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.
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. And as a result, he won an Olympic silver medal. His fellow countryman, Taku Hiraoka won the bronze medal.