Saturday, February 27, 2010

Short Track Speed Skating - 26Feb2010 at Pacific Coliseum

Guest Blogger Keri, here again.
This was one of the events that I never imagined I'd get to attend. Not only is it an amazing sport, it was the medal event and Canada had a shot in two of the events.
We arrived to find the longest lines of people wanting to buy tickets that I've seen so far. I learned that Americans love their Apolo Ohno (with good reason, the man is amazing) and scalpers tickets were going for $2000 but in this case capitalism wasn't going to win out.
There were three medal events, but I'm only going to write about two of them.

We had awesome seats. Surrounded by Americans in what was an international crowd. When the announcer listed off countries, it was pretty much evenly split between Canada, USA, Korea, and China. As we sat down the ice was being prepared. Knowing nothing about Speed Skating, I wondered why there seemed to be no barrier. I turned to the man sitting next to me and asked if he knew anything about speed skating, and he replied that "Yes he did". Then I found out that he was the father of Francois Tremblay!!

The first event was the Men's 500m. How did NBC put it? "It's well established that Short Track is a crazy sport, and the craziest event within this crazy sport is the 500 metre...For pure entertainment sake, this is one of the most enjoyable events at any Winter Olympics."

The volume at the Coliseum was deafening as the men raced around the track. When two Canadians made the medal race we couldn't have been happier. It was too fast to even be a nail biter but it ended with Charles Hamelin with Gold and Francois Tremblay with Bronze. Lot's of hugs and kisses with with the Tremblay's, you can be sure.
Last was the men's 5000m relay.
I've never seen anything like it before. It was five teams of four skaters racing in a traffic jam of bodies. How they even kept track of their teammates and of their positions is amazing. In fact a few of the teams missed a few of the changes to varying results. In the end, Canada were undisputed Gold winners, with Apolo Ohno squeaking out a bronze finish for his American Men.

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