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The closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games was held last night (February 28th), bringing to an end two weeks of sporting action that had left many people glued to their TV screens.More than 5,000 athletes from 82 countries packed the 60,000 capacity BC Place stadium for the spectacular show, which featured musical performances from Michael Buble, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morrisette.Fresh from their heroic ice hockey victory over the US just hours earlier, Canadian fans packed the venue for the closing celebrations of the event which is likely to leave a tourism legacy for Vancouver.Despite a few issues with snow at the beginning of the game, the ski resort of Whistler, which was an official venue for the games, staged an entertaining show and it is also likely to benefit from the event.It is at this venue that phenomenal skier Bode Miller collected his first Olympic gold medal in the super combined, helping the US team pick up nine gold medals.The nine pushed the US to the top of the leader board with a total of 37 medals, followed by Germany with 30, although it had three more golden gongs than the former.Host nation Canada had its strongest winter Olympics ever, utilising home advantage to secure 14 gold medals, more than any other country, seven silvers and five bronzes, bringing its total to 26.Norway, Austria, the Russian Federation and Korea walked away from the Games with 23, 16, 15 and 14 medals respectively, while China, Sweden and France, won a total of 11 medals each.Thanks to the gold medal won by Olympic skeleton champion Amy Williams, Great Britain and Northern Ireland managed to land its only medal from the North American games, whose end now turns the attention to the next host city Sochi, Russia, in 2014.Written by Chris Smith.
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has settled into a delightful showcase of sportsmanship after kicking off on a sour note with the death of a Georgian athlete on the opening day.Luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed after a high-speed crash during a training session ahead of the opening ceremony of the games, which are taking place in the Canadian city and the ski resort of Whistler.However, the event quickly recovered from the incident, with Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, leading tributes to the athlete and moments of silence during the opening ceremony.Five days down the line, the Games have turned into a showcase of skill and endurance as athletes from all over the world take on each other in a bid to secure coveted Olympic medals.Team GB is yet to bag any medals but British athletes are posting a strong performance at the winter games, with Zoe Gillings, who finished 8th in women's Snowboard Cross, among those who have done their bit.Wednesday February 17th sees the women's 500-metre short track speed skating competition take place in the Pacific Colisuem stadium and three-time Olympian Sarah Lindsay and 19-year-old teammate Elise Christie will be among the competitors.Jon Eley and Tom Iverson will represent the country in the same event during the men's 1,000-metre heats, after which they will team up with Jack Whelbourne, Anthony Douglas and Paul Worth for the men's 5,000-metre relay semi-finals.Meanwhile, the Whistler Olympic Park will also host the men's individual cross-country sprint classic event today and British skiers Andrew Young and Andrew Musgrave will be hoping to boost their Olympic experience in the event.The women's downhill alpine skiing event will also take place at Whistler Creekside, with Chemmy Alcott aiming for the medals.Written by Chris Smith.
Last night we had another epic battle between the Snow-Knights of sales and Dark-Siders of non-sales in a no-holds barred 5-a-side skirmish. The team sheets are at the bottom of this factually accurate report.
I'll admit the Knights were nervous before this match. The Dark ones had finally gotten their full strength team together and were talking the 'Big Game'. After the last encounter where they chased us down in the last minutes to gain an extremely unlikely Draw in Fergie time, we were thinking this was going to be a tough ask. We were down on numbers, trialling new blood, and I was suffering from the next worse level of flu after Ebola.
It started in ominous style. The Dark ones asked the match official, The Oracle, if it was start time and The Oracle replied it was 7.30. They took this a signal to kick off and while the Knights were still wandering on, Goal Hanger took a long range snap from the kick off which rebounded off the legs of Two Guns while he was pulling up his socks and ricocheted straight into the goal as our Keeper, Big Cat, walked on the pitch. To our surprise they claimed the goal and because of who did the scoring, it was begrudgingly accepted by our mystified shoulder shrugging team. 1-0
The Knights were in disarray, scrambling and bemused after experiencing the shock tactics of the Dark ones blitzkrieg. Within 2 minutes they were through on goal again and snapped in the second goal. 2-0
It was time for the big players to step forward and stop the rot. Big Cat threw the ball out to Calway who did the best thing he could and passed it to me. After ghosting past Ricky Ibiza down the right wing it was an easy inside swerve to beat Emile Box and slot the sweetest goal off the far post past Chopper on the line. 2-1
This was the kick start the Knights had waited for and Two Guns struck again straight away from a route one move that caught out the now reeling Dark Siders. 2-2
Then came the heart breaker. Gator came off the bench and bumbled around down the right wing. Through a miracle of strange rebounds, ricochets and airswings, Gator nutmegged himself and the defence, did a double flounder reverse miss kick and fortuitously scored the most improbable goal in the history of these challenges. 2-3
For the next 20 minutes we exchanged goals back and forward but the Knights kept the advantage and when the Oracle said it was 8 minutes to go we were comfortable at 5-8.
And then the bubble burst. The lungs on the Knights gave up and the Dark ones got stronger. Up until now the Big Cat had been magnificent and stopped about a million shots on goal and Greedy was only shooting from 25m and was more likely to hit the side walls than the goal. This changed when Goal Hanger pulled off a fluke almost as improbable as Gator's that bobbled, floated and looped over the Cat. They went on a run, surely thinking that it was their turn to finish strong just like last time. They quickly scored 2 more corkers. 7-8
6 minutes to go. Panic time – no way – it was hammer time! The muscle of the Knights started to show. El Toro and the Butcher used their silky Rugby skills and put the softer Dark ones to the figurative sword. In quick succession, Leki (in Jeans) went flying with a Klinsmannesque 'triple salto', Chopper took a nasty tumble after Calway chopped him down from behind, Boxy had his shins raked by my new blades, Goal Hanger was given an up close and personal introduction to the wall, Greedy got hip and shouldered into obscurity and returned to long range shooting, Shane MacGowan got barged unceremoniously to the ground in the process of striking for goal causing him to leave the pitch, and the Man of Steel was elbowed in the throat in a vicious fend that the match officials unfortunately missed J.
In the last 2 minutes the Knights turned it right up past red poker hot into über-white-star scorching hot, laying on 4 more goals for the strong finishing Two Guns. 8-12
At full-time the Dark Siders went into a frenzy of rage claiming that we had denied them their Fergie time for the expected come back and possible draw. As we walked off the pitch to tumultuous appreciation from the watching crowd they were still shooting for Goals and the inevitable Drogba-like sulk ensued when we refused to be drawn into the 'classic' last goal wins scenario that Silver medallists always trot out in vain hope.
Congratulations Snow-Knights, you and thank you for a good and fair game Dark-Siders.
A big thank you to the Match official, Thomas 'The Oracle' Moulton
By Adam Johnson
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