Olympics offer tragedy and triumph

Vancouver, Canada: site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games – where great joy and tragedy occur and timeless story lines play out on slopes and rinks.
Let’s start with the good that can come out of the Olympics this year. First of all – the U.S. hockey team. Thirty years after the famous “Miracle on Ice” in which an inexperienced American team beat the hockey powerhouse of Russia in the semifinals of the 1980 Olympics, the U.S. men’s team looks to do it again.
With young American talent such as Patrick Kane, Paul Stastny and David Backes, the team will attempt to rival the likes of always-strong Canadian and Russian teams. The team has a lot of first time Olympians, much as the 1980 team had.
Team USA started off well, winning its first match up against Switzerland 3-1 and looking impressive. 
As of Tuesday, Americans had the second most medals in this year’s games, with eight total, including two gold, two silver and four bronze. That’s only one behind Germany, which has obtained three gold, four silver and two bronze. Host country Canada has five total medals with two gold, two silver and one bronze.
One of the greatest spectacles to be seen, not just in the world of sports, but in all of TV, is the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. This consists of introducing every country with athletes walking in unison around the stadium. Then, of course, the Olympic Torch is lit.
This year, however, not everything went as intended. The plan was to have four pillars erected from the ground that would each be lit by a different Canadian athlete. However, one of the pillars got stuck in the ground, leaving one athlete to stand with her torch, unable to do her part. 
Also, great tragedy struck during the games. Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, lost his life to an accident that shook the entire foundation of the games. Coming off of turn 15 of the course, the second to last turn of one of the fastest luge tracks in the world, he hit the top of the turn and came down hard into the inner most wall off the track.
The force of the impact propelled him off the track and into one of the metal support beams that were lined along the track, just off the outside wall, and medics were unable to save him. 
Technical failures, the hopes and dreams of hundred of athletes either achieved or destroyed, and even the tragic loss of a young athlete. It looks like this year’s Olympic games have had a little bit of everything.
Hayden Shaver is a sophomore sports communication major from Washington. He is the Scout sports reporter.
Direct comments, questions and other responses to hshaver@mail.bradley.edu.