5 winter sports the US just isn’t very good at

There’s no denying that when it comes to the Olympics, the U.S. is just plain good.

U.S. athletes have won 2,400 medals at Summer Olympic Games, the most of any country.

They’ve won 253 at Winter Olympic Games, behind only Norway. Overall, no country wins more often than the United States, and no country has won more gold.

That doesn’t mean the U.S. dominates in every area, though. Here are five winter sports the country doesn’t tend to fare very well in — although that could change this year.


There have been 117 Olympic medals awarded in Luge to date … and the U.S. has won four of them.

Two of those were silver; the other two were bronze.

Of the 13 times luge has been an Olympic event, Germany has led the medal count 12 times. The country has 70 of the 117 medals for luge. Odds are, this isn’t going to be America’s breakthrough year.

Nordic combined

The Nordic combined events have been a part of the Winter Olympics since 1924, but the U.S. has only won four medals: three silver and a gold.

Of course, the U.S. Nordic combined team is set to rapidly climb in the rankings after a historic performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: All four of the U.S.’ medals were won that year, paving the way for the country to become a real competitor in the sport.

Additionally, Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick, the first American to compete in six Winter Games, will carry the U.S. flag in Friday’s opening ceremony.

Unsurprisingly, Norway has historically dominated the medal count, with 26 of the overall 93 medals that have been awarded.

Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing has been a part of the Winter Olympics since they were first held in 1924, but that hasn’t stopped the U.S. from failing to medal nearly every time.

The U.S. has medaled in the event once: Bill Koch snagged the silver at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics. Despite the lack of success historically, though, keep an eye on this year’s team; they’re expected to be able to compete.

Norway also leads the cross-country skiing rankings, with 96 of the total 421 medals.

Ski jumping

Of the 123 medals that have been awarded in ski jumping at the Winter Olympics, the U.S. can lay claim to a single bronze.

That medal was won by Norwegian-born Anders Haugen at the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

To add insult to injury, the U.S. is one of only four countries that have competed in ski jumping in every Winter Olympics. The country is tied with Slovenia for the least amount of Olympic ski jumping wins, and the Sochi Olympics are only Slovenia’s sixth time competing in the event.

Finland leads the overall medal count with 22 medals; 10 of those were gold.


Curling has only been included in five Olympic Games: the 1924 Winter Olympics and then every Winter Olympics since 1998. The U.S. has competed in curling in every Olympics since ‘98, with its only medal being a bronze in 2006. The U.S. women’s team has never placed.

To the surprise of no one, Canada leads the overall medal standings with eight of the 27 medals that have been awarded, including three golds, the most of any country.

Contact Stephanie Grimes at sgrimes@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @steph_grimes