Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Vancouver Olympics: Day 6

She came to the games with an injury, a bruised shin to be exact, but that did not stop Lindsey Vonn by any means. She came to Vancouver as the favorite in the downhill, not at all easy to deal with; it's a lot of pressure, especially on top of an injury. Vonn made it look easy though and won the gold medal, "this is everything I've wanted and hoped for. I gave up everything for this," she said.

Julia Mancuso, Vonn's rival since childhood and teammate, finished with a silver medal after coming off a back injury from last year. Mancuso remarked following after her run, "It's really been a tough, long road. I'm happy to be in a position where I feel healthy."

The downhill was marked with falls, luckily no one was seriously injured, including Anja Parson of Sweden. Some believe her fall affected the run of German and best friend of Vonn Maria Reisch who ended up finishing eighth.

Ladies' Downhill
1. Gold-- Lindsey Vonn, U.S.A., 1:44:19
2. Silver-- Julia Mancuso, U.S.A., 1:44:75
3. Bronze-- Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 1:45:65

Four years ago in Torino, Shani Davis was the first African American athlete to win an individual gold medal at a Winter Olympic games. This time around he made history for a different reason, as the first athlete to repeat as champion in the 1000m. Well liked by his peers and speedskating coaches around the world, Shani Davis was counted out after he missed in the 5000m and dropped out of the 500m, but he insists it was all to focus his attention on this race.

"When you're a world champion or an Olympic champion, you get this little thing on your back called a target. To go out there and win the 1000 meters twice is truly amazing," said Davis.

Davis stopped South Korean Mo Tea-Bum from winning another speedskating medal; he realized he needed to go faster in the final lap to beat him, and he did.

Chad Hedrick, of Texas, captured the bronze after struggling to regain his success and love for skating after three medals in Torino. The 32 year old, who like Davis, comes from an inline skating background said following the race, "I had to dig down deep to find my passion for skating again."

Davis says this games is much different for him than Torino because his mindset is different; "I've learned not to pay attention to things that are negative and focus on the things that matter," he said.

Men's 1000m
1. Gold-- Shani Davis, U.S.A., 1:08:94
2. Silver-- Mo Tae-Bum, South Korea, 1:09:12
3. Bronze-- Chad Hedrick, U.S.A., 1:09:32

Shaun White capped off an amazing day 6 for the U.S. team; he repeated as gold medalist in the Men's Halfpipe. His teammate Scotty Lago took bronze and, in a surprise, Peetu Piiroinen of Finland took the silver with an action packed second run. Shaun White came in as the favorite in this event; he owns it, he does tricks that no one else can do. The Americans were hoping to go one, two, three in this event, and they could have as Louie Vito was impressive in his first Olympics finishing in fifth place. Vito needed to have more height on his tricks to score points, and it just wasn't to be but he had a great second run overall.

The flying tomato, as he was once called, White did a double mctwist 1260, a move that he invented and perfected which will go down in history; his score: 48.4 out of a possible 50! He hesitated on whether or not he should do the "move" which consists of three and a half twists with two head over heels flips.

The U.S. team made history tonight because this is the third straight Olympics that they have won multiple medals on the halfpipe; the sport was introduced to the Olympics at the 1998 games in Nagano.

Men's Halfpipe
1. Gold-- Shaun White, U.S.A., 46.8 (run 1), 48.4 (run 2)
2. Silver-- Peetu Piiroinen, Finland, 40.8 (run 1), 45.0 (run 2)
3. Bronze-- Scotty Lago, U.S.A., 42.8 (run 1), 17.5 (run 2)

Chinese speedskater Wang Meng defines domination, her record in the ladies' 500m: 100-1. In a sport that is sometimes left up to probability, Wang relies on her skill defending her gold medal from Torino. She easily crossed the finish line far ahead of her competitors; the fight in this race was for who was going to win silver and bronze.

Marianne St. Gelais of Canada celebrated her 20th birthday with a silver medal; Arianna Fontana of Italy won the bronze.

Ladies' 500m
1. Gold-- Wang Meng, China, 43.048
2. Silver-- Marianne St. Gelais, Canada, 43.707
3. Bronze-- Arianna Fontana, Italy, 43.804

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