Relive some of the craziest moments in recent Olympic Winter Games history (via video). From Hermann Maier's amazing revival to Tara Lipinski's youthful heroism and Steven Bradbury's good fortune (at long last), there's much to savour.
Reaching incredible speeds and dizzying heights, and always with a fierce competitive spirit on display, the Olympic Winter Games are full of historic (and, yes, crazy) moments.
From the so-called Herminator's (Hermann Maier) unbelievable comeback in Nagano in 1998 to the drama of the Canada/USA women's ice hockey dual in Salt Lake City in 2002, along with the Sochi 2014 ski cross finish that looked more like a luge event, Olympics.com offers you a video deep-dive into ten of the wildest Winter Games moments...
When Hermann Maier flew to Japan to compete in the
Nagano 1998 Games, he'd never won a major international title. He was on the start-list of the Downhill, Super-G and Giant slalom and, during his first event, the downhill, he suffered a severe crash at speeds approaching 105 km/h. Several days later, he was back and competing in the Super-G and Giant Slalom...and, wouldn't you know, he went on to win gold in both events.
Thus, an Olympic legend was born.
Watch the Nagano 1998 Maier double gold video (below)
At PyeongChang 2018, German luger Felix Loch, reigning Olympic champion and a legend of the sport, lost gold (and even a podium finish) in a race where he led after the first three runs. Ss fortune would have it, in his fourth run, he made a number of incredible and unpredictable mistakes before finally finishing fifth. What a disaster!
Watch Loch's ill-fated fourth run (below)
Of the 30,000 Norwegian fans who were there on the day, many will surely still think back to those 0.4 seconds that prevented Bjorn Dahlie and his teammates from winning a long-awaited gold medal -- in the men's 4 × 10 km cross-country relay in Lillehammer 1994.
The strong Norwegian quartet (Vegard Ulvang, Bjorn Daehlie,
Thomas Alsgaard, Sture Sivertsen) were unable to deliver delirium to the host nation and its fans, being beaten by the Italian team (
Maurilio De Zolt, Giorgio Vanzetta, Marco Albarello and Silvio Fauner). Even though the legendary Daehlie won much at the Olympics, the memory of that epic defeat by only a few centimeters in the last fraction of a second won't make him smile -- even all these years on.
Watch that incredible final (below)
Women's ice hockey was first introduced to the Olympic programme at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and with no surprises in the field, Canada and USA faced oT in the gold-medal game.
The United States won out in that contest 3b1, but Canada would get revenge four years later at the Salt Lake City Olympics with a 3-2 win in the final (breaking a lengthy eight-game losing streak to the USA in the process). It was a remarkable victory for the Canadian team, and the players danced and shouted on the ice at the final whistle.
Watch those celebratory highlights (below)
Even though it happened less than four years ago, Ester Ledecká
's feat at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Super-G still has people talking. But don't talk about it to Austria's Anna Veith, who was in the lead and almost certain to have won gold. Unfortunately for her, she hadn't reckoned on the unknown skier from the Czech Republic, Ledecká, having her say.
The 23-year-old hadn't yet achieved any noteworthy results in the super-G, perhaps explaining the look on her face after reaching the top of the podium. But there was more to come. A few days later, Ledecká also won out in snowboarding, in the parallel giant slalom event, becoming the *
_first woman in the history *_of the Winter Olympic Games to wear two gold medals in different sports in the same edition.
Check out her face in the highlights (below)
After a decade of near-total misfortune, punctuated by serious injuries that undermined his career, Steven Bradbury, the first Australian short track speed skating athlete of international reputation, was repaid with interest by winning the most incredible of golds in the men's 1000m final in Salt Lake City 2002.
Having reached the finals with daring successes in the quarters and semifinals (thanks in large part to repechage and the disqualification of his opponents) the skater, who was at that point in the last stages of his career, took the gold after the four favourites were eliminated with a resounding crash in the last lap. It sparked oT a lucky, but still immense, win for the up-to-that-point unfortunate Bradbury.
Watch the incredible final (below)
The reigning Olympic champion was already assured the gold when he stepped up on his second run. With 46.8, Shaun White had already sealed the best score, as Peetu Piiroinen from Finland finished his best run with only 45.0. And with the gold medal secured, the Flying Tomato decided go big, with the first ever 'Tomahawk', aka Double McTwist 1260°, landed in snowboard history.
Watch Shaun White golden run in Vancouver (below)
The second Olympic edition of the ski cross competition at Sochi 2014 had many moments to savour. While the final podium was 100 per cent French with Jean-Frédéric Chapuis winning gold, Arnaud Bovolenta the silver and Jonathan Midol bronze, the first quarterfinal saw a very special finish: only one athlete out of three crossed the line on their skis. The three others crashed just before the end.
At the back of the pack Armin Niederer of Switzerland finally finished in first place. The others had to wait some time to learn their positions.
For Michael Edwards, participating at the Olympic Games was a dream very difficult to realise. He wasn't an elite athlete and his nation, Great-Britain, didn't have any ski jumpers in its team. But as he failed to be selected in the alpine ski team for Calgary 1988, he decided to try to be the first ski jumper from Team GB to achieve his Olympic dream.
And in Canada, it turned into a proper dream come true. While he finished last in the two events, he earned the nickname Eddie the Eagle and is still famous all around the world for his efforts.
American figure skater Tara Lipinski was only 15 at the Nagano 1998 Games, but even at such a tender age, she'd already won the World Championships of 1997. However, before the long programme in Nagano, she was in second place and needed to put in a perfect performance to climb atop the podium.
She decided to try what no one had accomplished before in women’s figure skating world: a triple loop/triple loop combination. What followed remains pure Olympic history.
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