The 2010 Vancouver Winter Games is finally coming to a close after two weeks of world-class competition. Despite the shaky start with the protests and the unfortunate death of the Georgian luger, plus the persistent weather problems (it was more like the Spring Olympics), it’s been a good Olympics games. Canada has done a good job as a host and also in the games. We didn’t exactly “own the podium” as the Americans and Germans have more medals in total, but Canada did win more gold medals than any other country this time. Canada’s 14 gold medals set the record for most gold medals won during a single Winter Olympics by any country. The total haul of 26 medals is also Canada’s best showing at any Olympics, summer or winter. Canada really came on strong during the last few days, capping it all off with a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over the USA in men’s hockey. Congratulations Canada!
Here are some of my other thoughts related to the 2010 Winter Games:
– The men’s hockey final was a great game. Canada got off to a 2-0 lead, but gotta gives props to the Americans for coming back and tying the game with 24 seconds to go. Sidney Crosby, who hasn’t done jack squat in the last couple of games, suddenly comes out nowhere and scores the OT winner. Talk about a dramatic game. Canadians will probably be talking about this game for a long time to come. After the win, people went out to celebrate where I lived, and I’m pretty sure it’s like this in many other parts of Canada. People honked their horns and were out waving Canadian flags. It was quite the moment.
– Even though the men’s hockey final was great, as a whole the most entertaining (and controversial) sport during the games was short-track speed-skating. This sport is like restrained roller-derby on ice. It was controversial from the get-go with the first men’s event where the three Korean skaters team-skated (against the rules supposedly) to the front but two of them fell down in the last turn, handing the silver and bronze to two Americans. Of course, there was the disqualification of the Korean women relay team in the finals, and the wild finish at men’s 500m where Canada somehow picked up two medals. I’ve watched speed-skating from previous Winter Games before, but I never knew it was this wild. Highly entertaining.
– Figure skating was pretty good to watch except for ice dancing, which was boring by comparison. They should really cut the compulsory dance from ice dancing. Pairs figure skating was great since China (my homeland) won the gold and silver because the two Chinese pairs were the only ones who didn’t go splat during the free skate. For men’s figure skating, Plushenko would have won if he jumped two quads, but he was a bit off during his free program. In women’s, Kim Yu-Na was untouchable and rightfully so. Joannie Rochette, despite her personal tragedy, put on two courageous performances to capture the bronze, although in the free program I think Mirai Nagasu should have gotten more points than Rochette.
– Most of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events were pretty good. The snowboard and ski cross events in particular were pretty fun to watch, and Canada picked up a few medals from these events. Canada also won its first gold medal on home soil in the moguls which falls under free-style skiing. Overall, Canada has done pretty well over at Cypress despite the rain and fog and snow problems.
– On the other hand, Canada was completely shut out from alpine skiing which is pretty disappointing, especially given how Canadian skiers would have had more time on the course. Alpine skiing wasn’t bad to watch, especially with the number of spectacular wipe-outs on the Whistler course (yes, I realize watching skiing just for crashes is not very nice). Good thing nobody was really serious injured from the crashes. The downhill and super-G are probably the most entertaining events, since they were the fastest and most dangerous.
– As for the rest of the sports, long-track speed-skating was alright, although definitely not in the same leagues as short-track. Ski-jumping, cross-country skiing, biathlon, and sliding sports were not very exciting so I didn’t watch much of those. I did watch a bit of curling though. Kevin Martin’s rink played consistently and won the gold without too much drama. On the other hand, Cheryl Benard had the gold won but lost it on a really terrible shot, letting Sweden score 2 in the 10th end.
That my thought on the 2010 Winter Games. Despite living near Vancouver, I didn’t actually go to any of the events or even any of the celebration sites. I wanted to, but I had lots of homework to do during the Olympic break, and I’m not a fan of crowds either. There goes that once-in-a-lifetime experience. I did support the Games in spirit though . Maybe I’ll go buy a pair of those red mittens . Now that the Olympics are over, it’s time for me to go back to school.