Reminder: United States vs. Canada in men’s hockey

Even though one of the most anticipated events of the 2010 Winter Olympics takes place in a few hours, I get the impression that many don’t know when it actually takes place. Olympic hockey is always entertaining, but watching the United States take on Canada in Vancouver is going to be pure bliss. Is the game going to be on NBC? Of course it’s not — they’re broadcasting the Czech Republic/Russia game instead. Whatever. The U.S./Canada game is scheduled to air live on MSNBC at 7 PM ET, so sit down with loved ones and remind yourself how great the Olympics can be.


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Vonn takes bronze in super-G

Lindsey Vonn has earned the bronze medal in the women’s super-G, finishing behind Tina Maze of Slovenia and Andrea Fischbacher of Austria, respectively.

From FOXSports.com”

While many of the pre-race favorites struggled with a sharp right turn midway down, Vonn made it through that section without a problem. But then she lost nearly half a second on the bottom section of the course.

“Once I got past those difficult sections, I kind of backed off the gas pedal,” Vonn said. “I felt like I just didn’t ski as aggressively as I could have, and I think that’s where I lost the race.”

Johanna Schnarf of Italy finished fourth and Elisabeth Goergl of Austria fifth. Super-combined winner Maria Riesch of Germany was eighth and Swedish standout Anja Paerson was 11th.

It’s the first Alpine victory at these games for Austria, which entered the race with only Goergl’s downhill bronze. At the 2006 Turin Games, Austria won 14 medals — four of them gold.

Fischbacher was reduced to tears after placing fourth in the downhill, finishing only three-hundredths of a second behind Goergl.

This was the third of Vonn’s five events at the Winter Olympics. She previously won gold in the downhill, but fared poorly in the super-combined after crashing. Here next race is giant slalom on Wednesday.


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Georgia’s president understandably frustrated with Olympic officials

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, like any sensible human, doesn’t agree with Olympic officials that one of his nation’s athletes, luger Nodar Kumartshvili, is responsible for his own death.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“There were questions being asked about this place,” President Mikheil Saakashvili said. “There were suggestions that the wall should have been higher there.”

Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed when he lost control of his sled at about 80 mph, flipped over the lip of the track and slammed into an unpadded roof support post. Saakashvili reacted to suggestions that the 21-year-old athlete lacked the necessary experience to handle the course.

“They said that what happened yesterday was because of human error,” the president said. “Well, with all due respect … one thing I know for sure, that no sports mistake is supposed to lead to a death.”

Even some veteran lugers had previously commented on the difficulty of the Whistler track. Officials are now extending the wall along the lip, Saakashvili said.

“But I think the best news would be if, in the future, they listen more to the grievances of sportsmen,” he said. “And we don’t have to do things in the aftermath.”

The International Luge Federation and the Vancouver Olympic Committe are the ones who refuse to take responsibility for the tragic accident. They are morons. You see all the crying and the mourning from these guys in their suits, but their deep-seeded insensitivity is just disappointing. All they had to do was express regret for not taking the proper precautions. That’s it.

Fools.


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Lindsey Vonn’s chances to compete in Olympics increase

The gods perched atop Olympia are certainly looking out for Lindsey Vonn. America’s hopeful in the women’s downhill will now have some more time to nurse her bruised shin as the event’s second practice session has been cancelled.

From FOXSports.com:

Vonn had decided Thursday to participate in the first downhill training session, but that was called off after only two racers.

She had been considered a medal contender in all five Alpine events, including an overwhelming favorite in the downhill. But that was before she revealed Wednesday that she was hurt last week in pre-Olympic practice.

After fretting about the injury, after using painkillers and a Novocaine-like numbing cream to dull the aching, after getting back on her skis and back on a mountain, Vonn keeps awaiting a chance to take a full-fledged training run down the Olympic downhill course.

Vonn’s first race in these Olympics is scheduled for Sunday. Hopefully she’ll compete.


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Men’s luger dies following training accident

In news that will certainly cast a sobering mood over the opening ceremonies in Vancouver tonight, a 21-year-old men’s luger from the former Soviet republic of Georgia died on Friday after crashing during training for the 2010 Winter Olympic games.

According to ESPN.com, Nomar Kumaritashvili lost control of his sled, went over the track wall and struck an unpadded steel pole near the finish line at Whistler Sliding Center. Rescue workers rushed to his aid within seconds and he was quickly airlifted to a trauma center before losing his life sometime thereafter.

It’s unclear how fast Kumaritashvili was going, but the ESPN.com report states that many sliders have reached over 90 mph on the course. The track (pictured above) is considered the world’s fastest and many Olympians have complained that the course is unsafe. Some also questioned whether or not competitors from smaller nations like Kumaritashvili’s had enough time to prepare for the dangerous track.

The remainder of the men’s training has obviously been canceled for the day.


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