I have never really been too enthusiastic about the Olympic winter games. I like the ice skating, but never really understood why someone would want to race down a snowy mountain at the speed of light or hurl themselves off a ramp to tumble through the air at dangerous heights. It has always seemed more like daredevil stuff more than sport to me, but these 2010 games have had my attention like no other. The only explanation I can come up with for the controversy, drama and excitement is Canada, so I blame them. Here are some of my personal favorite highlights, some whacky, some awesome.
· I didn’t get the chain link fence blocking access to the Olympic cauldron. I don’t think many Canadians got it either. There was a lot of disappointment expressed over it, but the VANOC wouldn’t budge on safety and security. There was also that little mechanical snafu at the opening ceremony.
· Not enough snow! I never would have imagined that Vancouver, BC, Canada would have a snow shortage in February, but it happened. I would have gladly collected and delivered the excess we had here in Washington to them.
· Canada’s high hopes to "Own the Podium". The tally is telling. The US might be renting the podium at Vancouver. It turns out Canada spent $110 million on campaigning for taking 35 medals at these games. Fiasco.
· USA Curling disaster—neither the men nor women medaled, prompting the US Curling Association to overhaul their team selection process.
· USA beating Canada in men’s hockey. Awesome for US, pretty friggin embarrassing for Canada. Apparently, Canada hasn’t lost to the US in decades. We actually import our talent from them.
· Men's figure skating drama. As if the costumes weren’t bad enough, we actually had a Russian vs. American diva-off. Plushenko says his quad jump alone deserved the gold, but, Evan Lysacek won it. Maybe he should wear more sequins next games.
· USA men's Nordic combined history-making. This is seriously cool. Until these games, no American had ever won an Olympic gold in any Nordic sport. Now, we have a gold and 3 silvers. Demong and Spillane gave us quite a show!
· Bode Miller’s redemption. Turin was a disappointment, but Bode has risen to glory in Vancouver. Men’s super combined: GOLD! Men’s super G: SILVER! Men’s downhill: BRONZE! And, I think we’re still counting…
· US women's alpine debacle. Julia Mancuso wants and deserves some of Lindsey Vonn’s spotlight. The rivalry got heated this week when Vonn crashed on the giant slalom track and interrupted defending champion, Mancuso’s, run. It was pretty terrible, but the mudslinging afterwards was unwarranted on Julia’s part. I’m sure Lindsey Vonn would have preferred not to crash and break her pinky finger.
· Apollo Ohno (or shall I say Oh-YEAH!) has become most decorated American winter Olympian ever. “I’ve always, in the back of my head, wanted to be known as one of the greatest short-track speed-skaters of all time,” said Ohno. I guess, he will be with 7 total medals. GOLD: 2. SILVER: 2. BRONZE: 3. And counting…
· Shani Davis repeats Gold and Silver performance from Turin. And that’s pretty sick. He missed the call from then Senator Obama. I’m thinking a repeat deserves a Presidential shout out.
What am I missing? Share your highlights.