The U.S. Olympic team snagged three gold medals Wednesday in Vancouver. The top prizes went to a trio of athletes favored to win at the Winter Games—Lindsey Vonn, Shani David and Shaun White. Here are the highlights.
A nasty shin injury kept Lindsey Vonn sidelined at the start of the 2010 Games, but weather delays bought her the time she needed to recover.
Vonn started off strong in her race and developed an early lead. A few bumps at the end slowed her down, but she still finished ahead of her competitors by 0.56 seconds. Teammate Julia Mancuso finished second to win silver. "This is everything I've wanted and hoped for," Vonn said.
The win must have come as a relief to Vonn. Even before the Games began, she was heavily favored to take home the gold. But the injury she sustained during practice two weeks ago threatened to upset her chances at Olympic victory. "It's so painful to ski, especially on this course because it's so bumpy," Vonn admitted. "It's so tough to ski down, but I did it and it's awesome."
Vonn is favored to win in two more races during the Games. But she is thankful just to be in the competition. "I have what I want, and I'll just keep fighting every day," she said. "It's definitely a huge relief that I finally did it."
He won gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. This time around, in Vancouver, American speedskater Shani Davis once again swept past his competitors to earn the top prize in the men's 1,000-meter race, an event in which he already holds the world record.
Davis didn't even come close to winning his first two events during these Games, so Wednesday's win was a sweet comeback. "To go out there and win the 1,000 meter twice is truly amazing," Davis said.
Snowboarder Shaun White had victory in his sights when he scored big on his first run on the halfpipe. But he dazzled judges and fans of the sport when, on his second run, he pulled off his signature trick, the Double McTwist 1260. This risky move combines 3 twists and two flips. "I just felt like I didn't come all the way to Vancouver not to pull out the big guns," White said.
White was a two time Olympic gold medalist going into the Games. He won the top prize in Turin in 2006, and in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002. Now, White has another medal to add to his growing collection.