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February 23, 2010 | Staff And Wire Reports
Sunday night's U.S.-Canada men's hockey game was the most-watched sporting event in Canadian television history, according to Canada's CUME index. Peaking at 13 million viewers, the game was watched in part by nearly two in three Canadians, or 21.5 million viewers (64.3% of the Canadian population), beating the previous record: The Salt Lake City 2002 gold medal hockey game featuring the same two teams (10.3 million). -- Times wire services Broadcasters under fire Two broadcasters are facing criticism for derogatory comments made about American figure skater Johnny Weir . The Quebec Gay and Lesbian Council has demanded a public apology from French-language broadcaster RDS after one commentator said Weir hurts figure skating's image and another said Weir should be made to take a gender test.
February 23, 2010 | By Scott Collins
Lindsey Vonn pulled off what many have tried but few have achieved. No, we're not talking about overcoming a shin injury and winning a gold medal in downhill skiing. We mean beating Simon Cowell. On Wednesday, NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, pulled off the nearly unheard-of feat of toppling Fox's "American Idol" in the ratings. Powered by Vonn's dramatic victory on the slopes that day, the games averaged 30.1 million total viewers during the 9-10 p.m. hour, pushing Fox's singing contest down to an unusually low 18.4 million, according to the Nielsen Co. A perfect six-year winning streak for "Idol" was demolished along the way. And it could happen again this week, when two-hour "Idols" on Tuesday and Wednesday devoted to the top 24 contestants square off against coverage of women's figure skating on NBC, traditionally among the most-popular Olympic events.
February 23, 2010 | By Candus Thomson
Shauna Rohbock prefers her martini shaken, not stirred. The bobsled driver of USA-1, who won silver in 2006, hopes to be the fastest woman on the fastest track when the two-day competition begins Tuesday. But perhaps the biggest obstacle in her icy path is Germany's Cathleen Martini, a two-time world championship silver medalist who won five of the eight World Cup races this season. "She's been strong all year," said Rohbock of her rival. "She gets a good push and drives it from there.
February 22, 2010 | By Chris Kuc
In the relatively short history of women's hockey in the Olympics, the United States has enjoyed many more successes than failures. An upset loss to Sweden in the semifinals of 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, stands out as the low point. The Americans led 2-0 before the Swedes roared back for a 3-2 shootout win that denied the Americans a chance to face rival Canada for the gold medal. The U.S. was left playing for the bronze, which it won by defeating Finland, 4-0. Canada beat Sweden, 4-1, for the gold.
February 22, 2010 | By Lisa Dillman
Life is all about the Hurricane for Jeret "Speedy" Peterson. Doing one. And living in one. First, there is his highly acclaimed signature Hurricane, an aerial trick featuring three flips and five twists. The men's aerials qualifications will be Monday night at Cypress Mountain. "I plan on doing the Hurricane," he said at the pre-Olympics news conference here. "I want to be able to do that trick. I want to be prepared to throw it. . . . We won't know until game day." Peterson will be joined in qualifying by American teammates Ryan St. Onge, Matt DePeters and Scott Bahrke.
February 22, 2010 | By staff reports
About seven hours after learning her mother had died unexpectedly, Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette , the reigning world silver medalist, showed her resolve to compete in the Olympics as planned by coming to her scheduled Sunday afternoon practice at the Pacific Coliseum. "Joannie is a very courageous person," said her teammate Cynthia Phaneuf . "Just to be there at practice, I was very impressed. She is going to get through this. "I think she is doing the right thing.
February 22, 2010 | By Diane Pucin
Melvin Avanzado, a 47-year-old Los Angeles attorney, understands why NBC is showing tape-delayed Olympics coverage to viewers in the Pacific and Mountain time zones. He understands about sponsorship dollars and maximizing viewership. He doesn't like it much, either. But Avanzado doesn't try to avoid results until he can watch warmed-over coverage that often doesn't end until midnight. "I'd have to totally unplug," he said. "Some people try. I was at dinner with a friend Saturday night when Apolo Ohno was racing.
February 22, 2010 | By Brian Hamilton
This was Jen Rodriguez's fourth Olympics. She needs surgery on her right hip to repair a torn labrum. The speedskater was so stressed by the laborious Winter Games schedule that she required a 90-minute nap before a 3 p.m. race. Then, in her preferred race, the 1,500 meters, she produced an 18th-place finish Sunday. It was a stinging anticlimax that empty legs told her she had to accept, leaving her much to contemplate in the coming weeks. "I don't think I could do better than I did today," Rodriguez said, "even though today was terrible and an embarrassment."
February 22, 2010 | By Helene Elliott
Wearing uniforms that honored the Olympic champion 1960 U.S. hockey team and deploying a lineup that included the son of a player from the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" squad, the current U.S. Olympic team made some history of its own Sunday. In an exhilarating game that often went end to end without giving fans a moment's pause to do more than gasp, the Americans punished Canada goalie Martin Brodeur for his puck-handling mistakes and rode a two-goal, one-assist performance by Brian Rafalski to a 5-3 win at a jam-packed Canada Hockey Place.
February 21, 2010 | David Wharton
Dark clouds that lingered over the city last week have finally lifted, brighter days dawning on a Winter Games that needed some cheering up. "The morale is good," said Renee Smith-Valade, an official with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. "The sun is shining and the sports are going well." Big crowds and big performances, not to mention solid television ratings, come as a big relief after a succession of bumps, glitches and worse that had organizers wondering what might go wrong next.
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