a doctored video of the Olympic rings. Perhaps they did not know about the millions of people watched the live broadcast of the ceremony.

6. Quick Exit:

The Russian fans got to see exactly what they didn’t want. The Russian men’s ice hockey team failed to reach the last four once again losing 1-3 against Finland. It was almost a repeat of 2010 Vancouver games. The Russian media got onto the team in a heartbeat, criticizing the team’s style of play.

5. False Start:

Austrian Anna Gasser came into the women’s slopestyle event as one of the favorites to take gold. However, it wasn’t the most golden of starts for her as she took off before she was supposed to. She started off her Sochi games in an unforgettable fashion.

4. Man down:

It wasn’t the best of starts for Austria in Sochi. The Austrians stumbled their way through the open ceremony as one of their athletes face planted himself to the ground in front of the thousands watching the opening ceremony.

3. Who let the dogs in?:

The opening ceremony beautifully illustrated Russian history. It was so good that even a stray dog came to see it. However, with the tight security, it will remain unknown as to how the dog was able to get in. The Opening Ceremony ended up being a comedy of errors.

2. Always wear your headgear:

In her snowboarding slopestyle event, Sarka Pancochova from the Czech Republic was all smiles before her second run. She made it through the top of the hill with ease but, trying to land after doing one of her tricks off of the third jump, she ended up landing on her head and broke her helmet, getting up shaken but unscathed.

1. Where is North America?:

They say practice makes perfect. However, the saying doesn’t apply to the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. After the ceremony went through many practice runs, the most important of them was a debacle, with only four of the five Olympic rings opening up. It was there for the whole world to see. This first failure of the Sochi Olympics tops our list of failures.

By Derek Wang and Harsh Singh

Did we miss one? Which was it?