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Official winter olympics thread

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The 2010 Winter Olympics have opened but the ceremony was overshadowed by the death of 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

He crashed at high speed at Whistler Sliding Centre during training just hours before the Games opened.

The Georgian team, wearing black armbands, were given a standing ovation at the ceremony, held in Vancouver.

It was a stunning visual spectacular which started with a snowboarder jumping through the Olympic rings.

And despite the luge tragedy, which was marked by an impeccably observed minute's silence, flags flying at half mast and the ceremony dedicated to Kumaritashvili, there was a festive mood inside BC Place Stadium.

The ceremony was held undercover for the first time and officially opened by Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean. The Olympic flame was jointly lit by four Canadian sports heroes - all-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky, skier Nancy Greene, speed skater Katrina LeMay Doan, and basketball All-Star Steve Nash. However a technical hitch meant only three of the torchbearers were able to light the flame after one of the ice columns failed to appear.

Gretzky then made his way to the harbour to light a second cauldron outside in the harbour area which will burn for the 17 days of competition.

IOC president Jacques Rogge, wearing a black tie, prefaced the traditional opening speeches by saying: "It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the tragic loss of Nodar Kumaritashvili of the Georgian team, who passed away this morning in a training accident on the luge track.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, team-mates and country."

And John Furlong, chief executive of Vanoc, the organising committee, said: "May you carry his (Kumaritashvili's),Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your hearts."

More than 60,000 spectators witnessed 2,500 athletes from 82 nations parade - including debutants Cayman Islands, Colombia, Ghana, Pakistan and Peru. The largest cheer was for the host team Canada, with Clara Hughes, defending 5000m speed skating champion waving the flag and clad all in red.

Great Britain were led in by skeleton slider Shelley Rudman resplendent in a white jacked and navy blue trousers and a red beret. She was the team's only medallist at the 2006 Winter Olympics but at the Vancouver Games the British are being tipped for possibly their best medal haul, if they can beat the four medals won in 1924.

The three- hour extravaganza included a cultural segment featuring many of Canada's best-known musical stars - Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado and KD Lang.

Canada's aboriginal communities were also highlighted with the four chiefs of the First Nations, whose traditional native territory overlaps the Olympic region, part of the official delegation at the ceremony.

Among the state-of-the-art special effects included a giant, sparkling polar bear rising from the stadium floor and hovering over performers on a simulated ice flow.

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http://winterolympics.external.bbc.co.uk/event-results-schedules/index.html

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Definition of a certified Goon:

kwame-nkrumah-acheampong1.jpeg

kwame-nkrumah-acheampong.jpeg

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, (b. 19 December, 1974)[1] nicknamed "The Snow Leopard", is a Ghanaian skiier and is expected to be the first person from Ghana to take part in the Winter Olympics, at the 2010 Games to be held in Vancouver, Canada,[2] taking part in the slalom and giant slalom.[1]

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong was 25 years old when he first saw snow.

The Ghana native had just stepped off a plane at Heathrow Airport in London, England, to a light sprinkling of flakes.

“It was nice to see snow falling,” he said “To touch it. To open my mouth and let it fall in.

“I had seen it in movies and read about it. I had studied it in geography.”

It was a memorable moment. But he never expected to make a living on snow, let alone compete at the Olympics some 10 years later.

The alpine skier, dubbed the Snow Leopard, is Ghana’s first ever Winter Olympian. He’ll be a one man nation at Friday’s opening ceremonies, proudly waving the country’s red, gold and green flag as he strolls into BC Place.

“It’s going to be super scary walking in there alone and looking left and right,” he said. “You’re safer in numbers. Everyone is going to be looking at me and seeing just one guy there.”

It does not snow in his sub-Saharan African home. Temperatures at this time of year hover around 30 C. Sports fans live and die by the success of Ghana’s famed Black Stars national soccer team.

Skiing? Few have ever seen it. Even fewer have tried it.

But thousands of Ghanaians will be cramming into homes, bars and restaurants to fight for position in front of television sets to witness history in Vancouver.

“I wake up some mornings and ask myself ‘what have I done?’” he said. “Lots of people send me emails and say they’ll be watching. The pressure of qualifying is done. Now there is the pressure of having all eyes on you.”

Nkrumah-Acheampong has only been skiing for the past six years. He fell in love with the sport while working at an indoor ski hill in Milton Keynes, a city northwest of London.

“Skiing is like a dance,” he said. “It’s like a battle from top to bottom. And I just love the battle.”

There was resistance from other professional skiers on the circuit early on. But now, Nkrumah-Acheampong says he’s ‘just one of the guys.’

The 35-year-old gets lumped into the same category as other Olympic oddities such as the Jamaican bobsled team and Britain ski jumper Michael ‘Eddie The Eagle’ Edwards. But he doesn’t mind. Though he is quick to point out that, like all skiers, he qualified for the Winter Games by meeting standards set by the International Ski Federation within the past year.

His expectations are in check. He knows a medal is an extreme long shot. His goal? Not to finish last and to beat other smaller nations not known for skiing. So look out Pakistan, India and Morocco.

The Snow Leopard got his nickname early on from a journalist. Today, the fan favourite wears a leopard spotted outfit while racing in the slalom and giant slalom events. His entourage will call Whistler’s La Bocca restaurant the unofficial Ghana house for the duration of the Games.

And while he has worked as a guide at Ghana’s Kakum National Park, the Snow Leopard has seen his namesake just once.

“Only in the zoo,” he says. “I have never come face to face with one in the wild and I don’t think I want to.”

Finding suitable practice time leading up to the Games has been challenging. Nkrumah-Acheampong has called in favours and maxed out credit cards to fund his dream.

But it will all be worthwhile when his wife Sena and kids Ellice, 5, and baby Jason, see him race later this month.

“For me it’s going to be massive payback to be standing on the slopes in Whistler when it’s my turn to go down,” he said. “My family hopefully is going to be down at the bottom saying ‘daddy is coming down now.’ ”

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39520_m15.jpg

luger Nodar Kumaritashvili

RIP

At least he went out doing something he loves.

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Is this chick miming it? I know its the opening ceremony from last night but hmmm, either that or it's out of sync.

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The opening ceremony and atmosphere looks sick.

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39520_m15.jpg

luger Nodar Kumaritashvili

RIP

At least he went out doing something he loves.

You win some, you luge some.

R.I.P

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Definition of a certified Goon:

kwame-nkrumah-acheampong1.jpeg

kwame-nkrumah-acheampong.jpeg

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, (b. 19 December, 1974)[1] nicknamed "The Snow Leopard", is a Ghanaian skiier and is expected to be the first person from Ghana to take part in the Winter Olympics, at the 2010 Games to be held in Vancouver, Canada,[2] taking part in the slalom and giant slalom.[1]

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong was 25 years old when he first saw snow.

The Ghana native had just stepped off a plane at Heathrow Airport in London, England, to a light sprinkling of flakes.

“It was nice to see snow falling,” he said “To touch it. To open my mouth and let it fall in.

“I had seen it in movies and read about it. I had studied it in geography.”

It was a memorable moment. But he never expected to make a living on snow, let alone compete at the Olympics some 10 years later.

The alpine skier, dubbed the Snow Leopard, is Ghana’s first ever Winter Olympian. He’ll be a one man nation at Friday’s opening ceremonies, proudly waving the country’s red, gold and green flag as he strolls into BC Place.

“It’s going to be super scary walking in there alone and looking left and right,” he said. “You’re safer in numbers. Everyone is going to be looking at me and seeing just one guy there.”

It does not snow in his sub-Saharan African home. Temperatures at this time of year hover around 30 C. Sports fans live and die by the success of Ghana’s famed Black Stars national soccer team.

Skiing? Few have ever seen it. Even fewer have tried it.

But thousands of Ghanaians will be cramming into homes, bars and restaurants to fight for position in front of television sets to witness history in Vancouver.

“I wake up some mornings and ask myself ‘what have I done?’” he said. “Lots of people send me emails and say they’ll be watching. The pressure of qualifying is done. Now there is the pressure of having all eyes on you.”

Nkrumah-Acheampong has only been skiing for the past six years. He fell in love with the sport while working at an indoor ski hill in Milton Keynes, a city northwest of London.

“Skiing is like a dance,” he said. “It’s like a battle from top to bottom. And I just love the battle.”

There was resistance from other professional skiers on the circuit early on. But now, Nkrumah-Acheampong says he’s ‘just one of the guys.’

The 35-year-old gets lumped into the same category as other Olympic oddities such as the Jamaican bobsled team and Britain ski jumper Michael ‘Eddie The Eagle’ Edwards. But he doesn’t mind. Though he is quick to point out that, like all skiers, he qualified for the Winter Games by meeting standards set by the International Ski Federation within the past year.

His expectations are in check. He knows a medal is an extreme long shot. His goal? Not to finish last and to beat other smaller nations not known for skiing. So look out Pakistan, India and Morocco.

The Snow Leopard got his nickname early on from a journalist. Today, the fan favourite wears a leopard spotted outfit while racing in the slalom and giant slalom events. His entourage will call Whistler’s La Bocca restaurant the unofficial Ghana house for the duration of the Games.

And while he has worked as a guide at Ghana’s Kakum National Park, the Snow Leopard has seen his namesake just once.

“Only in the zoo,” he says. “I have never come face to face with one in the wild and I don’t think I want to.”

Finding suitable practice time leading up to the Games has been challenging. Nkrumah-Acheampong has called in favours and maxed out credit cards to fund his dream.

But it will all be worthwhile when his wife Sena and kids Ellice, 5, and baby Jason, see him race later this month.

“For me it’s going to be massive payback to be standing on the slopes in Whistler when it’s my turn to go down,” he said. “My family hopefully is going to be down at the bottom saying ‘daddy is coming down now.’ ”

:Y: :Y: :Y: :Y: :Y:

When and where is this event gonn be shown?

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Heard about the ghanaian guy before, apparently he has no chance and is guna come 80th or something like that.

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The men's downhill event, was exciting. Just seeing that Canadian come off a jump, land nearly with one ski on the snow then flop made me chuckle.

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Iv actually been surprised by this winter olympics, found myself enjoying it when i never thought i would.

/

c/s the lol at the canadian.

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Wow, must've hurt haha. Made it even sweeter after the guy's coach was shouting at him before he started.

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Downhill was sick today, you've gotta be a bit mad to be travelling at them speeds unprotected.

Watched that other one where they're going down a hill and they do back flips etc on Saturday, some american woman went last and knocked the Canadian off top spot.

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The snowboarding cross finals on BBC3, no tricks just a straight race, quite enjoyable stuff.

The female commentator could be a bit more enthusiastic.

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The snowboarding cross finals on BBC3, no tricks just a straight race, quite enjoyable stuff.

The female commentator could be a bit more enthusiastic.

lol its true

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The snowboard cross races are sick

/

I spat out my drink earlier watching the men's moguls on Cypress mountain when the commentator goes 'its so important they wear gum shields at the speeds they travel down as their knees come up so high the competitors do easily loose teeth'

Still, Alexandre Bilodeau's double flip that won him the gold>>>>>>>>>______

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Get this woman off! Helmet cam looks cool but that Nate Holland made it look so easy.

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whens the Ghanian on? or has he already been?

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Yeh i was watchin the snowboard final highlights

was epic

bare man gettin deaded n elbowd, was too much jokes when they got taken out.

Must of been so pissed tho

c/s that female comentator, heard he say 1 thing for the 20 mins i watched.

"He doesnt want to be doing that"

and thats all she said, atleast give man some constructive criticism.

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