Winter Olympics: The 10 Most Interesting Things We Learned on Day 5
We have now watched almost every sport in the Winter Olympic Games finally get underway, as the Men's Hockey tournament began on Tuesday. There have been some fantastic performances so far in Vancouver, and many heartbreaking defeats.
There were a number of lessons learned on Tuesday at the Games. Let's take a look back at some of the best performances, as well as some of stories that were hard to watch.
Canada Could Sweep Golds in Hockey
Whenever the Olympics are in a country with a favorite sport, the pressure on individuals participating in that sport is more intense.
This year, in Vancouver, the Canadian hockey teams are teaching David Bowie a thing or two about being under pressure.
With millions watching every second of their existence in the Games, the job of the men's team didn't get any easier when the women's team began their tournament by winning their first two games by a combined score of 23-1.
On Tuesday night, the men got their chance to compete and lived up to the hype.
In a game against Norway that, after the first period, wasn't as close as the score would indicate, the host nation ran away with an 8-0 victory. Jarome Iginla posted a hat trick and Roberto Luongo stopped all 15 shots he faced and Canada remained undefeated in the Games.
Men's Figure Skating is Wide Open
The men's short programs were skated on Tuesday evening, and it became clear that this year's gold has come down to three competitors.
Evgeni Plushenko, the self-proclaimed best in the world with a personality that backs up magnificent ability, grabbed the audience with a stellar performance.
Plushenko didn't run away from the competition, though. Chicagoan Evan Lysacek skated a gorgeous program and is right on Plushenko's heels heading to the finals.
Both Lysacek and Japan's Daisuke Takahashi are both within just one point of the leader. The gold is up for grabs.
Gambling Doesn't Pay
The mountains have not been kind to many competitors this week, and Tuesday the victim was Lindsey Jacobellis in the women's snowboard cross.
Overall, the snowboard cross had four disqualifications and one competitor not finish their heat, but Jacobellis, the American headliner in the event, was the biggest name to not qualify for the final.
Jacobellis lost her line in the semifinals and was disqualified, not even getting a chance at the gold that eluded her four years ago.
USA Hockey Looks Strong
The United States' men began their Olympic journey with a nervous 3-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday, but the best shot for the Americans to capture gold might come from the women's team.
The USA women's hockey team defeated Russia 13-0 on Tuesday behind another stellar performance from, among others, Jenny Potter and Natalie Darwitz. Potter recorded a hat trick, and Darwitz had five points to lead the Americans to the medal round.
Cutting it Close
In the women's 500M sprint, only .05 seconds separated Germany's Jenny Wolf from the gold medal, won by Korea's Lee San Hwa.
In a sport defined by speed, this event saw the top five finishers all end within one second of each other.
These Games have been plagued by weather issues, from pouring rain to a lack of snow. On Tuesday, there was too much snow.
The men's super combined downhill was postponed because of a flash blizzard just one day after Canadian officials refunded over $400,000 to fans of a canacelled snowboard event.
One thing organizers can't control is the weather, and Mother Nature hasn't done Canada any favors this week.
German Women Own the Luge
In the women's individual luge, Germany took gold and bronze on Tuesday. Tatjana Huefer won the event by almost a full half second on a track that is has become as infamous as it is fast this week.
The Peacock Struggles
While the conditions have been far from favorable in Vancouver, NBC hasn't made watching the games easy on the fans.
Canada's men's hockey team was supposed to air on MSNBC, but because of an extended women's curling event, they put the start of the game on CNBC. However, before they were ready to switch the coverage back to MSNBC, they cut the coverage off on CNBC only to force hockey fans to watch a post match wrap up and three commercial breaks, all while a big part of the first period was played to a phantom television audience.
NBC has also struggled to keep their logo and programming reminder graphics off the screen, many times covering the action taking place.
Don't Sleep on Late Games
In a game that started at midnight on the East Coast, a Russian team that is just as big and talented as Canada's best began their Olympic journey with a strong 8-2 win over Latvia.
Alexander Ovechkin led the way with two goals in a balanced attack in front of Evgeni Nabokov.
Russia and Canada are the two favorites to compete for gold in Vancouver, and both played well enough to reward the confidences of odds makers and fans alike.
What to Watch Wednesday
Shaun White begins his quest for another gold on Wednesday in what will undoubtedly be a popular event in the television ratings.
Also, the Slovakian men's hockey team, a darkhorse for a medal being led by Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa and Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara, begin their tournament as well.
Apollo Ono and Lindsay Vonn will also compete on a busy Wednesday.