Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics

Today is the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, with the 9 hour time difference between here and Vancouver, I won't be able to watch any of the opening ceremonies.

Czech Television will broadcast live and tape-delayed coverage on channels ČT2 and ČT4. The problem is that the I don't know the schedules and for sure don't understand enough Czech yet. Oh well.

This year's Czech squad is a record high of 92 athletes. Seven of the Czech Republic's 10 winter medals have come in cross-country skiing so they should do well there. Here are the medal contenders...

Lukáš Bauer - cross-country skiing
He is competing in his 4th Olympic Games and he won silver in the 15 km men's classic race in Turino. He placed second at the 2009 World Championships and was the World Cup champion for the 2007-08 season.

Nikola Sudová - freestyle skiing
She is a mogul specialist and has won twice during this season's World Cup circuit. In mid-January she suffered torn knee ligaments in while training and doctors have outfitted here with a special knee brace.

Tomáš Kraus - freestyle skiing
Ski cross makes its Olympic debut in Vancouver where four racers hit the course simultaneously. Kraus was ski cross world champion in 2005 and 2007 and he ranks first in this season's World Cup standings.

Šárka Záhrobská - alpine skiing
She has medaled at the past 3 World Championships and placed first in the slalom in 2007. Her toughest competition comes from American Lindsey Vonn.

Martina Sáblíková - speed skating
She holds 5 World Championship golds and a silver in the 3,000 m, 5,000 m and all-around categories. She narrowly missed a medal at the 2006 games and is seen as the most likely Czech medalist in Vancouver. The interesting thing is that she trains in Erfurt, Germany, because there is no skating oval in the Czech Republic.

Men's ice hockey team
The team ranks sixth in the International Hockey Federation rankings. Sixteen of the teams' players are in the NHL, including captain Patrik Eliáš. The team won the bronze in the 2006 Torino Olympics. Hockey is big here! I heard that the country went crazy when the Czechs won the gold in 1998. The opening match is on February 17th against Slovakia. This should be a good match.

EDIT: It's 3 PM on 13.2 and ČT2 is showing the opening ceremonies. Everything is in Czech but at least I get to see them.

EDIT: The Czechs beat Slovakia 3-1 today. Yeah!! They go up against Latvia on Friday.

EDIT: The Czechs beat Lativa 5-2 on Friday but lost 2-4 on Saturday to Russia. They take on Latvia again on Tuesday night.

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