VANCOUVER -- The Sven Kramer lane-switching incident.
The resurgence of Chad Hedrick.
Shani Davis' two medals.
The South Korean team.
Long track speed skating at the 2010 Olympics produced some epic memories, both good and bad. For every smooth stride along the ice at the Richmond Olympic Oval, there were just as many surprises, mishaps and downright ugly situations.
Let's revisit a few of the top storylines.
Biggest blunder: Sven Kramer of the Netherlands entered the Games as the overwhelming favorite in the men's distance events. He easily won the 5000m on the opening weekend, and started the 10,000m on Day 12 with a strong pace in the final pairing. He eventually skated the fastest time of the field and thought he had won the gold medal, until his coach, Gerard Kemkers, informed him otherwise.
On lap 17 of 25, Kemkers lost track of his skater and mistakenly directed him to enter the inside lane at the first turn. Kramer obliged at the last second, straddling the dividing line as he did so. Moments later, Kemkers realized the error. He continued to encourage Kramer as he skated around the oval, but it was clear by watching this video that he knew Kramer would be disqualified.
Kramer was none too pleased upon hearing of the disqualification when the race ended. He tossed his orange-rimmed glasses aside in disgust, and pushed Kemkers away when he tried to console him. Kramer ultimately took the blame for the mistake, and the next day he announced that Kemkers would remain his coach.
"The past years were simply too good to drop someone just like that," Kramer said. The 23-year-old Dutch skater has three world titles, four European titles, multiple World Cup wins and an Olympic gold medal.
This was speed skating's biggest story of the Games, and it will surely be revisited every year. It also could change the way coaches instruct their skaters during a race.
Biggest comeback: After winning three medals in Torino, Hedrick didn't know if he would continue skating at an Olympic level. He ultimately decided to make a run at the Vancouver Games, and his bronze-medal performance in the 1000m proved that the 32-year-old has still got it.
Hedrick was expected to place higher in the 1500m than the 1000m, but the opposite turned out to be true. The Texan finished two spots behind fellow American Shani Davis in the 1500m, and did not medal in the 1000m.
"I am really glad I came to Vancouver," Hedrick said after his 1000m bronze. "I love this city. It's a great place to finish."
Biggest U.S. performance: Davis set world records in the 1000m and 1500m last year, so he was the clear favorite in these races at the 2010 Games. His end result: 1000m gold, 1500m silver. Had it not been for an unexpected showing by the Netherlands' Mark Tuitert in the 1500m, Davis would have been a double gold medalist.
Davis said after the race that his second-place finish in the 1500m is already motivating him to shoot for the Sochi Games in 2014.
"I am sure it is going to keep me in the sport," Davis said of his silver medal. "It is not a bad thing I love skating."
Biggest U.S. performance No. 2: The U.S. men's pursuit team entered the event with an outside shot at earning a medal. Hedrick and three 19-year-olds -- Jonathan Kuck, Brian Hansen and Trevor Marsicano -- made up the squad. The end result was an improbable silver medal on Day 16, the fifth career medal in five different events for Hedrick. Eric Heiden, who won five gold medals at the 1980 Olympics, is the only other U.S. man to win five speed skating medals.
"I'm proud of these guys," Hedrick said. "We came in as big underdogs. All three of these guys are great skaters and they've got bright futures."
South Koreans shine: Mo Tae-Bum? Who is that? Many people were asking themselves this question after the South Korean celebrated his 21st birthday with a victory in the 500m on Day 4, and followed that two days later with a silver medal in the 1000m. He placed fifth in the 1500m. Countryman Lee Seung-Hoon took second in the 5000m, and won the 10,000m because of the Kramer incident.
On the women's side, Lee Sang-Hwa staged a stunning upset over German Jenny Wolf in the 500m. South Korea had never won a winter Olympic medal in any event other than short track before Vancouver. The country ended these Games with five long track medals -- three gold, two silver.
Smooth as sandpaper: Problems with the ice resurfacing machines plagued the Richmond Oval in the first week of competition. Three Olympia machines broke down, causing ice to pool on the surface. It then re-froze and left bumpy, unsafe skating conditions. There was a one-hour delay during the men's 500m event because of the issues.
A Zamboni was brought in from the Calgary Olympic Oval, and from that point forward rink officials cleaned the ice with that plus one Olympia at all times. And, although the ice was very slow, the resurfacing problems dissipated.
‘The queen of skating': IOC President Jacques Rogge called Martina Sablikova "the queen of skating," after she won her second gold medal of the Games in the 5000m. The wiry Czech skater is unlike any of her competitors with her slim body type and short, choppy strides.
Sablikova finished fourth in the 5000m in Torino but has ruled the distance races ever since, winning three straight 5000m world titles.