Just getting back into the grind after a long holiday weekend? Were you too busy during your three days off shoveling snow or buying roses at the last minute or regaling friends with tales of your favorite presidents to watch the Olympics? Let us catch you up with the 10 biggest moments of the first weekend of the 2010 Winter Games.
1. Opening Ceremony. Yawn. Vancouver didn't just not live up to Beijing, it didn't live up to the expectations of putting on a show that was merely entertaining. Other than the cauldrons not lighting, what do you remember about the show?
2. South Korean crash propels Ohno to silver. It was poised to be a South Korean sweep in the 1,500-meter short-track speedskating event. With one lap left, skaters from the short-track powerhouse held the top three spots and appeared to be headed for a sweep. But a stunning unnecessary collision on the final turn knocked the second- and third-place skaters down. Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski of the United States sneaked in for the silver and bronze, respectively. The medal was the sixth of Ohno's Olympic career, tying him with Bonnie Blair for most all-time by an American at the Winter Games.
3. Canada's hockey domination. The Canadian women's hockey team beat Slovakia by a score of 18-0 in a pool game. It was both the biggest victory in Olympic history and a clear sign that the IOC is hypocritical to take baseball and softball off the Summer Games for being uncompetitive while women's hockey continues in the Winter Games.
4. American wins gold in women's moguls. Hannah Kearney had just watched the hometown (and event) favorite Jennifer Heil complete a nearly flawless run on the women's mogul course at Cypress Mountain. And she smiled. It was a move that oozed confidence, which was somewhat surprising considering that Kearney's first Olympics, in 2006, ended with a stunning failure to qualify for the mogul finals. Yet the smile was well-placed: Kearney skied a perfect run and knocked Heil one step down the podium, giving the United States its first gold in Vancouver.
5. Dutch hero. In the Netherlands, speedskater Sven Kramer is like George Clooney and LeBron James rolled into one. With his first gold medal (and the possibility of two more later in the Games), he may become more famous yet.
6. Somber luging. With a heavy heart and a lower start, the men's luge was run at the Whistler Sliding Center. Felix Loch of Germany held off the world's best, Armin Zoeggeler of Italy, to win the gold.7. Nordic combined thriller. If you haven't seen it already, do yourself a favor and watch the last 15 seconds of this race.
8. Back-to-back snowboard-cross golds for Wescott. You know, for a guy who won the event in the last Olympics, Seth Wescott sure wasn't getting much respect headed into Monday's event. Nate Holland had won five straight of these events at the X Games and Pierre Vaultier was the heavy favorite, having led the World Cup standings this year. But Vaultier failed to qualify for the finals and Holland stumbled to fourth place. That helped Canadian Mike Robertson vault into the lead before a frantic finish put the gold in the hands of the man who had last held it, the guy nobody talked about before the race: Seth Wescott.
9. Bode's bronze. They say Bode Miller is a new man, but he's really the same as he always was: cantankerous, self-involved, and one darn fine skier. The difference in Vancouver is that he doesn't have the press following his every move. It led to a bronze medal in the men's downhill, a good sign heading into Tuesday's super combined, Miller's best event. Switzerland's Didier Defago was the surprise gold medalist in the downhill.
10. The end of Russian dominance. Since 1964, through 12 straight Olympics, a Russian (or Soviet) team earned gold in the pairs figure skating competition. The streak is over. Though it was their first major competition since 2007, China's Xue Shen and Hongbao Zhao looked no worse for the wear. The married couple dominated in Vancouver, even with a slight mistake in the long program, and earned a decisive victory for the country's first gold in the event.
- Apolo Ohno