Top moments of Winter Olympics


Normally, there is one event that stands out and defines the Olympics. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan skating in Lillehammer, Cathy Freeman winning in Sydney, the shot putters crying with joy in the ancient stadium at Olympia in 2004.

But Torino was more of a collection of moments, like the day ESPN.com's Jim Caple went to seven events in one day. Here is a compilation of our Olympic staff's top moments.

Kwan withdraws from Games
The first time I saw Michelle Kwan was during a group interview in a back room at the skating rink in Lillehammer, where she was the U.S. alternate. She was gracious then, never complaining that she should be on the team, so not Tonya. She may not have skated her best in the Olympics, but she always represented herself, her sport and her country well. It is sad to see her go. -- Jim Caple

Italian hero and goat
While covering the Olympics in Italy, you sometimes have no choice but to watch the Italian broadcast of the Games. That was the case this time around. And while you couldn't understand exactly what was being said, you still got the message. A perfect example was the men's 1,500-meter speedskating race. All the pre-race hype was the showdown between Americans Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick (see below), but Italian Enrico Fabris stole the show. After Fabris set the lead time, the Italian announcers screamed each time another skater failed to best the time. "Italia! Italia! Italia!" -- Joy Russo

On the other side was The Glare Seen 'Round The World from Italian ice dancer Barbara Fusar Poli, who gave partner Maurizio Margaglio The Glare after he dropped her with seconds to go in their routine. Like many men, I've seen that same look too many times -- and it's never good. They both made up after completing their final skate, only after every local broadcast and newspaper published her famous look. -- JC

Jacobellis' trick gone bad
After leading for most of the snowboardcross final race, Lindsey Jacobellis hot-dogged it near the finish line, attempting a trick, and fell, losing her gold medal. I bet she winds up being more famous and making more money for losing the gold than she ever would have by actually winning it. -- JC

The humanitarian
It was a change of pace to see Joey Cheek donating his $45,000 medal bonuses to "Right to Play" and then challenging corporations to match it (enough have as he's raised nearly $400,000 so far). Cheek is one of my favorite athletes, fast, funny and very wise. "What I do is great fun," he told reporters of skating compared to the charity. "It's a great job. I've traveled the world and made great friends. But it's pretty ridiculous -- I skate around the ice in tights. And I've trained my whole life for this." -- JC

Hockey history
We'll always remember the moments after the Swedish women's team defeated the American women in a shootout to advance to the gold medal game against Canada. Forget the big-picture stuff about the changing face of women's hockey; all true, but this was about the stark, perhaps even stunning, contrast between the Swedish players who accomplished something they thought might never be possible and the American women who lost something they never thought they would lose. No doubt, it was a moment none of the players on the ice will ever forget. -- Scott Burnside

Bode busts
After much pre-Olympics hype, Bode Miller went 0-for-5 in these Games. Miller's job is to ski fast, something he didn't do here at the Games. Still, in the same way I would never want to see Bode coming down a course holding himself back just to finish, I would loathe to see him being untrue to himself just to be safe with reporters. His performance was dismal, his reputation is in tatters. Nobody is happy. For Miller and for us, the only way the magic is going to kick up again is if we let it. Miller has to believe that he can be the person he wants to be, both on and off the slopes. -- Carrie Sheinberg

The Flying Tomato
It's been hard to find a face of the Olympics, but one that comes to mind is Shaun White. From the get-go, White was pumped to be in Torino. We can still remember seeing his beaming face during the Opening Ceremony.

In the five American snowboard Grand Prix events leading up to the Olympics, "The Flying Tomato" always qualified first. Then he would do the overall first run with a score so untouchable that, by the second run, he was free to add whatever icing he wanted. After predicting an American medal sweep, White let his jitters get the better of him in the halfpipe event. He dropped in the pipe looking at the stands, the mountains, everything but the pipe ... and he hit the lip. "I wasn't really that nervous, but just before I was about to drop in, my heart kind of fell," White said. "Then I remembered that this is what I do and I just did my thing." After that, things got very familiar as White went out and made a run to gold. -- Lindsay Berra

It's amazing and sad how two wrongs can make a right. Davis and Hedrick embarrassed themselves, and each other, in a frigid and nasty post-1,500 news conference (one of the more bizarre we've seen) -- and made their sport more interesting than ever. They both lost to Fabris (Davis finished second, Hedrick third) and then had a wonderful opportunity to shake hands, apologize, hug, exchange pins, whatever. That did not happen. They sat at the same table, a bit more than an arm's length from each other, and ignored each other's answers for the better part of a half-hour. Davis downplayed the rivalry, as did Hedrick. Both seemed to blame the media for the melodrama. But Americans likely took sides: Half chose Hedrick, and the other half chose Davis. The soap opera actually helped speedskating. A sport that no one cared about at the start of the Games was now the source of the most fascinating Olympics topic since the Nancy and Tonya fiasco. -- Eric Adelson

The ice dancers
It was a special night at the ice dance finals. There was no judging controversy. The Americans took home a medal. And best of all, the world's favorite Italian couple kissed and made up. Russia won its third figure skating gold in as many finals here when Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won the ice dance with a stirring Carmen routine in Monday's free program. But the real news was Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto breaking a 30-year American drought in the event. They didn't skate flawlessly -- she wobbled on one turn -- but they were plenty good enough to win the silver, the country's first ice dancing medal since 1976. -- JC