February 26, 2006
The Olympic cauldron, seen in the distance
past the athlete village,
burns for the last day.
SO WHAT WAS IT ALL ABOUT?
So what will we remember? How very little of it
turned out the way any of us expected? What did happen? What
didn’t happen? What shocked us? What came as no surprise?
Coming into these Games, one was hard pressed in the United States to understand
Torino beyond the names of Bode and Michelle. Coming out of them, neither
should have nary a mention. These Games got going with speed skater
Chad Hedrick winning gold – the first for the U.S.
– in the 5000m. Then the Flying Tomato – Shaun White – took
gold in halfpipe. Snowboarding was a big story for the U.S. squad,
with 7 of 18 medals going the way of Americans such as Danny Kass
and Hannah Teeter and Seth Wescott. At Sestriere, where
alpine took place, those that we expected to do well did not, but Ted
Ligety won gold in the combined and Julia Mancuso, when all hope
seemed lost for the American women, took gold in a blizzard in the giant
Some of my own personal favorites had their own fabulous days. Joey
Cheek won gold and silver on the skating oval, while short tracker Apolo
Anton Ohno tied speed skating legend Eric Heiden as the most decorated
American man in the Winter Games. And it wasn’t all about the medals.
Evan Lysacek had a terrible short program – he would be the first to
admit it – but what a beautiful free skate he had, spinning with grace and
precision. After falling in her free skate, a silver medal seemed like
the full championship for Sasha Cohen. And while the U.S. women
faltered on the hockey ice, the U.S. men took curling bronze – the first
in the Olympics for the Americans.
But of course, it wasn’t all about the United States, nor should it have
been. Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen become her country’s
most decorated Olympian, and the Austrians were simply spectacular on the
alpine slopes, sweeping the final alpine event, men’s slalom, for gold, silver,
and bronze. The performance of the Swiss Schoch brothers on the gold
and silver level of the medals dais after the men’s parallel giant slalom
showed why sibling rivalry is overrated, while Italy’s Enrico Fabris
told America it should occasionally get over itself without actually saying
a word. And hockey’s Alexander Ovechkin, without any medal at
all, taught me a lot about what a twenty-year-old can do on the ice.
And while we prepare for the Closing Ceremony, when we all officially
say farewell to Torino, the work of Games continues, as the IX Paralympic
Winter Games begins, hosting over 600 athletes from 36 countries.
The event is the premier international athletic competition for athletes
with disabilities, the Paralympic Program will include ice sledge hockey,
wheelchair curling, alpine skiing, biathlon, and cross-country skiing.
So good luck to all who will take part, and thanks Torino – it’s been fun.
Chad Hedrick competes in Oval Lingotto, winning first
for the U.S. in the 5000m.
H A V E A
Q U E S T I O N F O R D R . B A S S
D U R I N G T H E W I N T E R G A M E S ?
C L I C K H E R E
We will be
posting the questions and answers
on the CNR
At The Winter Games website!
m o r e
Be sure to check back often for Dr. Amy Bass's
updates to her
Online CNR Winter Olympic Games Diary.
O F F I C E O F C O M M U N I
C A T I O N S
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© 2006 The College of New Rochelle