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Olympics

2010 - Winter Olympics XXI

Vancouver, Canada

On July 2, 2003, Vancouver defeated other candidate cities, Pyeong Chang and Salzburg, and earned the opportunity – along with Whistler – to stage the 2010 Winter Olympics.

As February 2010 arrived, organizers were heralded for their green efforts: the monitoring of carbon emissions, the state-of-the-art green buildings such as the Olympic village, and its promotion of mass transit. But there were also obstacles: protesters, resistant residents and worrisome weather. Warm temperatures, rain, and a lack of snowfall caused organizers to haul in snow from miles away and disrupted some event schedules.

A dark cloud fell over the Games on opening day when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a horrific training crash at the Whistler Sliding Centre, notorious for its speedy track. Criticism flew about the architecture and safety of the track. The news put a shadow over the Opening Ceremony, which included emotional words about the death from IOC President Jacques Rogge and VANOC CEO John Furlong. Then one of the hydraulic arms on the cauldron malfunctioned during the ceremony, and it seemed as if the Games were doomed.

There was great focus on Own The Podium, a program put in place to fund and support Canada's athletes with the expressed goal making Canada the top medal winning nation at 2010 Olympics. Canada was the only nation to have played Olympic host without winning gold at home.

Vancouver Olympics

Alexandre Bilodeau made that dubious title fall by winning gold in moguls and creating one of the lasting images of the Games, as he celebrated with his brother Frederic – the skier's inspiration – who suffers from cerebral palsy.

The Canadian Olympic team went on to win the most medals it has ever won – 26 – and set a new all-time high of 14 gold medals to lead all countries and tie the all-time mark for any nation at a Winter Games.

Figure skater Joannie Rochette was Canada's heroine of the Games after one of the most emotional performances the nation has ever seen. The skater lost her mother suddenly just days before she was to compete in Vancouver, still earned a bronze medal and was chosen as Canada's flag-bearer for the Closing Ceremonies.

The marquee event of the Games was hockey, and the expectations for Canada had never been higher. The Canadian teams delivered on the enormous hype. Both its men's and women's hockey teams skated to gold medals, defeating American rivals in their gold medal finals. Canada's women cruised through the competition unbeaten, and critics complained there was no competitive balance in women's hockey. Leaders of the game vowed to take steps to help nations outside of North America improve. On the men's side, the image of Sidney Crosby scoring Canada's winning goal in overtime past tournament MVP Ryan Miller of the U.S. for gold stamped itself into hockey history. Cheers reverberated across Canada, yet hockey fans wondered if 2010 was to be the last Olympics for participation from NHL players, and the debate will rage on in the lead up to the 2014 Games.

These Games were also characterized by two prominent American athletes. Lindsey Vonn's gold medal in the women's downhill made her the most decorated U.S. female skier in history. Shaun White grabbed his second Olympic gold medal in men's half pipe with his new signature move, The Double McTwist 1260, which distinguished White from the rest of the world.

The Vancouver-Whistler Games will be remembered most, though, for the celebratory atmosphere. The city's no-fun reputation and grumbling Whistler locals seemed to fade as the Games progressed. People partied in the village of Whistler and packed Robson Square and the rest of Vancouver's downtown, street hockey games broke out in intersections and Canadians showed patriotism like never before, surprising not only the national media but the rest of the world.

Medal Standings

  Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States 9 15 13 37
Germany 10 13 7 30
Canada 14 7 5 26
Norway 9 8 6 23
Austria 4 6 6 16
Russia 3 5 7 15
South Korea 6 6 2 14
China 5 2 4 11
Sweden 5 2 4 11
France 2 3 6 11

Canadian Medal Winners

GOLD
Alexandre Bilodeau
Men's Moguls
Charles Hamelin
500m Short Track
Kaillie Humphries
Women's Two Man Bobsleigh
Heather Moyse
Women's Two Man Bobsleigh
Kevin Martin
Men's Curling
John Morris
Men's Curling
Marc Kennedy
Men's Curling
Ben Hebert
Men's Curling
Adam Enright
Men's Curling
Scott Moir/Tessa Virtue
Ice Dance
Ashleigh McIvor
Women's Ski Cross
Men's Team
Ice Hockey
Women's Team
Ice Hockey
Charlies Hamelin
5000m Short Track Relay
Francois Hamelin
5000m Short Track Relay
Francois-Louis Tremblay
5000m Short Track Relay
Guillaume Bastille
5000m Short Track Relay
Olivier Jean
5000m Short Track Relay
Jon Montgomery
Skeleton
Jasey-Jay Anderson
Snowboard PGS
Maelle Ricker
Snowboard Boardercross
Mathieu Giroux
Team Pursuit Long Track
Lucas Makowsky
Team Pursuit Long Track
Denny Morrison
Team Pursuit Long Track
Christine Nesbitt
1000m Long Track
SILVER
Helen Upperton
Women's Two Man Bobsleigh
Shelly-Ann Brown
Women's Two Man Bobsleigh
Cheryl Bernard
Women's Curling
Susan O'Connor
Women's Curling
Carolyn Darbyshire-McRory
Women's Curling
Cori Bartel
Women's Curling
Kristie Moore
Women's Curling
Jennifer Heil
Women's Moguls
Marianne St-Gelais
500m Short Track
Jessica Gregg
3000m Short Track Relay
Kalyna Roberge
3000m Short Track Relay
Tania Vicent
3000m Short Track Relay
Marianne St-Gelais
3000m Short Track Relay
Mike Robertson
Snowboard Boardercross
Kristina Groves
1500m Long Track
BRONZE
Lyndon Rush
Four Man Bobsleigh
David Bissett
Four Man Bobsleigh
Lascelles Brown
Four Man Bobsleigh
Chris le Bihan
Four Man Bobsleigh
Joannie Rochette
Women's Figure Skate
Kristina Groves
3000m Long Track
Clara Hughes
5000m Long Track

 



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