On Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight declared these Games as some of the poorest showings in U.S. history. At 12 medals (17 less than leader Norway at the time), the team had about 11 fewer than expected at that point in time. Though Wednesday and Thursday saw an uptick in medaling, the fact remains the United States will likely have its worst Olympics since 1998's Nagano, Japan, Games.
According to Business Insider, these disappointing numbers can be attributed to two things: mega superstars who were predicted to medal and didn't and some bad luck leaving other Team USA athletes off the podium altogether.
For example, Nathan Chen, the much-hyped figure skater who's known for his unique ability to nail quads, had a disastrous Olympic debut, falling several times in his first performances. Though Chen had an incredible, redemptive final skate, it wasn't enough to get him anywhere near a bronze.
Similarly, the beloved Mikaela Shifrin – who has medaled twice these Games – did not score enough to medal in slalom, an event she was expected to crush. Same thing with beautiful, beautiful skier Gus Kenworthy.
Otherwise, Sports Illustrated reports that on Monday (when the team had just 10 medals), USA had come in fourth, fifth, or sixth place 24 times throughout the Games. That count is higher now with shocking bobsled, ice dance, and hockey upsets.
All of this said, there have been plenty of 'Merica-centric, history-making Olympic moments. Jamie Anderson, Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins, and more have all made huge strides in their respective sports.
In the end, though, does it really matter? We are all winners, everyone did great, etc., etc. Go team!!!!!!
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