Miracle on ice: Russian Olympic Athletes scoop unexpected medal haul at 2018 Winter Games

Despite the harsh measures against Russia, which include banning many athletes from the Olympics, not to mention those in attendance forced to compete without their national flag and anthem, they have won 17 medals in total, and which is the 13th place in the overall country ranking. Let's take a look at the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) who have succeeded in South Korea.

Gold: Ice hockey. Men

Men ice hockey team from Russia

The triumph of Russia’s ice hockey team was extraordinary, especially given the fact that the best players weren’t able to play because they weren’t allowed to take off from their NHL season games. With a 4-3 win over Germany, this gold medal victory was the first Olympic final in 20 years for Russia’s “Red Machine,” which lost the gold medal game to the Czech Republic at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Gold: Figure skating. Women – Alina Zagitova

Alina Zagitova

The 15-year-old Alina Zagitova made her debut at the Olympics, conquering hearts across the globe with her brilliant routine in the women’s individual competition. Her performance in the long program earned a score of 239.57 points, putting her ahead of teammate and main competitor, Evgenia Medvedeva (238.26), as well as Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond (231.02). Alina also won silver in the team competition.

Silver: Figure skating. Women – Evgenia Medvedeva

Evgenia Medvedeva

Medvedeva’s astounding performance will be long remembered by both spectators and judges, but it wasn’t enough to beat her younger teammate, Zagitova. Earlier in these Olympic games, Medvedeva set world records in the women’s short program and won a silver medal in the team competition.

Silver: Figure skating. Team event

Figure skating team from Russia, L-R: Mikhail Kolyada, Evgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova, Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov, Natalya Zabiyako & Alexander Enbert, Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev

Despite the regrettable performance of Mikhail Kolyada, Russian figure skaters earned silver as a team. Evgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova, Evgenia Tarasova, Vladimir Morozov, Natalia Zabiiako, Alexander Enbert, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev were extraordinary on the ice. Evgenia Medvedeva even set a new world record, receiving a score of 81.06 in the short program.

Silver: Skeleton – Nikita Tregubov

Nikita Tregubov

While Nikita Tregubov finished 6th at his Olympic debut in Sochi 2014, in these current winter games the world championships medalist came second.

By the way, this is the third Winter Olympics in a row when Russian men won medals in skeleton.

Alexander Tretyakov took bronze at the 2010 Vancouver games, and gold at Sochi in 2014.

Silver: Cross-country skiing. Men's 4 x 10 km relay

L-R: Andrey Larkov, Alexander Bolshunov, Aleksey Chervotkin and Denis Spitsov

In cross-country skiing, OAR made Russian fans happy by achieving the impossible. Young skiers (born between 1989 to 1996) Aleksandr Bolshunov, Aleksey Chervotkin, Andrey Larkov and Denis Spitsov came second, only 10 seconds behind Norway.

Silver: Cross-country skiing. Men's team sprint – Alexander Bolshunov and Denis Spitsov

Alexander Bolshunov (R) and Denis Spitsov

These two skiers are the Games' heroes for Russia, earning a total of seven medals. But Norway came first in the men’s team sprint.

Silver: Cross-country skiing. Men's 50 kilometer classical – Alexander Bolshunov

Alexander Bolshunov

Russia’s fourth Olympic medal on the last day of competition – bronze in this race – was won by Andrey Larkov.

Bronze: Cross-country skiing. Men's sprint – Alexander Bolshunov

After earlier having received a silver medal in another category, 21-year-old Alexander Bolshunov accomplished another feat, taking home the bronze while losing the silver by just 0.2 seconds to Italian Federico Pellegrino.

Bronze: Cross-country skiing. Men's 15 km freestyle – Denis Spitsov

Denis Spitsov

At the same time, another 21-year-old, cross-country Russian skier, Denis Spitsov, earned his second Olympic medal in the 15 km freestyle race, again making Norway nervous.

Bronze: Cross-country skiing. Women's 4 × 5 km relay

L-R: Natalia Nepryaeva, Yulia Belorukova, Anastasia Sedova, Anna Nechaevskaya

Following the success of the men, young Russian lady skiers – Yulia Belorukova, Anna Nechaevskaya, Natalia Nepryaeva and Anastasia Sedova – managed to beat everyone except Norway and Sweden.

Bronze: Cross-country skiing. Women's sprint – Yulia Belorukova

Yulia Belorukova

Before getting her bronze in the team event, 23-year-old Russian beauty Yulia Belorukova won third place in the women’s sprint, only giving up first and second to the omnipotent skiing powers of Norway and Sweden. “This night I didn’t sleep alone; my bronze was with me,” Yulia wrote after the race on Instagram.

Bronze: Short track speed skating – Semion Elistratov

Semion Elistratov

While Sochi 2014 star Viktor Ahn wasn’t allowed to participate in these current Olympics, his teammate, Semion Elistratov, who took gold in Sochi for the 5,000 meters relay, now came third, losing by split seconds to South Korean and Dutch athletes.

Bronze: Speed skating – Natalya Voronina

Natalya Voronina

Sochi’s winner of two golds, Olga Graf, wasn’t invited to PyeongChang despite being confirmed doping free. So, there were not many hopes for Russian women in speed skating, but another surprise came in the form of 23-year-old Natalya Voronina who made her Olympic debut, coming third in the Women's 5,000-meter speed skating.

Bronze: Freestyle skiing (Aerials) – Ilya Burov

Ilya Burov

Three neighboring countries – Ukraine, Russia and Belarus – made their fans stare at the TV with fingers crossed as they fought in the freestyle final for a medal, and there were even two athletes from Russia. Unfortunately, Pavel Krotov fell on his final trick, letting Chinese Jia Zongyang to go ahead. So the Ukrainian athlete was unquestionably first and Russian Ilya Burov took the bronze.

Bronze: Freestyle skiing (Ski cross) – Sergey Ridzik

Sergey Ridzik

The 25-year-old Ridzik only recently began skiing freestyle, and already in 2015 he was twice a World Cup medalist. Shortly before the Olympics, he was seriously injured, displacing two vertebras, but he managed to recover for the Games.

Bronze: Cross-country skiing. Men's 50 kilometer classical – Andrey Larkov

Andrey Larkov

Russian skiers won two medals in this competition – Alexander Bolshunov took silver, while Andrey Larkov earned the bronze.

Bronze lost: Curling Mixed doubles – Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy

Alexander Krushelnitskiy and Anastasia Bryzgalova

This was the first time when curling mixed doubles was included in the Olympic program, and Russian married couple Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy managed to win a bronze. Anastasia also conquered the Western media, who admired her beauty and were comparing her with Angelina Jolie.

But soon after the bronze medal was on Alexander Krushelnitskiy’s neck, officials claimed that meldonium was found in his doping test. The medals were handed back and given to Norway. The official speaker for Russia’s Olympic team, Konstantin Vybornov, said it’s impossible to believe that Alexander deliberately took the banned substance.

A range of Russian athletes, including Maria Sharapova, had doping problems in the past because of meldonium.

The Olympics are over so it's time to start preparing for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Here's our guide to the host cities so you can make the most out of your trip to Russia.

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

Read more

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies