So long, Sochi

The 17 days of the 2014 winter Olympics ended Sunday with host country Russia taking 33 medals, 11 of those gold, and the U.S. coming away with a total 28 medals that included nine gold.

“I think the U.S. teams tried very hard, and maybe if conditions had been better we would have done better,” said Christie Earley of Marietta.

She noted the unusually warm Russian winter weather likely had an impact on the Sochi Games over the last couple of weeks, especially during the skiing competition that seemed to be plagued by slushy snow conditions.

“But we like the skiing events,” Earley said. “It’s always amazing how they can do so many jumps. And I’m impressed at how the skiers can go over the moguls and still stay on their feet.”

In addition to her family members, she said the family dog, “Hooper,” seemed to enjoy watching the Russian figure skating competition in their red uniforms.

“He sat and watched the entire event,” Earley said.

Japanese figure skater and men’s gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu was among Marietta resident Emily Keller’s top highlights of the 2014 winter games.

“Figure skating is my favorite, and I really liked watching him skate his programs,” she said. “But I was also happy to see the U.S. couple (Meryl Davis and Charlie White) win a gold medal for ice dancing.”

Keller said although she enjoyed the figure skating events, the rest of the Olympic events seemed a bit lackluster.

“The snow was wet and a lot of the skiers and snowboarders were falling, but it wasn’t their fault,” she said. “I did like the Olympics opening ceremonies, though.”

The opening event, which included a run through Russian history utilizing music, dance, and some high-tech manipulation, was only marred by one of the five Olympic rings that didn’t light up on cue near the beginning of the program.

Ski jumping is the big Olympic event for Tammy Beck of Marietta.

“I always try to watch that event,” she said. “I’m amazed at how high they fly off the end of that ramp. My heart jumps out there with them.”

As for the Russians taking the lion’s share of medals and gold medals this year, Beck said she’s not surprised.

“After all, it’s their country and I think they really worked hard to impress the world at these games,” she said.