American figure skater Jason Brown made a name for himself on the ice. Now, he becomes it.
The 19-year-old, who put together an impressive ninth-place performance in the men's competition at his first Olympic Games, has quite a fanbase in his native Highland Park, Illinois. The wave of support crests so high that Highland Park unveiled a 10-foot-tall ice sculpture of his likeness between his performances in the team and men's competitions.
When Brown's fans weren't attending an Olympics viewing party at the local Centennial Ice Arena, they were out snapping photos of the impressive sculpture of the pony-tailed skater. We rounded up the best ones:
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As a global institution for almost 120 years, the modern Olympic Games have evolved just like the world around it. Not surprisingly, many sports have come and gone, and in 2014, it's hard to imagine how some of them made the cut in the first place. From baseball to pigeon shooting, take a look at some of the events that have since been discontinued from the Winter and Summer Olympic programs.
A wonderful hybrid between water skiing, horse riding and dog sledding, skijoring requires a competitor on skis getting tugged through the snow by a horse. The sport was never a medal event, but it was a demonstration at the 1928 Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland, which was the first Winter Olympics not held in conjunction with the Summer Games.
2. Sled Dog Racing
3. Live Pigeon Shooting
4. Tug of War
5. Swimming Obstacle Race
8. Winter Pentathlon
9. Basque Pelota
13. Tandem Cycling
It just doesn’t feel right. Cross-country skiing and shooting? The two disciplines on their own require superhuman endurance and pinpoint focus. Cultivating both to Olympic-caliber levels is a tall order, but when they come together by virtue of world-class athletes, the results are fascinating, if not thrilling.
Amidst the onslaught of new-wave events such as snowboarding and freestyle skiing, the fact that biathlon — rooted in ancient Northern European hunting practices — has survived all the way to 2014 is no small feat. But it has been an uninterrupted part of the Winter Olympic program since 1960 and is an important staple of the Winter Games.
Appropriately, the sport has been dominated by European nations. Including their time competing as two seperate countries (East and West), Germany leads the pack with 59 total medals, 20 gold. Norway, Russia/U.S.S.R., France and Sweden round out the top five, while Canada is the only non-European nation to have ever taken home biathlon hardware.
Almost every Winter Olympic sport warrants a “don’t try this at home” disclaimer on the bottom of the screen — sorry, curling — but is there one that puts its athletes in more danger than the rest?
Quantifying 300-foot ski-jumps against lugers gliding down the track at 90 mph seems as challenging a task as attempting each sport in the first place, and U.S. Olympic team chief doctor James Moller agrees. “Each sport has its own inherent risk,” Moeller told the Washington Post in 2010, adding that it’s impossible to single one out as the riskiest.
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The skiing aerials event is actually more tightly regulated than its snowboarding sister, as skiers must complete at least 100 backflips on water before they are allowed to try one on snow. With few restrictions on snowboarders, no trick is too high or too fast to leave off the table.