VANCOUVER, British Columbia–The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancvouer have come to an end. But not before the city passes the torch to Sochi. It’s been a wild and historic 16 days for both the U.S. and host Canada. Join me as I blog live from the ceremony at BC Place.
5:30 pm: The ceremony opens with a Canadian mime, poking fun at the cauldron malfunction from the opening ceremony. The crowd is eating it up. One thing Canadians have never been accused of is lacking a sense of humor. Well done Canada, well done. Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–A novelist couldn’t have written a better finale to this story. The last event of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was a cross-border showdown between Canada and the United States in the men’s gold medal hockey match. It seems the gods on Mount Olympus were smiling on Canada today as they defeated the U.S. 3-2 in a sudden death overtime. “It doesn’t even feel real,” said Canadian forward Sidney Crosby, who scored the final goal. “It feels like a dream.” But for the U.S., it was a stinging defeat that could have gone either way. “It’s going to be tough to swallow,” said U.S. forward Jamie Langenbrunner. Of course, when the two teams first met at Canada Hockey Place last week, the U.S. stunned Canada 5-3 for a win. Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–This has got to be my favorite night of the Winter Games—the Figure Skating Exhibition Gala. The competition is over, the medals have been doled out and the winners get to strut their stuff in fancy-free routines to music people actually like (hopefully). The top five skaters or couples in each event will skate tonight. No labored movie scores, no required elements—just unabashed skating like nature intended.
The lights are already dimmed in the Pacific Colisuem, and a blue light is shinging on the ice. So sit back, relax and enjoy the sparkles and spangles in the Olympics’ most carefree event.
4:30 pm: The lights are dim and the evening starts with a group skate (not the Olympians) skating to Olympic Fanfare. The teeniest tiniest little boy is on the ice. Super cute! Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–I’m back at the Richmond Olympic Oval for the final day of long track speed skating competition. The women and men of Team USA will be battling for gold in the Team Pursuit.
First up will be the women’s semifinals where the U.S. will go head to head with Germany for a spot in the gold medal final later today. The women’s team, comprised of Catherine Raney-Norman, Jennifer Rodriguez, Jilleanne Rookard and Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr., already upset the Canadian favorites with a win in the quarterfinals by .05 seconds.
“I had no idea where we were in the race,” Jilleanne Rookard said. “I heard a lot of cheering for the Canadians so I thought they were ahead by a long shot.”
The Team Pursuit is unique in Olympic racing in that it’s not a relay, but a team skate much like a team ride in cycling. Three skaters work together, drafting off of each other, to get all three members across the finish line first.
“As little as we skate together we have to focus on being in sync with one another,” said Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr. “This was the one race where we actually pulled it together quite well.”
After the ladies, the American men will face off with Canada in the gold medal final. The U.S. team, comprised of Chad Hedrick, Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck and Trevor Marsicano, are guaranteed a medal. The only question is: what color will it be? Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–It’s the final night of short track speed skating, aka the most exciting thing to happen on ice since the margarita.
First up is the men’s 500m race and then the men’s 5000m relay. The star of the show is none other than the defending Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno. I’ll be bringing you the action live from the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
Here in Vancouver, the men’s action will alternate with the women’s 1000 meter event, which my colleague in Olympic arms, Jason Black, will bring to you on his blog, Fade to Black.
We’ve just had some excitement in the press tribune when an access control box caught on fire. Is a portent of hot things to come? I hope so. Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—It’s ladies’ night at the Pacific Colisuem. What will it take for any of the other skaters to dethrone Korea’s “Queen” Yu-Na Kim? Nothing short of an anti-monarchy revolution. In other words, a miracle.
The reigning world champion delivered a show-stopping performance in the short program on Tuesday night that put her nearly five points ahead of Japan’s Mao Asada. Short of a total meltdown, which would be unprecedented—Kim has won every competition she has entered this season—the Olympic crown is hers for the taking. She simply needs to skate like she usually does. And with record scores in both the short program and free skate, it shouldn’t be hard for her to do. Read the rest of this entry →
The sky is falling. The U.S. men have beaten Canada at their own game—for now. And after all the hype and hoopla surrounding these Olympics games, Canada may need hockey gold now more than ever.
Team USA trumped our neighbors to the north 5-3 in men’s ice hockey at the winter Olympics for the first time in 50 years. With a perfect 3-0-0-0 record, the U.S. won its group and will move onto the quarterfinal round as 12 pm PST on Feb. 24.“To beat Canada on their own soil is special,” said U.S. forward Ryan Kessler of the cross-border showdown, which ended in the biggest U.S. vs. Canada upset since the epic figure skating Battle of the Brians at the 1988 Calgary games.
While NBC’s primetime coverage went to ice dancing, the U.S. vs. Canada game was relegated to MSNBC. But in Canada, the national obsession is primetime. Which meant all of Canada was watching the stinging national defeat. Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—It’s the most exciting Olympic men’s figure skating final perhaps since the famous Battle of the Brians in Calgary in 1988. American Brian Boitano came out on top. Will the USA be that lucky again? It’s certainly possible. With only .6 points separating the three leaders—Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko, USA’s Evan Lysacek, and Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi—they might as well be tied. It’s any man’s medal going into the free skate tonight.
And not to be ruled out are Nobunari Oda of Japan, Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland and Johnny Weir of the USA, who sit in fourth, fifth and sixth place. If any of the three leaders fall apart tonight, one of them could move into medal position.
There’s going to be drama, funky costumes and odd music choices for sure. But there’ll also be some darn good skating. So stay tuned for the Men’s Figure Skating Free Program! Read the rest of this entry →
CYPRESS MOUNTAIN, British Columbia–What a day for Team USA. Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso go gold and silver in Women’s Alpine Skiing Downhill. Shani Davis defends his 2006 Olympic title with another gold, while teammate Chad Hedrick skates to bronze in Men’s Long Track Speed Skating. And then, the American men faced off in Snowboard Halfpipe. Did they pull a double medal stunner like their teammates?
Welcome to the big show.
With four riders competing in the final, Team USA aimed for a podium sweep. Shaun White, Louie Vito, Scotty Lago and Gregory Bretz tricked their hearts out. Read the rest of this entry →
If there is one event that just keeps getting bigger, better and more dangerous, Men’s Halfpipe has got to be it. Shaun White, the defending Olympic champion, is back for another gold. But don’t even think of calling him The Flying Tomato. That’s so 2006. Now you can call him “The Animal.”
“Lately I resemble the drummer from the Muppets so ‘The Animal’ has become my thing here,” he said.
Whatever you call him, he’s the heavy favorite and is coming into the competition with a big bag of new tricks.And with two other strong Americans in the field—Scotty Lago of Seabrook, N.H., and Louie Vito of Sandy, Utah—there’s even talk of a Team USA sweep. Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–The media tribunes are packed. I hear the constant click of camera shutters in front of me. And that can only mean one thing: Some Olympic magic is about to be made.
I’m live at the opening night of the men’s figure skating competition. It will be a battle for the ages in one of the most competitive fields in recent memory. Defending Olympic Champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia will go skate to skate with reigning World Champion Evan Lysacek of the U.S., U.S. National Champion Jeremy Abbott and former U.S. Champion Johnny Weir, among a bevy of other heavy hitters. Read the rest of this entry →
Over a black long-sleeved shirt, he wears a gauzy white scarf emblazoned with red skulls trimmed in maple leafs. His black watch glitters with a jewel-trimmed face. He carries his 5-foot-9-inch frame with perfect posture, and he is poised and well-spoken. With perfectly curled eyelashes, he has a genuine way of looking you in the eye when he speaks. When Johnny Weir enters a room, everyone knows a celebrity has landed.
“It’s not my main goal to be famous or popular,” Weir said. “My goal is to be good at whatever I do.”
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA—The feeling in the room is electric. Maybe it’s the years of watching figure skating as a little girl or maybe it’s because there is a little magic in the air tonight.
Here at the Pacific Coliseum, the second night of pairs figure skating is about to get underway. The first group of couples is warming up on the ice, the crowd is buzzing and the press tribunes are packed. So stay tuned for the free program live from Vancouver!
5:17 p.m.: The first two pairs from Germany and Ukraine have taken the ice, but the pairs to watch are yet to come. Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao come into the free program in first place after a flawless performance in the short program last night. But the room is also buzzing about Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany in second and Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia in third. Canadian hometown favorites Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison are in sixth, while Team USA’s Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig are in 10th, and Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett are 14th of 20 couples. Read the rest of this entry →
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — In a dramatic short track finish, Apolo Anton Ohno won the silver medal in the men’s 1500 meters. With six Olympic medals to his name, Ohno is now tied with Bonnie Blair as the most decorated American Winter Olympian.
“I’m very, very happy with my performance today,” Ohno said. “I skated a very aggressive race. I feel good.”
Going into the final turn, Ohno was in fourth place when two Korean skaters crashed, allowing him to move up to second. He finished in 2:17.976 just in front of teammate J.R. Celski, who won the bronze medal finishing in 2:18.053. Read the rest of this entry →