The Olympics might only last for a couple of weeks, but they provide us with a ton of awe-inspiring moments.
The games illustrate the triumph of the human spirit and athletes at their physical peak and the top of their proverbial game.
From the opening and closing ceremonies to everything in between, it was all captured by photographers. Below are just a mere 10 photographs that illustrate the beauty, intensity and humor that comes with every Olympics.
1. Despite a malfunctioning Olympic ring (that failed to light up like the rest of its cohorts), the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics was spectacular.
2. You either loved the USA’s opening ceremony uniforms or you hated them. Ralph Lauren designed the outfits that teeter between awesome kitsch or too tacky for their own good.
3. After the opening ceremony came the men's snowboarding slopestyle final. Here we see Japanese contender Yuki Kadono catching some serious air. Although he didn’t place, he sure did have an awesome view.
4. Sharp metal blades are no joke. Italian Nicole Della Monica’s beautiful face came dangerously close to partner Matteo Guarise’s skate, not to mention ice.
5. If you look at this photograph too long, you might get dizzy. While the crowd in this image is blurry, we can see the Polish four-man bobsled team perfectly clear. For a photographer to capture this, the shutter speed must have been set very high.
6. United States skier Mikaela Shiffrin tore through the snow as she zoomed past a gate in the women's alpine skiing slalom. She was awarded the gold for this performance.
7. Perhaps one of the most infamous part of the games was figure skater Ashley Wagner’s angry face as she received low marks from the judges. Whether you followed the Olympics or not, this image was plastered all over the Internet, which declared her as the next McKayla Maroney.
8. We don’t often see the ice rink from a goalie’s perspective. In this shot, Canada is about to score a goal against Sweden in the hockey finals. They would later beat the Swedes 3-0.
9. Italy's Patrick Thaler suffered a crash during the men's slalom competition. Of course, the only place to land is snow.
10. From the beginning, the mascot for the Sochi Winter Games, dubbed by spectators as Nightmare Bear, was made fun of for looking, well, frightening. He made a final appearance at the closing ceremony, where a single tear rolled down his cheek as he glided on ice skates. Over the top? A bit. Did the Internet love to hate it? Yes.
These photos go for the gold!
So what was your favorite part of this year’s Winter Olympic Games?