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History in the making for U.S. Olympic team

Over the last weekend of the Winter Olympics, the U.S. has seen much victory and controversy. A few U.S. athletes are rewriting Olympic history.

Apolo Anton Ohno won his seventh medal on Saturday evening, surpassing long-track speed skater Bonnie Blair for the most Winter Olympic medals one by an athlete.

“He’s got two more races; he still has a chance to extend his lead in the most medals,” Cathy Spearing, Whitman Center administrative assistant, said.

On Saturday evening, Apolo was within reach of a gold medal in the men’s 1500-meter short track; however, in the last two laps of the race, the tables turned.

Apolo was sitting in silver medal position when one of the Canadian skaters slightly touched Apolo’s hip, throwing off his balance. Apolo lost his footing and dropped back into last position in the race.

With only one-and-a-half laps to skate, Apolo swiftly moved around both Canadian speed skaters, putting him in third place.

Evan Lysacek, 24-year-old men’s figure skater, won the U.S.’s first gold in 22 years in the men’s competition on Friday evening. He is the first to beat Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko in the Olympics.

“From an unskilled eye, I thought he did a great job. I thought it was a beautiful performance,” Spearing said.

There was some controversy among the Russian Olympic team over this win, because Lysacek did not attempt a quad in his routine. While a quad is a difficult element to bring forth, which Plushenko did, it is not required.

“According to the announcers, Plushenko’s form was not as good,” Spearing said.

Sunday evening, Ice Dancers stole the spotlight with their varied dance themes.

One theme which stood out most, and received the most controversy, was the Russian team with an Aboriginal tribal dance. There was also a country folk theme and a compulsory style ice dance.

Two of the couples were competing close to home.

“There are four of them, two couples from the University of Michigan; they’re all students, which I think is fantastic,” Spearing said.
 
One of these couples for the U.S. team, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, won a silver medal in their first Olympic games. They skated a beautiful performance to the Phantom of the Opera’s “Music of the Night.”

Still to come is the women’s figure skating, Ice Hockey finals and much more.
 
The women’s figure skating begins this evening. A highlight is expected to be Canadian ice skater Joannie Rochette. It is promised to be an emotional skate for her due to the sudden and tragic death of her mother, early Sunday morning of a heart attack.

Tonight Rochette will skate her routine for the first time without her mother there to cheer her on.

For Nordic Combined skier, Johnny Spillane, he will be searching for another Olympic medal in the men’s team 4×5 km tomorrow and again on Thursday with the Individual NH/10 km Nordic combined.

After Lindsey Vonn’s win of a bronze medal on Saturday evening, it still remains to be seen if Vonn will clinch the gold in the Women’s Giant Slalom on Wednesday evening.

The U.S hockey team stole the win from Canada’s team yesterday with a win of 7 to 2. The U.S team awaits their next team to play in the Quarterfinal play-offs.

With these events, and more still ahead, the final leading country of the 2010 Winter Olympics is still awaiting its final results.
 

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