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Erin Hamlin became the first American woman and the first U.S. singles luger to win an Olympic medal as she earned a bronze.

“It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least,” said Pikus-Pace, who brought her young children to the Olympics and was one of three mothers on the U.S. Olympic Team in Sochi. “You plan your whole life for one moment and it comes and goes and now it’s just a memory. Crossing that finish line and having that experience was more than I ever could have imagined. It surpassed my expectations, and I didn’t think that was possible.”

Although the overall medal count might not be as high as it was four years ago, the U.S. Olympic Committee said it was pleased that the team’s performance in Sochi marked the highest number of total medals in a Winter Games outside of North America. In Turin in 2006, the United States left with 25 medals.

One statistic that the USOC could not confirm was how many athletes would be bringing home stray dogs they found in Sochi. Photos of Kenworthy with several puppies went viral, and hockey’s David Backes and other Olympians might bring pups back to the States.

Kenworthy might not have won the gold, but he plans to bring home perhaps a bigger prize — four pooches. No amount of preparation could have readied him for that when he entered the Winter Games in Sochi.