WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Canadian Jasey-Jay Anderson put the exclamation point on his incredible resume Saturday, winning Olympic gold to slap some sunshine on an otherwise miserable day for snowboarding.
The 34-year-old from Quebec, owner of seven World Cup championships, carved through the rain-sluiced, fogged-in course at Cypress Mountain to make up a .76-second deficit over Benjamin Karl of Austria, the top-ranked rider in the world.
"Shock," Anderson said when asked how he felt. "That's it."
He won the 12th gold medal of the Vancouver Games for Canada, which put the host in good position to win the gold-medal standings with only one day left.
And he won his first Olympic medal in four tries, adding it to his four world championship golds and a career that has done more than anyone's to spread the word of snowboarding across his wintry country. "It's amazing the amount of energy I sucked out of people around me," Anderson said. "And it's amazing to be able to give something back."
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Austria's Andreas Prommegger has captured the top seed in men's parallel giant slalom on rain-soaked Cypress Mountain.
Prommegger was timed in 1 minute, 16.49 seconds for his two qualifying runs. Prommegger will face 16th-seed Chris Klug of the United States when the side-by-side elimination rounds begin later Saturday. The men race in elimination heats until two are left to vie for gold and silver, with a consolation race for bronze.
Sylvain Dufour of France qualified second, followed by Simon Schoch of Switzerland. American Tyler Jewell qualified sixth and Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson, a two-time PGS world champion, qualified 10th.
Nicolien Sauerbeij of the Netherlands won the women's event Friday.
"My life has been flipped upside down," Scotty Lago said Thursday evening, the day before he was scheduled to make his first TV appearance -- on Jimmy Kimmel Live! -- since being sent home from the Olympics one week ago. It is the ironic twist in the TMZ photo saga. The USOC gave Lago a choice: go home or face a disciplinary hearing in Vancouver. Lago went home, hoping that, in New Hampshire, he would be out of the spotlight long enough to allow the story to die down. Instead, the simple fact they sent him home thrust him directly into the brightest spotlight of his life. "I wanted to step out of the limelight," Lago said from Los Angeles. "I didn't want to cause any more trouble. But as soon as they bought my ticket home, I knew right away they were going to cause a media storm."
For an hour after women's GS finals Thursday morning, Julia Mancuso's family stood at the entrance to the media area, anxiously awaiting the moment when they could finally celebrate with her. "We haven't had a proper celebration yet," said Andrea Webber, Julia's mom. "This will be the first time we celebrate her two silver medals together." When Julia arrived, nearly an hour after giving her first post-race interview, Mom placed the tiara she'd been wearing all morning onto her daughter's head. Julia's sister, April, held out a stack of plastic cups. Mancuso reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle of Celebris champagne. Then, after hanging her two medals around her neck, Mancuso popped the champagne, divvied it up between her friends and family and made a proper toast. "Here's to the Olympics!" Mancuso said, holding up her glass. "Cheers!"
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Ashleigh McIvor has won Canada's sixth gold medal of the Vancouver Games, defeating Hedda Berntsen of Norway in the final of the Olympic debut of women's skicross.
McIvor, who grew up in Whistler and is ranked second in the world, stayed out of trouble on the snowblown course at Cypress Mountain on Tuesday and won the final going away.
Marion Josserand of France took the bronze.
Ophelie David of France came in as the top-ranked skicrosser in the world but lost her balance on a jump in her quarterfinal and fell hard. Canadian contenders Julia Murray and Kelsey Serwa also were eliminated before the final.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- It's difficult to summon your inner cheerleader when you don't have a horse in the race. So when both U.S. men were knocked out in the round of 32 in the Olympic debut of ski cross, the American cheering section went mute. This was a sport made famous in the Winter X Games. Its sister sport, snowboardcross, has been dominated by American riders Seth Wescott (two-time Olympic gold medalist), Nate Holland (five-time Winter X gold medalist) and Lindsey Jacobellis (winningest SBX athlete of all time). So where were the Americans?
Early in the day, they were hoarding a majority of the prerace chatter. Both Casey Puckett and Daron Rahlves -- heavy medal favorites before Puckett dislocated his shoulder, twice, in January, and Rahlves dislocated his hip 21 days ago -- had made seemingly miraculous recoveries in order to race in the Olympics. After the time-trial qualifiers, Rahlves said his hip felt great. Puckett said he was feeling slow out of the start and still in pain, but that his shoulder was in racing shape. We're here, and we're ready to race, they said. And they were expected to contest for a medal.
Wherever there is fame or celebrity, there is bound to be paparazzi. Newly-bronzed Olympic Halfpipe medalist Scotty Lago found this out the hard way Thursday night in Vancouver.
While out celebrating on the town, Lago was captured in a somewhat compromising position with his Bronze Medal.
Lago has volunteered to leave the Olympics after the pictures of him showed up on the Internet earlier today.
Representatives for Lago and USSA officials would not comment at this time.
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- A few hours before women's halfpipe finals, while the sun was still shining and the temps were pushing springtime, Torah Bright's fiancé, Jake Welch, had an idea.
He trekked the more than 200 stairs leading to and from the spectator section, found a few buckets of red latex paint in a shed at the bottom of Cypress Mountain, and recruited a few of his family members to donate their chests in the name of national pride.
"They did it in Torino, so I guess we should have expected a repeat performance here," said Ben Bright, Torah's older brother and coach.
Less than 24 hours before Shaun White was scheduled to compete in the Olympic halfpipe finals, while his teammates and competitors were finalizing their runs and polishing their tricks at Tuesday evening's practice session, White went kayaking.
"This was unlike any season I've had," White said Wednesday night, shortly after becoming the first snowboarder to repeat as a gold medalist in the halfpipe. "I fell a lot, I lost sleep. I don't think I've ever been this nervous for a contest or this inside my own head."
So, instead of logging a few more hours practicing a run he already knew he could land, White and nine of his friends, including U.S. snowboarding coach Bud Keene, rented sea kayaks at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. Instead of worrying over his run, White and his friends spent the evening before the biggest contest of his life not talking and not thinking about snowboarding.
I admit it. I unplugged my Internet to steal cable so that I could watch the Olympics at home. Now here I am, at home, watching the TV, taking in all the bad local news programming, begging for Brian Williams to take over, while the men's Halfpipe Final is happening in real-time three hours north of me.
And you know what? Despite all this biggest year in snowboading business, I came upon a weird realization today that everyone, their dog and their rocking chair is just floored with anticipation to see this contest. And so am I.
So here we go. We'll pipe back up with results and a report from Alyssa, who's been killing it for us in Vancouver, as soon as the comp's over (which, curiously, will not be before I watch it). Until then, I'll listen to my local anchorwoman, as she learns to ride on a Nale, on a moving indoor carpet, while saying things like, " ... he'll apparently be debuting a double cork, and I can't wait to find out what that is!"