It's October 29, and there are 100 days until the start of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The United States Olympic Committee has turned New York City's Times Square into a mini Olympic Village. More than 40 Olympians, Paralympians, and Olympic hopefuls are on hand to do interviews to get fans excited about the Games.
One of those athletes is Paralympic sled hockey player Rico Roman. He has a huge smile on his face as he talks about his road to Sochi. And when a reporter shows him a Topps card with his face on it, Roman's excitement is uncontainable. "No way! I haven't even seen that!" he exclaims.
Unlike many athletes, Roman, a 32-year-old Army veteran, never dreamed of competing in the Games, let alone having his own trading card. "But you get [hurt] overseas," he says, "and it gives you a totally different path."
For Torin Yater-Wallace, just being able to compete in the Olympics was a blessing. In December, the 18-year-old freeskier suffered a serious chest injury and two broken ribs after a crash during an event. He recovered enough to compete in Sochi, but his result was disappointing — he finished 26th in the men's ski halfpipe.
Still, Yater-Wallace says he did enjoy the Olympic experience, getting to hang out with his teammates and also working with his sponsor Pop-Tarts on their Crazy Good Winter campaign. SI Kids caught up with the former SportsKid of the Year finalist for a quick Q&A after the Olympics.
Earlier today, in an overtime thriller worthy of the gold medal round, Canada defeated Team USA in the women's hockey final, 3-2, to win its fourth consecutive world title.
“It’s the best feeling ever,” Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin told CBC Sports. “It’s a dream come true. It’s unreal. We just wanted to play our game and it was such a team effort. We never gave up today.”
At noon today, the US and Canadian women's hockey teams meet in the gold medal round of the 2014 tournament. It's a rematch of the 2010 final, and it should be intense.
Four years ago, the Canadians defeated the US 2-0 to capture its third-straight gold medal. It was the Americans' second silver medal in three tournaments — in both cases they were runners up to Team Canada. Since then, the rivalry between these two teams has gotten fierce. Just a few months ago, during an exhibition game, the two teams got into an all-out brawl:
What's more nerve-racking: Skating for a gold medal, or playing violin on national TV? For Charlie White, it might be the second one.
Ice dancers White and Meryl Davis made US Olympic history Monday when they became the first Americans to win the gold medal in the ice dancing competition. Part of their victory lap was a stop at NBC's Today Show yesterday, where they talked about winning gold — and made good on a bet.
White and Davis appeared on the show before heading to Sochi, and they were asked about other things they might be good at. White said he played the violin, and anchor Savannah Guthrie said that if the pair won gold White would have to play the instrument on the show. White agreed, and yesterday he made good on the promise:
If you've ever wondered what the most popular Winter Olympics sport is, here are a couple maps you might find interesting. Researchers at Facebook pulled together some data from their users to see what sports are the most popular around the world.
According to the social network, more than 24 million people discussed the Olympics on Facebook during the first week of the Games. They generated a combined 48 million posts, comments, and like. Using that information, Facebook generated two maps — one is of all of Earth, the other is focused on Europe — that look at which one of 13 Winter Olympics sports people were talking about.
Click on the image to see the full-size map
The 2014 Olympic men's hockey tournament starts today, and all eyes will be on Canada and the US. Canada is looking to defend its 2010 gold medal, while the Americans want to bring home their first hockey gold since 1980 — and avenge a tough overtime loss to the Canadians four years ago.
But there are more than those two teams playing for the gold medal. Ten other countries want to skate out of Sochi as world champions. And while not every team has an equal shot at glory, there are a few nations who could find themselves on the medal podium.
Here are three teams to watch — not wearing a maple leaf or the stars and stripes and their sweaters — as the 2014 tournament gets underway.