20 Feb 2010, Sat. Day 9 of the Vancouver Olympics was all about fearless athletes taking risks.
In the women's super G, Andrea Fischbacher gets Austria its first alpine skiing gold of the games. Austria has been a powerhouse, often taking most of the medals in the downhill skiing events. But this Olympics, with half the downhill events all ready over, it's the Americans who've gotten half of the medals given out so far! Andrea Fischbacher's win gives the skiing fanatic nation of Austria a much needed boost in spirits. And Tina Maze of Slovenia takes silver with an aggressive run down the hill that puts Lindsey Vonn of the US to bronze. And it was aggressive skiing that made all the difference. Vonn had let up towards the end of her run, whereas the other two skiers charged down harder and taking bigger risks. The risk paid off for the Fischbacher and Maze.
In the large hill ski jump, athletes ski really fast down a ramp and are launched into the sky where they fly with no parachutes for over a 100 meters (109 yards)! And then you have to land and hope you don't crash face down on the ice!
Simon Ammann of Switzerland wins gold and sets a record! He becomes the first ski jumper to win 4 individual golds in the Olympics. He won his first 2 golds at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, in the normal hill and large hill. And he wins gold for the same events this Olympics. Adam Malysz of Poland takes the silver, and Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria wins the bronze.
This historic win comes with some controversy in the ski jump events. The Austrians filed a protest about the Swiss skiers using new bindings that hold the skis closer to their boots while flying in the air. They believe it gave the Swiss an unfair edge. However, the International Ski Federation rejected the protest after having approved of the Swiss bindings.
The most disturbing and disgusting thing about the ski jump events in the Olympics is the fact that some of the best athletes in the ski jump are not allowed to compete. These are top athletes, who've set records on the same Whistler Mountain they're using for the Vancouver Olympics, some going farther than some of the men on the medal podium! And it's not drugs nor injuries that are keeping them from competing. Nope. They are kept from competing because they're women! That's right! Women are not allowed to participate in the ski jump in the Olympics! So much for gender equality! Those old, biased bastards at the International Olympics Committee are making a desperate attempt to keep the ski jump as a men only sport!
The IOC has come up with ludicrous reasons to keep women from having a ski jump event in the Olympics. They range from not enough participants, which is bull crap considering that the International Ski Federation let women compete in the World Championships in 2009, and plan to include a team event in 2011. There are a lot of athletes! In fact, the International Ski Federation recommended that women compete in the Vancouver Olympics, only to be rejected by the IOC. And the most ridiculous reason has been that the ski jump is medically unsound for women! Right, because hockey and luge and downhill skiing are so much safer. You don't need to be a doctor to realize that the IOC is mentally unsound!
I do believe that if enough people put pressure on the IOC, specifically the corporate sponsors like McDonald's and AT&T, you better believe they'll let women compete--just like they caved in at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics and allowed women's bobsled into the winter Olympics.
In the men's 30km cross country pursuit, Sweden takes gold and bronze, using team tactics! The Swedes bunched together and took turns leading the race, keeping the others from chasing their lead group. Marcus Hellner sprints to the finish line first, but Germany's Tobias Angerer breaks through the Swedish block and takes silver, knocking Johan Olsson, who was leading the last half of the race, into the third.
Iceberg straight ahead!
I'll never let go, Jack! I promise!
The Canadians have done very well, with 3 of their athletes finishing in the top 10--Ivan Babikov in 5th, George Grey in 8th, and Alex Harvey in 9th. While they not have picked up any medals on the podium, they'll certainly pick up a lot of customers with their hooker fishnet inspired ski pants!
And a surprise win in the mens 1500m speed skate! Netherlands' Mark Tuitert beat out fave American Shani Davis for the gold! Mark Tuitert has never won a major race before. He raced against the clock earlier and had to wait nervously as other top competitors would take the ice. The last to race would be record holder and world champion Shani Davis. And Shani Davis was leading in the last race, beating Tuitert's time until the last lap, when Shani Davis was clearly struggling to keep up his speed. He lost the race by 0.53 seconds! Still, it's a wonderful race for Shani Davis, who wins his second silver in the event to add to his first from the Torino Olympics. Norway's Havard Bokko takes the bronze.
Meanwhile in the women's 1500m speed skate, China's Yang Zhou takes the gold, beating out the South Koreans. Eun-Byul Lee of South Korea takes the silver, and her teammate Seung-Hi Park takes the bronze. Yang Zhou is the exception among the Chinese speed skaters, since they are more known for sprints than long distance; but Yang Zhou excels in distance, making her very valuable in sprint relays.
And the most exciting events of the night was the unpredictable sport of short track! You have to be fearless to compete in this sport! There was tremendous action in the semifinals of the 1000m short track speed skate.
Canadian speed skater Francois Hamelin tried to hump US skater JR Celski on the ice.
JR Celski didn't like it, so he knocked Francois Hamelin out of the race.
JR Celski is disqualified but Francois Hamelin is advanced to the final race.
And what an exciting final race it was! Two Canadians, the Hamelin Brothers--Charles and Francois; two South Koreans, Jung-su Lee and Ho-suk Lee; and one lone American, Apolo Ohno, race for the gold! And it was a fight to the finish the entire race!
The Canadian brothers took the lead for the first half of the race, the South Koreans were in the middle, and Apolo Ohno was in the back. And when it got to the last half of the race, Apolo Ohno makes his move and swoops into second place, right between the Canadians, Charles Hamelin in front of him and Francois Hamelin behind him.
Then Canadian Francois Hamelin grabs Apolo Ohno's ass,
causing him to stumble and lose speed!
What the hell, dude? First you try to dry hump JR Celski, now you try to feel up Apolo Ohno? At least buy a dude a drink first, ya bastard!
The South Koreans seize the momentary stumble as their opportunity to race to the head of the pack! And they take 1st and 2nd place! But Apolo Ohno recovers from his stumble, leaves the Canadians behind, and races ahead to get the bronze!
South Korea's Jung-su Lee wins the gold, adding to his 1500m win earlier in the week. His teammate Ho-suk Lee takes the silver. But it's Apolo Ohno's bronze win that earns him a record 7th medal! He is the most decorated US winter Olympian! And if he wins one more medal, he becomes the most decorated winter Olympian ever! He's got two races left, the 500m race and the 5000m relay. And you better believe that it's going to be exciting!