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The Top 10 Best Winter Olympic Moments Of All-Time Have Been Named And Ranked

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The Top 10 Best Winter Olympic Moments Of All-Time Have Been Named And Ranked

By Ryan Rosendale

The rich history of the Winter Olympics has created moments that have stood the test of time with a select few so good, it's easy to remember where you were when you saw them.

Let's look at the 10 best Winter Olympic moments of all time!

10. Boitano Wins 'The Battle of the Brian's' - 1988 Calgary Games

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Heading into the 1988 Calgary Games, there were two men who represented their countries as national heroes in the sport of figure skating. Brian Orser from Canada and Brian Boitano from the U.S. They had squared off in 10 major competitions before Calgary, and the hometown hero Orser had come out on top seven times. Boitano went first at Calgary and delivered a practically perfect performance and while Orser also delivered a stellar routine he came up just short with Boitano receiving a higher technical sore to win, five votes to four, pulling off the upset.

09. Canada Proves Its Ice Hockey Dominance - 2010 Vancouver Games

Ask any Canadian and they'll tell you their ice hockey players are far superior than Americans. It wasn't until 2010 however that that belief was really put to the test when the US ended up facing Canada in both the men's and women's hockey gold medal games. On the women's side, both countries had blown away every opponent to reach the final, but Canada destroyed the Americans chance at going for three straight gold when they claimed victory 2-0. As for the men's pool, the gold medal game was teeming with top NHL talent, which led to a brilliant final in which the US's Zach Parise forced overtime by tying the game at 2 with just 25 seconds left. But eventually, it was Sidney Crosby finishing the game for Team Canada just under eight minutes into OT. Vancouver, of course, took a collective sigh of relief and rejoiced after their hockey teams defended their turf.

Brian Boitano. Credit: Alamy
Brian Boitano. Credit: Alamy
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08. The Forgotten "Miracle on Ice" - 1960 Squaw Valley Games

While not the American ice hockey triumph everyone remembers, the 1960 Squaw Valley Games saw the US come out of nowhere to take down the world's best teams to win the gold medal after winning all seven of their Olympic matches. This Games featured a six-team round robin medal round in which the Americans defied all odds be beating hockey titans Canada and the Soviet Union in consecutive games, 2-1 and 3-2, respectively. The US followed this up with a come-from-behind 9-4 victory over Czechoslovakia to clinch the gold.

07. Eddie Edwards Becomes A National Hero - 1988 Calgary Games

Britain's Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards spent the 1980's as a downhill skier but after missing a spot on the British ski team for the 1984 Sarajevo Games, Edwards decided to shift over to ski jumping due to a lack of competition from his countrymen in the event.

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Despite a lack of success after making the move, Edwards was invited to compete in the 1988 Calgary Games as he was the only Brit who had competed in ski jumping events. Edwards was a heroic failure at the Games, finishing dead last in both of his events. Edwards would however become a national hero to the Brits and although he didn't even score half the total points of any other competitor, he earned admiration worldwide and was given the nickname "Eddie the Eagle" by the President of the International Olympic Committee during the closing ceremony. Qualifying standards were raised post the Games to prevent Edwards and similar competitors from participating in the future with Edwards failing to qualify for three consecutive Olympics.

06. Dan Jensen Finishes Olympic CA- 1994 Lillehammer Games

American speed skater Dan Jensen was beloved by fans across the globe throughout the 1980s and early 90s but his story on the way to a gold medal is one of heartbreak and resilience. He was the favourite to win the 500 and 1,000-meter races at the 1988 Games in Calgary, but his sister died from leukemia just hours before competition started. Eight seconds into the 500m, Jansen, who had dedicated his race to his sister, crashed. Four days later he raced in the 1,000m, and it looked like he was going to win, but he crashed again.

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Having never won an Olympic medal, Jensen headed into his final Winter Games in 1994 at Lillehammer as a major underdog but the ever-resilient skater shocked the world and claimed gold in the 1,000m race and set a new world record in the process.

05. Eric Heiden Goes Five For Five - 1980 Lake Placid Games

Long before his fellow American Michael Phelps won eight gold at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, speed skater Eric Heiden skated into the record books and won five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. Heiden was nicknamed the Man of Gold, winning the 500 meters, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m and at last, the 10000m, in which he set a world record time by a whopping 6.2 seconds. Despite his success, Heiden shielded away from the limelight, opting to leave speed skating on top to take up professional cycling before he eventually moved forward in his medical studies-he worked as the team physician for the U.S.A. Speed Skating team in the past three Olympics, among other professional endeavours.

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04. Shaun White's Near Perfect Performance - 2010 Vancouver Games

One of the Winter Olympics most recognisable and promotable athletes, American snowboarder Shaun White burst onto the scene in 2006 when he won gold in Turin at just 19. He would go onto defend that title in brilliant fashion at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Despite facing incredible competition, White's effortless ability to soar high above the pipe while pulling off combinations of spins, flips and grabs was something never seen before. White's gold medal run was practically flawless and goes down as one of the Winter Games most memorable moments.

03. Jamaica's Debut Goes Down In History - 1988 Calgary Games

Given the Winter Games often feature cold-weather countries, it was a welcome surprise when the warm, tropical country of Jamaica entered a bobsled team in the 1988 Calgary Games. Many will know this story for the Disney film Cool Runnings and while the four-man group didn't do so great in competition (they lost control of their sled, crashed, and didn't finish the race) - they gained worldwide adoration by walking to the finish line in what became one of the Winter Olympics most special moments.

02. The 'Miracle on Ice' (Yes, It's Featuring Again) - 1980 Lake Placid Games

Yes, we've included this on our Top 10 Most Shocking Winter Olympic Moments but it's also without a doubt one of the greatest. An underdog story for the ages that would be retold in the form of a Disney film titled Miracle, the USA's defeat of the all-powerful Soviet Union Ice Hockey team was what legends are made of. America would upset the reigning champions 4-3 in their first-round medal game and would carry that momentum into their gold medal winning game against Finland while the Soviet Union would claim silver against Sweden.

01. Steve Bradbury Speeds Into Australian Sporting History - 2002 Salt Lake City Games

Another moment that was shocking at the time for the entire globe has become the best Australian Winter Olympics moment of all time. A relatively unknown name heading into the 2002 Games, speed skater Steven Bradbury headed into the 1000 Meter Short Track Speed Skating as a major underdog. But when race favourite Apollo Anton Ohno and the three other finalists collided in an epic crash; the trailing Bradbury was close enough to the pack to cross the finish line before any of the fallen skaters, becoming Australia's first gold medallist in the Winter Olympics history and a national icon.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia, Winter Olympics, top 10

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