Wrapping up our 2018 Winter Games coverage in PyeongChang, here are our top 10 athletes pick. Before that here’s the final medal table. Norway topped the list with 14 golds, followed by Germany, also with 14 golds, and Canada with 11 golds.
Top 10: The Russian Men’s Ice Hockey Team (Russia)
The OAR team have won Russia’s first gold medal in ice hockey since 1992 in Albertville after beating Germany 4-3 in sudden-death overtime. This means Germany have won their first-ever silver medal in Olympic ice hockey.
Top 9: Dario Cologna (Switzerland)
Switzerland’s Dario Cologna crushed the field in the men’s 15km freestyle race to take his third successive Olympic title over the distance, winning gold in a time of 33:43.9 minutes at the Alpensia Sports Park on Friday.
Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger finished 18.3 seconds behind the Swiss, with Denis Spitsov, representing Olympic Athletes from Russia, in third another 4.7 seconds further back.
Top 8: Gus Kenworthy (United States)
Gus Kenworthy finally got to see the playback of his pre-ski kiss with boyfriend Matthew Wilkas which was televised by NBC and made national headlines.
Tweeted Kenworthy: “Didn’t realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I’m so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN! Love is love is love.”
Top 7: Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (Norway)
The men’s individual sprint Tuesday came down to a photo finish … for the silver medal.
Because the gold medalist, yeah, that really wasn’t in question.
Norwegian skier Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, 21, led the individual sprint finals from its start to its finish to become the youngest male Olympic cross-country skiing gold medalist in history at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Top 6: Alina Zagitova (Russia)
Technically, Russia did not win its first gold medal at these Winter Olympics on Friday.
Strictly speaking, Alina Zagitova, the 15-year-old victor in women’s figure skating, competed as a neutral “Olympic Athlete From Russia.” At a medal ceremony later Friday, she watched the five-ringed Olympic flag being raised instead of the Russian flag and heard the Olympic hymn played instead of the Russian anthem.
Top 5: Ivett Toth (Hungary)
Ivett Toth sure knows how to stand out in a crowded field of female figure skaters for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Her solution: bring out the AC/DC. During the women’s figure skating short programs on Tuesday night in PyeongChang, Hungary’s Toth surprised crowds — both at the rink and around the world — with her unorthodox choice of music. And to many, she’s become an instant rock hero. Toth may be just 19, but there’s no doubt her clear love for the classic rock band transcends generational taste.
Top 4: Andreas Wellinger (Germany)
The cold was biting. The wind was brutal. And for Andreas Wellinger, it added up to Olympic gold.
The 22-year-old German won the men’s normal hill title Saturday at the Pyeongchang Games despite the frigid temperatures and whipping wind at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center. He nailed a jump of 113.5 meters to secure the gold with 259.3 points.
Top 3: Chloe Kim (United States)
It’s hard to imagine a news cycle without snowboarder Chloe Kim, but a mere three weeks ago, the breakout star was completely unknown to American audiences.
According to data conducted exclusively for Variety by Hub Research, athlete awareness surged through the Winter Olympics, resulting in a huge increase in awareness for many of the Olympians competing in the 2018 games, most notably Kim, who saw drastic increases in audience awareness.
Top 2: Chris Mazdzer (United States)
American Chris Mazdzer captured the first luge medal of any kind in U.S. history on Sunday, but he’s also been consistently charming people online, where a significant number of new winter sports fans have developed what is called an internet crush.
It’s not easy to find an Olympic event that the U.S. hasn’t medaled in, but all thanks to Mazdzer’s quick moves in Sunday’s men’s singles luge event, there’s one less. He finished just behind the gold medal winner, Austria’s David Gleirscher with a final 3:10.728 time, marking the first time America got itself a luge medal since the sport was introduced in 1964.
Top 1: Johannes Rydzek (Germany)
From fifth to first, Johannes Rydzek got his gold.
The 26-year-old Rydzek led a German sweep of the Olympic podium on Tuesday in Nordic combined, finishing ahead of teammates Fabien Riessle and normal hill champion Eric Frenzel.
Rydzek was in fifth place after the ski jump portion of the event, but he erased a 31-second deficit in the 10-kilometer cross-country race and took the lead on the last lap to win the large hill gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games.
“It was an incredible moment, the last couple of meters,” Rydzek said. “I knew I was accompanied by two very strong racers who would push me to the last and it was a great day for German athletes.”