Sunday, February 28, 2010

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games or We Won at Hockey

Well they got off to a shaky start what with the unfortunate death and the faulty hydraulics, but they ended on an incredible high with a series of ups and downs in between. Rather than write a giant block of text on my final impressions I decided to put my review into list format so here's my Top 10 Best Things and Worst Things about the Olympics:

The Best

10. Jennifer Hiel wins our first medal of the games with a silver in Women's Moguls. The first is always a good one.

9. Mael Ricker wins gold in Women's Snowboard Cross. Although we won a lot of gold at this Olympics (a record breaking 14 as I am sure you already know) I found this one particularly memorable. How well she raced, the smile on her face afterwards, the fact that she wasn't even thought to be our best competitor in the event, and the commentary when she crossed the finish line all combined to create a classic Olympic moment.

8. Clara Hughes wins bronze in the Women's 5000m in the final race of her career. Hughes is considered to be one of Canada's greatest athlete and the only person int he world to win medals in both the summer and winter games. What an excellent way to cap off an astounding career.

7. Tessa Moir and Scott Virtue win gold in ice dancing. I have to admit I don't really understand this sport, but their skate was beautiful and it put an end to Russian dominance of figure skating. Plus they had some rather amusing reactions.

6. Jon Montgomery wins the Men's Skeleton. For me this was all in how he treated the win with rowdy cheering while marching through Whistler drinking from a pitcher of beer. They say it takes Olympic athletes some time before they realize that they've won, but I think Montgomery figured it out right away and seized the moment.

5. Jasey Jay Anderson wins gold in Snowboard PGS moments after we won gold in the Speed Skating Men's Team Pursuit. Both races were incredibly close and there was a second where it seemed like we wouldn't win either which made victory all the more sweeter.

4. Winning gold and silver in 2 Women Bobsleigh. It always awesome to be the best twice over. Now if only we had a third team to win bronze.

3. Joannie Rochette wins bronze in Figure Skating just days after the death of her mother. To many Canadians this medal was as good as gold (especially considering her competition). It was an emotional short program that left even me choked up a little bit. She also got the Terry Fox Award and the distinction of carrying our flag at the closing ceremony in reward for her efforts.

2. Alexandre Bilodeau wins gold in Men's Moguls, the first gold ever won by a Canadian on our own soil. This was quite a moment for all of Canada made all the more poignant due to Bilodeau's relationship with his brother (which I think the media exploited just bit too much).

1. We won at Hockey!

The Worst

10. Lineups everywhere. This is one of those annoyances that one expects when an event such as the Olympics comes to town and it was slightly remedied by the fact that everybody was in a good mood.

9. Annoying advertising. Although this is true of all Olympics I cannot help but be bothered by how corporatized this event is. Thus became most apparent upon entering the Coca-Cola Pavilion.

8. There were too many crappy bands at the closing ceremony especially Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan and Hedley. Though on the flip side there was Neil Young, Michael Buble, and k.d. Lang at the opening ceremony. At least there was no Celine Dion.

7. Olympic naysayers such as the rioters on the first day, the British press, and a few other groups expended quite a bit of effort to rain on everybody's parade and although they were obnoxious I think its safe to say that they failed in their goal.

6. Any women's hockey game that's not Canada vs. U.S.A. just simply isn't all that exciting. In fact they're downright painful to watch. I am sorry to say it ladies, but if you don't get other countries interested in the sport then I just don't see how they can keep this in the Olympics.

5. The bad weather at Cypress was a pain in the ass, but VANOC and the volunteers did their best to keep it going.

4. At every Olympic games there is victory, but for many there is also disappointment and Canada had its fair share with a few medals that got away. I won't pick out any specific athlete, but I am sure we all saw at least one fall short of expectations.

3. There were numerous problems regarding the torch starting at the opening ceremony when the hydraulics broke down on one of the legs leave Catrina Le May Doan looking rather awkward. Then there was the lack of access to the outdoor torch which raised the ire of many people who wanted a photograph. Both of these problems were taken care of in their own way.

2. One thing I absolutely despise is that goddamn song they play every goddamn time we win a goddamn medal, that "I believe in miracles" tripe. Not only is it incredibly sappy, but I always forget that they're going to play it because I am so excited that we won. Then it comes on like a crotch shot to my national pride.

1. The Olympics opened with the tragic death of Nodar the Georgian luger which is a pretty terrible way to start off any event.

So there you have the best and the worst of it although I left out some pretty important things like all our other medalists, Stephen Colbert, and of course the jubilant attitude of all Canadians during these Olympics especially after we won hockey gold. These games were a tremendous positive in my opinion, and something that I won't soon forget.

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