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A GOLD MEDAL for the U.S. men's hockey team... for winning the silver medal.

GOLD to the teeming masses downtown Sunday night, for not rioting.

GOLD to everyone who contributed pictures to The Tyee photo pool. It's hard to imagine another media team that covered the Games with such a degree of intelligence, and from so many angles.

GOLD to the French newspaper Le Monde for bestowing expert, if backhanded, praise upon Canadians: "Canadian patriotism is the great winner of the Olympic Games... Canada has no lessons to learn in the area of chauvinism."

GOLD to Olympians at Whistler Village for raising money for the family of killed Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

GOLD to Greek workers for sending a signal to the IOC and global bankers by refusing to pay the huge debt racked up by the Greek government and now threatening not only the the economy of the nation, but of the world -- a crisis some say was precipitated by Greece's Olympic overspending.

GOLD to The Onion for being first to report on 2010 Olympic athletes trying to exchange bent up medals for normal ones.

GOLD to CTV's streaming video. The Canadian Olympic broadcaster made hours and hours of coverage available through its website. You could watch when you wanted. You could pause. You could jump to the highlights. Sure it was grainy and occasionally jumpy on some connections, but it was already way more satisfying than being glued to the TV and it's only going to get better.

GOLD to the nice young man, whose name we neglected to get, who at 9:00 PM on Friday, Feb. 12, appeared out of the wet black night at the far end of a Granville Island parking lot to show a squinting visitor how to use the parking meter. He was an Olympics volunteer and clearly had drawn the short straw (others were ushering at the Opening Ceremonies at the same hour) but he stood his lonely vigil with a cheerful smile.

GOLD to The Globe and Mail for its instant collector edition on Monday, sporting a wraparound split photo of Crosby celebrating his gold-winning goal, and a swath of GM place spectators doing the same.

SILVER for effort as curling announcer Vic Rauter's attempt at timeless Olympic eloquence was foiled by actual events. With Canadian women's champ Cheryl Bernard poised to throw a 10th end rock that could win her the gold medal, Rauter began to wind into his attempt at a time-capsule call. "This Annie of curling," he intoned as the rock headed down the ice. "The sun will always come up tomorrow... and tomorrow," he proclaimed, voice rising, "is..." He got no further. Bernard's attempted takeout wrecked on one of her own stones, giving Sweden a tying point. Bernard would go on to lose the match in an extra end. Silver for Bernard and Rauter both. (Although just why Bernard is the Annie of curling, he failed to explain.)

BRONZE to B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen who gamely climbed into a wheelchair souped-up for rugby and reminded everyone Monday that the Paralympics are still to come starting March 12. Points off because there is no wheelchair rugby in the winter Paralympics.

FACEPLANT to B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen for cutting grants to amateur sport last year.

FACEPLANT to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for (yet again) demonstrating he is the sport of hockey's worst enemy by saying the league won't decide for a year or two whether or not its players will be on the ice at the next Olympics. Imagine this one without the pro hockey players. As Slate.com points out, the hockey tournament might just have saved the whole rest of the show.

FACEPLANT for the opening and closing ceremonies for going from bad (Catherine O’Hara, sorry) to Nickelback. Really? Is that the best we can do? Cart in some B-list Hollywood celebrities who haven’t set foot in Canada for 40 years (but for the odd photo op) rather than Arcade Fire, the Tragically Hip, the Stars, and so on -- bands that actually have lyrics that reference the real Canadian experience? OK, everyone loves a campy giant beaver, but name one lyric from Nelly Furtado, Bryan Adams, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne or Michael Buble that refers to something Canadian. Just one. Please. And, really, did we really invite the world to a party and then spend the entire time talking about ourselves? And John Furlong, how is it possible to talk for ten minutes or more and say absolutely nothing. For example, "May the legacy of your favourite son Nodar Kumaritashvilli never be forgotten and serve to inspire youth everywhere to be champions in life." What does that even mean? No wonder Rick Cluff wondered aloud if Furlong is planning on pursuing a post-Olympics career in politics.

PENALTY BOX to corporate marketers for having stripped athletes of their souls at the very moments we were hoping to have glimpsed their humanity. We say this after two weeks of reading media event announcements like this one:

"(Event #2) Media availability with Canadian and U.S. athletes including Olympic medalists Julia Mancuso (alpine skiing), Seth Wescott (snowboardcross) and Johnny Spillane (nordic combined). Time: 10 a.m. -- 11 a.m. Location: BC International Media Centre (BCMC), Press Theatre and Media Briefing Room, Robson Square, Vancouver The athletes will discuss their performances at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, post-Vancouver activities, their long-standing relationship with Visa and how their marketability and exposure has benefited as a result of being featured in Visa's Go World campaign. For more information, contact: Sylvie Bigras, Press Chief, Canadian Olympic Team. Phone: (604) 345-0337. E-mail: sbigras@olympic.ca"

Such moments caused us to wonder, a few times over the course of the Games, whether Olympic athletes aren't just sophisticated androids. Once their fuses start burning out, we may need to hire Blade Runners to track them down.  [Tyee]

Read more: 2010 Olympics

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