Olympics: TSL Checks in Above The Border at the 2010 Winter Games

After the inevitable pre-Olympic drama storm, we can finally sit back to watch world-class athletes do what they do best—compete. Amidst photo-shoot scandals, weather scandals, protest scandals, and every other story line you could dream up, it is easy to forget that the Olympics and pure athletics should serve as a brief respite from the political and economic concerns that plague our lives. When the Opening Ceremonies (held on Feb. 12) heralded the beginning of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, we could finally let out a sigh of relief before we promptly caught our breath again as the competition began.

TSL, of course, could not neglect the games, although it is virtually impossible for a weekly paper to cover something like the Olympics adequately. Every day brings a new competition and a new story line to follow.

As such, every person follows the Olympics in their own way. Thus far, I have closely monitored speed skating, downhill skiing, and my suite’s new favorite sport, curling.

The Olympics are not great for cut-and-dry newspaper coverage, but for the impressions they leave on us. For our coverage, then, we will hand it off to Amy Brownstein for the week, to keep us updated in her own voice. In the meantime, make sure you find a way to tune in.

After all, this is a once-in-every-four-years experience.

The 2010 Winter Olympics games are finally here, bringing excitement and spirit to the participants as well as the participating countries.

The Olympic ceremonies opened with Johnny Lyle snowboarding down a slope and through the Olympic rings. The ceremony progressed with musical performances from Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado, Bryan Adams, K.D. Lang, and Nikki Yanofsky. After these performances, eager athletes paraded through the arena nervous and excited for the upcoming days.

Despite the usual excitement at this year’s Olympics, there have also been moments of sadness and shock, including the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. The Vancouver Olympic luge course is very fast and has already caused many accidents, Kumaritashvili’s death being the most serious.On Feb. 13, Apolo Anton Ohno competed in the final round of the 1,500-meter short track skating event. A short track is a 111.12-meter track, so racers move quickly around it. In short track, the participants compete head-to-head instead of racing against the clock. In Saturday night’s race, Ohno tried to maintain a top-three position throughout the race. At times he was in front, at times in the middle. Entering the last lap, Ohno was pushed back to fourth place.

At this point in the race, it looked as if the Korean team would pull off a medal sweep. But in the last leg of the last lap, the number two and three Koreans collided, allowing Ohno to finish in second place and American J.R. Celski to grab third.

After medaling in the race, Ohno became the most decorated short track athlete, with a total of six medals.

Hannah Kearney won the United States’ first gold medal in the women’s mogul event. Kearney has been leading women’s moguls this season, demonstrating her skill and competency in the event this past weekend. Kearney won gold after successfully completing a clean, fast, and almost perfect final run. Kearney raced low to the ground, keeping her body in a straight, solid line throughout the race. Her jumps were flawless—she managed to get 812 feet of air off the first snow ramp.

In the women’s snowboard cross event on Tuesday, medal contender Lindsey Jacobellis—whom you may remember from her gaff in the 2006 games—fell in her quarterfinal run. But she was able to compete in a “mercy” final to determine fifth, six, seventh, and eighth place. This time around, Jacobellis proved her snowboarding mastery and came in first for her heat with a beautiful run. Her quarterfinal run showed again the unpredictability of snowboarding cross, especially with these snow conditions.

In Wednesday’s women’s downhill ski race, Lindsey Vonn came in first, and her teammate Julia Mancuso finished second. Vonn got the gold medal by more than half of a second, despite worries that a bruised ankle might hurt her ability to compete.

In the early rounds of men’s hockey competition, the US and Canada look to be strong this season.

The most talked about player on the Canadian team this Olympics seems to be Sidney Crosby, one of the leading players for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be interesting to watch him in these upcoming games to see if he can lead the home team to the gold. The US women’s hockey team has been doing well so far. In these upcoming days, they too will have many important games.The women’s hockey gold medal game is set for Thursday, Feb. 25 at 3:30 p.m. The men’s hockey gold medal game is set up for an exciting finale on the last day of the Olympics—Sunday, Feb. 25 at 12:15 p.m.

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