Highs: The Vancouver Games were full of memorable performances. Lindsey Vonn became the first American woman to ever win gold in the downhill skiing event; Simon Ammann, of Switzerland, swept both individual ski jumping events, repeating a feat he pulled off eight years ago, in Salt Lake City; Apolo Anton Ohno won three medals in short track speedskating, making him America's most decorated Winter Olympian; South Korea rallied around Kim Yu-Na, who won that country's first figure skating gold. Even the ending of the Games was pitch perfect. In the gold medal hockey game, played on the final day of competition, Sidney Crosby's overtime goal gave host Canada a thrilling victory over the United States.
Lows: The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver began on a tragic note. On the day of the opening ceremonies, Nodar Kumaritashvili, a luger from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, died after crashing during a training run, fueling criticism that the track's super fast and steep design was simply too dangerous. More sadness followed: the mother of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette died of a heart attack, just two days before her daughter was scheduled to skate (Rochette's bronze medal performance in the face of unspeakable adversity, however, was arguably the most inspiring moment of the Olympics). On a less serious level, at one point the Olympics were nicknamed "The Glitch Games:" a mechanical torch malfunctioned during the opening ceremonies, an ice-resurfacing machine broke down during a speedskating event, causing a delay, and organizers had to helicopter in snow for the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.