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Top 10 Things To Look For In The 2010 Winter Olympics

Author: gmanty

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada is just around the corner.  For those who haven’t been keeping up on all the winter sports since the last Olympics, here’s a top ten list (in no particular order) of the possible highlights.  Just remember, it isn’t just the sports that make the Olympics worth watching!

1.    The opening ceremonies
No matter who you are, or where the Olympics are located, deep in your heart you know there’s nothing more stirring than the opening ceremonies.  China’s summer extravaganza set the bar pretty high for Canada, but you can bet your back bacon they’re going to put their all into it.

2.    Women’s hockey
1998 saw the debut of women’s hockey at the Olympics.  Since then, there hasn’t been much excitement about it in the US.  But this year, Team USA is a frontrunner for gold.  Canada has been dominating this season, but coach Mark Johnson has high hopes for his team.  Can Olympic gold do for women’s hockey what it did for women’s soccer?  It’s doubtful there will be a “Brandy Chastain moment” with all that gear, but perhaps the men out there will take notice anyway.

3.    Biathlon
Hugely popular in Europe but largely ignored in the US, biathletes have struggled to get funding and training until this year.  When the sport was finally noticed by a prosperous contributor money was finally available to get things going.  The big standout for the US will be Tim Burke, who won both silver and bronze medals at the World Cup in Ostersund.  This could be a great beginning for an under appreciated sport.

4.    Stephen Colbert
When Deutsche Bank went belly-up and their $300,000 pledge for the US speed skating team went with it, Colbert stepped up to the plate.  It took less than a month for the “Colbert Nation” to replace the funds.  There’s sure to be a lot of Colbert’s scathing satire surrounding the games.  Like him or not, the comedian has the audience and the pull to make things happen.

5.    Team USA-1 four-man bobsled
Steve Holcomb has been piloting the “Night Train” with his teammates Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz with incredible results.  Three gold medals in World Cup events this season puts them at the top of their game.  It’s even more amazing when you consider Holcomb nearly quit bobsledding because of eye problems.  Surgery in 2008 restored his vision and renewed his love of the sport.

6.    Skier/snowboarder antics
Though Bode Miller recently sprained his ankle, he’ll probably still make the games.  And you can be sure he and the other downhill skiers will be as crazy as ever. Add in the new addition of extreme sports inspired skicross to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a speed-induced adrenaline rush madness that only the boys and girls who haunt the slopes can produce.  If only we could all be there for the after-party.

7.    Shani Davis and Apolo Ohno
On December 11th, Davis broke his own world record for the 1500m by coming in at 1:41.04, besting his previous record of 1:41.80.  In long track, Davis is hands-down the man to beat.  Ohno, who at 27 is the elder statesman of the short track, is competing in his third Olympics in 2010.  He’ll be pushing to beat Eric Heiden’s record of seven medals won in winter Olympics.  But he’d better watch out, JR Celski is a young man moving up in the ranks, and one of the few who could give Ohno a run for his money.

8.    Kim Yu-Na
The South Korean figure skater is the undeniable favorite for gold in 2010.  Her signature triple-triple exhibits an intense athleticism coupled with a grace that brings audiences to their feet.  At Skate America in Lake Placid, NY she broke the scoring record for short program, earning a 76.28.  While the Olympics brings out the patriot in most of us, sometimes you just need to sit back and appreciate poetry in motion.

9.    Ice Dancing
The possibilities are wide open for ice dancing this year.  While US couple Meryl Davis and Charlie White won gold at the Grand Prix Final, it by no means places them above the rest of the competitors.  Two favored teams missed this season making it difficult to judge who will come out on top in 2010.  Everyone is sure to be giving it their all in Vancouver.  It will be exciting to watch the heavy competition among the couples.

10.    Skeleton
After a 54-year absence, skeleton returned to the winter Olympics in 2002 and included both men and women.  Named because the new metal sled used in 1892 looked like a skeleton; it’s tough to deny the thrills caused by people sliding head first down a track at 80 mph.  Look for the return of Noelle Pikus-Pace, the first US woman to win the World Cup in 2005.  She’s back from taking the 2007-2008 seasons off to have a child, but is shaping up to be a big threat in Vancouver.

Canada is putting its best foot forward to make this a great winter Olympics.  Take the time to watch a variety of sports.  You never know, you could become the newest curling fanatic, or find out you really enjoy moguls over downhill.  Bundle up, grab a hot toddy, and enjoy the best athletes the world has to offer in winter sports.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1316766_32.html
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