Olympic Studs of the Day: 14 Portraits from Vancouver 2010
WINNER: Chris Plys
WHY HIM: He's a standout on the athlete Twitter list, tweeting photos of the Opening Ceremony and his experience in the Olympic Village in general (''A night at the mess hall with Shaun White and raccoons ha''), as well a retaliation against Jimmy Fallon for joking that the US Curling team's best method of birth control is being on the US Curling team. (''@Jimmyfallon isn't your best contraceptive your tv ratings? Lol''). Alas, the curling team's performance wasn't quite as entertaining. —Mandi Bierly
WINNER: Apolo Ohno
SPORT: Short-track Speed Skating
WHY HIM: With his silver medal in the men's 1500m, the former Dancing With the Stars contestant gave us a solid 2 minutes and 17 seconds of suspense. (Who could predict two South Korean skaters would take EACH OTHER out??) Ohno medaled again in the 1000m, giving him a career total of seven Olympic medals (two gold, two silver, three bronze). And even with two more events to go, that makes him the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time. —M.B.
WINNER: Alexandre Bilodeau
SPORT: Men's Moguls
WHY HIM: Somehow Canada failed to win a single gold medal during its two previous stints as Olympic host (the 1976 Montreal Summer Games and the 1988 Calgary Winter Games). But this 22-year-old ended the drought with his gold-clinching back-double-full. —Annie Barrett
WINNER: Seth Wescott
SPORT: Men's Snowboard Cross
WHY HIM: Because Bilodeau aside, we hate when Canada wins! Wescott — the defending gold medalist — started out at the back of the final race but, like a chess prodigy or a brilliant Stratego player, he struck like lightning when it counted. A few well-timed jumps and a nasty corner cut-off took him to first place, robbing Canadian Mike Robertson of what seemed like an easy win. —Darren Franich
WINNER: Evan Lysacek
SPORT: Men's Figure Skating
WHY HIM: Even before he won the gold, we were smitten with his short program — and his post-performance tears of joy. (Suck it, Yevgeny.) —Sandra Gonzalez
WINNERS: Lindsey Vonn, Shani Davis, and Shaun White
SPORT: Skiing, Long-track Speed Skating, Snowboarding
WHY THEM: A three-way tie! Alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, speed skater Shani Davis, and snowboarder Shaun White all won gold on a single night. The PopWatch Olympic Committee ruled that the three were all too good NOT to honor. —A.B.
WINNER: Torah Bright
WHY HER: This Australian snowboarder is so studly because she pulled off the winning run — including the switch-backside 720, a trick attempted by few men — after scoring a ridiculous 5.9 in the first heat. Ranking last earlier meant she had to go first in the finals, so while everyone else tried their best to challenge Torah's technique and smiley energy, she just had to just stand there in her adorable teal cap with her loosely plaited Eloise hair and be charming. Mission accomplished. —A.B.
WINNERS: Aksel Lund Svindal and Noelle Pikus-Pace
SPORT: Skiing, Skeleton
WHY THEM: Svindal is an Olympic Stud in every interpretation of the word. In November 2007, he crashed hard during a training run at Beaver Creek and spent four hours in surgery. He lost more than 30 pounds of muscle mass during the five months it took him to return to the slopes. The next time he skied Beaver Creek, he won. In Vancouver, he took gold in Super-G, silver in the downhill, and bronze in Giant Slalom. (He's got one more event on the 27th.) Pikus-Pace, on the other hand, didn't win any medals. (She finished fourth in the skeleton.) But we salute her courageous recovery from a freak, 2005 accident that left her with breaks to both her tibia and fibula. She missed the podium by one-tenth of a second. Timed events can't take into account heart, but we can. —M.B.
WINNERS: The Ryans
SPORT: Men's Hockey
WHY THEM: When we're right, we're right. And our selection of Ryan Miller, Ryan Suter, Ryan Whitney, Ryan Callahan, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Malone, and Bobby Ryan could not have come at a better time. Later that night, the Americans defeated hockey powerhouse Canada. —Margaret Lyons
WINNER: Chris Del Bosco
SPORT: Ski Cross
WHY HIM: I'm not really a fan of NBC's montage-flashback approach to the Olympics, but Del Bosco's troubled backstory (A broken neck! A doping scandal!) provided a completely sensible introduction to his performance on the slopes. He had a bronze in the bag, but risked everything — even his shot at redemption — in a last-ditch attempt to win gold. He wiped out just seconds from the finish line, but I doubt he has any regrets. —D.F.
WINNERS: Gregor Schlierenzauer and his Austrian teammates
SPORT: Ski Jump
WHY THEM: Andreas Kofler, Wolfgang Loitzl, Thomas Morgenstern, and team anchor Gregor Schlierenzauer helped give Austria its third gold medal of the Vancouver games and the 23rd medal overall in team ski jumping. Favorites going into the event, they did not disappoint, landing some of the highest, most entertaining jumps on the day, and finishing with a commanding 72.1 point lead over Germany. After initially scoffing at ski jumping (aren't they just getting shot out of a cannon?), I was won over by the Austrians' amazing body control and concentration. It's also worth mentioning that they travel in a rock-star tour bus. —Emily Exton
WINNERS: Brett Camerota, Todd Lodwick, Johnny Spillane, and Bill Demong
SPORT: Nordic Combined Skiing
WHY THEM: Still don't know what Nordic Combined is? Get with the program! It's basically a four-man team that competes in a jump portion of competition followed by a cross-country ski relay. A little further background: The U.S. had never gotten a medal in the team event. Ever. But that changed when the U.S. team took silver and earned a place on the podium for the first time in 86 years. —S.G.
WINNER: Francois-Louis Tremblay
SPORT: Short-track Speed Skating
WHY HIM: Apolo Anton Ohno is amazing (and his dad in the stands is adorable). But, when it came to the men's 500m speed skate, I was more intrigued by the Canadians. Charles Hamelin 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 to win his heat. —Catherine Garcia
WINNER: Jeret ''Speedy'' Peterson
SPORT: Aerial Skiing
WHY HIM: NBC announcers said last night that Jeret ''Speey'' Peterson and ''the middle ground'' don't get along. And that's great because Stud of the Day and non-awesome people don't get along, either. Lucky for Peterson, his Hurricane maneuver during men's aerials put him above the rest in our eyes and judge's eyes, securing him a spot on our epic list and the silver medal. —S.G.