Sunday, February 28, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Vancouver Closing Ceremonies: Pros and Cons of the 2010 Winter Olympics

The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games are hosting their Closing Ceremonies as we take a look back at some of the pros and cons of the Games.

The events started off with tragedy as Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died within hours of the Opening Ceremonies.  The weather did not cooperate and the events were filled with peaks and valleys.

Canada finally won a Gold Medal when hosting the Olympics and led the crowd with 14.

The once dominant Russian teams, however, barely failed to show up on the charts finishing in 6th place with only 15 medals (3 gold).  This is a far cry from the athletic machine of the 80's and 90's and not exactly a positive note heading into the 2014 Sochi Winter Games hosted in southern Russia.  Russia failed to medal in hockey for the first time in over 4 decades.

The following AP report takes an in-depth look at the highs and lows of the 2010 Vancouver Games.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — These Olympics will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

For every golden moment, there was a glitch. Opening day of an electrifying hockey tournament in Vancouver was also the day 20,000 tickets had to be canceled for Cypress Mountain.

Even the games' emotional high point — a figure-skating bronze for Canada's Joannie Rochette, whose mother had died four days earlier — was tinged with sorrow.

And it all began, of course, with the worst news imaginable.

Son of a Soviet-era slider, pride of a spruce-nestled ski town half a world away, member of an almost laughably small Olympic delegation, Nodar Kumaritashvili shot down the luge track at nearly 90 mph.  (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Canada outlasts U.S. for hockey gold

In the end, Team Canada's Sidney Crosby was able to outlast Team USA's Ryan Miller. A tough Gold Medal game had to go into overtime before Crosby was able to slip one past the fantastic Miller. 

The men's hockey game was one of the final events before the closing ceremonies Saturday night when Vancouver closes out its Games and hands the torch to Sochi, Russia.

The Games started out a tad slow for Canada but in the end they were able to lead all nations in Gold Medals (not total Medals) with 14.  USA led total Medals with 37.
Canadian men’s hockey has a golden Olympic shimmer once again.

The Canadian national team hung on for a stressful 3-2 victory in overtime to give the country a second Olympic gold medal to celebrate in eight years.

Sidney Crosby provided the heroics Sunday, seven minutes and 40 seconds into the extra period. He capped off a give-and-go with Jarome Iginla for the winner.

This time around, it obviously wasn’t as easy as when Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Co. stormed to a 5-2 victory in Salt Lake City. But winning at home at Canada Hockey Place was more satisfying and ignited one heck of a party nationwide.

The hockey win also gave Canada an Olympic-record 14 gold medals by a country in a single Winter Games.  (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Billy Demong to Carry U.S.A. Flag For 2010 Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremonies

[via] The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced that Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) has been selected as U.S.A. flag bearer for tonight's 2010 Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremony. Demong was selected for this honor by his fellow members of Team USA.

"Being chosen as flag bearer is a phenomenal honor," Demong said. "It could have been any one of my teammates, and it is meaningful that our peers are taking notice of what we've achieved."

He made history on Thursday by winning the USA's first-ever Nordic Combined gold medal in the Individual Large Hill/10 km Cross Country competition with a time of 25:32.9, four seconds ahead of teammate Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO). Demong's celebration continued Thursday night when he proposed to girlfriend Katie Koczynski.  (...continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Fake Ryan Miller Guarantees Gold on MSNBC, Real One Just Wants to Play

Team USA will play Team Canada today for the rights to the Gold Medal.  Many Canadians take for granted that their home team will bring home the Gold as does Team USA's goalie, Ryan Miller, who all but guaranteed a win tonight.

OK, he didn't really do that but someone pretending to be Miller did on MSNBC. Apparently, the channel has hired Dan Rather's team of fact checkers to screen calls.  Funny stuff. Here's the interview followed by the apology for MSNBC realizing they were victims of a prank.

The real Ryan Miller comes on the air to point out that MSNBC is a bunch of screwballs. [via Sporting News]

PostHeaderIcon Joannie Rochette to carry the flag for Canada in Closing Ceremonies

[via Edmonton Journal]

VANCOUVER — Joannie Rochette won the hearts of Canadians with her emotional skate Thursday to win the bronze medal just days after her mother died. Sunday she was chosen as Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony.

Rochette, of Ile Dupas, Que., decided to compete in the Games to honour her mother Therese, who died Feb. 21 of a heart attack. She placed third after the short program and maintained that position after the free skate.

“I could not be here without my teammates and all the support I got,” Rochette said at a media conference Sunday. (....continue reading....)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Germany slides into pursuit gold medal

[via NBC Olympics]

VANCOUVER (AFP) -- Germany edged out Japan to win the Olympic Games women's speed skating team pursuit title on Saturday, but only after golden girl Anna Friesinger-Postma had crawled comically across the line in the semi-finals.

Racing against the US, the 33-year-old stumbled on the final lap before slipping headfirst along the Richmond Oval ice and then crawling across the final 25 metres to get over the line, just 0.23sec ahead of the Americans.

In the final, the Japanese team led the Germans for five laps as Stephanie Beckert, Daniela Anschutz Thomas and Katrin Mattscherodt trailed by more than a second.

But in the final 600 meters Germany turned up the heat and crossed the line in 3min 2.82sec to take gold by just 0.02sec.

The Japanese team of Masako Hozumi, Nao Kodaira and Maki Tabata took silver with Poland claiming bronze. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Anderson's comeback gives Canada PGS gold

[via NBC Olympics] WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson put the exclamation point on his incredible resume Saturday, winning Olympic gold to slap some sunshine on an otherwise miserable day for snowboarding.

The 34-year-old from Quebec, owner of seven World Cup championships, carved through the rain-sluiced, fogged-in course at Cypress Mountain to make up a .76-second deficit over Benjamin Karl of Austria, the top-ranked rider in the world.

"Shock," Anderson said when asked how he felt. "That's it."

He won the 12th gold medal of the Vancouver Games for Canada, which put the host in good position to win the gold-medal standings with only one day left.

And he won his first Olympic medal in four tries, adding it to his four world championship golds and a career that has done more than anyone's to spread the word of snowboarding across his wintry country.

"It's amazing the amount of energy I sucked out of people around me," Anderson said. "And it's amazing to be able to give something back." (....continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Canada wins gold in men's team pursuit

[via NBC Olympics] "I think I'll join the bowling tour," he joked to his young teammates. "Have y'all ever seen me bowl?"

Hedrick wanted to go out with gold Saturday, but didn't seem too upset about settling for silver in his farewell to speedskating, losing out to the Canadians by a mere 21-hundredths of a second in the final of team pursuit.

The 32-year-old Texan claimed his fifth medal _ in five different events, making him one of only four males in Olympic history to compile such a versatile resume.

"It's sort of bittersweet," Hedrick said. "I was reflecting on everything as I was out there after the race, just sitting down on the bench, looking around and soaking up the atmosphere. It's definitely been a great ride."

Nobody left a more lasting impression in a last Olympic race than Anni Friesinger-Postma. (...continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Bode Miller Misses Gate, DNF in Slalom

Team USA skier Bode Miller decided to compete in this year's Olympics and the effort has paid off. Unlike his 2006 fiasco, Bode was able to stay focused and came back from Vancouver with 3 medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). His event on Saturday, the slalom, resulted in Bode not finishing after he missed a gate.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Having already matched the most medals won by any country at any Winter Olympics, Americans went into the last two days of the Vancouver Games seeing how many more they can add.

The U.S. total is officially 34, although two more are locked up, guaranteed to be gold or silver. One of those was to be determined Saturday afternoon, when speedskater Chad Hedrick and the men's team pursuit squad raced against Canada.

The women were in the bronze-medal race in the same event, having lost a semifinal Saturday. If they can beat Poland for medal No. 37, that would break a tie between this U.S. delegation and the Germans at Salt Lake City in 2002.

If not, maybe Steve Holcomb and his "Night Train" can do it. They are strong favorites to win the four-man bobsled race after setting track records in both of their first two heats. The final two heats were later Saturday afternoon.

Bode Miller won't be adding anything beyond the gold, silver and bronze he's already won. He bailed out just a few gates into the slalom Saturday morning, a casualty of "grabby" snow that bedeviled a slew of skiers. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Canada Beats the Pants off Norway; Takes Gold in Curling

Oh, those Norwegian pants!

Team Canada and Norway faced off Saturday night for the Gold Medal in curling. Since the sport returned in 1998 Canada men's and women's team have always won a medal. The men going into tonight have 2 Silvers and 1 Gold from 2006.

Canada would have won the Gold Medal in 2002 if it were not for a slightly better team from Norway being able to win. The rematch tonight turned out different as Canada easily won the match 6-3. The home crowd even began singing "O' Canada" in the last frame which made Canada skipper Kevin Martin pause until the song finished.

Earlier in the day Sweden and Switzerland battled for the Bronze Medal with the Swiss winning 5-4.

Kevin Martin took the step Saturday that he's waited his whole, brilliant curling career to take — to the top of the Olympic podium.

The 43-year-old Edmontonian, who's spent eight years dealing with questions about his loss in the 2002 Olympic final, put those questions, finally, to rest at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, skipping Team Canada to a 6-3 victory over Norway's Thomas Ulsrud in the men's curling gold-medal game.

It was Canada's 25th medal of the Olympics, surpassing its Turin total of 24, and making it Canada's best-ever Winter Olympic performance.

Martin, third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert (the team is rounded out by alternate Adam Enright and coach Jules Owchar) also made Olympic history, becoming the first team since curling was reinstated as a medal sport in 1998 to go unbeaten through the tournament. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon USA delivers first gold in four-man bobsled since 1948

[via USA Today] WHISTLER — W.H. Auden wrote a poem called Night Train about a train crossing the border and delivering mail. Driving the bobsled nicknamed Night Train, USA-1 pilot Steven Holcomb crossed the border and delivered a long-awaited gift: a U.S. Olympic gold in four-man bobsled Saturday for the first time since 1948.

USA-1's performance — with Holcomb driving near perfect and Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz pushing the sled at the start — was poetry in high-speed motion.

Starting at 3,044 feet above sea level and dropping 472 vertical feet with speeds reaching 94 mph in less than minute on one of the fastest, most demanding and treacherous sliding tracks in the world, USA-1 was the best sled over the course of four heats in two days. (....continue reading.....)

PostHeaderIcon 8 Greatest Olympic Blunders

Sven Kramer lost the 10,000 meter speed skating race after his coach told him to change lanes at the wrong time. He would have easily won the event but was disqualified.

In light of the recent snafu in the men's 10,000 meters speed skating event, here's a list of eight of the greatest gaffes in Olympic history.

PostHeaderIcon Canada Women Celebrate Gold in Redneck Style

The Canadian women's hockey team won the Gold Medal by overpowering the United States on Thursday night. However, after the game the team appeared on the ice with cans of beer, cigars, and bubbly to celebrate. [see photos]

In my neck of the woods this is what rednecks do after a game of golf so it's a little odd to see an Olympic team doing this.

Thankfully, the crowd had gone away and the women were just having some fun. Turns out they didn't look out for the media who had a field day with it.

No harm done but Hockey Canada apologized for the event. The IOC threatened punishment but has since backed off.
Friday, February 26, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Sochi Olympics hit $1 billion in sponsor deals

As the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games are coming to close we already start to look forward to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in Russia. Event organizers are already planning on extra security as the games head to the war torn region. Hopefully in four years the issues such as the Russian-Georgain conflict and Chechnya conflict will not be an issue.

Some good news happened in the financial department as Organizers have topped $1 billion in sponsor deals this week. The biggest problem Sochi faces, outside of its location in a war-torn region, is actually being ready for the Olympics.

The creation of the alpine slopes for events will not even be ready until 2012, just 2 years prior. Many of the facilities, including the Olympic Villiage, will not be ready until 2013 so they are cutting it close. 2004 Athens close.

But with money coming in here's hoping for a smooth creation of the facilities.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics have topped $1 billion in domestic sponsorship deals.

Putting them over the mark is a $115 million deal with Russian Railways. The agreement was announced Friday at the Vancouver Games. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak attended the signing ceremony at the 2014 Sochi House. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Sauerbreij wins 1st Dutch Olympic snowboard gold

[via NBC Olympics] WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- If the spectacle of a course worker wringing out the snow with a squeegee didn't tell the story, then the absurdity of the snowboarders riding up the lift with umbrellas certainly did.

The Olympic parallel giant slalom course resembled a Slip-N-Slide on Friday.

Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands splashed her way through it best.

"You couldn't see anything," said Sauerbreij, the first Dutch snowboarder to win gold. "You were just going, and every bump in the course was a surprise."

Somehow through all that slop and slush, she stayed on her feet for all 10 runs. She won her gold in what is supposed to be the most staid of Olympic snowboarding events -- one that turned into something else.

(....continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon USAs Katherine Reutter Takes Silver in Speed Skating

Short track speed skater Katherine Reutter took home the Silver Medal Friday night by holding off Seung-hi of South Korea for the last few laps. China's Wang Meng easily won the Gold Medal.
Short-track speedskater Katherine Reutter of the U.S. won the silver medal in the women's 1,000 meters Friday night at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Wang Meng of China won the gold in 1:29.213; Reutter finished in 1:29.324 and Park Seung-hi of South Korea won the bronze in 1:29.372. Yang Zhou of China was disqualified for interference and finished fourth.

This is Reutter's second medal in Vancouver. She was also part of the bronze-winning 3,000-meter relay team. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Apolo Anton Ohno disqualified in men's 500-meter final

Apolo Anton Ohno will have to wait for the relay to get his chance at an 8th Olympic medal. During the 500m short track event, Ohno was disqualified after putting his hand on the hip of Canada's Francois-Louis Tremblay at the very end of the last lap.

Ohno and Charles Hamelin of Canada were able to finish the race. South Korea's Sung Si-Bak fell and slide across the line for 2nd. Because Francois-Louis Tremblay fell, Ohno was disqualified. Tremblay was awarded 3rd place.

The Gold from Hamelin puts Canada with 9 and tied for 1st place in the Gold Medal count with Germany.

PostHeaderIcon A Brief History of Olympic Sore Losers

Russia's Evegni Plushenko believes he deserved the men's figure-skating gold medal instead of silver at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. In honor of his poor sportsmanship, TIME takes a look at other Olympic complainers

PostHeaderIcon USA rides six-goal first period to 6-1 win, gold-medal game

Team USA beat Canada last week but many were wondering if the team had what it takes to fly through the rest of the tournament and win the Gold Medal.

Facing a strong Finland team Friday put those questions to rest as Team USA jumped to a 6-0 lead in the first period and easily held on to advance.
VANCOUVER — The U.S. men's Olympic hockey team enjoyed its best single-period production in 46 years en route to a 6-1 win against Finland that puts USA in the gold medal game.

SUMMARY: USA 6, Finland 1

The undefeated Americans (5-0) scored all six goals in the first period as they continued to be the most surprising team in the Olympic tournament. The six goals represented USA's highest one- period output since USA scored six in a period in 1964. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Update: China Beats Swiss for Womens Curling Bronze

Team China took an early lead in the Bronze Medal round of women's curling and never looked back. After scoring 3 in the first end, China led 5-1 by the 3rd end and finished with a strong 12-6 victory.

The game finished in the 8th end after China scored 4 points. Canada will play 2006 Gold Medal winner Sweden later tonight.

In the end, Wang Bingyu gave her coach plenty to celebrate: China is going home with some hardware from its first Olympics in curling.

Wang, better known as "Betty," and the reigning world champion Chinese women bounced back from a semifinal loss to defending champion Sweden to earn a bronze medal Friday, beating Switzerland 12-6 in a shortened eight-end match. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Lindsey Vonn's Olympics end with 2 medals after she skies out of slalom in Vancouver finale

Team USA's Lindsey Vonn entered the Olympics with doubts to her shin as she was expected to contend in multiple events. Although she was physically able to compete, Vonn finished with 1 Gold Medal, 1 Bronze and a few crashes.

Today's slalom event was not Vonn's strong event and she quickly skied out of the event when she missed a gate.

WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Lindsey Vonn's Olympics is over after she skied out of the women's slalom, her last Alpine event in Vancouver.

Vonn straddled a gate in the first half of her run Friday. She could not correct her line after her right, outside ski slid away coming out of a left-hand turn.

She skied down to the finish area, smiled ruefully and was seen saying, "I don't know what's going on."

Vonn was not expected to win a medal in slalom. She struggled in the event on the World Cup circuit this season even before a series of injuries this month.

She skied with a broken right pinkie that was protected by a hard plastic casing. She also had back pain from a crash at Wednesday's giant slalom. (...continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon South Korea erupts in joy as its `queen' wins gold

[via Washington Post] SEOUL, South Korea -- For five minutes, all of South Korea held its breath, watching from offices, subway trains and packed restaurants as Kim Yu-na floated and twisted and twirled across Olympic ice. Then, as their "Queen Yu-na" made history by winning the country's first gold medal and a world record in figure skating, everyone erupted in a deafening cheer.

As tears of relief flowed down Kim's face, there was not a dry eye in sight here, either.

"I felt a lump in my throat when I saw Yu-na crying," said Lee Ji-soo, 24, watching the competition at a rink where Kim once trained.

(....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Nordic Combined a Good Day for USA

[via NBC Olympics] WHISTLER (AP) -- They swore they didn't care which one of them won gold to become America's first Olympic champion in a Nordic sport.

Anyone who watched, knew Bill Demong skied to win.

He attacked on the final hill, hustled into the stadium and raced across the finish line well ahead of three-time silver medalist Johnny Spillane, giving the United States a 1-2 finish Friday in the large hill competition at Nordic combined.

Challenging wind gusts and pelting rain, sleet and snow on the jump hill did little to dampen the Americans' jubilation.

"I don't think either of us really cared which one was first or second," Demong, of Vermontville, N.Y., said after ending America's golden goose egg in Nordic sports at the Winter Games by winning the 10-kilometer cross-country leg in 25 minutes, 32.9 seconds. (....continue reading....)
Thursday, February 25, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Mens Curling : Canada will play Norway for Gold

The best thing about Team Norway advancing in men's curling is that we get another round of those fabulous pants. The Norway Pants and their Facebook page are heading to the Gold Medal round after beating Switzerland 7-5 in the semifinals.

Norway will match up against home team Canada after they survived an early surge by Sweden to easily win 6-3. The Swedes, led by brazen 24-year-old Swedish skip Niklas Edin, held Canada to a very tight game in the first 3 rounds. Inexperience (or jitters)caught up with Sweden and that led to a few blown shots which Canada took advantage of to quickly take control of the game.

PostHeaderIcon Norway golden in women's relay

[via NBC Olympics]WHISTLER (AP) -- Marit Bjoergen doesn't mind being called the queen of the Vancouver Olympics. That's good, since it's a nickname she may not get rid of anytime soon.

Bjoergen became the first triple gold medal winner of the games Thursday after leading Norway to a dominating victory in the women's cross-country relay, deciding the race on the final leg by quickly pulling away from her last remaining rival.

That's three golds and one bronze for Bjoergen in the four events she's competed in -- with one race yet to go.

"If I'm the 'queen' of the Olympics, that's great," said the 29-year-old Bjoergen, who also won the individual sprint and 15K pursuit. "But I don't think about what others think. The feeling I have, with my golds, that's the biggest for me. ( ....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Canada blanks U.S. to win gold in women's hockey

The Canadian women have done what the men could not. They easily beat Team USA in hockey action tonight in the Gold Medal Game in Vancouver.

The win marks the 3rd straight time that Team Canada has taken the Gold Medal in women's hockey.

The Canadian women's hockey team skated up to the top step of the Olympic podium once again.

The Canadians won their third consecutive gold medal at the Olympics with an efficient 2-0 victory against the rival United States on Thursday.

Teenage whiz Marie-Philip Poulin scored two first-period goals and that was enough because netminder Shannon Szabados shut the door on the Americans with a wonderful 28-save performance.

The 23-year-old Szabados is the same goalie who, earlier in her career, made headlines playing with the boys in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and later one game with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. She also played minor hockey growing up in Edmonton with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Curling Update: Canada Slips Past Swiss; Sweden Advances

In women's curling semifinals, Sweden had little trouble getting by China as they got off to a 6-2 start early in the match and held on the win 9-4 with action halting after the 9th end.

The victory advances Sweden against Team Canada for a chance at a 2nd straight Gold Medal. China will now play the Swiss after they lost to Canada earlier.

Team Canada had some trouble against the Swiss but they were able to pull out a victory with a final score of 9-4. Canada grabbed a 6-4 lead going into the 10th and final end when Canada's Cheryl Bernard held off the Swiss to send the host team to the Gold Medal round.

Switzerland had a chance to tie with the last rock but the shot from Swiss skipper Mirjam Ott to move Bernard's stone flew out of the house to give Canada the win 6-5.

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Updates: Rebensburg gets GS gold, Mancuso eighth

[via] WHISTLER, B.C. - On a day when the layer of fog looked just as ominous as the day before, giant slalom racers reconvened in the start house to complete their Olympic race.

German racer and world juniors super G and GS champion Viktoria Rebensburg, who came into the run in sixth place with a 0.35-second deficit, walked away with the gold medal. Having just one World Cup podium under her belt coming into the Games, (second place in the most recent GS race in Cortina), the German won in a combined time of 2 minutes, 27.11 seconds.

Olympic super G silver medalist Tina Maze, who also took silver in last season's world GS championship, has a regular collection of that color now, finishing just 0.04 seconds behind Rebensburg. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Updates : Short Track and Curlilng

Wednesday night saw a few more short track heats and Canada's women take on the bobsled. Here are some updates of the events that happened late yesterday.

PostHeaderIcon Slovaks beat defending Olympic champion Sweden 4-3

[via NBC Olympics]

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Nicklas Lidstrom had the final shot and the final chance to extend his Olympic career. Jaroslav Halak refused to give, sending Slovakia into uncharted territory in the Olympics.

Tomas Kopecky scored the decisive goal in the third period and Slovakia hung on for a 4-3 win to send defending Olympic champion Sweden home Wednesday night, advancing to the semifinals for the first time.

"It's the biggest achievement so far in the short history of Slovak Republic," forward Miroslav Satan said. "We definitely going to enjoy it for a while and then focus on the next game." (....continue reading....)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Olympic men's hockey: Canada stomps Russia 7-3

Team Canada has temporarily relieved it's citizens of doubt after their lost to Team USA by slapping the strong Russian team 7-3 in semifinal play.

The game started off fast and didn't let up until the 3rd period. All ten goals were scored in the first 2 periods. Russia pulled their goalie a few minutes into the 2nd period but by then the game was getting out of hand.

People were crowed around television sets in every coffee shop, restaurant and bar in Vancouver, watching the Canada-Russia hockey game, as the city ground to a virtual halt.

At the Waterfront SkyTrain Station, people stopped in their tracks watching the game, erupting in cheers whenever a goal was scored.

And score they did.

It took barely two minutes for Canada to stamp its authority on the men's 2010 Winter Olympic hockey quarter-finals as Dan Boyle tip-toed through Russia's defense to set up an easy tap in for Ryan Getzlaf It would be the first of ten goals scored in a feeding frenzy of a game in which the red-and-whites never looked threatened, but the Russians never stopped trying. (....continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon NBC Finally Gets It: Will Show Fridays US Hockey Game Live. Everywhere

If nothing else, better late than never.

NBC has angered fans of the Olympics across the United States by refusing to show events live. Then there's the whole idea to do an extra West Coast delay for those lucky people in the SAME timezone of the Olympics.

That means events that go on from 9 am to noon at the Olympics could not be watched in Seattle, only a few hours away, until 8 pm local time.

Then there's the whole USA hockey game fiasco. Needless to say, NBC is taking a drumming in the press for their archaic tape delay methods. Thankfully, there's a bright spot. NBC will NOT tape delay then time delay the USA hockey game. Finally!

NEW YORK (AP) — After once again annoying Olympic hockey fans, NBC has promised to broadcast the U.S. men's team's next game live in all time zones.

The network aired the Americans' 2-0 victory over Switzerland on Wednesday live in the Eastern and Central time zones. It was on a one-hour tape delay in the Mountain time zone and two-hour delay for the West Coast. It wasn't immediately clear why the network didn't show the game live across the United States. NBC streamed it live everywhere on its Olympics Web site.

The United States will play the winner of the Czech Republic-Finland game on Friday in a semifinal at the Vancouver Games. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon USA Beats Swiss in Hockey Quarterfinal

Team USA followed up their surprising victory against home team Canada with a Quarterfinal win against the scrappy Swiss 2-0.

Unlike the game against Canada where the U.S. was outshot by a huge margin, Team USA's offense poured 44 shots on Switzerland goalie Jonas Hiller.

USA goalie Ryan Miller held on with 19 saves overall for the shut out as Zach Parise scored 2 goals for the U.S. including the empty netter as time ran out.

Team USA will go on to play the winner of the Finland - Czechoslovakia match that occurs later tonight.

PostHeaderIcon Vonn crashes, fails to finish downhill run

[via NBC Olympics] WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) -- Elisabeth Görgl of Austria led after the opening run of the Olympic giant slalom Wednesday, while American Lindsey Vonn crashed and injured her right pinkie.

With wet and foggy weather making visibility difficult, Goergl sped down Franz's GS in 1 minute, 15.12 seconds. Taina Barioz of France was only 0.02 behind, and Kathrin Zettel of Austria was third, 0.16 back.

Vonn lost control around a right turn in the middle section of the course, got twisted around, landed hard on her left hip and crashed backward into the safety netting.

Defending champion Julia Mancuso had her first run down interrupted due to Vonn's crash, then was brought back up for another try and placed 18th, 1.30 seconds behind Goergl. (...continue reading...)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Disqualified Dutchman Loses Speedskating Gold and a Record

[via N.Y. Times]

RICHMOND, British Columbia – After 25 laps around the Richmond Olympic Oval, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands crossed the finish line Tuesday and raised his arms in triumph, having secured – or so he thought – his second Olympic record and gold medal of these Winter Games.

Within seconds, Kramer’s celebration turned icy cold. When his coach, Gerard Kemkers, caught up to him during his cool-down lap, he palmed his head and delivered the bad news: Kramer was disqualified for incorrectly changing lanes with eight laps remaining in the 10,000-meter race. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon The Olympic Committee has bigger problems than ambush marketing

The continuing debate about advertising and the steep fees associate with it during the Olympics continues to make company executives angry as the Olympic Committee heavily enforces their own set of rules.
Attempting to control what is said about your brand in 2010 may seem like an attempt to put toothpaste back in the tube, but that isn't going to stop The Olympics organizers from trying. The Olympics have very specific rules about what can and cannot be said about the Winter Games and the athletes participating in them.

But rather than focusing on the minutia of violators, the group would do better to focus on a bigger issue — brands don't feel like advertising with NBC or with the Olympics directly is worth the money.

The U.S. Olympic Committee dictates that brands unwilling to fork over the millions necessary to become one of the Olymics sponsors cannot associate themselves with the games or the athletes participating throughout the Olympic festivities.

According to Lisa Baird, chief marketing officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee, brands that don't pay to advertise at the Olympics "are barred from referring to the Games and their athletes in name, likeness or imagery that evokes the Games in any media without a waiver from the committee." (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Olympics-Ice hockey-Shootout win sends Swiss to quarter-finals

Team USA will match up again with Switzerland in the quarter-finals after the Swiss beat Belarus in a shootout. The Swiss beat Norway in the last game in OT but lost to Canada in OT earlier last week.

However, in the opener with Team USA, the Swiss lost 3-1.

VANCOUVER, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Switzerland booked their ticket to the quarter-finals of the Olympic men's ice hockey tournament on Tuesday with a 3-2 shootout win over Belarus.

As Swiss team mates stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their arms wrapped around each other, netminder Jonas Hiller denied Sergei Kostitsyn to win the shootout, triggering a stampede off the Swiss bench and an explosion of cowbells from the crowd.

With the win, the Swiss move on to play the United States in a quarter-finals game on Wednesday while the Belarusians will pack their bags and head home.

The seesaw contest saw the teams trade goals in each of the opening two periods as Aleksei Kalyuzhny and Konstantin Zakharov found the net for Belarus while Julien Sprunger and Hnat Domenichelli scored for the Swiss.

The remainder of the game turned into a goaltending duel between Hiller and Andrei Mezin, neither team able to collect the winner during a scoreless third period or 10 minute overtime. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Russia wins women's biathlon relay at Olympics

[via L.A. Times] WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Russia won the women's biathlon relay at the Vancouver Olympics on Tuesday after Olga Zaitseva easily protected her team's massive lead on the final leg to secure the gold medal.

Olga Medvedtseva practically guaranteed the win for the Russians on the third leg after her quick shooting gave Zaitseva a 45-second head start on German rival Andrea Henkel at the final exchange.

Despite some shaky shooting, Zaitseva had plenty of time on the final straightaway to enjoy the victory, slowing up and blowing kisses to the crowd as she entered the ski stadium.

She said she looked around for a Russian flag to grab, so she could wave it as she skied down the final straight. The Russian fans, however, didn't seem to dare start the celebrations early.

(....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon No Surprise: Luongo gets start against Germany

Losing to the Americans in hockey is a tough pill to swallow for Team Canada. Doing it on home ice just makes it worse. But, there's still a lot of hockey to be played and Team Canada is shuffling up their goaltending to get a spark.

After 37-year old Martin Brodeur let in 4 goals in a 5-3 loss to the U.S. [the 5th goal was an empty net], it looks like Canada coach Mike Babcock is close to announcimg that Roborto Luongo will get the start in net.
Roberto Luongo will be in net when Team Canada takes on Germany in the qualification-round of the Vancouver Olympics.

After much speculation that the Vancouver Canucks' captain would replace Martin Brodeur, Luongo confirmed it for's Tim Wharnsby after Monday's practice.

Much of the blame for Sunday's 5-3 loss to the United States has fallen on Brodeur, who looked shaky throughout the game. Earlier, Brodeur backstopped Canada to a 3-2 shootout victory over Switzerland, stopping 21 of 23 shots. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Canada's curlers perfect behind Martin

Team Canada's men's curling team has done what their hockey team has not. They've gone undefeated in tournament play.

The curling events have been a big hit in Vancouver as one of the best teams to hit the ice, both men's and women's, has been Team Canada.

Behind the leadership of a skipper they call the "Michael Jordan of Curling," Kevin Martin [picture left with women's skip Cheryl Bernard, source] and Team Canada easily defeated a desperate Team USA today to advance to the semifinals with the top spot.

On the other end Team USA, who won Bronze in 2006, goes home looking confused and intimidated on the World stage. The women did not fare much better with both teams only getting 2 wins each.

With the top spot clinched, a spotless record, and a seat in the semifinals, Kevin Martin and company found the motivation to defeat a struggling and desperate U.S. rink 7-2 Monday at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

Martin, John Morris, Ben Hebert and Marc Kennedy clinched their eighth straight victory after stealing a point from the U.S. in both the sixth and seventh ends.

The feisty Americans, who shuffled the deck prior to the match by replacing skip John Shuster with teammate Jason Smith, pressured the undefeated Canadian rink in the early going of the morning matchup. (....continue reading....)

Monday, February 22, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Austria Jumps to Olympic Gold

[Via NBC Olympics]

WHISTLER (AP) -- The Austrians were so far ahead of the field in the Olympic team ski jump that the only drama was how far 20-year-old Gregor Schlierenzauer would fly off the large hill.

His teammates, practically celebrating their gold medal as they awaited the final jump of the Vancouver Olympics, took bets.

Fans and competitors did, too.

Surely, he'll go for it. But how far can he go?

"I said about 144 meters long," recalled Austria's Wolfgang Loitzl.

Schlierenzauer, already a double-bronze winner at these games, sat on the gate on a sun-splashed Monday, took a few breaths and pushed off down the ramp, thrusting himself into the air with the biggest jump of his life. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Cross-Country Recaps

The Women's and Men's team sprints had their semis and finals today at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. Petter Northug and Oeystein Pettersenof Norway won the Men's event with the German duo of Teichmann and Tim Tscharnke taking Silver and the Russian team of Nikolay Morilov and Alexey Petukhov taking the bronze.

In the Women's events, Claudia Nystad and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle of Germany won Gold. The Swedish team of Haag and Charlotte Kalla was 0.6 seconds behind for the silver medal, and Russian duo Irina Khazova and Natalia Korosteleva won bronze after coming in 4 seconds back.

PostHeaderIcon NBC defends its Olympic strategy

Despite the anger over how NBC is broadcasting the Olympics, the fact is people are watching. The 2006 Turin Games were one of the lowest rated ever thanks in large part to a huge time-zone difference.

The 2002 Salt Lake Games were rated very high but that is because it's on home soil and, as a lot of people forget, it was only a few months after the tragic events of 9/11 and I personally remember a lot more people getting into the games and being very Patriotic.

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Games are being tape delayed and pushed around to minor cable channels. Add in a weak economy and bad winter weather which keeps people at home and you have a recipe for good ratings.

NBC defends its actions of tape-delaying big events to keep people watching in primetime. Personally, I think it's detrimental to the Games but I also understood that NBC overbid on the Games, will lose money, and has to do whatever it can to make some money back. Putting the men's hockey game against Canada on MSNBC so ice dancing is on the main network is just a bonehead decision, though.

The next Winter Games will be in Russia in 2014 so the tape delay issue will not be much of an issue. Ratings probably won't either as events in distant time zones like this generally have a hard time getting viewers.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Each morning here at 7:30, inside a compound at the International Broadcasting Center roughly the size of Belarus, NBC Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol gathers a small flock of his key lieutenants to discuss contingency plans and every possible scenario for that day's coverage. Along with everything else on the agenda for the tired executives and producers, Ebserol preaches one mantra:

Protect the primetime show.

"It's no secret: the primetime show is the flagship" said David Neal, the executive vice president of NBC Olympics. "That show has to be protected. That show has to be compelling every night. That is the mother ship, and we have to maintain it as an attractive vehicle no matter what." (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Curling Rocks!

Curling is a big enough sport in Sweden that the 2006 Olympic Gold Medal women's team makes an appearance in this video for HammerFall, a heavy metal/power metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. Beautiful!

Hammerfall - Hearts On Fire (Curling Version)

PostHeaderIcon USA Snowboarder Lago forced to leave Olympics

Pictures of medal winner Scotty Lago in a compromising pose have forced the USOC to ask Lago to leave the Winter Games. The pictures have been seen on and show Lago with his medal around his waist and a woman kneeling down in front with her mouth on it.

Rather tame pics in comparison to Michael Phelps hitting the bong a few years back but the USOC took the safe road and told Lago to leave town. View the pics here.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The fuddy-duddy suits who run the Vancouver Games got their scapegoat. Scotty Lago was kicked out of the Winter Olympics. Yes, kicked out.

Do not believe the party line served by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, nor the words of United States Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky, who said: “Scotty left on his own accord. He wasn’t forced to leave.” Lago, the bronze medalist in halfpipe, was forced to leave, two sources close to him told Yahoo! Sports, and did so only to prevent an even greater escalation of a situation that already had been blown far out of proportion.

Lago is the smiling 23-year-old in the now-infamous pictures of an Olympic medalist celebrating. The photos are kids’ play, and yet because somebody caught Michael Phelps taking a bong hit, anything – anything – gets the USOC’s tighty-whities in a bunch. (...continue reading....)
Sunday, February 21, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Oh, Canada. Team USA Upsets Canada in Hockey

How great would it have been to have Twitter during the 1980 Miracle on Ice? Imagine seeing this Tweet come across your timeline:
@al_michaels Do you believe in miracles?! USA wins!
Tomorrow marks the 30th Anniversary of the epic showdown of Team USA and the mighty Russians and it's only fitting that Team USA heads into another giant game as the underdog Americans face off against the home country of Canada.

There was a great feeling in the air tonight as the game was gearing up and a lot of Canadians I talk to expected a physical game from the Americans but were a little hesitant to accept the idea of an upset.

I don't blame them. I was skeptical myself. This is Canada's game we're talking about after all.

And it didn't help in the States that NBC once again proved it doesn't care about sports when the pushed the game off NBC onto their MSNBC channel. They felt that more people would watch Ice Dancing than hockey.


Oh, NBC. You just can't do anything right this year.

And while a ton of people were onr Twitter cursing NBC (mainly trying to figure out if they had MSNBC or where it was) you didn't see a single post about the Ice Dancing. Just a lot of excitement from the people watching the game and a lot of curse words from people stuck with Ice Dancing.

So, I guess maybe there were some posts about Ice Dancing now that I think of it....

One of the reasons so many people are mad is, for example, where I live the MSNBC channel is not even in the regular lineup. You have to have the premium digital cable package to get it. So not only are people with antennae screwed but so are people without the digital package. And then to find the MSNBC channel way up high and look for it lost within the handful of religious channels.

So, I can see why people are pissed. Thankfully, they just added the HD Channel of MSNBC to our lineup last week so I lucked out.

I'm also thankful that we have Twitter and Facebook. I had a few people thank me for following the game that way since they couldn't watch it. I did hear NBC cut away long enough from Ice Dancing to show the last few minutes but I didn't flip over due to the fact the game had me on the edge of my seat.

Team USA came into the game with a chip on their shoulder and came out of one of the most entertaining games in recent memory with a 5-3 victory. Thanks to solid goal tending from USA's Ryan Miller and 2 goals, 1 assist from Brian Rafalski, the U.S. was able to upset the Canadians on the home ice.

Canada is by no means out of the tournament with this loss. Just in need of a tune up. The loss does add one game to their schedule as the winner gets a bye in the Medal Round. There's still a lot more hockey to go but this victory by the U.S. is one of their most important in the Olympic Games. Just not #1. That position is permanently taken.
VANCOUVER — A sign at Canada Hockey Place read "This our game." But the Americans came into Canada's home and stole it Sunday as they defeated the Canadians 5-3 to win their pool at the Olympic pool.

It was the USA's first win over Canada in Olympic hockey since the Americans beat Can-ada 2-1 en route to the Olympic gold medal in 1960.

Sidney Crosby's redirection goal with 3:09 left gave Canada a chance to rally from behind, but goalie Ryan Miller kept the Canadians off the scoreboard in the closing min-utes. He made 42 stops. Ryan Kesler made a diving poke of the puck into an empty net to preserve the win.

The USA victory, keyed by two goals by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafal-ski, was probably its best men's hockey triumph on Canadian soil since it won the World Cup of Hockey in Montreal in 1996.

At 3-0, the Americans have earned a bye into the quarterfinals and now await the outcome of Sunday night's Sweden-Finland game to determine if they are the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.

If Sweden defeats Finland, the Americans are the No. 1 seed. If Finland wins that game, the Americans would be the No. 2 seed. (....continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Tragedy as Mother of Canadian figure skater dies

[Via Yahoo Sports] VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—A few hours after learning of her mother’s sudden death, Canadian figure skating star Joannie Rochette was back on the ice.

Dressed in black tights and a black Canadian team hoodie, Rochette appeared in the runway as the rest of the skaters in her practice session took the ice Sunday afternoon. She wiped her eyes and took a deep breath before stepping on the ice, then gave a little wave to her father, the only spectator who was allowed in the building—cleared about 45 minutes earlier for the security sweep before the original dance.

Therese Rochette, 55, had a massive heart attack after arriving in Vancouver on Saturday, said David Baden, Rochette’s agent. She was taken to a Vancouver hospital, where she was pronounced dead early Sunday.... (...continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Ovechkin Huge Hit on Jagr in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

click image above for animated gif

This video will probably be pulled soon since YouTube and the Olympics usually don't see eye-to-eye. But if you haven't seen it yet please check out this huge hit in the men's hockey game this afternoon between Russia and Czechoslovakia.

Russia's Ovechkin laid out Czech's Jaromir Jagr in mid-ice at the start of the second periord. The play opened up the Russian's to head down the ice and score.

PostHeaderIcon Bode Miller finally wins Olympic gold

Two Silvers in Salt Lake, a bruised reputation in Torino, and redemption in Vancouver.

The road of Bode Miller is filled with huge peaks and valleys. But no matter the location, Bode has yet to win a Gold Medal. In Vancouver he has a Bronze and a Silver but the Gold remained elusive.

Until today.

Bode Miller finally secured himself a Gold Medal at the Olympics with a strong run in the slalom. Many believed Bode could never recover from the apathetic party animal machine that embarrassed himself in 2006. Miller has change his way of life and, in turn, able to utilize his talents to win medals.
WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP)—Bode Miller finally won his elusive gold medal, using a blistering slalom run Sunday to complete one of the most unlikely Olympic comebacks ever.

Four years after bombing out amid lofty expectations at the Turin Games and a year after practically walking away from the sport, Miller won the super-combined for his third medal in as many events at Vancouver.

Seventh after the morning downhill run, Miller skied the third-fastest afternoon slalom leg for a two-run time of 2 minutes, 44.92 seconds—a comfortable 0.33 ahead of Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, who matched his silver medal at Turin. Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland claimed bronze, 0.40 back. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon U.S., Canada set to renew hockey rivalry

The big men's hockey game between Team Canada and USA is currently underway. It is available in the States on MSNBC. Here's a preview of the big match via CBC Sports.
Sunday's Olympic men's hockey matchup between Canada and the United States is not the end of the world - not quite.

The loser will not be eliminated but will have to play an extra game to reach the quarterfinals. As this tournament has demonstrated, the more games a team plays, the more chances that something unexpected will happen.

Then there are the cultural implications of the Canada-United States game.

"This is going to be unbelievable," United States Coach Ron Wilson said. "It's going to be on every TV in Canada and a good number in America. Anyone who is a hockey fan will be watching.

"It's going to be a great day for hockey." (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Vancouver Opens Up Fences Around Olympic Flame

Vancouver has had its share of glitches during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games but one oddity is that the public viewing of the Olympic Flame has been fenced off from the public.

The issue of putting up a chain link fence around the cauldron has garnered criticism as visitors had to stand far away to view it or take pictures.

This weekend marked the opening up of the flame when a new barrier made of a concrete base with a Plexiglas top allowed the public to get closer to the Olympic Flame.
One of the common criticisms of an Olympics, its organizing committee and indeed the International Olympic Committee is they have all of the power, and none of the accountability, of a government. As Kam Kiland, director of the Calgary speedskating oval, remarked when 2010 organizers had a Zamboni plucked from his facility and dispatched to Vancouver at a moment’s notice: “When VANOC wants something, they get it.”

But sometimes when people want something from the Olympics, they get it too.

The hideous chain-link fence, the ruiner of thousands of photos, has come down from in front of the Olympic cauldron. It’s been replaced by Plexiglass atop a concrete barrier, the finale of a series of improvements organizers made to make the most accessible symbol of the Games, well, more accessible. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Canada's Skeleton Racer Michael Douglas Disqualified

[via CBC Sports] Skeleton racer Mike Douglas says he can't believe his Olympic dream was destroyed because he was three minutes late taking the covers off his sled runners.

"I'm just a little bewildered," said the 38-year-old from Kleinburg, Ont., a day after he was disqualified before the final two heats of the men's Olympic competition at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

"We were all watching the women's race and we just missed taking [the runner guards] off," he said.

"The guards were off before the race. [The disqualification] seems a little heavy-handed to me." (...continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Apolo Anton Ohno wins bronze for record 7th Olympic medal

It was a crazy night for speedskating as USA's Apolo Anton Ohno won a Bronze Medal in the 1,500 meter event. The other U.S. skater, J.R. Celski, was disqualified in the semi's after colliding with Canada's François.

The result of that action pushed François to the finals and that made 5 racers compete instead of the usual four. The crowded field did not help Ohno who almost fell midway through the event. He was able to gather himself and work back to third place and win his 7th Olympic medal, a new U.S. record.

VANCOUVER — In a sport that can send its champions sprawling across the ice in an instant, short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno on Saturday earned a lasting legacy.

With a bronze in the 1,000 meters, Ohno became the USA's most decorated Olympian. Ohno, who has seven career medals, surpasses long-track speedskater Bonnie Blair, who has six.

Ohno also became the most decorated short-track speedskater from any nation.

Lee Jung-Su of South Korea, Saturday's winner in the 1,000, also won the 1,500 meters earlier this week. His countryman, Lee Ho-suk, won silver Saturday. (...continue reading....)
Saturday, February 20, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Lindsey Vonn Shin Update: Fischbacher upsets Vonn in super-G

We all know by now that Team USA's Lindsey Vonn's shin has been a problem but the skiing superstar has been able to grab a Gold Medal already. Saturday in the Women's Super-G was going to be Vonn's third attempt to medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games after she fell in the combined a couple of days ago and didn't medal.

A surprising run by Austria's Andrea Fischbacher to take the Gold Medal pushed a disappointed Vonn down to the Bronze Medal.

Andrea Fischbacher of Austria won the Olympic women's super-giant slalom on Saturday, knocking favourite Lindsey Vonn from the top of the podium and denying the U.S. star a sweep of the speed events at the Vancouver Games.

Vonn looked poised to add to her downhill gold when she seized first place with the 17th run of the day in Whistler, B.C. But just two spots later, Fischbacher put down a time of one minute 20.14 seconds to beat Vonn by 0.74 of a second.

"It was really crazy," Fischbacher said of a tricky course set up by one of her coaches under the rotating system used by the International Ski Federation. "It was a really straight course and you had to push from start to finish."

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Hockey: Swiss outlast surprising Norway in overtime

Team Norway led a surprising surge against Switzerland in men's hockey action on Saturday. Led by a hat-trick from Tore Vikingstad, Team Norway pushed the Swiss to Overtime before Switzerland was able to get a victory.
Romano Lemm scored 2:28 into overtime to lift Switzerland to a 5-4 victory over Norway on Saturday, the first win for the Swiss in the Olympic men's hockey tournament.

Sandy Jeannin cut across the crease and fed a pass back to Lemm, who steered in a backhander behind goalie Pal Grotnes for the winning goal.

Tore Vikingstad's third goal of the game for Norway sent the match into the extra period.

Julien Sprunger, Roman Wick, Raffaele Sannitz and Severin Blindenbacher also scored for Switzerland, and Jonas Hiller made 19 saves. The Swiss previously lost in regulation to the U.S. and had a shootout defeat against Canada, coming close to pulling a major upset. (....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Simon Ammann wins record 4th ski jump gold

[via CBC Sports] Simon Ammann warmed up with an Olympic record before going where no ski jumper has gone before.

The 28-year-old from Switzerland became the first-ever ski jumper to win four individual gold medals at the Winter Games with a sensational performance at Whistler Olympic Park on Saturday afternoon.

Ammann turned in a jump of 138 metres in the final of the men's individual long hill (140-metre) competition after his 144m effort in the first round earlier Saturday to shatter the old Olympic mark of 141m. (...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Dutch speedskater Tuitert stuns Davis for Gold

U.S. Speed Skater Shani Davis lost his attempt for a 2nd Gold at the Vancouver Winter Games in the 1,500 meter event when he matched his 2006 effort with a Silver Medal. Davis appeared to run out of gas during the final lap but it was still good enough for second place.

Team Holland won their second Speed Skating Gold as Mark Tuitert took the Gold.
Veteran speedskater Mark Tuitert of the Netherlands was an upset winner over Shani Davis in the men's 1,500 at the Richmond Oval on Saturday with former world-record holder Denny Morrison of Canada again suffering disappointment at the Vancouver Games.

Davis, skating in the final pairing with Canadian Lucas Makowsky, could not match Tuitert's time of one minute 45.57 seconds. The American crossed in 1:46.10 for silver.

Havard Bokko won the first of what some believe will be multiple Olympic medals in his career, taking bronze in what was a blistering pairing with Tuitert. (...continue reading...)
Friday, February 19, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Japan's Kasai tops qualifiers for large hill ski jump

Ski Jumping qualifications have begun and it is Japan's Noriaki Kasai with the top score at the end of the day. The big news of the day was when Swiss triple Olympic champion ski jumper Simon Ammann had his bindings questions by Austrian officials. The Austrian's claimed the bindings were not within regulation and gave an unfair advantage to Ammann. After inspections the bindings were ruled legal.

Japan's Noriaki Kasai had the top score in the qualifications for the large hill ski jumping event at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Kasai posted a score of 143.5 to edge countrymate Daiki Ito, who finished at 142.6. A three-way tie for third at 138.0 featured Finland's Matti Hautamaeki, the Czech Republic's Antonin Hajek and Germany's Andreas Wank.

The top 10 in the World Cup standings were already prequalified for Saturday's competition, a group that includes normal hill gold medal winner Simon Ammann of Switzerland. Ammann will try to become the first man to win four individual gold medals in ski jumping, having captured double-gold at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

PostHeaderIcon The Norwegian Olympic Curling Team's Pants Facebook Page

Team Norway's curling pants have made quite a splash at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The colorful clown-like pants have been compared to golf pants and for good reason. Loudmouth Golf makes them and right now they are a hot item.

The Norwegian Olympic Curling Team's Pants Facebook Page is the newest addition to the media storm surrounding the garments. The Facebook Page already has 136,000 fans so hop on over and join in the fun.

PostHeaderIcon Norway's Bjoergen 1st double gold winner

[via CBC News] Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen came into the competition not having stepped atop the Olympic podium, but on Friday she became the first double gold medallist of the Vancouver Games.

Bjoergen won the 15-kilometre cross-country pursuit at Whistler Olympic Park in a time of 39 minutes 58.1 seconds.

Anna Haag of Sweden earned silver in 40:07.0. The next two skiers were separated by 1-100th of a second, with Poland's Justina Kowalczyk getting the edge for bronze over Kristin Stormer Steira.

(....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Tough But Necessary Move: USA Curling Replaces Shuster

Although Team USA's men's curling team is not mathematically out of the Medal Round it will take a miracle for them to pull the team out of the 0-4 hole they currently reside in. Rumors have been rampant about USA's skipper John Shuster being replace with an alternate player after Shuster has personally missed 3 shots that gave the match to their opponent.

Shuster won a Bronze Medal with Team USA in 2006 but with all the errors he has made and with Chris Plys, the 2008 world junior champion, in the wings there was little doubt a change would occur.

It's a tough call to make in the middle of the tournament but Team USA is the only winless team and Shuster was an obvious problem.

The only other alternative would be to shuffle the lineup but Plys is a media darling and adding him back to the lineup would hopefully provide the spark needed to get USA through the tournament.

Desperate times call for desperate measures so the U.S. men's curling team at the 2010 Winter Olympics has shaken up its lineup in a major way.

USA Curling announced that veteran skip John Shuster is now out of the lineup and will be replaced by Chris Plys, the 2008 world junior champion, who had been an alternate.

The team plays France on Friday afternoon at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

Shuster lost his first four games and three of them were in extra ends where he missed his final shot — allowing the other teams to steal victories.

Although Shuster told reporters that nothing was going to change on his team, he was wrong.

(....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Men's Downhill : Bode Miller Takes Silver

USA skier Bode Miller is silently making a strong case for his talents at Vancouver. If you live in the U.S. just don't turn to NBC to watch as the Peacock stands out as the only major network not airing the big events live.

Bode Miller took the Bronze Medal in his first event and only missed the Gold by .09 seconds. That's a vast improvement from his 2006 outting where he failed to medal at all.

Today's Super-G event saw Bode move one position up to Silver as Norway's Aksel Svindal [above, image source SkySports] takes home the Gold Medal by beating Bode by only .28 seconds.

(CNN) -- Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway claimed his first Olympic gold medal with a victory in the men's super-G at Whistler Creekside on Friday.

Svindal relegated Bode Miller to the silver medal position as he finished 0.28 seconds faster than the American hope after a storming run of one minute 30.34 seconds.

Miller's compatriot Andrew Weibrecht finished in a surprise bronze medal position after setting the early pace.

Miller, still seeking his first Olympic gold, took the lead from Weibrecht by just three hundredths of a second and then had to watch as a number of leading contenders failed to match his time.

Swiss hopes Didier Cuche and Carlo Janka disappointed but the ever-consistent Svindal, who shrugged off a career-threatening injury to return to the World Cup circuit, proved Miller's nemesis (....continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Olympic look-alikes: Lachlan Hay and Clu from 'Tron'

Thankfully, I'm not the only one who got a laugh out of the Austrailian speed skater body suit. Turns out that some other people thought he looked a little bit like the guy from TRON.

PostHeaderIcon The Basic Rules of Curling

This video is very informative as it demonstrates the Basic Rules of Curling. [Image source]

More DIY videos at

PostHeaderIcon Burton Denim ‘Anti-Uniform’ for U.S. Snowboarders

For everyone who has been entranced by the snowboarding events and the talents of Shaun White, you probably have noticed the uniforms of Team USA look a little causual. That's because the plaid coats and denim pants have been purposely designed to look that way.

The denim pants are not really jeans but painted Gore-tex. The company behind the design, Burton, went to a lot of trouble to give the team a causal, Anti-uniform.

“Board sports, for the most part, are about expressing individuality — that’s what makes them cool,” said Greg Dacyshyn, the company’s creative director. “So the whole uniform thing, you know, it’s a sensitive subject.”

The uniforms plainly reflected the team’s desire to reconcile the individualism inherent in the sport’s culture with the earnest national pride inherent in the Olympic Games.

The jacket, for instance, is appropriately patriotic, with red, white and blue the main colors. But in a quirky stylistic flourish, certainly not common to team uniforms, the colors are arrayed in a plaid pattern.

The pants, meanwhile, were designed to look exactly like a pair of well-worn blue jeans, complete with faded coloring and minor tears in the fabric.

So while the uniform pants may look like denim, even up close, the actual material is surprisingly flexible and light to the touch.

The fabric for both the jackets and pants was supplied by Gore, whose Gore-Tex material, Dacyshyn said, “is sort of the pinnacle of performance fabric.” The material would be ideal for the potentially wet conditions in Vancouver, he said.

(....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Sven Kramer To Reporter: 'Are You Stupid?'

Speedskating in Holland is a very popular sport. After Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer won the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics, he wasn't too excited in a post-race interview when a reporter asked him somre rather silly, basic questions.

You'll see in the video below that the American reporter ask Sven Kramer, "If you can say your name and your country and what you just won here."

Kramer responds: "Are you stupid? Hell no I'm not going to do that."

PostHeaderIcon Lysacek golden in men's figure skating

[via Yahoo Sports]

Evan Lysacek's quad-jump-less routine earned him the gold medal in Vancouver on Thursday. Russia's Evgeni Plushenko took silver and Daisuke Takahashi took bronze, making him the first Japanese man to medal in figure skating.

Lysacek skated first in the final group, executing his long program to "Scheherezade" almost flawlessly. After getting flak from Plushenko for not having a quadruple jump, Lysacek earned points for his several triple jumps and combinations. He even had jumps in the second half of the routine, which earned him bonus points.

Lysacek is the first American man to win the gold medal since Brian Boitano in 1988, the last time the Olympics were in Canada. The Naperville, Ill., native also is the first defending world champion to win at the Olympics since Scott Hamilton in 1984.

(...continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Updates Curling: American men lose another heartbreaker

Team USA lost another heart breaker in Curling today when skipper John Shuster once again failed to make the winning shot. The team is 0-4 and for 3 matches Shuster had the winning shot and each time failed. One time he undershot, one time he overshot, and today against Denmark he ended up knocking the Danish stone into the win.

For Team USA to have any chance to advance they will need to win the rest of their matches.
VANCOUVER (AP) -- John Shuster apologized for his inconsistent shot-making, a performance that has all but doomed the winless American men curlers in the Olympics.

"I've let my teammates and USA Curling down," said Shuster, the usually dependable U.S. skip.

The Americans lost to Denmark 7-6 Thursday in yet another extra end. They are 0-4 and will need to win their remaining five matches in the round-robin schedule to stand any chance of reaching the semifinals.

"It hurts right now," U.S. lead John Benton said. "We're definitely on the way, way outside. Something magical would have to happen for us to make the medal round."

Added U.S. second Jeff Isaacson: "I would say a miracle." (...continue reading...)

PostHeaderIcon Alex Ovechkin’s Custom Olympic Skates

Team Russia superstar hockey player Alex Ovechkin has created custom ice skates for his trip to Vancouver. The flames are cool. The flag is cool. The sheep is...wait.

The freaky sheep is just odd....
Thursday, February 18, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Bright wins snowboard gold for Australia

Torah Bright waves to the
crowd after her qualifying run today.
Photo: Reuters

Olympic Women's Snowboarding
finished the halfpipe event tonight with Australia's Torah Bright holding onto the top spot to take home the Gold Medal. Team USA was able to grab Silver and Bronze but there is a little bit of disappointment as stars Elena Height and Gretchen Blieler both had poor performances.

American Hannah Teter surrendered first place, but the U.S. still managed two Olympic medals in the women's halfpipe on Thursday.

Teter, who led after the first run in the finals, scored a high of 42.4, good for second place behind Australia's Torah Bright, with a 45.0

American Kelly Clark took the bronze with a score of 42.2.

U.S. hopes of sweeping the medals were dashed with poor performance by Elena Height and Gretchen Bleiler, who both fell on their two runs.

(....continue reading....)

PostHeaderIcon Olympic Hockey : Canada Beats Swiss in OT

If the hockey team for Canada is the hope of the nation it is only fitting that the game would be won by its Captain.

Canada's Sidney Crosby scored the only OT shootout to give his team a 3-2 win over Switzerland as well as give the nation of Canada a sigh of relief.

The Swiss were no pushovers for Canada despite being heavy underdogs going into the match against the host nation team. After Canada went up 2-0 it looks like they may have let up a bit at Switzerland came back to tie the game and go into overtime.

The win puts the next game against Team USA as an important match up as both are 2-0 in the tournament so far.

Sidney Crosby scored the only goal of a shootout in which an entire nation of nervous Canadians hung on every shot, giving Canada a 3-2 victory over Switzerland on Thursday and avoiding a second inconceivable loss to the Swiss in as many Olympics.

Canada, a huge favorite despite a 2-0 upset defeat to Switzerland in 2006 that ranks among the greatest in Olympic history, took a 2-0 lead early in the second and looked to be cruising. But the Swiss, with two NHL players to Canada's 23, came back to tie it on second-period goals by Ivo Ruthemann and Patrick von Gunten.

(....continue reading....)

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Welcome to Olympic Updates, my continuing blog to following the Olympic Games. Founded in 2007, I have enjoyed providing news and information on the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and I look forward to keeping you up to date on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

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