12 events the United States has never won at the Olympics

7:46 AM, Feb 18, 2014   |    comments
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(USATODAY.com) - On Monday in Sochi, Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the first-ever Olympic ice dancing gold medal for the United States. That leaves 11 major Olympic sports and events in which Team USA has never brought home a gold. (The event has to have been on the past five Olympic program.) For The Win lists those 11 sports and ranks them based on which will be the hardest to win.

12. Luge

Germany still rules the luge, but recent success in the men's two-man event and a bronze medal for Erin Hamlin in Sochi shows the United States is closer than ever to breaking its drought.

11. Modern Pentathlon

Margaux Isaksen finished fourth in the womens' competition in London. A gold isn't likely anytime soon, but the foundation is strong.

10. Rhythmic gymnastics

No American has threatened to medal in years and why not? U.S. athletes are good at gymnastics and dancing, so why not a combination of both?

9. Pairs figure skating

Surprised? Not when you remember that Russian (or Soviet or Unified Team) pairs won at every Olympics from 1964 through 2006.

8. Curling

There's no reason American curlers shouldn't be competing with Canada and Norway for Olympic golds. We're far, far behind in the pants game, however.

7. Ski jumping

The United States has one Olympic medal in ski jumping and that came all the way back in the first Olympics in 1924. Oddly, it took 50 years from Anders Haugen to get that medal. A Norwegian historian discovered a scoring error in 1974 that elevated Haugen to the bronze, displacing a Norwegian legend who had been dead for 40 years. At 86, Haugen received his medal in a special ceremony in Oslo.

6. Field hockey

The American women are 2-5-3 in group pool during the past two Olympics, which hardly sound promising. Still, it feels like a team going on an unexpected run through a tournament is more likely than an individual stunning the rest of the field in the remaining five events.

5. Biathlon

American Lowell Bailey finished 8th out of 88 competitors in the men's individual 20km. On the women's side, Susan Dunklee had a three top-20 finishes in Sochi. Impressive, but a long way from gold, especially in the only Winter Olympic event in which the U.S. has never medaled.

4. Cross-country skiing

In 1976, Bill Koch won silver in the now-defunct 30km race. It was the first and last Olympic medal in cross country for the United States.

3. Badminton

Upon first glance at a badminton medal list represented by national flags, it looked as if the U.S. had done historically well in the sport. Upon closer look, it was just that the Malaysian flag looks a lot like ours.

2. Table Tennis

Of the 28 gold medals awarded in Olympic table tennis, China owns 24. The United States has never medaled.

1. Handball

It's especially hard to win a medal when you don't even field a team. The United States hasn't sent a handball team to the Olympics since automatically qualifying as the host nation in 1996.

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