2010 U.S. Winter Olympic Predictions; and Observations…

Wayne Gretzky is argued to be the greatest hockey player of all time, argued by the east coast against Bruins great, Bobby Orr. Both were present in Vancouver on Friday, Feb. 12th 2010, to begin the arduous journey of the 2010 Winter Olympic games. Orr helped carry the Olympic flag, while Gretzky ignited the Olympic flame, and rightfully so. Hockey is the staple of Canadian sports, and in good fashion, and with polite and majestic Canadian demeanor, they put on a fantastic show, displaying culture, peace, and the world wide love of the Olympic games. It is every two years that sports immerge as more than just game and past time, but a beacon of hope in a war ridden, disaster ravaged world, especially this year, in the wake of the Haiti tragedy. Sports becomes the chariot for new beginnings, riding in the hearts, stories and accomplishments of every athlete who competes. In the wake of the passing of 21 year old Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, we are again reminded that sports is secondary on such a large stage, and in what should be, and should always be a fantastic and dominate U.S. performance, for Americans, this hope and reassurance is solidified. That being said…

I would like to kick off the Olympics by pointing out five U.S. notable mentions, I feel need to watched very closely, and may add, this year, to the history and legacy left behind by America on this international sports stage. This list will be based on the popularly followed and most frequently watched Winter Olympic Sports including Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Downhill Skiing, Snow boarding, Hockey, and a bonus notable mention; Curling. (I understand this is six sports, and I had said five, but I will be mentioning why watching Curling all together this year, is completely worth it.)

Rachael Flatt and Jeremy Abbot; Flatt is 17 and America’s best hope to win a medal in a women’s category dominated this year by Korea’s Kim Yu-Na, and Canadian and Japanese hopefuls. (Side Note: Sasha Cohen is also returning this year, and she is one in what appears to be many reasons this year, medal or no medal, to watch women’s figure skating, however creepy and perverted that may sound. See: Lindsey Vonn) Abbot is the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Champion, and making his Olympic debut this year, the 24 year old with good musical taste in both his short and long program, is America’s hopeful competing skate to skate with returning Olympian Evan Lysacek. Look for Russian Evgeni Plushenko to again take Gold, however Abbot or even Lysacek could sneak out with a Silver or a Bronze.

Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn; In what should be Miller’s last attempt at Olympic glory, he will be looking to medal in the Giant Slalom and the Combined. He willl also be looking for his heart and his pride, and whether or not he finds them will be the difference between gold and sparking up a joint with fellow American brown out Lindsey Jacobellis. Look for Askel Lund Svindal from Norway, Benjamin Raich from Austria and Carlo Janka from Switzerland, to be Bode’s biggest hurdles in Alpine Skiing, if he even cares about the caliber of his competition or the competition itself. Why is Bode Miller back? This is the real question this Olympic games. Vonn on the other hand will compete having found here heart during training, when an injury questioned her inclusion in these Olympics. She will compete, and she will medal in the Super G. What medal that will be depends on the severity of her shin Injury. I for one would just like to see her compete. (See: Curling) Lindsey’s biggest competitors this year, Olympic veteran Anja Paerson from Sweden and new comer Maria Riesch from Germany.

Shani Davis and Apolo Anton Ohno; Davis and Ohno should collect a hen’s pen of gold medals, Davis in the long speed skating events, and Ohno in the short track. Speed Skating, however, is a bitch. In a blink of an eye, and with a snap of its fingers, the sport can take away four years of training from even the most dominant of athletes. Do not blink this year, as Ohno could possibly become America’s Winter version of Michael Phelps. Look for Lee Jung-Su from South Korea to derail Ohno’s Olympic journey. South Koreans can skate fast…period.

Shawn White and Gretchen Bleiler; You will watch Carrot Top hit the slopes, and you will watch this red haired beacon of youth take home the gold medal in the half pipe. With every awarded medal, snowboarding becomes more and more relevant on the Olympic stage, yet with every cringing word of surfer slang I hear, snowboarding remains the train wreck no one can look away from. Bleiler will take home the women’s half pipe gold, and the Americans will for the most part dominate this sport. Other countries have begun to immerge however, and watch Iouri Podladtchikov from Switzerland to give White a run for medal.

The U.S. Women’s Hockey Team; In the wake of an injured defense and slumping goaltending, and a pre-prediction of an 8th place finish, disregard their Men’s Team counterparts, and feast your eyes on the potential gold medal winning Women’s Hockey Team. The compete level and U.S. vs. Canada rivalry in this women’s category sport is surprisingly high and intensive. Keep your eyes fixed on U.S. stars, Julie Chu, new comer Hilary Knight, and veterans Jenny Potter and Anglea Ruggeiro.

Bonus:

Curling; Curling is awesome. No one cares who wins, and no one truly knows, until its almost over, how any one wins. This is a sport for all and a guilty pleasure which comes only once every four years, for most spectators. I will be watching Curling, as many times as I see it on television. Watch closely as well…very closely…for Russian Curler Ludmila Privivkova. Watch for her for the same reasons as you will watch figure skating, ice dancing and Lindsey Vonn. Watch for her for the same reasons as you will watch for German Speed Skater Anna Friesinger-Postma, American Ice Dancer Tanith Belbin, Canadian Freestyle Skier Ashleigh McIvor and American Alpine Skier Julia Mancuso. Watch the Olympics this year, and every two years for whatever reasons suit your interests.

Watch and enjoy the Olympics this year!! It is truly an American and Internatioal past time…

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3 Responses

  1. Lindsey Vonn is an absolute rock star…see sports illustrated

  2. Maybe you should have just stuck with Lindsey Vonn and possibly curling. . .who cares about the other shit. . .and I’m going to delete anything that has to do with figure skating from here on out. Should have attacked NBC for choosing figure skating over hockey to be on its main channel.

  3. you’ll watch all of it….don’t you dare lie to us and to yourself…especially here……I am embarassed by that comment…..Shani Davis is my homeboy!

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