Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympics in Pictures 5

21st Winter Olympics:Day 17 Recap

The time has come and the 21st Winter Olympics have come to a close. Before the flags were lowered and we said good-bye to Vancouver there were 2 more medals to hand out.

Tonight's blog is going to be a bit different. Hope you have enjoyed the daily recaps!

1. Men's Hockey

The big question was gold or silver? Canada was facing a rematch against the USA. It was going to be a nail bitter with no question. Canada came out to a great start. We shot out to a 2-0 lead in the second period. The USA got a goal to get within 1 goal. With only 25 seconds left in the game the USA tied the game to lead to overtime. Canada dominated in overtime, and came out with the win!

This game was the highlight of the Olympics. It was "the" event of games, and really anything but a gold would have been unacceptable. This game was amazing. It came out with a story tale ending as Crosby scored the winning goal.

Words cannot describe the feelings that happened within the game. Before the game started my family was talking about if we would have paid the $2000 to be at the game. Dad and I both said that we would in a minute. Mom was pretty hesitant. However, when we were standing receiving our medals she quickly changed her mind!

2. Top 5 Olympic medal moments

5. Canadian women winning gold and silver in the 2 man bobsled
4. Joannie Rochette winning bronze after her mothers death
3. Canadian women winning 3rd consecutive Hockey gold
2. Alexandre Bilodeau winning Canada's first gold
1. Canadian Men winning Hockey Gold

The Red Mits

Looking to Sochi

Saturday, February 27, 2010

21st Winter Olympics- Day 16 Recap

I know i keep saying what a day for the Canadians, but today was officially the most successful day for Canadians at a Winter Olympics.

1. Men's Curling

The one thing the Kevin Martin did not have to his list of things won was an Olympic gold medal. That was until today. In a great game this athlete confirmed that he is the best player to have ever played the game, and is only getting better as time goes by.

2. Men's Speed Skating Team Pursuit

Canada continued on its gold medal ways with a second gold of the day. The men were not expected to beat the USA in this race, but did a great job to come out on top. Yet anther way to close out the Long Track Speed Skating at these Olympic games.

3. Men's Parallel Giant Slalom Snowboarding

This is another one of my favorite events at the Olympic games. 2 of these athletes were featured in a CTV show called Over the Bolts prior to the Olympics. The other member of the team was veteran Jasey Jay Anderson. He said going into these Olympics that they would be his last, and what a way to cap it all off with the 3rd gold medal of the day.

Matthew Morison finished 11th and Michael Lambert finished 12. A great showing for all of these athletes.

4. Men's 4 Man Bobsled

The medals kept rolling in this time with a bronze medal in the 4 Man competition. The USA were heavy favorites coming in and they took the gold. Canada's team anchored by Lyndon Rush were ranked #7 in the world, so a bronze medal is amazing for them. This team hold lots of future for the sport in the years to come.

Pierre Lueders finished his bobsleigh career with a 5th place finish. He was the only veteran on the this team, and it was a disappointing finish to this athletes career. However, he did a great thing in training and passing on his knowledge to 3 other young athletes to take the sport over.

Good stories from today
To bad they didnt want to keep these flights

What a way to win

Such a sad day

Friday, February 26, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 15 Recap

What a day for Canada. We knew that the 2nd week of the Olympics would be Canada's week, but this is just great.

1. Men' Hockey

Everyone wanted a rematch of the Canada vs USA game, and that is exactly what they will get. Sunday these 2 teams will face off for the gold medal.

Slovakia put out a great performance tonight and will play Finland for the bronze medal. This will we Slovakia's best finish ever in the Olympics.

2. Women's Curling

This was a bit of a disappointment with Canada only getting silver. Canada had a chance twice to win the game, and let it slip through her hands. Cheryl Bernard still had a great competition, especially for being a rookie on the International scene. Sweden ended up winning the gold medal, a repeat of 2006.

The bronze medal went to China. These girls live and train in Leduc, so they have a great Canadian connection.

Game recap

3. Men's Short Track 500m

Finally the men got to shine. Tonight was Charles Hamelin's day. This is the best distance for him, and he dominated in this race coming out with a gold medal. Canada also took the bronze by Fransois-Louis Tremblay. We also had a 9th place finish in this race.

Race details

4. Short Track Men's 5000m Relay

The men had a busy night tonight as the same 3 men also competed in the 5000m relay, as well as the other Hamelin brother. The guys had broke Olympic records all afternoon in qualifying, so we knew we would be in good contention.

The race was so close that it came down to a photo finish with Canada winning the gold. These men raced so well today to wrap up the speed skating for the 2010 Olympics!

Happy Friday!!

Thought this was very fitting for a Friday afternoon!

By following simple advice heard on the Oprah show, you too can find inner peace.

Dr. Oz proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.'

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Tequila, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 14 Recap

The women have been setting the example the last couple of days. Hopefully the men can start to come through with some medals.

1. Curling

Both our men and women qualified through to the gold medal games. The women will play tomorrow and the men on saturday. Both teams should have a great shot at gold after dominating though the round robin.

It is almost sad that it is tougher to qualify out of your country, then it is to win an Olympic medal.

2. Women's Figure Skating

What a night for Joannie Rochette. After what is to be expected as one of the worst weeks of her life, she pulled through her loss to win the bronze medal.

The competition was close tonight. The South Korean skater was amazing, and untouchable. She hands down deserved to win the gold medal.

The race came for the bronze and 4th place. To me Joannie is one of the star athletes of the games when you think what she went through and how she performed.

3. Women's Hockey

The girls have done it again. 3 Olympics in a row Canada has won the gold medal in the Women's Hockey. They put out a dominate performance tonight winning 2-0 against their rivals team USA. I was really happy to see the girls win, as there are 13 veterans on the team, and a good possibility that not many of them will be back for 2014.

The games definetly are slowing down with less qualifying sports and more medaling going on. This weekend will be a big one and a great way to wrap up the games

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 13 Recap

What a day Canada had today. Sunday was coined Super Sunday, but today ended up being Wonderful Wednesday!

1. Women's 2 Man Bobsled

What a great day for the Canadians and the sport of bobsled in our country. Not only did we win gold, but we also won silver! Humphries and Moyse dominated right from run 1 to win the gold. Canada 2 consisting of Upperton and Brown should not be over shadowed. These girls worked hard to continually move up in the standings to win the silver medal.

The Russia team who were the reigning gold medalist, had a really unfortunate spill. It really was to bad, as they were in close contention for a medal.

2. Women's Short Track 3000m Relay

Yes another silver medal. And another woman who won it! The 4 women who pushed through their second race of the day did a great job! After finishing in 3rd place the Canadians were bumped up to silver. The Korean team finished in 1st place but was disqualified and striped of their gold medal.

3. Canada vs Russia Men's Hockey

It was about time that the Canadian men started to play as a team. Tonight it finally happened. Canada shot out with a huge lead to win the game and advance to the next round.

Our goal tending was alright tonight, much better then in was against the Swiss, however, we need to really tighten that up to match the skills of Miller.

Friday is our next day, and what a game it will be!

4. Women's Speed Skating 5000m

Clara Hughes has just had an ok Olympics. She has told the media all along that this would be her last Olympics. That is why tonight was so much more special for her. Clara won the bronze medal in her race tonight.

It was a great way for this athlete to end her Olympics and go out with a bang!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympics in Pictures 4

21 Winter Olympics: Day 12 Recap

Sorry for the delayed post. Here is the day 12 recap

1. Men's 10000m Speed Skating

This article really says it all. Such a disappointment for this athlete.

Even the best make mistakes

Canada did not have anyone competing in this grueling event.

2. Women's Short Program

Canada waited to see how our skating darling Joannie Rochette fared. Just days before her mother passed away of a heart attack after arriving in Vancouver to see her daughter skate.

Joannie is amazing. She had a personal best score, and currently sits in 3rd place. Once she finished the program she broke down in tears.

The Korean and Japanese women definitely did not disappoint. Yu-Na Kim from Korea set a new world record score. She had a great program, and lives and trains in Canada.

The long program should be a great one to watch, and hopefully Canada can say in medal contention.

3. Men's Hockey- Canada vs Germany

Everyone knew this game would be an easy win, and an easy win it was. We blew out the Germans 8-2. Russia will be our next test, and a test it will be!

4. Ladies Ski Cross

This ranks up there as one of the best stories of the games so far. Ashleigh McIvor won Canada another gold medal. Not only did she win a gold medal, but she was the first ever to do so in the sport of Ski Cross.

Back when Ashleigh was in University she was asked to write a paper. Her paper was about how ski cross should be an Olympic sport, because until this year it had not been. As a ski cross athlete Ashleigh pushed for the sport to be recognized by the Olympic committee, and now she won the first goal medal in the sport. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Our other Canadians ended up 5th, 12th and 19th.

Monday, February 22, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 11 Recap

Canada had another promising day on Day 11. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come in the 2nd week of the Olympics!

1. Men's Cross Country Skiing Team Pursuit

Canada had a great showing in the team pursuit. I haven't featured cross country skiing much, as it is probably one of my least favorite winter sports.

We came into this race ranked 13th in the world, and ended up finishing 4th. Yes I know another 4th place, but it was still a great result for this team.

The big disappointment was the Belarus team as they were doing excellent in their qualification run when less then 500m to go in the race a skier made a wrong turn, that lost him the race.

2. Men's Freestyle Skiing

The men's Aerial Freestyle qualifications were tonight. We had 3 men that were in the hunt to get to the next round, and all 3 made it to the next round! We are in a great position to hopefully threaten for a medal.

3. Women's Hockey

The women dominated yet again in their semi-final game. Our first real test of the games will come when we play the USA in the gold medal game.

I realize that we have not qualified for that game yet, but unless the women decide to fall asleep during a game it will be easy to keep moving on to the finals.

4. Ice Dance Free Skate

Wow is all I can say. Virtue and Moir were amazing tonight. They totally deserved to win the gold medal. The lifts that they did were beautiful, the connection they had was amazing and altogether it was perfect. This definitely sets the tone for week 2 now!

Another great article from Fourth Place Medal

Maybe this is what happens when we don't pressure our athletes

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympics in Pictures 3

21st Winter Olympics:Day 10 Recap

Before I recap the daily events from Vancouver, look at this heartbreaking story about the Canadian Figure Skater.

Canadian Figure Skater's Mother Dies

Daily Recaps:

1. Women's 1500m

Canada was ranked # 1,2 and 5 going into this race. We had high expectations for 1 if not 2 medals from the women. Christina Groves came through for Canada winning the silver medal. Christina Nesbuitt ended up 6th and Cindy Klassen 21st. Although we did get a medal, it was disappointing not to get 2.

2. 2-Man Bobsled

The 2 Man Bobsled did runs 3 and 4 tonight. Canada 1 who had tipped earlier finished out with 2 great runs tonight. They definitely are ready for the 4 man competition. Canada 2 jumped up a spot to end up in 5th place.

The German team that won gold because the most successful Olympic bobsledder in history. It was great to see him win in Canada could not.

3. Canada vs. USA Men's Hockey

This game is another disappointment so far in the games. Canada was favored to win this game, and it was the highlight performance of tonight.

Ryan Miller put out an amazing performance in goal. Brodeur just couldn't get his game together, and it was the weak part of our game.

We finally got some lines to click. Crosby was on a better line tonight, and as a result scored a goal. We took some bad penalties in the game, so still have lots to work on.

Canada will not play Germany and the winner of that will face Russia in the semi finals.

4. Men's Ski Cross

Ski Cross is almost as exciting as the Snowboard Cross. The Canadians put out a decent performance. In the final race Canada was in a medal position when he fell. Christopher Delbosco finished 4th and Davey Barr finished 6th. Stanley Hayer also finished in 10th.

We have had so many athletes finish in 4th place over these games. It would be great to get a few of these onto the podium!

21st Winter Olympics:Day 9 Recap

I know this recap is a little late, I was out with some friends last night. I made a promise to myself that I would update EVERY day, so regardless how late it is here is my Day 9 recap!

1. Men's Curling

In the best game of the men's curling competition Canada faced Great Britain. GB are the reigning world champions and have been playing amazing leading up to the Olympics.

This week however, GB has struggled in finding their game. Well last night they definitely found it challenging Canada and giving them a really good test. Canada just squeaked out the win, but it will be interesting to see if that game helps of hinders the GB team.

2. 2-Man Bobsled

Canada has 2 teams competing in this. Canada 2 is definitely the better of the 2 teams, however, they have been injured most of the season. They said that they were ready to compete and that they were. Pierre Lueders and ex CFL player Jesse Lumsden are in 6th place after 2 runs.

Canada 1 has some major issues on their second run. About 3/4 of the way down the track they tipped their sled. They currently sit in 21st, and definitely are out of the medal race.

3. Men's 1000m Speed Skating

This is probably one of the neatest stories to happen yet in the game. Brothers Charles and Francois Hamelin qualified for the A finals. Unfortunately, we ended up 4th and 5th, but it is pretty impressive to have 2 brothers make it to the finals of 1 event.

4. Women's Super G

Canada had another disappointing day in Whistler. Our downhill teams just can't seem to get the ball rolling.

Our highest Canadian was Britt Janyk in 17th. Georgia Simmerling finished 27th, while veteran Emily Brydon DNF. Shona Rubens also DNF.

Fourth Medal Blog Stories

Did a helmet make the difference?

The red mitts have went to a new level!

Friday, February 19, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 8 Recap

Tonight's recap is going to be slightly different. I want to touch on an event that finished late last night, as well as all of the happenings from today!

1. Men's Figure Skating

The men's figure skating is 1 of 2 major upsets of these Olympics ( the other also came last night as Russia lost to Slovakia in men's hockey). The Russia Evgeni Plushenko was favored coming into these games. He won gold at the 2006 games, retired and then came back to defend his gold. He is one of the most decorated male skaters in history.

American Evan Lysacek was wanting to ruin Plushenko's party. He was the reigning World Champion, and was 2nd coming into the free skate.

Before competition began, the Russia's were complaining about the scoring system and how it favors North American skating. He complained about where in the skate order he was at, and so much more. He had every excuse in the books.

After Lysacek won gold last night, and the Russian Plushenko got silver, the debate really started about who was the better skater. Judge for yourself. But to be Lysacek deserved to win! Maybe I just think so because Vera Wang designs his costumes!

2. Ice Dance Figure Skating

The Ice Dance competition started tonight. Unlike most figure staking the Ice Dancers are required to do 3 performances. A compulsory dance, an original dance, and a free dance. The compulsory is where everyone completes the same moves just to different music and with different costumes.

The Canadians came out great tonight. We are currently sitting in 2nd place. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are definitely medal contenders in this event.

3. Skeleton

Canada had high hopes for our skeleton team. Melissa Hollingsworth was having a great competition until her last run tonight. She finished a disappointing 5th. Canada was definitely expecting a medal from here. Especially since she won the world cup this season.

Amy Gough finished 7th and Michelle Kelly finished 13th.

The men I think really got out shadowed by the women coming into these games. Even as the games were going on, I don't think that anyone ever talked about the men skeleton racers. They definitely gave us something to talk about tonight as Canada won our 4th gold medal. Jon Montgomery came from behind to win the gold. A great feat seeing as he is ranked 5th in the world!

Jeff Pain finished 14th and Michael Douglas was disqualified.

4. Curling

Both the men's and ladies teams are currently undefeated. Hopefully this stays up for rest of the games. These teams continue to play until mid next week, and then they will be playing in the semi-finals.

US Athlete heads home

Cool story about Hannah Teter

Thursday, February 18, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 7 Recap

Today was I think one for the most exciting days so far in the games. I know at my house at a few points we had 2 lab tops going as well as a TV to watch all of the sports going on.

Here are a few highlights from the day:

1. Canadian Men's Hockey

In the 2006 Olympics Switzerland beat Canada 2-0 to really derail our hopes of Olympic Gold. Canada has waited 4 years for this rematch to show that we really are the better hockey nation.

Canada jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, and were playing fairly well. All of a sudden Switzerland had tied the game at 2-2. The game went into overtime, and then a shootout. Finally on the 4th shooter Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal!

This close was way to close for comport and the players know they really need to pick up there socks. Switzerland is a low ranked team in the Olympics. I have to say that their goalie Jonas Hiller played an amazing game, and really kept his team in the game.

There are possibly a few injuries to come out of this game. One of the biggest is Jarome Iginla. He did not play for most of the 3rd period. Watch for his return hopefully for the next game against the USA.

2. Women's Half Pipe

Tonight we got to see the first athlete compete that was featured in the CTV show Over the Bolts. Mercedes Nicoll was the only Canadian to make the finals. She ended up being 6th which was a great result for her.

The other Canadians included Sarah Conrad in 18th and Palmer Taylor in 26th.

3. Skeleton

Skeleton is a different sport in the Olympics as your time is a cumulative score over 4 runs. Tonight both the men and women did the first 2 of 4 runs.

The women put out a strong showing. Current Gold Medalist Mellisa Hollingsworth ended up 3rd for the night. In training runs earlier this week she unofficially broke a track record. Watch for her to come from behind for the win.

The other Canadian women ended up 7th and 13th for the night.

The men also put out a great performance. I will have more on their results tomorrow.

4. Ladies 1000m Speed Skating

The Canadian women really dominated on the track today. Christine Nesbitt was favored for gold going into the race, and she did not disappoint. Nesbitt won Canada our 3rd Gold of the games.

Kristina Groves put out a great performance to be 4th, just 0:06 out of the Bronze medal. Shannon Rempel ended up 21st and Brittany Schussler ended up 25th.

Watch for the Canadian women to dominate again in the 1500m where Canadian skaters are ranked 1, 2, and 5 in the world!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympics in Pictures 2

Love this shot of the luge course

21st Winter Olympics:Day 6 Recap

All I can say is Shaun White! What a day of performances in day 5.

1. Men's Half Pipe

Shaun White is the King of the half pipe once again. He put out a dominate performance tonight to win his second consecutive gold medal. This guy is amazing, and no one even came close to contend with his. Canada had 1 athlete advance to the finals, Justin Lamoureux finished in 7th.

The big disappointment for Canada was Jeff Batchelor who not only failed to qualify for the finals but ended up a disappointing 32nd. Hopefully Batchelor can mature enough for the next Olympics in 2014.

2. Women's Alpine Downhill

Lindsey Vonn was debating whether she would compete due to a shin injury. Personally I think she was just playing with the media. She knew that she would compete all along. After all this is the Olympics!

Lindsy not only competed but she came out with the gold. She put all of the recent controversy about her Sports Illustrated issue, and her injury aside. I was really happy that she as able to win.

3. Men's 1000m Speedskating

I had earlier talked about my following of Jeremy Wotherspoon. Tonight he skated in his final Olympic event ever. He put out a great effort but came up short ending up in 14th place.

I hope that everyone can remember his success in the sport and not focus in on the fact that he as never won an Olympic medal.

4. Ladies 500m Speedskating

Canada had a great showing in the 500m Short Track tonight. We had 3 women who would be contenders for medals. 2 of our women advanced to the finals with Marianne St-Gelais winning the silver medal.

Jessica Gregg finished in 4th and Kalyna Roberge finishing 6th.

Take a look at these great stories again from Fourth Place Medal:

What the blue lines in skiing are for...

The story behind Ovechkins skates

The story behind the Olympic flowers

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

21st Winter Olympics: Day 5 Recap

So I know that it is still a little early for a recap, but with the Canadian men taking to the ice tonight in their first game, I will be paying full attention to that. Plus there are so many great stories from day 5 already today!

There are 2 stories that I read about on the official Olympic Blog: Fourth-Place Medal. Take a look at the links below for great stories!

American men's figure skater Johnny Weir feature
Feature story here

This is a really cool story about one of our Canadian woman's curlers
Feature story here

Ok now back to the daily recap:

1. The Zamboni issues at the Long Track Oval

Last night in the men's 500m Long Track skate their was huge delays due to the ice machine. This machine is one of a kind. It is a green and environmentally friendly machine that ties in with one of the themes for the games. This is the second time that the machine has not worked properly and hopefully its not going to become a reoccurring theme to these games.

2. Canada's curling teams

Both the men's and woman's curling teams took to the ice today in their first games. Kevin Martin played a terrible game strategically and played an extra end to get the win. This was a team that he should have been able to beat no problem. The women also had an extremely close game against the Swiss, but ended up coming up on top.

The men play Germany later tonight.

3. Weather delays in Whistler

The hill conditions at Whistler have been terrible to say the least since the Olympics have started. Warm weather and downpours of rain have not helped the conditions at all. Crews have worked around the clock to the the hill in top condition, and were able to for the men's downhill. Now this morning the Super Combined was delayed again. Hopefully the crews can get the hill back in top form soon.

4. Men's Hockey Preview

In a few minutes the puck will drop in the first Men's Olympic Hockey game for Canada. As we all know anything less then gold is an upset for this team. And the team feels that pressure. Tonight the team will face Norway. The Norwegian team is the least skilled in our pool and we should have no trouble beating this team. Watch for Canada to try out some new lines, and stick to their game without getting to fancy. Luongo gets the start in net tonight, in his home arena. Lets see if he can play a good game without buckling under the pressure as he as been known to do.

5. Women's Snowbaord Cross

As I said last night I think that Snowboard Cross is becoming one of my favorite new sports. It also doesn't hurt that Canada rocks at it! The women went today and Canada came out on top this time with a Gold Medal! Maelle Ricker pulled away to win the competition. Other Canadian's included Dominique Maltais who finished 20th.

Make sure to watch both the Men's Curling, Men's Hockey and Men's Figure Skating Short Program tonight!

Monday, February 15, 2010

21st Winter Olympics:Day 4 Recap

Today offered lots of up and downs for the Canadian team. Here are a few highlights from today's events:

1. Pairs Long Program

The figure skating pairs competition just finished a matter of minutes ago. It was obvious that the Chinese were going to take gold and silver in this competition. I was really hoping for the husband and wife team. They have been 2 time world champions, but had never won a gold medal. They had retired from skating, gotten married and decided to come back to try and win the Olympics.

Last night this team broke the world record in the short program, and tonight broke the world record again in the long program to win the Gold Medal! The Canadians ended up 6th and 9th which was a great performance for these couples.

2. Men's Snow Cross

I think that this is now one of my favorite events in the Winter Olympics. It is a cross between roller derby, snowboarding, and skateboarding. The men do 2 runs in qualifying and then weed it down to 4 men for the finals. Canadian Mike Robertson ended up being edged out and ended up with the silver medal. We had 2 other Canadians competing. Robert Fagan ended up 5th, Drew Neilson was 11th and Francois Boivin was 12th.

3. Men's Alpine Downhill

Canada had 4 men competing in this event. The favored was Manuel Osborne-Paradis as he grew up in North Vancouver and lived on the Wistler hill as a child. Unfortunately, none of our men medaled, but we still had one athlete who put out a great performance. Erik Guay ended up 5th which is the highest placing ever. Manuel Osborne-Paradis ended up 17th, Jan Hudec ended up 25th and Robbue Dixon DNF. These men still have a few more races left later this week.

4. Men's Long Skate 500m

Jeremy Wotherspoon came back for his 4th Olympic games. Back in Elementary school we did a research project on a Winter Olympic sport and I chose speed skating. At that time it was Jeremy's first Olympics, and he was a star on our Long Track Speed Skating team. He came back to try and win the looming Gold medal that is left to complete his decorated skating career.

Tonight we had 4 men competing. Again we did not win a medal but put out some great performances. Our highest placing was Jamie Gregg who ended up 8th. Jeremy Wotherspoon ended up 9th, Mike Ireland 16th, and Kyle Parrott was 21st.

Olympics in Pictures

Over the last few days there have been some great images taken at the Olympics. I can not feature all aspects and sports each day, so I am going to post some pictures every couple days to reflect what has been happening. Hope you enjoy.

The Canadian Women's Hockey team has now qualified to the semi finals with two dominating wins. 18-0; and 10-1.
An American ski jumper lifting off.
There have been lots of peaceful protests in the Vancouer area since the start of the Olympics. This is an example of a protest done wrong. 7 people were arrested in this case.
This figure skating pair made quite the splash last night in the pairs short program. They joked that they should head over to the speed skating track after they finished their program.
The Czech team during the opening ceremonies.
All of the LED lights during the opening ceremonies.
The men's curling team from Norway really wanted to make a splash with their outfits. Watch for them against Canada tomorrow in the first Curling game of the Olympics.
This team offically became the first black figure skating team in Olympic history. They competed for France.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

21st Winter Olympics: Day 3 Recap

Wow what a day for Canada! Today had lots of amazing stories that came out of the games, as well as a personal story that I want to share.

1. Canada Wins Its First Gold Medal on Home Soil

Finally! On day 3rd what seemed to be the impossible for Canada, has now happened. In the men's freestyle skiing, Quebec native Alexandre Bilodeau claimed the gold medal. He put out an amazing run that will go down in history as being the first gold medal performance on Canadian soil.

The 3 other Canadian freestyle skiers that qualified for the finals did not disappoint either. Vincent Marquis finished 4th, Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau finished 5th, and youngster Maxime Gingras finished 11th.

2. Kristina Groves wins 3rd Olympic medal

Kristina Groves walked away with her 3rd Olympic medal tonight, and first of what hopefully is many in the Vancouver games. Groves finished 3rd in the 3000m Speed Skating. Her team mates were also in the hunt with Clara Hughes finishing 5th and Cindy Klassen finishing 14th. All three women still have 3-4 races left in these Olympic games.

3. Pairs Short Skate
The Pair's Short Skate was tonight. Canada has 2 teams competing in this. Although we are not favored for a medal, the Canadian teams are still though to finish well. Currently we are in 5th and 6th place, with the Free Skate tomorrow. It would be great if one of our teams could finish on the podium. All we can do it hope for the best for these young teams.

4. Men's Luge

Today the Men's Luge competition came to a close after a scary week for these athletes. Although Canada did not win a medal in the men's competition, we still had a great competition. We had 3 athletes competing and they all finished in the top 20. Our highest finisher was Samuel Edney, who finished 7th. This is the highest finish ever for a Canadian in an Olympic games.

5. Ignite the Dream

My friend Shaun is spending a week in Vancouver as part of the pyro team for the Olympic Games. This is as close of a personal connection as I will get to the games, but still think its a great story.

Shaun is helping do the Ignite the Dream show twice nightly downtown Vancouver. The show runs at 9:30 and 11:00 Pacific Time. I just finished watching the 9:30 show and it was awesome. There is a great mix of music, pyro, fireworks, and a few surprise guests. The show streams live on the BC Government website. I encourage you to check it out!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

21st Winter Olympics: Day 2 Recap

Today came the first day of competition, aside from some training and qualifying runs. So much happens everyday, that I am going to try to pick out a few stories that stand out to me.

1. Luge Practise Runs

The men were practicing on the Luge track today. They have done a little bit of work on the track to make it safe. The men will now start from the women's start point, and the women will start from another point lower down on the track. Also athletes were given 7 practise runs, rather then the regular 6 to get used to the changes on the track.

2. Short Track Speed Skating

Tonight was our chance at our first gold medal in the men's 1500m Short Track. Unfortunately our best chance at this medal was from Charles Hamelin. He failed to qualify out of his heat. Our second athlete Olivier Jean was taken down in his heat. He automatically qualified for the final because he fell down as a result of another athlete. In an intense finally Jean finished 4th as two Korean skaters went down in front of him. A great finish for Jean, who is not ranked high in international skating.

3. Alpine Skiing

Today was supposed to be Manuel Osborne-Paradis's day. He is a native of Vancouver, Whistler is his home course, and in great shape to win a medal. The course conditions are not good enough to go ahead with the skiing and so has been postponed until Monday. Hopefully Osborne-Paradis will be race ready when his time comes.

4. Today was qualifying and medal day in the women's Freestyle Skiing. Canada had 3 women that were all in the top 10 in the world, including the 2006 Gold medalist Jennifer Heil. No women had ever repeated winning this event, and there is also the added pressure of winning the first gold medal on Canadian soil.
Unfortunately, Heil ended up with the Silver, which is still a great accomplishment for her. The surprise was 18yr old Chloe Dufour-Lapointe who ended up in 6th place. She will really be one to watch in the next few years.
Overall Canada had a decent day. We did some qualifying in Short and Long track speed skating, and came out with 1 medal. Hopefully things only get better!

2010 Winter Olympics: Day 1 Recap

The 21st Winter Olympics are now under way. It is my goal to do a daily recap of what is happening and some of the great stories to come out of the games.

The first day of the Olympics got started with a somber start. The death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian Luger. I think it was a great touch that is fellow Georgian athletes still walked in the Opening Ceremonies in his memory with black scarves and black armbands.

The Opening Ceremonies itself left me with mixed emotions. There were some great highs for me, but also some parts that really left me questioning the games.
Throughout the whole Olympic experience, from the moment the Olympic bid went in, there has been a great focus on the Aboriginal people of Canada. Now I do understand that they are a part of our heritage, and they continue to be part of our country, but the focus of them was just to much. I think the real image of Canada almost got forgotten about.

This focus was brought into the Opening by a entire section being dedicated to the Aboriginals of our land, and also having the 4 chiefs be regarded as "Olympic royalty"

Now for the great parts! I love watching the athletes come into the stadium. This year it was great to see the Canadian athletes that would be competing the next day still be able to be part of the opening as it really is part of the Olympic experience.

The other part that I really love is the lighting of the cauldron. This whole process leaves everyone guessing as to who will be the one to do the lighting. Included in this process is the entrance of the Olympic flag. This year there were 8 people chosen to carry the flag, and I think that all 8 people were excellent choices. Former hockey star Bobby Orr; musician Anne Murray; champion race car driver Jacques Villeneuve; Betty Fox, the mother of cancer research champion Terry Fox; actor Donald Sutherland; gold medal figure skater Barbara Ann Scott; UNAMIR commander Roméo Dallaire; and Julie Payette, Canadian astronaut, carried the flag into the stadium.

After that came the actual lighting of the Olympic cauldron. This year there are 2, one indoors and one outdoors. The outdoor one will remain a permanent fixture in the city, while the indoor one will only be up until the closing ceremonies.

This years caldron was light by 5 people, the first time that a sole person has not done the lighting. Wayne Gretzky, Steven Nash, Nanct Green Raine and Catriona LeMay Doan were selected to light the tourch, with Rick Hansen selected to bring the tourch into the stadium.

The cauldron was supposed to rise from he floor with 4 pegs, and a middle cauldron. Unfortunetly only 3/4 rose and left Gretzky, NBA star Steve Nash and Olympic gold medal skier Nancy Greene Raine to simultaneously light the cauldron while fourth torch bearer, speed-skater Catriona LeMay Doan, was forced to stand by.

Later Gretzky was driven down to the waterfront to light the other cauldron.

I think overall the Openings were a great start. There were a few dry moments, but there seems to be with all Openings. One of my favorite parts was a poem that was read about being Canadian. I am still trying to find it online, and when I do will post it.

Hopefully the rest of the Olympics will go off great. And be sure to stay tuned for more daily recaps!

In Memory

This week the world lost two tremendous men in their own right.
Lee Alexander McQueen was an English fashion designer known for his unconventional designs and shock tactics. McQueen worked as the head designer at Givenchy for five years before founding the Alexander McQueen and McQ labels. Met with critical acclaim and earned him the British Designer of the Year award four times.

McQueen faced a tough life in this last days alive. His mother passed away only days before, and Queen is believed to have taken his own life on February 11, the day before his mothers funeral was supposed to happen.
This fashion legend will remain in the history books as one of the best and most promising designers to ever come out of the UK.
The second man to leave us this week was Georgian Luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili. Nodar as in a training run at the Olympic luge track when he was killed in a training accident. This came the afternoon before the Olympics opened, and brought on a somber start to the Vancouver games.
I think that this is a real tragedy for the sporting community in a time of celebration and sport. I think the biggest tragedy is the media in this unfortunate circumstance. I feel that there was no need to show pictures of the accident, and especially not to show the video footage of it.
Hopefully the rest of the games and NY fashion week will go on as planned, and that at both of these events both of these men will remain in our hearts.