LOTS OF DRAMA AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS IN VANCOUVER
SOMETHING SAD FOR STARTERS:
The mother of Canadian figure skating champion and Olympic medal hopeful Joannie Rochette died suddenly in Vancouver Sunday morning, shortly after arriving to watch her daughter compete.
Canadian team officials said Thérèse Rochette passed away after being rushed to Vancouver General Hospital.
Cause of death has not been determined. She was 55.
Joannie Rochette was given the news by her father Normand at the Olympic Village this morning.
Officials said Ms. Rochette intends to compete at the Olympics, despite the shock of her mother's death.
NOW IN THE WEIRD CATEGORY-----
Russian Evgeni Plushenko has a new fight on his hands.
After Plushenko's official website showed a collection of Olympic medals, including the silver he won in the men's event last week, the gold he won in Turin - and a platinum medal - various websites began to accuse him of awarding himself a platinum medal and being a poor loser.
However, Plushenko did no such thing. He did not award himself the platinum medal.
After his loss, Plushenko made the rounds of media interviews, and Russian television commentators and analysts declared that Plushenko was robbed of the gold medal by judges. And when he walked into the RTR (Russian network) studio in Vancouver, the host, Alexei Popov presented him with a symbolic medal - the platinum one.
"You already have one gold and one silver so here's a platinum medal for you," Popov said to him. "You are the real champion."
Another Russian commentator called Plushenko's loss scandalous. "We'd seen this before," Alexei Vasilyev said, according to a news report. "In 2002, Irina Slutskaia unfairly was placed second in the short program so that Sarah Hughes could get a better shot at winning the gold."
Russians fielded a protest about poor and biased judging in the women's event in 2002, but it was rejected. Neither Plushenko nor his federation has launched a protest about the judging in the men's event in Vancouver.
"So what if Slutskaia lost?" said the Russian commentator. "Who remembers Hughes? Similarly in a few years time, nobody will remember Lysacek while Plushenkno will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time."
Some websites in the past day have accused Plushenko of being "a spoiled brat" and are saying that his "long delusional journey continues."
AND FINALLY, THE FIERCE AND PASSIONATE CATEGORY-------
A bloody nose that began halfway through her short program couldn't stop American Mirai Nagasu, but she still fears she has no chance for a medal.
Nagasu felt her nose start bleeding in the middle of her routine Tuesday night. But she completed her program and received 63.76 points, a personal best that put her in first place midway through the short program.
"You have to deal with what you've got," the 16-year-old skater from Los Angeles said. "Halfway through the program, I felt it running down my nose and just said, 'Don't stop, keep going.'
"I skated the best I can."
And it was pretty good, even if she believes it won't put her in medal contention.
"From today's performance, I don't think I can reach the podium," Nagasu said. "I'm a little disappointed."
Skating to "Pirates of the Caribbean" - one of her favorite movies - Nagasu took off as if she'd been shot from a cannon and never backed off, even with the blood on her nose. While other skaters slow down before their jumps, she attacked at full speed.
The 2008 U.S. champion has come back with a vengeance from a right ankle injury and a growth spurt that ruined the following season. She nearly won a second national championship last month, finishing behind Rachael Flatt mainly because of under-rotating three jumps.
She has looked strong and skated cleanly through this week's practices, and didn't miss any elements Tuesday.
"I'm happy in my first Olympics that I didn't fall yet," she said, drawing laughter. "I felt all the support and hope I can do better in the long program."