Its Day Three of our Vancouver Olympic Preview. Monday I covered Biathlon, Ski Jumping and Alpine Skiing . Yesterday we talked about Snowboarding, Short Track and Bobsleigh events. Today we are previewing Ice Hockey, Freestyle Skiing, and Skeleton. The games are just a few days away!
Canada is crazy about their hockey and since they are hosting this year's games, you know the country is thinking gold or nothing in the men's competition. The Canadian team holds the all time medal lead with 15. The United States is second with 12 all time medals.
The top players on the Team USA are Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Ryan Miller, and Ryan Suter. Parise joins New Jersey Devils teammate Jamie Langenbrunner on the team. The New York Rangers are represented by Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan.
The men's tournament consists of 12 teams that compete in round robin tournaments. The top teams from round robin play then advance to the playoff rounds.
The women's tournament is run the same way but starts with eight teams in the round robin tournament. A few of the names to look for on Team USA are Molly Engstrom, Angela Ruggiero, Jenny Potter and Julie Chu.
There are three events that make up the freestyle skiing competition. They are aerials, moguls, and ski cross.
Aerials is an exciting event to watch. Skiiers are judged on take off, height, form, body position, and landing. Moguls is a very physically demanding event in which competitors travel down a course dealing with bumps and jumps. Ski Cross is making its Olympic debut this year. This event consists of skiers skiing a course filled with obstacles. The object is to have the fastest time to the finish line.
The United States generally has a strong ski team. They hold the all time medal lead with 10, including four golds. Some of the top competitors for the United States are: Ryan St. Onge, Jeret Peterson, Nate Roberts, Bryon Wilson, Daron Rahlves, Hannah Kearney, Shannon Bahrke, and Emily Cook.
The Skeleton event is similar to the luge except in the skeleton, participants lay on the sled stomach down. The athletes start by running and pushing the sled as fast as they can for 50 meters. Then they dive head first onto the sled and steer by very slightly shifting their body. The competition consists of four heats held over two days. The lowest combined times are the winners. There is a men's event and a women's event.
The United States holds the all time medal lead in the skeleton with six in total, three golds and three silvers.
The names to watch for on the United States teams are; Noelle Pikus-Pace, Katie Uhlaender and Zach Lund.
Tomorrow's preview will cover Figure Skating, Curling and Cross-Country.
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