These Olympians showed serious spark in Sochi, whether they won a medal or just America’s collective heart. From slope superstars to ice standouts, check out the bright future of U.S. winter athletics.
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22: U.S. Olympian Mikaela Shiffrin visits the USA House in the Olympic Village on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC) In her Olympic debut, 24-year-old Kaityln Farrington won the gold medal in the women's half-pipe competition. Will she defend her title at the Pyeongchang Games in 2018? (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) With a goofy grin and a viral catchphrase ( “Spoice!”), Sage Kotsenburg was arguably the breakout star of the Winter Games. The 20-year-old Park City, Utah dweller became the first Olympian to win the gold medal in snowboarding slopestyle. His plans post-Sochi? “I really can’t wait to just get home and go snowboarding again.” (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Erin Hamlin became the first American to medal in the luge event, breaking 50 years of bad luck for the U.S. on Olympic courses. The 27-year-old happily took home the bronze — and might return for more in the South Korea Games. Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) Figure skater Polina Edmunds didn’t medal, but the 15-year-old from San Jose, Calif. showed spunk and promise on the ice. "I can only get stronger from here," she told her local newspaper. "The judges will only know me more." Edmunds was happy just to be there, snapping photos with her competition Yuna Kim of South Korea.(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT) Joss Christensen dominated the debut of the skiing slopestyle event in Sochi, scoring the gold as his teammates, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper, respectively won the silver and bronze. The 22-year-old Park City, Utah native may already be looking forward to his next chance to compete: “Can't believe the Olympics are almost over :( !” he tweeted. “That went by really fast.” (Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Devin Logan earned the silver medal in the inaugural women’s ski slopestyle event in Sochi. And to think, the 20-year-old Vermont native had recently recovered from a knee injury. Just imagine what she could do at the 2018 Games…(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)