5 Great Stories of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games
The 2010 Olympic Games may have begun on a sad note, but as each day went by throughout the past two weeks, things began to take form and many joyful memories were created, inspirational moments were developed, and storybook endings were written. Plenty of these can be discovered if you look hard enough, but here are five of the greatest stories that marked these Winter Games in Vancouver.
Alexandre Bilodeau Wins Canada’s First Gold On Home Soil:
Many believed that Canada’s first Gold on home soil would come at Cypress Mountain, but most thought it would be one day earlier when Jennifer Heil was set to take to the hills in the women’s moguls competition. Instead, Heil was forced to settle for silver, but one night later Bilodeau inspired a nation by taking home the gold as his biggest fan and brother Frederic (who was born with cerebral palsy) looked on. Not only was it our first ever gold at an Olympic event in Canada, but it was the start of and unbelievable march to the top of the podium by athletes of the host nation.
Gold and Total Medal Records Fall:
Bilodeau may have been the first, but he certainly was not the last Canadian to win gold on home soil. Canadian athletes may have started out slowly, but a big second week would eventually result in a Winter Olympic record 14 gold medals. It was an amazing turn around after many were already criticizing Canada’s “Own The Podium” program after a few days of competition. However, Canada was not the only country breaking medal records. Their neighbor to the south was also making a statement. The U.S.A. set a record of their own, this one in total medals, as they earned 37 throughout the two weeks of competition (9 gold, 15 silver, 13 bronze). These may have been Canada’s Games, but don’t be surprised to hear some refer to the 2010 Winter Olympics as North America’s Games.
Crosby’s Overtime Goal Gives Canada Gold in Men’s Hockey:
Bilodeau’s first gold medal for Canada was one to remember, but it was the last gold for Canada that had everyone dancing in the streets. The 2010 Games in Vancouver were slated by many to be the host of the greatest international hockey tournament ever. With the likes of Russia, Sweden, and many other countries looking to exert their dominance on the ice, it was Canada and the U.S.A. who found themselves squaring off for a shot at gold and world hockey supremacy. The Americans had won the previous meeting in the round robin, but everyone knew that the finals would be a completely different game, and it was. With the Canadians up 2-0, the U.S.A. clawed their way back for force overtime after Zach Parise leveled the score with only 24 seconds remaining in regulation. Most thought that would crush Canada’s chances, but instead, all it did was allow for Sidney Crosby to cement his legacy as Canada’s next great hockey star, and create a memorable ending as his goal 7:40 into overtime gave the home nation a much anticipated men’s hockey gold medal.
Joannie Rochette’s Inspirational Bronze Medal:
Shortly after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter take part in the Ladies’ Figure Skating competition, Therese Rochette suddenly, and unexpectedly passed away. It was a tragedy that most wouldn’t be able to overcome, but Joannie did, skating in the short program only two days later, and eventually taking home the bronze. It was an emotional and inspirational event that had everyone at the games talking. Had Rochette decided to back out of the competition, no one would have questioned her decision, but she went through with it, and used the tragedy to inspire herself, her entire nation, and the world.
Petra Majdic Overcomes Collapsed Lung, Five Broken Ribs To Win Cross Country Bronze:
Joannie Rochette was not the only Olympic athlete providing us all with an awe-inspiring moment. Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic was equally relentless following a brutal crash down a three meter slope onto some rocks, which would result in five broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Rather than quit, Majdic was determined to continue, and did so despite all the pain that she would be forced to endure. Screaming in agony as she raced on, Majdic would win the necessary heats in order to get herself into the Women’s individual classic sprint Cross Country final, where she would earn the bronze medal. So how much pain was Majdic really in? She required help to step up onto the podium later that evening during the award ceremony. Talk about gutting it out.