Top 10 moments of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics
As some of you may know, I'm a huge Olympic nut. Couple that to the fact that I call Vancouver, BC home has been a recipe for an unmitigated disaster for my productivity. I'd like to take this moment and reflect on all my favourite Olympic moments of Vancouver 2010. I've embedded YouTube clips where available. Most of these are off memory alone, so please let me know if I get any of the facts horridly wrong and I’ll fix them ASAP!
Also, apologies for not having the videos Embedded but CTV has decided, in their infinite wisdom, to prevent embedding of videos!! Make sure to open the links in a new window so you can come back to the post....
Isn't it an amazing feeling to hear your country's national anthem played at home with the crowd singing along at full blast?
(Aside: I feel like fans were robbed of the opportunity to sing along to the Anthem during the opening ceremony because VANOC and Nikki Yanofsky decided to show off her vocal range instead of giving the audience the thrill of singing the anthem with her. Epic fail)
Now imagine the surprise and shock of the curlers at Vancouver Olympic Centre when the crowd stood up in unison and belted out O' Canada in the middle of *THREE* curling matches!!! Funny thing is, this was completely spontaneous. The story gets better: Curling is not traditionally a sport that draws large throngs of patriotic Canadians. There's also an unwritten (could be written for all I know) that the audience should be polite, and courteous when curlers are on the block and "communicating" to the skips and sweepers. Anyway, so when the raucous crowd began in song, all three matches were held as the embarrassed but proud Canadian curlers soaked it all in.
What a moment, have a watch: National Anthem at Curling Match(video)
This is one of two moments that I will call you out for being inhuman if you're not touched. You see, Tessa Virtue (btw, great name no?) and Scott Moir were paired off and started Ice Dancing at the tender age of 7 and 9 respectively.
There isn't much more to say about this but to provide some context. This pair represented the Maple Leaf at perhaps the best, and certainly the worst time. Just hours and days before, the mens short track speed skating team had been shut out of their quest for medals. That Saturday was perhaps the darkest day for Canadian Olympics because as many as 5 serious medal contenders were kept off the podium by what I had called then an "epic fail for Chokeanada"
Then, Virtue and Moir danced away all those troubles:
If you haven't seen the hopping Marianne St. Gelais on the podium or in the stands, you've really missed out on one of the cutesy stories of the Olympics. I won't describe the moment in case I ruin whatever memory others have of this particular moment but it's awesome and really makes my heart warm: Marianne St. Gelais and Charles Hamelin(video)
Ahh Johnny - he decided in 2002 he wanted to compete in the Olympics
And represent Canada. From a humble background working as an automobile auctioneer in his hometown of Russell, Manitoba, Montgomery had no idea which sport he would even be playing in, but he set out to compete in the Olympic Games in Vancouver, BC. Eight years later, and a skeleton sled he had bought online for $7000, Montgomery stood atop the podium at the Whistler luge track showing raw Canadian emotion, hooting and hollering at the fans as if he had just won his Stanley Cup.
Athletes are taught to be respectful, gracious and humble on the podium, and this attitude is instilled in Canadians by default from birth. I'm not saying Montgomery wasn't humble or gracious, but his celebration was widely heralded in Whistler as the athlete most exciting.
This is the second moment where if you don't shed a slight tear, I revoke your license to be human. Rochette (figure) skated the short program of her life days after she found out her mother had passed away. She eventually won the bronze medal and was Canada's flag bearer at the closing ceremony.
This moment will stick out in my life as, one of the most gut-wrenching moments ever: Short program skate(video)
Fail at the opening. the Great One lights the secret outdoor cauldron and then VANOC pokes fun at itself for the cauldron fail in the closing ceremonies. Opening Ceremonies Cauldron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78b_SSFE0O4
Closing Ceremonies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw1k540yTNA
This truly telling tale by Stephen Brunt had more than a few Canadians wiping away dripping tears.
You didn’t think I would leave hockey off this list did you? No, I decided to leave it for the end because I think Olympics hockey shouldn’t overshadow what our great amateur athletes have done this winter games.
Honourable Mention: Ryan Kesler with probably the best open net goal in history...(video)
VANOC got a considerable amount of flack prior to the olympics for shoving this song down our throats before the Olympics began. But I really hope that Canadians have really embraced this set of songs as the Olympic theme songs. If the iTunes top 10 album and track list are an indication, that's certainly the case. Nikki Yanofsky, Annie Villeneuve (french version singer) and Stephen something (composer) are at the top of both those lists and raking in the cash.
Congratulations to them!! But here's a mashup they had for the closing ceremony in which the English and french were sung together.
Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!
Go Canada Go!!