Seventeen days after it began, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are now complete. A total of 258 medals were awarded, with the United States, Germany, and Canada collecting the most medals. The second half of the games went much smoother than the glitchy first week, with many memorable performances by athletes from all over the world. Last night, a crowd of 60,000 filled BC Place in Vancouver for the Closing Ceremony, which took place shortly after the final event - a Gold Medal win by host nation Canada's ice hockey team over the U.S. The Olympic flame will next pass to London, England in 2012 for the Summer Games, and to Sochi, Russia in 2014 for the next Winter games. Collected here are photos from the second half of this year's events in Vancouver
As with the first set, I just won't limit this "sharing" to my favorite photo but a few that were in fact great photos, but also ones that I can share some thoughts too!
While there were many athletes I (we?) knew plenty about going into Vancouver, my star of the games was Canadian figure skater, Joannie (don't call me "Joe-nee") Rochette, who just about broke my heart and had my eyes welled up every time she was on the screen whether it was on the ice, being interviewed, or carrying the Canadian flag at Closing. For those who don't know, Joannie's (pronounce Schzo-an-nee) mother unexpectedly died of heart attack (age 55) at the start of the Games, but Joannie decided to skate on and quite remarkably won bronze. Her strength and will to hold it together and perform at the highest ability during this time was beyond amazing and inspiring.
I was a out-of-out fan of American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, but I think this photo is just beautiful. I know she is just a very shy person, but it just always seemed like she had a stick up her ass, while Charlie was just a happy-go-lucky guy. Though I did like their "Phantom" long program even over the ultimate gold medalists, the Canadian team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (who was just ADORABLE! Note to self: need to do "Hunks of the Winter Olympics" post)... but I still put Virtue/Moir's medal ceremony and "O Canada" as one of the most memorable moments of the Games. I find such joy and so darn celebratory.
I am not sure there is anyone who doesn't like short-track speed skating... consistently the most thrilling and amazing event of the Winter Games. Very cool composition in the above photo.
I hardly shut up about curling, once I understood how it worked. It is a cult-classic and incredibly addictive once allow itself to enter your psyche... though I'll admit I often would skip ahead to the last "rocks" of each "end"... three hours of anything, particularly curling takes up a lot of free time. Above is one of the rock stars of curling and definitely at Vancouver was the Canadian skip, Cheryl Bernard. Bernard was so popular that I saw one article that dubbed her a "curlgar" (combo of curler and cougar) or a "milfimpian" (MILF and Olympian), pretty impressive nicknames for a curler! While the women couldn't quite get win that last match, the Canadian men were triumphant in a match that probably meant just a wee bit less than their gold in hockey.
Kind of got a little tired of "regular" speed skating ... and my preference for short-track, so have to admit I didn't watch any of the new-ish even to "team pursuit," but again the beauty of this formation so nicely captured in the above.