Podium Party: Oakley Action Sports Athletes Make Their Mark on Sochi Olympics
The medals have been awarded. The flame has been extinguished. The talk show circuit is complete. The Kellogg’s cereal boxes are on the shelves. Shake it out. Exhale. It’s over.
The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are at their end. The world watched as skiers and snowboarders put on some of the most exciting performances of the Games. New stars arose; some pre-existing ones excelled as well. Joss Christensen shocked the freeskiing world; Jamie Anderson reaffirmed her dominance in snowboarding Slopestyle. Mark McMorris was humble and professional despite adversity; 15-year-old Ayumu Hirano was quiet yet explosive. Shaun White didn’t have his best days, nor did Kaya Turski – but both will be back. Sports aren’t predictable. Sports aren’t always fair. The Olympics proved those facts, for better or worse. And in the end, in total, Oakley athletes won 84 medals at the 2014 edition of the Winter Olympics.
What follows are a handful of the shining Oakley stars from two weeks in Sochi, Russia. Congratulations to every athlete who competed on the biggest stage in sport.
Sport: Freestyle Skiing – Slopestyle Medal: Gold Country: USA
In the end, Joss Christensen could only throw his head back and smile. He watched as 11 competitors rode their second and final run of the Slopestyle finals, and one after another, they couldn’t match him. His first run was highlighted by a beautiful switch triple cork 1260, the only of the competition. And the last skier standing, the one who would get the victory lap, was the one who almost didn’t even make the trip to Sochi.
“This adventure to the Olympics in Sochi has truly been the wildest journey of my life,” Christensen said. “Through it all, the Oakley family has had my back and helped me achieve greatness.”
Sport: Women’s Snowboarding – Slopestyle Medal: Gold Country: USA
Jamie Anderson knows how to play it cool. She’s not one to get too high or too low or let the weight of a moment impact how she rides. On the biggest stage for snowboarding, she knew how to withstand the pressure that is being the favorite in an event making its debut on the Olympic stage. She rose while the others fell, and won Olympic gold. Oakley teammate Jenny Jones of Great Britain took the bronze.
“I was really just trying to stay calm and kind of reserve my energy," Anderson said. "It was a lot of stress up there and even though it’s just another competition, the stage and the outreach that this event connects to is out of control.”
Sport: Snowboarding – Slopestyle Medal: Silver Country: Norway
His runs were clean. His tricks were technical. He probably had as much or more fun than anyone, highlighted by a penguin slide at the end of his final run. He was close, but Stale Sandbech had to settle for silver in Slopestyle, which had him happy enough to rock a symbolic Mohawk on the medal podium.
Sport: Snowboarding – Halfpipe Medal: Silver Country: Japan
Everyone had the same canvas on which to work. Many were critical of the Halfpipe conditions in Sochi, but that didn’t seem to bother Ayumu Hirano. As the sport has come to expect from the 15-year-old Japanese wunderkind, his amplitude was greater and his tricks more technical and stylish. As a result, he won an Olympic silver medal.
Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe
Sport: Women’s Freestyle Skiing – Moguls Medals: Gold & Silver Country: Canada
It wasn’t enough that they secured gold and silver medals in Russia in the women’s Olympic freestyle moguls event; the Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Canada stole the hearts of millions worldwide with their family bond during their moment of Olympic glory.
“Holding the hand of Chloé meant that I wasn’t alone," Justine said. “I saw Chloé and I felt calm again and took her hand, and thought to myself: ‘Chloé, we’ll live that moment together and it will feel more like home’.”
Sport: Freestyle Skiing – Moguls Medal: Gold Country: Canada
In Vancouver fours years ago, Alex Bilodeau rallied his countrymen by winning the first gold medal for Canada at those Games. This year in Sochi, Bilodeau was equally as disruptive, becoming the first freestyle skier to medal in consecutive Olympics after defending his moguls title.
“I just let my skis do the talking," Bilodeau said, "and those 23 seconds summed up four years of training.”
For more Oakley achievements in Sochi, check out our Performance Sports Olympians HERE.