Olympic Stud of the Day: Francois-Louis Tremblay
Image Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
There were plenty of events on NBC last night (and what seemed like 984574 hours of close-ups of poor Julia Mancuso bawling), but the highlight for me was the men’s 500m speed skate. I know Apolo Anton Ohno is amazing (and his dad in the stands is adorable), but I was more intrigued by the Canadians.Charles Hamelin (I’ll get more into him later) started the night off on a high note, leading the pack and setting an Olympic record of 41.463 seconds. How did his teammate, and Olympic Stud of the Day, Francois-Louis Tremblay follow that? He skated his derrière off and beat that time by .05 seconds, setting a record and winning his heat in 41.397 seconds. Tremblay, a.k.a. The Boucherville Bomber, is 29 and most likely competing for the last time in the Olympics. For him to set this record on home soil is awesome. When he’s not setting records, the Quebec native is playing the guitar and listening to music. Gotta love a man who’s both athletic and artistic.
Honorable mention: Charles Hamelin most likely would have been the Stud of the Day had his record not been shattered just moments later. He took off from the starting line so fast that it was essentially a race for second place, because no one was going to be able to catch up to him. Also, props to Olivier Jean, the third Canadian to race and the third to qualify.
Canadians Heather Moyse and Kaillie Humphries brought home the gold after winning the women’s two-man bobsled. The silver went to their fellow countrywomen Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown. Most of my knowledge of bobsledding comes from the five minutes I’ve seen of Cool Runnings, so it was fun to watch such an unfamiliar event. It was even better to watch these women win (congrats also to the U.S. team of Erin Pac and Elana Meyers, who won the bronze).
I didn’t get a chance to see the game, but the Canadian men’s hockey team defeated Russia 7-3 to make it to the semifinals. Dan Boyle led with a goal and two assists in the first period, and the team dominated from there. At the end of the game, you could probably hear a collective sigh of relief sweep across Canada.
Clearly, the Olympics belonged to Canada last night. I might be a little biased – my mom’s family is from there (Kitchener/Waterloo/Conestogo, Ontario, holla!), and we used to visit every summer. It was always so nice to escape from Southern California and go someplace with clean air, no graffiti, and people with manners. But it really wasn’t a shock to see Canadians dominating last night. I guess they decided to stop being polite and start getting real. They beat records, settled scores, and — most importantly — brought home the gold.
Keep your eye out for this guy: While watching the Today Show this morning, I was introduced to alpine skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, a.k.a. the Snow Leopard. In addition to having amazing names, he’s also a trailblazer – the 35-year-old has only been skiing since 2002, and is the first athlete competing in the winter Olympics from Ghana. The Snow Leopard’s also a good guy, working with charities to fund schools in deprived areas of Ghana, building Ghana’s first artificial ski slope, and — of course — helping save the snow leopard from extinction. Good luck tomorrow night, Kwame!