The 2010 Winter Olympics has some heart-wrenching stories. The games started off on a tragic note when the 21-year-old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died on impact during a training run, hours before the opening ceremony. Kumaritashvili’s death cast somewhat of a dark cloud over the Olympics, but there is a silver lining. As Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice will tell you in the numerous Visa ads playing during the games, there are also plenty of Olympic happy endings as well. One of the most recent inspirational tearjerkers is the story of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette, whose mother passed away suddenly from a heart attack two days before Joannie’s first skate. But yesterday, Joannie delivered an almost flawless short program that left her in third place going into Thursday night’s long performance. Joannie said that she had “no regrets” about her short program performance and while “words cannot describe” what she is going through, she appreciates everyone’s support. Kleenex, please! [Huffington Post, CNN]
After the jump, read some more inspiring tales from the Winter Olympics. Keep reading »
U.S. Olympic gold medal figure-skating hottie, Evan Lysacek, went on “Larry King” last night where he was asked about some of the controversy surrounding his rival, Russian silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko, you might have heard, has complained that he was robbed of the gold medal (because he landed a quadruple jump, which Lysacek didn’t even attempt) and has taken to his official website where he designed and awarded himself a pretend platinum medal for his Vancouver performance. Asked how he felt about this disrespectful behavior from someone he considers a “hero,” Lysacek replied: “It just stings a bit. And I’ve tried really hard to not feel like it’s a personal attack, but it’s starting to feel that way. And coming from a stranger, it wouldn’t bother me, but coming from somebody I really look up to … ” Aww, come here, Evan. I’ll be happy to make you feel better! Clip above. [via New York Magazine
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Cute couple alert! Turns out that gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek and gold medal gymnast Nastia Liukin have been dating since the summer, when they met at a “Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular.” Liukin came to Vancouver to support her beau. “To see his dreams come true was amazing. Even though we’re not in the same sport, we got to connect at the same level because there’s nothing like the Olympics,” she said. “It was nice to be on the other side of things and be the support system, but I was nervous.” But why the secrecy? As far as I can tell, girls are crushing on Johnny Weir, who is even more unavailable than Lysacek. [NY Daily News]
The good thing about athletes dating is that when and if they breed, their spawn will be ultra athletes, emerging from the womb doing cartwheels. Oh, but there are more adorable Olympic couples out there. After the jump, our favorites. Keep reading »
I was interested to find out that before men compete in the Olympic ski jump competition and the Nordic combined, that women are testing out the hills for them. This is particularly noteworthy considering that women are barred from competing in these two events. And yet two women agreed to act as forerunners—the athletes that test out the jumps and runs to make sure conditions are optimal—in ski jumping this year. While these two ladies seem to be thrilled to be involved in the Olympics at all, other world-class female skiers are not cool with them participating and refused invitations to participate as forerunners because they believe it sends a message that it’s OK for women to watch from the sidelines. In fact, some female skiers were so upset about not being able to compete in 2012, that 15 of them filed a lawsuit in the Canadian courts. But the Supreme Court ruled against them. Keep reading »
Dang, athletes in Japan have some serious dress code rules to contend with in order to participate in their sport. First, we told you about snowboarder Kazuhiro Kokubo, who was banned from the Olympic opening ceremony by the Japanese Ski Association because he was sporting a “hip-hop” twist on the national uniform. Now, we’ve learned that synchronized swimmers could face lifetime bans for expressing their sense of style. Japanese officials have implemented a policy, which goes into effect April 1, that will ban a swimmer if she/he goes to competition with elaborately painted or designed nails, dyed hair, or pierced ears. These rules are supposed to prevent the athletes from looking like rock stars, but they seem a little harsh to me. I mean, aren’t most people paying attention to their swimming or diving skills, instead of their fashion sense? [Reuters] Keep reading »
If you have been scratching your head trying to figure out the finer points of curling, perhaps you’d be more interested in watching Olympic pole dancers compete for the gold? This is not a joke … competitive pole dancers are lobbying for a spot in the 2012 Olympics. Due to rapid national and international growth, these moves once relegated to seedy strip joints are now being recognized as an up-and-coming athletic event. Shut up! I wonder what the costumes would look like? No doubt they would take their cues from the figure skaters. I’m not so certain that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is quite ready to say yes to lucite platform shoes and tassels quite yet, but hey, if they did, it would certainly be interesting. After the jump, some more sports that think they deserve a spot in the Olympics. Keep reading »
Perhaps Olympic snowboarder Scotty Lago should have paid more attention to the media frenzy that occurred after Michael Phelps was photographed smoking pot at a party last year? On Thursday, the adorable Scotty won the bronze medal in the men’s halfpipe. After standing on the podium and hearing the national anthem, he went out to party with some of his fellow teammates at a Vancouver nightclub. At some point during the night, Scotty encountered a young, Asian woman—who we can only assume was pretty blitzed—and a friend snapped a few photos of her smooching Scotty on the cheek, and draping herself over teammate Louie Vito. Next, Scotty draped his bronze medal around his waist, so it hung over his crotch, and the girl kissed it.
It didn’t take long for the photos to appear on TMZ. Check them out here. And it’s turned into the first Olympic sexting scandal. Keep reading »
Tonight brings the conclusion of my favorite sport in the Winter Olympics, ice dancing. I love everything about ice dancing—the flashy costumes, the cheesy music, the ballroom dance moves done on skates, the faux emotion. So are you rooting for Belbin and Augusto? Domnina and Shabalin? Davis and White? I’ve come up with this theory that your fave team says a lot about your personality. Keep reading »
My favorite figure skater ever, Johnny Weir, prepared for his Vancouver Olympic performance by, um, cleaning his hotel suite. Weir told People, “I was nervous. So I Lemon Pledged everything in my room. Some people eat, some people drink—but I Pledge everything.” [People]
It appears that many Olympians have their own rituals, from lucky Pledge to lucky charms. Here are a few of the wackiest. Keep reading »
Tonight, when you turn on the Olympics and watch the ice dancing competition, you’ll see couples look lustily at one another as they dance the tango. Some of these pairs, however, are siblings. Of the 23 ice-dancing teams competing in the Olympics, four are brother-sister duos. Ick.
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