Just as we expected, the Russian goal of 40 medals seems pretty unattainable. At this point, the national team is juuuuust a little short — they've got four medals. That's good for 10th in the medal standings, but it's not good enough for the Russian government, who have said that the team's performance so far has brought "bitterness and insult" to the country. Yikes.
Officials went on to say that a failure to finish in the top four in total medals would "absolutely be a failure." Furthermore, the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party is calling for the resignations of Russian Olympic Committee president Leonid Tyagachyov and sports, tourism and youth politics minister Vitaly Mutko. Double, no triple, yikes.
Considering their pre-Olympic goal of 40 medals was completely ludicrous, this is clearly an overreaction. But the government is trying to play it cool. They won't make a decision until the Olympics are over, and they'll let Tyagachyov and Mutko make statements defending themselves before "any parliamentary faction will be able ... to express its concern." I assume the pause was punctuated by a sinister touching of fingertips.
In the face of this criticism, Tyagachyov is trying his best. He said that the photo finish between Russian cross-country skiers Alexander Panzhinsky and Nikita Kryukov counts as two golds. Good luck selling that to the typically understanding Russian government.
There's an old saying: "Never count way too many medals before they hatch." Seems applicable, doesn't it?