They began on a day of celebration following a tragedy. Just hours before the opening ceremonies of the XXI Winter Games in Vancouver (above), Georgian athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, was killed in a crash while training on Whistler's treacherous luge track (page 56). When the Georgian team, reduced by one, marched into BC Place, it was met by an ovation matched only by that for the host country's athletes. And so the Olympics went forward as a blend of turmoil and triumph, with a feeling unlike any other. There were early glitches—a torch-lighting malfunction, weather delays, ticket cancellations. But there was mostly glory, especially for a U.S. team that hauled in 37 medals (page 53), the most ever for any country at a Winter Olympics. Ultimately, Canadian goodwill prevailed. The throngs of red-maple-leaf-bedecked fans grew ever larger and louder, infusing the venues and streets of Vancouver and Whistler with a palpable energy that fed off and fed into 17 days of riveting competition—the Olympic spirit at its finest.