North America dominated the 2010 Winter Olympic games

This article can be found published in the March 29, 2010 issue of Delaware County Community College’s newspaper, “The Communitarian.”
The U.S. men's hockey team fell to Team Canada in the gold medal game. (Getty Images)

The U.S. men’s hockey team fell to Team Canada in the gold medal game. (Getty Images)

The 2010 Winter Games came to a close in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the night of Feb. 28, ending 17 days filled with tragedy and triumph. North America dominated the Games, with Canada and the United States winning 63 of the 258 medals: 23 gold, 22 silver and 18 bronze. The United States came home with 37 medals in hand – the most by any country in Winter Games history. Canada, the host country, won 14 gold medals, the most by any country in the Winter Games – breaking the record of 13 originally held by Norway in 2002 and the former Soviet Union in 1976.

Tragedy struck early in the Games when just hours before the opening ceremony, 21-year-old Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger, was involved in a fatal crash during a training run Feb. 12. During his run, Kumaritashvili, said by observers to be going at least 90 mph, lost control of his sled, went over the wall and crashed into one of the metal support beams.

It didn’t end there. The mother of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette died of a heart attack hours after arriving in Vancouver. Rochette decided to continue on with the Games and put on two performances that brought the home crowd to their feet. She finished the Olympics with a bronze medal.

For the final game of the Winter Olympics, it was only fitting that it would be a match-up between the United States and Canada for the men’s ice hockey gold medal. NBC’s Bob Costas called the game, “One of the greatest sports events I have ever seen.”

According to NBC, the gold medal game attracted 27.6 million viewers, the most people watching a hockey game in 30 years since the 1980 Olympics when the United States defeated Finland to win the gold medal (32.8 million). The “Miracle on Ice” USA-Soviet Union semifinal game, from the same tournament, drew 34.2 million viewers, and that game was broadcasted on a tape delay.

Apolo Anton Ohno has become the most decorated American Winter Olympian. (Getty Images)

Apolo Anton Ohno has become the most decorated American Winter Olympian. (Getty Images)

Some Americans came into the Games with the hopes of improving their performances from four years ago, or to build upon their success.

Bode Miller, looking for redemption from the Torino Games, secured three medals: a gold in the men’s super combined, a silver in the men’s Super-G and a bronze in the men’s downhill.

Lindsay Vonn, battling injuries, returned home with a gold in the ladies’ downhill and a bronze in the ladies’ Super-G.

Shaun White, a favorite in the Games, did not disappoint. Posting a high score on his first run, no other boarder was able to match, giving him the gold in the men’s halfpipe and a second run that meant nothing. White took advantage of the “free run” and showed off his secret move and received an even higher score of 48.4 out of 50.0.

Apolo Anton Ohno skated away from the Games as an eight-time Olympic medalist, passing Bonnie Blair as the most decorated American Winter Olympian. Ohno won two bronze and one silver medal to go along with his gold, silver and bronze from 2006 and gold and bronze from 2002.

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Categories: Olympics, Sports

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