Olympic Stud of the Day: Apolo Ohno
Day 2 of the Vancouver Games had many contenders for the title, but when you combine the record books with a solid 2 minutes and 17 seconds of suspense, we’ve got to give it to US speed skater Apolo Ohno. Winning his sixth medal, the silver in the men’s 1500m, he tied Bonnie Blair as the most decorated Winter Olympian in history and now stands alone as the most medaled short track skater. (Watch.)
We’d been warned by the commentators that the three Korean skaters would likely sweep the podium if they got lined up, and shortly after the last lap bell, they did. Ohno was in fourth going into the final turn, when one of the Korean skaters attempted a bad pass that took out both himself and a teammate. That gave Ohno the silver and his teammate, 19-year-old J.R. Celski, the bronze. (Celski also had serious Stud potential: The Olympics are his first formal event since September’s US trials, where he crashed and gave himself a 60-stitch gash in the leg that came within an inch of the femoral artery. Had he hit it, he would’ve bled out on the ice in 10 seconds.) It was a wild, physical race that left the NBC analyst shouting “Welcome back to short track, everyone!” and at-home viewers yelling at their TVs. Now, it feels like an Olympics!
Our Olympic Stud of the Day Runner-Up won Team USA’s first gold medal of the Games, women’s moguls champ Hannah Kearney. (Watch.) She skied last, immediately following Canada’s favorite Jennifer Heil, who was in a position to bring the host country its first gold in Vancouver (and its first gold in any Olympics held on home soil). Kearney had the entire package — speed and big air — and gave one of the most endearing post-victory interviews you’ll hear all Olympics. After a disappointing Torino (she failed to make the finals), her goal was just to do well enough to make an Olympics montage on NBC. Bob Costas took great pleasure in announcing that her dream was about to come true.
Your turn. Who’s your pick for Olympic Stud of Day 2? Any votes for Switzerland’s Simon Ammann, who became the first jumper to win multiple Olympic gold medals on the normal hill? (Watch.) Or the Netherlands’ speed skating phenom Sven Kramer, who claimed gold in the 5000m with a new Olympic record, then jumped into the stands to hug his parents and girlfriend? (Watch.) What about Anastazia Kuzmina, who won Slovakia’s first ever gold at the Winter Olympics in the biathlon 7.5km sprint? (Watch.)
P.S. We’d like to give a special shoutout to yesterday’s Music Mix Olympic Song of the Day provider, US skier Shannon Bahrke, who earned a bronze in the moguls last night. Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” did its job. Check out today’s Olympic Playlist of the Day from US biathlete Lowell Bailey, who competes this afternoon. Good luck!
Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
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