Today, the world’s greatest celebration begins in Torino. The XX Olympic Games will bring together athletes and fans from around the world for sixteen days of competition that will showcase many of the greatest athletes in the world. These athletes will awe and inspire an audience of two billion people around the world. They will also show the human ideal of friendly competition and a celebration of the differences that the wide array of athletes bring to the Games, whether they hail from St. Louis, St. Petersburg, Caracas or Cork.
Look for the United States to win, by a small margin, both the Gold Medal and the overall Medal counts. Casey Fitzrandolph, Jennifer Rodriguez, and Chris Witty are all poised to earn multiple medals in traditional speedskating, while Apollo Ohno will dominate the short track. Bode Miller will do the same in skiing, provided that he avoids killing himself. And, of course, the US will compete with the Russians for dominance in figure skating. The US will also add team medals in women’s hockey and women’s curling, with an outside chance of medaling in men’s hockey as well.
Of personal interest, Ireland is not expected to medal, but the Czech Republic is likely to come away with a medal, perhaps even Gold, in hockey.