Sochi Day 10: Americans Make History in Ice Dancing, Bobsled

Day 10 at the Sochi Games saw America's first ice dance gold, and a historic bobsled win

America broke out of a couple of historic ruts on Monday in Sochi. 

The first came in the two-man bobsled.

The second was in ice dance.

American women's hockey also had a historic day, ensuring it would once again win an Olympic medal.

Here's a look at some of those highlights from day 10, and others.

Americans make ice dance history …

Perhaps no other American athletes shouldered more of the country’s medal hopes than ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Anything short of gold for the world champions would have been considered a defeat.

They didn’t stumble in their portion of the team figure skating competition, in which the U.S. won bronze, and dominated their individual event.

Then, on Monday, Davis and White, who have skated with each other since they were kids, outscored their closest rivals and friends, defending gold medalists Tess Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. Their 195.52 was a record for international competitions.

… and bobsled history, too

Steven Holcomb and Steve Langdon rode their two-man bobsled to a third place finish on Monday, becoming the first Americans to win a medal in that event since 1952.

The finish gave the U.S. its fourth medal in sliding events (bobsled, luge and skeleton) in Sochi, a significant improvement from the combined three medals won by Americans in the prior two Winter Games.

Holcomb was part of a history-making four-man team that ended a 62-year American drought in Vancouver four years ago.

He’ll have a shot at a second gold in that event this weekend.

Skating’s next showdown

The Olympic’s signature figure skating competition, women’s singles, is shaping up to be a star-studded event that will feature several gold medal contenders.

On Monday, the skating order for the opening short program was announced.

Defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea, viewed by many as the favorite in Sochi, will skate 17th in a field of 30 on Wednesday.

Her closest rivals, Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia and Mao Asada of Japan, will skate 25th and 30th, respectively. Another top contender, Carolina Kostner of Italy, will skate 26th.

Gracie Gold, the top American, will skate 22nd, while her teammate Ashley Wagner will follow in the 27th slot. A third American, Polina Edmunds, will skate 12th.

While Kim is considered the top skater in the world, winning the 2013 world championships after a lengthy absence, Lipnitskaia has already made a mark at the Olympics.

The 15-year-old delivered a pair of spellbinding performances that led the Russians to gold in the team figure skating competition. In the short program she beat Kostner and Asada, who did not compete in the long program. Gold finished second to Lipnitskaia in the long program.

A guaranteed medal for U.S. hockey

The American women hockey team earned a berth in the gold medal game against its perennial rival, Canada.

The showdown comes as a result of the U.S.’s dominant 6-1 semifinal win against Sweden on Monday.

No matter the result of Thursday’s championship game, the U.S. will have made history. They’ve won medals in every Winter Olympics since women’s hockey was added in 1998. Only once have they failed to reach the gold-medal game.

But winning gold is another story entirely. The Americans haven’t beaten Canada at the Olympics since the sport's debut in Nagano.

Russians take first

The U.S.’s two medals — one gold, one bronze — on Monday allowed it to remain in second place in the medal race.

But Russia did the same, and passed the Americans to take first place by a narrow margin.

Both countries have 18 total medals, and five golds, but the Russians have more silvers.

The Netherlands, which had been in the lead, was shutout on Monday, and fell to third.

With reporting by the Associated Press

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