The 11 Most Memorable Stories From the Winter Olympics

The moments from Sochi, Russia, that made us cheer, laugh and cry

Photo: Courtesy Gus Kenworthy

We knew the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, were going to be a mixed bag when we watched the opening ceremony and saw dazzling displays alongside some unfortunate mishaps.

Here are the stories that made us tear up, smile, and sometimes yell at the TV in frustration.

Sochi Strays Find a New Home
Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis may not have won gold, but she still scored a pretty special souvenir – one of Sochi’s stray dogs. And she’s not the only animal-loving athlete to bring home a something warm and furry. Silver medalist freeskier Gus Kenworthy Tweeted his plans to fly a mama dog and her four pups back to the U.S. “They are the cutest thing ever,” he said.

T.J. Oshie Is a One-Man Miracle on Ice
The 27-year-old from Washington state scored four goals in Team USA’s dramatic victory over Russia. Team USA’s men weren’t the only ones in fine form – the women’s hockey team took home silver, losing to Canada in overtime.

Bode Miller Breaks Down After Taking Bronze
The Alpine ski racer was emotional after the men’s Super-G, but when NBC’s Christin Cooper asked him about his brother, Chelone, who died last year, the floodgates opened, and the 36-year-old broke down and walked away from the interview. But he later defended Cooper on Twitter.

Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are Perfect Together
If there was a gold medal for fierce fashion these former Olympians, best friends and ice skating commentators would win it hands down for their color coordination Accessorizing (with headpieces!) And overall adorableness.

PHOTOS: 10 Breathtaking Photos from the Closing Ceremony

Charlie White and Meryl Davis Win Gold
The pair, who’ve been skating together for 17 years, became the first U.S. team to win gold in ice dancing. “Charlie and I grew up together,” Davis, 27, told PEOPLE. “The togetherness and trust that we have in each other and the way we’ve handled these last two weeks has been incredibly special.” Sadly, our hopes for a medal in women’s figure skating were dashed after some shocking twists.

Evgeni Plushenko Pulls Out of Figure Skating Competition and Then Retires
It wasn’t just Russians who were devastated when the four-time Olympic medalist withdrew from the competition with a back injury. Almost half of the audience in the Iceberg Skating Palace cleared out when the news was announced.

Bob Costas Catches the Red EyeThe sports anchor, an Olympic institution who’s hosted broadcasts for 16 years, was forced to stay in his darkened hotel room for a few days while battling a nasty-looking eye infection that spawned its own Twitter account.

Big Names Miss Out on Medals
We were sad when Lindsey Vonn and Evan Lysacek announced that they weren’t going to Sochi. “It’s okay,” we thought. “We still have Shaun White and Shani Davis.” But then this happened. Followed by Suitgate. Here’s to 2018, guys.

Journalists arriving were quick to Tweet about the conditions they faced upon arriving in Sochi – no water, broken toilets and unfinished hotel rooms.

But they weren’t the only ones having problems. This is what happened when bobsledder Johnny Quinn found himself stuck in a bathroom.

Luger Kate Hansen Has All the Right Moves
Some athletes are superstitious about what they wear when they compete, others have a ritual about what they eat, this 21-year-old has a special warm-up routine – and it involves Beyoncé. “My girl, B – she just gets me fierce,” Hansen explained. “I have good mojo going on, so it’s just how I roll.” And she did it with a broken foot!

Dating, Olympic Athletes-Style
Not all of the action happened while athletes were competing – Russian snowboarder Alexey Sobolev got thousands of texts – and some graphic pictures – after putting his cell phone number on his helmet, snowboarding gold medalist Jamie Anderson admitted that she used Tinder, and New Zealand snowboarder Rebecca Torr used the same app to meet the Jamaican bobsled team.

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