Let the games begin.

Right..now i've had my petersham charcoal chicken burger...with chilli and cheese thank you very much...here's what's happened on day 1.


Normal Hill Ski Jump
The swiss air force have opened their account in Vancouver by ironically firing the first bullet. The bullet was in the form of Swiss legend Simon Ammann winning his third Olympic gold medal today at the Normal Hill.
"I just knew I could do it if I was calm and relaxed - which I was" explained the 28 year old with gratuitous over confidence typical of his country.
Ammann claimed the title with a best jump of 108m to total 276.5 total points and relegate Air Gdansk, Pole Adam Malysz to second with a best of 105.5m and a total of 269.5 points. Third was a typically boring Austrian Gergor Schlierenzauer with a typically boring 101.5m first leap before he got excited to be there and posted a second jump of 106.5 to make everyone think what could have been.
Points are gained over two jumps to decide the winner.
Honourable mention goes to the Finn Janne Ahonen for pulling himself out of retirement to compete and attempt the same Finnish fairy tale as Jani Soininen in Nagano 1998, but it was not to be as he flailed away to finish a disappointing for him fourth place. If four time Olympic champion Matti Nykanen is anything to go by Janne's wife should be very worried.
Unsurprisingly the top 10 was completely made up of Europeans. The Japanese have snuck in there before but on this occasion they could only muster 15th with Daiki Ito. Still a sterling effort with a ridiculous display of Japanese consistency with two jumps of 100m and 100.5m. But the consistency award goes to Slovakian Primoz Pikl with a consistently average 97.5m for both jumps to finish 24th in a field of 50.

Men's 5000m long-track Speed skating:
Not since the great man Johan Olav "the Boss" Koss decimated all before him in the epic Olympic Games of Lillehammer 1994 has anyone completely dominated the ice. It could happen this time around but we may not see the massive records of Koss. Redemption is sweet for any athlete but more so if your name is Sven Kramer and you have been the darling from a speed skating rich country like Der Nederlanden for 10 years. The current world champ in 5k was narrowly beaten in Turin 2006 while defending his Nagano title so the Dutchman had a score to settle in Vancouver. He did so today at the expense of South Korea by relegating Lee Seung-Hoon by 2.35sec, posting an Olympic record along the way. A sneaky cossack got the bronze.

In case you are wondering see Johann's "english" commentary at Nagano if you can. I will not ask The Boss again about speed skating.

Women's Super Combined Alpine Skiing.
Unfortunately the super combined has been postponed as the unseasonably warm weather continues in Whistler causing the lower slopes to be a little sketchy. While it is still quite cold, you need to understand what the elite racers ski on to do what they do. The course for a start is not technically snow. The course technicians (yes they exist in this title) actually go up the slope drilling "cores". Next they inject water into the course through these cores, essentially binding the snow together and forming what can only be described as ice all the way from top to bottom. The cumulative effect of going from injected race course at 130km/h to a softened course at the base of the hill is much like locking the brakes on a F1 car at full pelt.....quite catastrophic.
Still it gives the USA's Lindsay Vonn more time to heal her badly bruised shin, also known in the ski world as shin-bang as she looks to win three Olympic golds at on games.

ALBERTO "LA BOMBA" TOMBA SAYS: (lots of hand gestures) 'It giva the Lindsay Vonn time-er to get ridda de carpet "bruise-a" on her shin I give-a her. Of course-a I gave up de ski-ing to notta have dese problems-a no more myself when I get zem!'

Alberto will drop by time to time to offer insights when I can drag him from the bar of Whistler's Creekside Lodge.

Biathlon - womens 7.5km
Slovakian Anastasia Kuzmina won the 7.5km biathlon, proving that not all sports get better when they are shortened.

Men's 1500m and Womens 500m Short Track Speed Skating.
Tatiana Boroudulina got pipped in the heats. Not to worry it's not her pet event. But it makes the clown who made a triple treat medal prediction look pretty dumb.
In the men's Apolo Anton "oh yes" Ohno got himself silver today after a monumental stuff up in the last 20m by South Korea. They had a clean sweep in the bag before 2nd place got greedy. The end result being the USA taking out the minor placings. Good thing the Koreans aren't from the North!

So that was the best of Day 1. Perhaps the saddest thing is that the Canadians have still not been able to crack it for a win on home soil at an Olympics despite a massive chance not coming to be at the women's moguls.


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