Hooray! Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo from China finally won their elusive Olympic gold medal they worked towards for so many years! Their final score was 216.57 points - more than three points ahead of teammates Pang Qing and Tong Jian. I'm very happy for the married Shen and Zhao. I think they are lovely. They had one freak little flaw in the long program last night where they kinda fell out of one of the lifts, but they recovered well and had such a lead from the short program, that it didn't wind up costing them anything. These two came out of retirement in 2007 for their last shot at gold. Well worth the effort!
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany came in third. Not only is this is the first time since 1960 that a Russian couple didn't win gold, but this time they didn't win a medal at all. Really shocking. But I still remember the time when their was a judging scandal (in Salt Lake, i think?) and the Canadian pair was unfairly robbed of the Gold Medal in favor of the Russians (the IOC eventually awarded the Canadians joint golds with the Russians after the fact), so I don't have a lot of love for the Russians when it comes to pairs skating. They had their time. Their time has passed.
I really am enjoying how so many medal winners this Olympics seem to be veterans who have had disappointments in the past. It's always nice to see young athletes win, but when you see competitors who have tried and come up short and then waited 4 or 8 years years just to get another shot and they get it done? I effing love that. Plus seeing athletes who are older than me winning gold makes me feel like I'm still young.
Enjoy your second retirement, Shen and Zhao! You've earned it!