By Julian Linden
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Six memorable moments from the Vancouver Olympics.
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Bode Miller (Alpine skiing)
As a multiple world champion and World Cup winner, Bode Miller had already staked a claim to being America's best all-round male skier. Only one thing was missing from his resume -- Olympic gold. He won two silver medals at Salt Lake City in 2002 then bombed out in Turin four years later. Disillusioned, he quit the sport last year but decided to make a comeback for Vancouver. Luck seemed against him when he finished third in the downhill then second in the super-G before he came from behind to snatch the elusive gold in super combined.
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Petra Majdic (Cross-country skiing)
If gold medals were handed out for bravery then Slovenian cross country skier Petra Majdic would have been a runaway winner of the award in Vancouver. Majdic broke five ribs when she slipped and fell down a gully during a training run but defied medical advice and excruciating pain to battle through three races and clinch the bronze in the women's sprint classic. She was in so much pain that she needed help just getting on to the podium to collect her medal. "I won not only a bronze medal for myself, this is a gold with little diamonds on it," she said.
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Shaun White (Snowboarding)
No athlete better reflects the changing face of the Winter Olympics than American snowboarder Shaun White. With his baggy pants, bandanas and long, curly red hair, "the Animal" is the undisputed king of the halfpipe. He took the gold in Turin four years ago and made it back to back golds in Vancouver with his latest gravity-defying trick, the Double McTwist 1260, a whirl of somersaults and flips that ends with a blind landing. "It's a world stage so why not deliver something spectacular," he said.
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Sven Kramer (Speedskating)
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Joannie Rochette (Figure skating)
Rochette may not have won the gold medal but she won the hearts of admiration of the world with her incredible performance in figure skating. She competed just days after her mother died from a sudden heart attack after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter skate. A grieving Rochelle broke down in tears after her short program but was able to contain her fragile emotions for the free program to capture the bronze. "It was as though I was trapped in a big block of ice, that's how I was able to confront the situation," she said.
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Men's ice hockey final
Clashes between Canada and the U.S. are always epic events but even by their standards this was a match of unrelenting tension. Canada led 2-0 after goals from Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry but the U.S. replied through Ryan Kesler and Zach Parise 24 seconds from the end of regulation to force the game into overtime. The match was eventually decided when Sidney Crosby slid the winner past American goaltender Ryan Miller, giving Canada a record 14th gold medal and sparking wild celebrations across the country.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)