Sochi Winter Olympics Medal Count 2014: US Tied for First After Noelle Pikus-Pace Wins Silver in Skeleton
- Jessica Michele Herring
- Feb 14, 2014 02:13 PM EST
The United States has pushed past the Netherlands at the Sochi Winter Olympics and is now in contention for first place.
The U.S. is tied for first with Norway, with each country having won 13 medals.
The U.S. surpassed the Netherlands when Noelle Pikus-Pace won the silver in her fourth and final run of women's skeleton on Friday. Pikus-Pace, a mother of two from Utah who has competed in past olympics, pushed through physical distress to finally stand on the olympic podium.
"She's an amazing person," U.S. skeleton coach Tuffy Latour told USA Today. "She comes out each and every day ready to get to work. She's very focused. She's very determined."
After she missed bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics by one-tenth of a second, she was determined to come back to earn a medal.
Pikus-Pace finished behind gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain, who completed the four heats in 3:52.89. Pikus-Pace finished in second with 3:53.86. Russia's Elena Nikitina won bronze.
Lizzy Yarnold's gold medal marks Britain's first gold at the Sochi Olympic games.
The United States gained more ground Thursday after winning three new medals. Americans Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nicholas Goepper earned the top three spots in men's slopestyle skiing, boosting the U.S. medal count.
According to SB Nation, Christensen won the gold in slopestyle with a score of 95.80, Kenworthy won the silver with a score of 93.60 and Goepper earned bronze with a score of 92.40.
While the U.S. is now tied for first place, the Netherlands and Russia are not far behind; each country has 12 medals.
Germany is still in the top gold medal spot, with seven gold medals and 10 total.
Germany's Tobia Wendl and Tobias Arlt both won gold medals for the men's luge doubles on Friday, and the Netherlands gained more medals with Ireen Wust's second place win in women's 1000m speed skating, as well as Margot Boer's third place win in the event. China's Hong Zhang took the gold in the event, earning her country its second gold medal at Sochi.
The Swiss also picked up another gold medal Friday with Dario Cologna's win in the cross country men's 15km classic.
On Thursday, Poland picked up its second gold medal with Justyna Kowalczyk's win in the women's 10-kilometer cross-country skiing. She won the gold with a time of 28:17.8. Sweden's Charlotte Kalla came in second with a time of 28:36.2, and Norway's Tharese Johaug earned the bronze with a time of 28:46.1.
China also picked up its first gold medal at Sochi on Thursday morning with a win in women's short track speed skating.