With the Vancouver 2010 Olympics approaching, this has to be one of my best memories of any winter Olympics.
Steven Bradbury of Australia is most well-known for his unexpected gold medal at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games in the men’s short track 1000 metres event from three unlikely events occurring. The stars and moons have to line up correctly in order for this to happen, but it did.
- After the Quarter-Finals, Bradbury thought he was eliminated. He finished third as only the top two advance, but Marc Gagnon of Canada was disqualified, allowing him to advance to the semi-finals.
- In his semi-final, Bradbury was in last place but three of the four other competitors in front of him crashed into each other, allowing him to take second place, and advancing him through to the final.
- In the finals, as in the semi-final and off the pace with the leaders, once again all four of Bradbury’s competitors, Apolo Ohno (USA), Ahn Hyun-Soo (South Korea), Li Jiajun (China) and Mathieu Turcotte (Canada), crashed at the final corner, leaving a shocked Bradbury to take the gold medal.
At the time, this was the first Gold medal for Australia (or any southern hemisphere country for that matter) in an Olympic Winter Games event. Australia’s Alisa Camplin also won gold at the same Olympics.
Never Give Up?
Obviously I wasn’t the fastest skater. I don’t think I’ll take the medal as the minute-and-a-half of the race I actually won. I’ll take it as the last decade of the hard slog I put in.
It’s amazing how we forget the decades of training and commitment in order to run or skate for less than 45 or 90 seconds! … With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run…