After Russia swept the podium for men’s 50km cross-country skiing Saturday morning, it was clear the host country won the most Sochi hardware with 33 total medals. That’s five ahead of the United States.
The Russians struck the most gold this Winter Games, too: Olympians with home advantage collected 12 top prizes. Norway finished close behind with 11.
After the corruption allegations, the discrimination against gays, the half-finished hotels, the hunted stray dogs, the biggest spending ever — is this the history leader Vladimir Putin sought to make?
Among Russia’s Olympic stand-outs:
*Adelina Sotnikova, 17, not seen as a medal contender heading into competition, won the gold medal in women's singles figure skating. She beat heavily favored 2010 gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea, who won silver, and Carolina Kostner of Italy, who took home the bronze.
* World champions Tatiana Andreyеvna Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov won the gold in pairs free skating. Russia also scored gold in the team event, thanks largely to a stunning performance by 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia.
* American-born Vic Wild won two gold medals in snowboarding events for Team Russia. The 27-year-old White Salmon, Wash. native said there isn't much American funding for, say, snowboard parallel slalom specialists. (The cash, he claims, follows more popular X Games events like the halfpipe.) So, after marrying his wife, Russian snowboarder Alena Zavarzina, Wild decided to explore more lucrative pastures in Moscow.
* Viktor Ahn, a native South Korean-turned-Russian citizen, led the country to two gold medals in men’s short track speedskating.
*Alexander Tretiakov, known as the Russian Rocket, won gold in men’s skeleton.
Related Winter Olympics coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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