Vancouver has been the site of amazing athletics and interesting television throughout the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
From the fatal luge incident to the U.S. defeating Canada in hockey for the first time since 1960, this round of Olympic events have been memorable – if nothing else.
The games came to a close Sunday night, and the highlight was the thrilling rematch between Canada and the U.S. for the gold medal in hockey, with Canada winning in overtime. However, the U.S. came out on top by breaking the record for most medals in Winter Games history – followed by Germany and Canada.
Here is a breakdown of the top three countries and their achievements over the last two weeks.
The U.S. won a total of 37 medals at the games, breaking Germany’s previous record of 36.
The Americans broke dry spells in hockey and the four-man bobsledding event. Though it beat Canada for the first time since 1960 in the early rounds of the hockey competition, the U.S. fell 3-2 in a rematch to decide the gold medal. Steve Holcomb became the first bobsled pilot to win gold since 1948, narrowly defeating Germany.
In a more touching moment, U.S. Olympic star Billy Demong proposed to his girlfriend shortly after becoming the first American to win gold in a Nordic combined event. He was chosen to be the American flag bearer at last night’s closing ceremony.
In men’s halfpipe, the U.S. took gold and bronze. Gold medalist Shaun White, after securing first place, unveiled his newest trick, a Double McTwist 1260, on his victory run. Amanda Evora, who is a student at USF Sarasota-Manatee, came in 10th for figure skating pairs.
Lindsey Vonn, who caught headlines with her controversial pose on a Sports Illustrated cover, became the first American woman to win gold in downhill skiing. Her hometown and resort, Vail, has since named one of its ski trails “Lindsey’s.”
The American’s also took the gold for men’s figure skating and 1000-meter speed skating, among others.
With 30 total medals and one more gold than the U.S., Germany surpassed its medal count for the 2006 games, but this time it was not enough to rank first.
The German team dominated most of the women’s ski events, winning gold in cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, alpine skiing slalom and alpine skiing slalom combined, among others.
Germany also won gold in men’s and women’s single luge on the dangerous track that was shortened after the death of Georgia’s Nodar Kumaritashvili on Feb. 12, the day of the opening ceremony.
Canada’s 14 gold medals, the most of any country in 2010, may not have landed it the top spot in medal count, but it broke the record for most gold medals won by any country overall.
Canada continued its dominince in hockey, with a tense victory in the final that ended when Canada and Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby scored the game-winner in overtime.
Aside from the hockey final, the most impressive event for Canada in both play and display of national pride was curling, in which the team defeated Norway to the sounds of “O, Canada!” from the audience.
Canada also claimed gold in freestyle women’s ski and slalom, ice dance figure skating, women’s bobsled and several men’s speed-skating events.