Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sports Report

There is a large contingency of people from the Netherlands here to root for their formidable team of speed skaters. (It will take years to recover from the disqualification of Sven Kremer from the 10,000 meters.) They stay in hotels close to the Richmond Oval where the long track skating races are held because I don’t think they are very interested in any of the other events taking place. They turn out in all kinds of wonderful orange costumes and love to sing along with the Dutch ommpa band that plays during intermissions. I’m so glad they’re here, it’s such fun to attend the skating events with them.

The Russians have the best jackets around and seem so stern and exotic. They were very disappointed in the results of the ice dancing competition that Gene and I attended, I sensed that they felt their athletes were judged unfairly after hearing the reactions to the scores for the Russian teams.

But without a doubt, the most compelling story in Vancouver during these Olympic Games has been Team Canada and the hockey tournament. The Russians played Canada yesterday and it was all anyone talked about all day. There is a rivalry between the two teams because Russia beat Canada in the quarter- finals in the 2006 Olympics and then went on to win two World Championships. Gene and I were at a short track skating event and the hockey game was on the big screen between races so that the fans could keep track of the score. Now it’s on to the quarter-finals on Friday, the USA plays Finland and the Canadians play Slovakia.

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