The three women who took medals in the Ladies' Super Combined were all unlikely winners but all performed unbelievably well. Maria Reisch of Germany (and Lindsey Vonn's best pal) took gold after a lackluster performance in yesterday's downhill. She attacked after faultering on a course that was dangerous; Reisch says she forgot all about yesterday and focused on the present.
Julia Mancuso, who some counted down and out before the Olympics even began, captured her second silver in two days. Mancuso battled back from hip surgery that gave her back problems. Mancuso's medal is the first for the United States in this event since 1948, and she looks to win another medal in her speciality on Wednesday, the Super G. She says she reason she came to this Olympics was to "put the past behind her and rip it up;" well I think she has done just that.
"That was a fall that would have taken 98 percent of the field out," said U.S. ladies' coach Jim Tracy of Sweden's Anja Parson. Parson took a horrible fall in the downhill yesterday; Vonn looked on with a frightened expression on her face. She was strong enough to rebound and win the bronze today.
As for Vonn, she did not finish the event tending to her injured leg.
Ladies' Super Combined
1. Gold-- Maria Reisch, Germany, 2:09:14
2. Silver-- Julia Mancuso, U.S.A., 2:10:08
3. Bronze-- Anja Parson, Sweden, 2:10:19
Christine Nesbitt of Canada could have given up in the 1000m, instead she decided to take her country on her shoulders and skate her last lap making up a deficit of more than half a second to win gold. It was definitely a close race, two hundredths of a second separated first and second place. Nesbitt definitely has mixed emotions about winning the race because although she won gold and was happy about it; she knows it wasn't her best performance. "I can't believe I won; I can't believe it was so close," she said following the race.
Two Dutch skaters grabbed the silver and bronze.
1. Gold-- Christina Nesbitt, Canada, 1:16:56
2. Silver-- Annette Gerritsen, The Netherlands, 1:16:58
3. Bronze-- Laurine Van Riessen, The Netherlands, 1:16:72
Let's just say it was a tough night on the halfpipe; ladies were falling and crashing everywhere. Torah Bright of Australia won the gold, but only after falling on her first run. Her second run was five high quality moves all landed clean, and her score, 45 out of a possible 50, is what won her the gold. The Americans were hoping to sweep the podium in some combination of Gretchen Bleiler, Kelly Clark (2002 Gold medalist), and Hannah Teter (2006 Gold medalist), but that dream was brought to a screeching halt. Bleiler fell on both of her runs, Clark fell on her first run, and Teter looked to best Bright on her second run but landed awkwardly making it impossible for her to catch enough air on her final trick. So instead of sweeping, the Americans took the silver and bronze with Teter and Clark winning them respectively.
Critics say when you really think about it, Bright's win is no surprise, she is daring and innovative, the problem has been the 23 year staying healthy enough. She has been through a lot of injuries in the past four years. Bright's teammate Holly Crawford said that her win means, "every girl in Australia is going to want to buy a snowboard."
1. Gold-- Torah Bright, Australia, 45.0
2. Silver-- Hannah Teter, U.S.A., 42.4
3. Bronze-- Kelly Clark, U.S.A., 42.2
The men's free program is the stuff that dreams are made of; it has been one of the most hyped events of these games and it lived up to it. There was drama, determination, tears, and joy; some athletes crumbled under pressure (i.e. Jeremy Abbott) and others skated the better than ever before (i.e. Johnny Weir, 6th place).
At the end of the night, it was Evan Lysacek who had the whole package, artistry, jumps, transitions, and maturity. Lysacek is the first reigning world champion to become Olympic champion since Scott Hamilton did it in Sarajevo in 1984. Evgeny Plushenko settled for a silver after a performance where the grade of execution just wasn't as good as Lysacek's. Lysacek beat Plushenko for being technically more sound in his performance by a margin of 1.31 points. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan won the bronze becoming the first Japanese man to win a figure skating medal.
At the age of 71, coach Frank Carroll coached his first Olympic gold medalist, Evan Lysacek. Following his win, he was surrounded by his coach, choreographer Lori Nichols, and gold medal pair Shen and Zhao.
Men's Figure Skating Finals
1. Gold-- Evan Lysacek, U.S.A., total: 257.67
2. Silver-- Evgeny Plushenko, Russian Federation, total: 256.36
3. Bronze-- Daisuke Takahashi, Japan, 247.23