Team USA Getting Its Butt Kicked in Sochi

And things aren't likely to pick up, writes Bill Plaschke
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2014 10:10 AM CST
Updated Feb 13, 2014 10:44 AM CST
Todd Lodwick of the United States carries the national flag as he leads the team during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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(Newser) – Sure, Americans just swept the podium in men's slopestyle skiing, but overall it's been a pretty dreary Olympics for US athletes. In fact, "the US team is getting the hind parts of its snow pants kicked," writes Bill Plaschke for the Los Angeles Times. Despite stellar hopes—including for two-time gold medalist speedskater Shani Davis and snowboard half-pipe favorite Shaun White—things just aren't panning out, and it's a far fall from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where the US led the pack with 37 medals (we're currently at 12). "The next 11 days hold little hope for salvation," Plaschke notes brightly, as "the only gold certainty seems to be the ice dancing duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White."

The poor performances have been tough to swallow: "Lindsey Van, the skier who was supposedly but one vowel and consonant from making us forget about injured skier Lindsey Vonn , finished 15th in ski jumping. JR Celski, the heir apparent to popular Apolo Ohno in short-track speedskating, was more like, 'Oh why?' when he was bumped and finished fourth in the 1,500-meter final." The excuse that we're more a summer sports country doesn't hold water, because, well, look at our medal count in Vancouver. Plaschke concludes, "This year's group appears to be caught in that familiar losing vacuum between aging superstars and kids who aren't quite ready. Wait, the US Olympic team is the Lakers?" Click for his full column.

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