Tuesday, March 02, 2010

2010 Winter Olympic Games Wrapped

(Vancouver, British Columbia) Well, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are over and the U.S. won a record number (37) of medals with nine of them gold. Germany garnered the second most at 30 medals with 10 gold. Canada, host of the 2010 competition, finished third in the medal count with 26 and the most gold (14).

Canada also had the distinction of winning medals in the highly-watched competitions of men's and women's hockey and men's and women's curling. Winning on home ice has extra-special meaning and with the Canadian men's hockey team eking out an overtime victory in Sunday's gold medal game against the U.S., the Games ended on a high note. Strains of "O Canada" signaled the close of Games that sadly began with the tragic death of Georgian luge athlete, Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Congratulations to all the winners and best of luck in the future for all the non-winners. Next, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia. Venues for The Games will be at Sochi, located on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, and a mountainous region in Krasnaya Polyana which sits in the Caucasus Mountains about 35 miles from Sochi.

On a personal note, I particularly enjoyed watching the hockey games and the curling matches. Initially, I was turned off by curling, seeing it as shuffleboard on ice, guaranteed boredom without a cruise ship or the chance for a tan. Then, after being cajoled into actually watching a curling match, I became a fan. I was amazed at the sophisticated athleticism required to man-handle heavy rocks accurately down a slippery lane with a mere whisper of touch. Contrary to my initial opinion and negative comments regarding the sport, curlers are truly Olympic athletes. As an example:

Danish Olympic Curler Madeleine Dupont

Twenty-two-year-old Madeleine Dupont (nickname - Madde) was born in Glostrup, Denmark and she curls with the TĂ„rnby Curling Club in Tornby, Denmark. She has been curling since 1998.
Dupont has skipped the Danish team to two World Championships events, finishing 8th at the 2004 Ford World Curling Championship and 10th at the 2005 World Women's Curling Championship. She won a gold medal at the World Junior "B" Curling Championships in 2004, and a silver medal in 2002 at the European Curling championships as an alternate for Dorthe Holm's team.

Dupont won a bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Curling Championships, and a silver medal at the 2007 World Women's Curling Championship.
Unfortunately, Dupont's team failed to win a medal in Vancouver. After a promising start, Denmark lost five straight matches. On the other hand, media exposure has won Ms. Dupont a number of new fans.

Of course, part of Madeleine Dupont's popularity may actually be traced to a topless image of her taken for a calendar.

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