Unforgettable Moments of The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
The 2010 Vancouver Olympics came to an end with resounding success as well as tragedy. Here are some of the unforgettable moments that have come to pass during the Games:
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Luger’s Death Mars Opening of Olympics
The 2010 Vancouver Games could not have had a more unfortunate start. Just a few hours before the opening ceremony, Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed in a tragedy with which these Games might forever be associated. The 21-year-old Georgian luger died in a horrific training crash at the Whistler Sliding Center when his sled went off the track and struck a steel pole.
Although investigations concluded that it was the driver’s error that caused the death and not due to any track deficiencies, international luge officials decided to move the starting point of all luge events farther down the track, thereby, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in the maximum speed. In addition, the walls were raised at the exit of Curve 16, the last on the course, where Kumaritashvili lost control.
Canada Strikes First Olympic Gold At Home
Canada has never won an Olympic gold medal on home soil, having been shut out of golds in two previous Olympics—the 1976 Montreal Summer Games and the 1988 Calgary Winter Games. The country is desperately waiting for someone to break the Olympic curse, to see who will finally climb to the top of the podium and to hear “O Canada” as the Maple Leaf flag rise during the medal ceremony. And they were not disappointed.
On Sunday night of Valentine’s Day, Alexandre Bilodeau, became the first ever Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal for the host nation in the men’s mogul competition. The 22-year-old from Quebec was instantly a household name across the nation and was hailed as “Alexandre the Great” in the headline of one of Vancouver’s daily newspaper. Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint promptly publicized plans to issue commemorative stamps and coins in his honor.
Canada ultimately landed on top of the medal standing with 14 golds, 7 silvers and 5 bronzes including the final gold in the men’s ice hockey competition where the Canadian team dealt a crushing blow to medal favorites Russia in the quarterfinals and the United States in the finals.